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   1. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: June 17, 2006 at 08:33 AM (#2066825)
1) Call up Rich Hill. Leave him up. Let him work it out. His 43 IP in the majors have really sucked, but his minor league numbers are too good. This means Rusch is gone. He has no upside, while Hill does (that's only one move, right?).

2) Restovich up, Mabry out. Since the Cubs suck so much, Mabry is useless, and they have Nevin to play 1B. Mabry doesn't really hit any better than Bynum at this point anyway.

3) Release Neifi. This is more important than firing Dusty in the short term. Really, this is the only way to keep Dusty from playing him. Call up Fontenot to satisfy the 2B fetish. At least he appears to have plate discipline. I know this means Womack will play a lot, but what do you do? I only get three moves.

Of course, if you remove the intraorganizational limitation and give me more options, I would, of course, fire Dusty. I would also trade Maddux. He doesn't deserve this and he doesn't figure into the future of the Cubs.
   2. dcsmyth1 Posted: June 17, 2006 at 11:27 AM (#2066834)
2) Restovich up, Mabry out.

I don't really understand all of this "Free Mike Restovich" sentiment. He is not a young prospect. He's a 27 yr old big, slow, slugger--except that he doesn't really slug. His Pecota projection was .241/.308/.417. For a corner OFer with little defensive value, that's not near good enough, even for a backup. I do understand that you could platoon him with Jones, but with Jones signed at regular dollars for 3 years, and with him hitting .286/.320/.510 so far, there's no reason to waste a roster spot on a guy like Restovich. And I'd rather keep running Murton out there than replace him with Restovich, too. Murton has a good probability of improvement, and the Cubbies aren't exactly in a pennant race...
   3. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: June 17, 2006 at 12:18 PM (#2066840)
"Mabry out" is good enough, and Restovich is as good an up as anyone.
   4. Jerry Mumphrey Posted: June 17, 2006 at 01:39 PM (#2066868)
Boot Hitting Coach Gene Clines for his AAA equivalent

Boot Neifi for Rich Hill

At that point hope Dusty feels the heat and quits on his own
   5. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: June 17, 2006 at 02:03 PM (#2066874)
1. I agree on Hill - he comes up, and when he steps in the clubhouse I take him aside and tell him he'll be starting every 5th day from now until the end of the year. Don't worry about having a bad game, just pitch. Rusch gets demoted to AAA to make room for him - if he doesn't want to go, put him on waivers.

2. (I'm calling this a twofer because they're basically the same player) Neifi and Womack waived, Fontenot and Restovich promoted. Let Mabry and Nevin handle 1B for the rest of Lee's injury, play Walker at 2B.

3. Promote Mike Quade and Von Joshua from Iowa. Demote Dusty Baker and Gene Clines. If they don't like it, then buy them out.

There's so much more I'd like to do.
   6. Dash Carlyle Posted: June 17, 2006 at 02:10 PM (#2066878)
Burns: Get me Gene Clines!
Smithers: He's unavailable.
Burns: Then get me his non-union Mexican League equivalent!
   7. Neil M Posted: June 17, 2006 at 04:08 PM (#2066916)
1. Fire Baker

2. Re-hire Baker.

3. Fire his sorry ass again.
   8. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: June 17, 2006 at 04:19 PM (#2066921)
If we can't fire Hendry, could I at least leave a piece of rotten bacon in his desk?
   9. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 17, 2006 at 05:29 PM (#2066950)
If we can't fire Hendry, could I at least leave a piece of rotten bacon in his desk?

The timing of that extension was incomprehensible.

Hill really needs to be getting work at the ML level. Same with Williams and Guzman. Unfortunately, there aren't any position players who are near enough to get anything positive from a stint in the bigs.

Trading Maddux would be a nice long-term move but I don't think it has even the remotest possibility of happening. I'll cross my fingers and hope he requests relocation to a contender.
   10. 100 Years is Nothing Posted: June 17, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#2066988)
1. Release Neif-ee, Womack, bring up Theriot, Restovich and Hill.

2. Hill goes into the rotation for the rest of the year. We have to find out if he can pitch in the majors, and this will be his test.

3. Fire the entire coaching staff.
   11. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: June 17, 2006 at 11:03 PM (#2067183)
I don't really understand all of this "Free Mike Restovich" sentiment. He is not a young prospect. He's a 27 yr old big, slow, slugger--except that he doesn't really slug. His Pecota projection was .241/.308/.417. For a corner OFer with little defensive value, that's not near good enough, even for a backup.

Dr Memory pretty much summed it up. I would add that Restovich's PECOTA projection is better than Mabry's actual numbers, and Restovich's AAA numbers are just icing on the cake as far as thinking he will be better than Mabry. Mabry can't hit, and his defense is nothing to write home about either. Nevin eliminates any of Mabry's "usefulness" as a first baseman.

Mabry is exactly the kind of player that a crap team like this doesn't need. Of course, Neifi is exactly the kind of player that no team ever needs.
   12. spivey Posted: June 18, 2006 at 12:00 AM (#2067281)
Angel Guzman through 5 1/3 innings

I won't stand for this poor spelling. I just won't.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: June 18, 2006 at 12:07 AM (#2067291)
I'm not that big on the free Restovich movement either. Nevin makes that redundant. Restovich should have been up and given playing time as soon as Lee was hurt. He (or preferably someone better) should have been Jones' platoon mate from the start. (He's still just 211/237/421 against lefties). Not that I can really argue for Mabry over Restovich but adding Restovich to the roster would be a fairly low priority for me -- it's a case of fixing May's problem in mid-June. (Not that Restovich would have had that big of an impact in May either, but it would have been a little less frustrating ... plus I'd rather have been complaining that Hendry couldn't find someone better than Restovich than complaining about the playing time of Neifi/Hairston/Womack :-)

The point with Restovich is that it's yet another sign that the Cubs are just dysfunctional. Having Restovich in AAA as insurance was a perfectly good idea, then they didn't use that insurance. Hendry called him up when Lee got hurt and Dusty didn't play him. Moving Walker to 1B was about as dumb as dirt unless you're going to use that opportunity to give Theriot or Fontenot a shot ... and up comes Theriot and Dusty didn't play him.

It's those little moments that make me less peeved at Hendry than most of you. Hendry hasn't done a good job either but at least there's evidence that he has some awareness of how to better run this team under the lousy circumstances they've given themselves. If we could run an experiment, I'd like to see what Hendry could do away from Baker -- I'm not sure why he doesn't want to run that experiment.

Three moves (not necessarily in order of importance):

1) Hill up, Rusch DFAd, stick Hill in rotation. I'd like to find room for Guzman and Williams in the rotation too but I guess will have to wait to sort out Prior, Marmol, Wood and/or the Maddux trade. Actually, I'm not sure I'd pick Hill. I'd want input from the coaches (ML and AAA) and scouts and such -- which of Hill, Guzman, or Williams should get that rotation spot. Hill's pitched well but he's also no spring chicken and those starts might be better invested in the younger guys. Yes, that means we might never find out if Hill can cut it in the majors, but it might already be too late to correct that mistake.

2) Can I fire Clines and Matthews in one move? I'd fire Dusty but it takes more than one day to find a new manager.

3) Oh hell, I'm gonna fire Dusty anyway. Right in the middle of the game when he goes out to the mound for the first pitching change. I'm gonna walk right out there and fire him. Always wanted to know what a standing ovation feels like.

4) This one isn't really a move so it doesn't count. I'd have a "conversation" with Hendry, under torture if necessary, just to satisfy my own curiosity as to whether he's loved these "Dusty" moves from the start or did he drink the Dusty kool-aid after 2003-2004 or has he fought and lost? Why doesn't it frustrate the bejeezus out of him when he makes the right (or at least decent) move but Dusty refuses to play that player?

Truth be told, I'd probably spend the entire day interviewing hot secretarial job candidates -- you don't pull off a coup thinking you're only there for one day and first things first.
   14. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: June 18, 2006 at 12:54 AM (#2067329)
3) Oh hell, I'm gonna fire Dusty anyway. Right in the middle of the game when he goes out to the mound for the first pitching change. I'm gonna walk right out there and fire him. Always wanted to know what a standing ovation feels like.

That's beautiful. I can see the security guards coming out and escorting him from the field.

"Guards, Mr. Baker has interrupted a very important game. See that it doesn't happen again."
   15. Luke Jasenosky Posted: June 18, 2006 at 01:04 AM (#2067335)
Professor Hat, your worries are no more. You may now sit down.

The "Free Restovich" campaign is obviously a bit tongue-in-cheek, and Walt's points are well taken, in particular the point about Nevin's acquisition lessening the importance of Restovich's presence on the big league roster. However, when a former highly touted prospect suddenly turns things up a notch at age 27 (and I think an OPS of over 1.000 is definitely sizzling) it is either a fluke or some genuine improvement. Why not promote him and see? At the very least, he becomes another power bat off the bench (I think the current N of 1, N being Nevin, ain't sufficient on that count). I agree completely that one of Baker's biggest flubs this year is how he handled Lee's loss. If Restovich had been given a chance to play 1B (letting Walker remain at 2B), with a few games for Mabry sprinkled in against especially tough righties, the offense would have in all probability been significantly better than the excess Perez/Hairston/Womack we got instead. In addition, the apparent "need" for Tony Womack might have been avoided. Instead, Neifi is now a legitimate contender for Pierre's Hacking Mass throne, Tony Womack weakens an already poor bench, and Restovich spent two months slugging .740 against Pacific Coast League LHP. Woo Hoo.

And Walt, your truthful answer concerning the Cubs' front office coup has won you an all-expenses paid trip to Langley where your newly honed skills will be put to good use as a stand-in for Hugo Chavez during some covert action in Venezuela next month.
   16. Luke Jasenosky Posted: June 18, 2006 at 01:05 AM (#2067339)
Whoops, sorry Professor. You may now stand up!
   17. dcsmyth1 Posted: June 18, 2006 at 10:27 AM (#2067515)
You know, all this talk about Restovich, Nevin, Hill, Womack, etc., doesn't really amount to a hill of beans. The bottom line is, if Wood and Prior come back healthy and effective next year, so they have a big 3 of Zambrano, Prior, and Wood, with maybe Maddux as the 5th starter, then they will be solid contenders.

If they don't, they won't.
   18. LSR Posted: June 18, 2006 at 12:00 PM (#2067522)
1. Fire Dusty and replace him him with a randomly selected poster from this forum - anyone would do for a start.

2. Go to an 11 pitcher staff by demoting Aardsma. Bring up Restovich instead and give the extra innings to Guzman and Marmol. No NL team with a home park outside of Colorado and Texas should require 12 pitchers. We've seen all too often that the 12th guy is really needed maybe 3-4 times a year and the rest of the time he just sits around and gets rusty.

3. Dump/demote Rusch to make way for Prior.

I think we all agree that if utilized properly, Neifi! would actually be a nice player to have on the bench. By "utilized properly" I of course mean that he'd be used strictly as a backup utility player to fill in OCCASIONALLY at 3rd, SS and 2nd. If he gets more than 150 ABs (ABs and PAs are roughly equivalent in his case anyway) then he's not being utilized properly. If for some reason I can't fire Dusty, then I'd elect to cut Neifi! and I'd leave his roster spot vacant for the time being - that would prove a point regarding how sometimes subtraction can be a positive thing.

I'd love to get rid of Womack and/or bring up Hill, but I'm out of moves. Bynam I can live with for the time being (assuming that Dusty's gone, anyway).

I did consider trying to package Rusch with Maddux in a trade so I could free up two spots in a single move so I'd have room for Hill as well ... but I think that that'd be cheating - I can imagine a contending team picking up Maddux to eat some innings in the middle of the rotation, and I can imagine a non contending team picking up Rusch from waivers to fill out the back end of a rotation and to mopup in the bullpen ... but I can't imagine one team actually having a need for the both of them at the same time. That is not unless we give them a few million dollars to pay their salaries.

In any case, the rookies have reported that Maddux has been very helpful to them so I'm not in a rush to get rid of him even though he doesn't figure to be playing for the next Cubs team to make the playoffs. I wouldn't mind making him a player-coach next season and using him as a spot starter mostly at home (check out his splits).
   19. Tracy Posted: June 18, 2006 at 06:09 PM (#2067640)
You know, all this talk about Restovich, Nevin, Hill, Womack, etc., doesn't really amount to a hill of beans. The bottom line is, if Wood and Prior come back healthy and effective next year, so they have a big 3 of Zambrano, Prior, and Wood, with maybe Maddux as the 5th starter, then they will be solid contenders.

If they don't, they won't.


Yeah, because Wood and Prior will save an offense that'll still be dead-a$$ last in runs scored, with or without Lee.
   20. Greg Pope Posted: June 18, 2006 at 06:19 PM (#2067674)
I wouldn't mind making him a player-coach next season and using him as a spot starter mostly at home.


You know what we haven't seen in a while? A player/manager. Was Rose the last one? Maddux studies the game a lot an might make a decent manager, at least in regards to strategy.
   21. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: June 18, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#2067679)
I think we all agree that if utilized properly, Neifi! would actually be a nice player to have on the bench.

No, I don't think we all would agree to that. In fact, I think you would get a whole lot of disagreement. Neifi is still, as I understand it, a pretty good fielder at 2B and SS. At 3B? I am not so sure. He can't hit at all. He has none hitting skill. There are assuredly any number of guys who could hit better and play all three positions. That isn't to say that good hitting utilitymen grow on trees. Neifi is just that bad. If you want just fielding, you could at least get a faster guy. Neifi was once pretty fast, but he isn't any more.

Maybe we would all agree that if utilized properly, Neifi would actually be a nice player to have on the bench in the Mexican League. Or in AAA for real emergencies. But that's about it.
   22. Sparkles Peterson Posted: June 18, 2006 at 06:57 PM (#2067773)
The bottom line is, if Wood and Prior come back healthy and effective next year, so they have a big 3 of Zambrano, Prior, and Wood, with maybe Maddux as the 5th starter, then they will be solid contenders.


FYI, the Cubs are on pace to finish 36 games back in the division and 25 back in the wild card.
   23. spivey Posted: June 18, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#2067819)
FYI, the Cubs are on pace to finish 36 games back in the division and 25 back in the wild card.

They also have BY FAR the worst run differential in the NL.
   24. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 18, 2006 at 09:14 PM (#2067954)
If you were to substitute in the best current RA in the national league (the Padres with 281 compared to the Cubs' 334) and pro-rated it over an entire season, the Cubs would still figure to be outscored by about 40 runs because of their horrendous offense.
   25. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: June 18, 2006 at 09:19 PM (#2067956)
I'm not sure if LSR is being serious or not. But that attitude (about Prior and Wood) is pretty prevelant among the common fans. The Trib sells it, and people buy it. It's that line of thinking that'll earn Dusty that extension (and got Hendry his).
   26. MM1f Posted: June 18, 2006 at 10:05 PM (#2067970)
Samrdjiza signs
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2490178
   27. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 18, 2006 at 11:16 PM (#2067990)
Samrdjiza signs

Interesting: he wants to play baseball and football at the professional level.
   28. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 18, 2006 at 11:25 PM (#2067992)
Prior gave up 4 HRs in 3 2/3 IP. Only 2 Ks and a walk.
   29. LSR Posted: June 19, 2006 at 07:51 AM (#2068272)
I'm not sure if LSR is being serious or not. But that attitude (about Prior and Wood) is pretty prevelant among the common fans. The Trib sells it, and people buy it. It's that line of thinking that'll earn Dusty that extension (and got Hendry his).

Uh, I'm confused ... I didn't mention Wood in my post at all, and I only mentioned Prior in the context that I think that Rusch is the one who should be moved to make room for him. Are you confusing me with Duffy Duff?

BTW, looks like my Rusch/Prior move is coming true: Today's Tribune reports that Rusch, in a roster move that looks like it belongs more in the NBA than in MLB, has developed back spasms and has been moved to the DL. How convenient just when they needed a spot for Prior.

I think we all agree that if utilized properly, Neifi! would actually be a nice player to have on the bench.

No, I don't think we all would agree to that. In fact, I think you would get a whole lot of disagreement. Neifi is still, as I understand it, a pretty good fielder at 2B and SS. At 3B? I am not so sure. He can't hit at all. He has none hitting skill. There are assuredly any number of guys who could hit better and play all three positions. That isn't to say that good hitting utilitymen grow on trees. Neifi is just that bad. If you want just fielding, you could at least get a faster guy. Neifi was once pretty fast, but he isn't any more.

Hmmm ... I don't doubt that there are a couple of thousand players in organized baseball that are more effective with a bat in hand than Mr. Perez, but there's probably only a couple hundred of them that can play a decent 3rd, SS, and 2B ... well maybe you're right after all.

In any case, my intended point was that it wouldn't bother me so much if we were paying him $500K to be a utility stiff that got 5 starts a year and was the last pinch hitter used in a 14 inning game. It's the fact that Baker regards him as a credible option for everyday play that is the main problem. But yeah, you're right, we'd probably be better off giving the job to a kid that could actually develop into a real player some day. But please note that under the current circumstances I did suggest that we'd be better off dropping him and going with a 24 man roster - it's not as if I'm a Neifi! fan, I just breath deeply and try not to break out in hives when his name is mentioned.

href="http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/cs-060618cubsbits,1,7624324.story?coll=cs-cubs-headlines">Tribune</a>
   30. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: June 19, 2006 at 01:40 PM (#2068336)
From the linked article:

Baker on the state of the Cubs: "I just want my team back some day soon. That's what I want as much as anything. I want my team back to see what I can do."

We've all seen what you can do, Dusty. And this, which I assume is firmly tongue-in-cheek:

The Cubs came in with a 5.59 ERA in day games, second worst in the National League. They play more day games than any other team because of a city ordinance limiting the number of home night games to 30. So it may be time for management to lobby the City Council for more night baseball at Wrigley Field.

Though the Cubs are 15-16, 3.72 ERA at night (vs 11-26, 5.74 during the day).
   31. Spahn Insane Posted: June 19, 2006 at 02:04 PM (#2068345)
so they have a big 3 of Zambrano, Prior, and Wood, with maybe Maddux as the 5th starter, then they will be solid contenders.

Wood and Maddux are in the last year of their contracts. There's no way in hell either one's back next year. As for whether that would make them contenders anyway, I'll refrain from beating the dead horse that is the Cub offense, as others have beaten me to it.
   32. Hack Wilson Posted: June 19, 2006 at 02:55 PM (#2068366)
Isn't micro-managing the Cubs at this point in the <strike>season</strike> uh <strike>decade</strike> uh century a waste of time?
To be proactive call up the Tribune, cancel your subscription, and tell them you won't resubscribe until they sell the Cubs.

It also might help if nobody bought tickets next season-yeah like that's gonna happen.
   33. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: June 19, 2006 at 05:34 PM (#2068490)
1. Complete re-interview and review of ALL minor staff - any coaches with an offensive mindset that sounds even vaguely Hebner/Hatcher-esque ("You have to swing the bat...", "I preach agressiveness...") gets his walking papers. I'm betting there's a fairly lenghty list of unemployed ex-ballplayers and would-be coaches, instructors, etc that I could plug into whatever and however many open spots this creates. We'll re-assess and completely overhaul the entire organizational offensive philosophy immediately after the season mercifully ends. The important thing right now is to get rid of the staff that must bear at least some responsibility for the stagnation of Cubs hitting prospects.

2. Release the dead weight that has no business on a team this putrid (unless I could get even a bag of baseballs for them). Womack, Neigh-for-fee, Mabry, Blanco - older vets with no upside get shown the door. I can fill my bench with Fontenot, Soto, Restovich, etc -- and see which are deserving of small guaranteed deals going into next year, and which get replaced by NRIs.

3. Get a jump on the deadline deals - anyone that'll fetch something younger and cheaper goes.... Nevin? Howry? Eyre? Pierre? Walker? It's firesale time. A team on its way to 70 wins, at best - has no need for millionaire middle relievers. Between Hill, Williams, Wuertz, etc -- I have no doubts I can fill my 25 man roster with a good 1/3 of the Iowa roster... and do no worse. By August - I expect the only names on the staff recognizable to the Trixies would be Prior, Zambrano, Wood (since I believe he's got a no trade clause, and I highly doubt he's got much value), and Dempster (I believe he's also got a NTC).

Going into 2007 - Prior, Zambrano, Rameriz, Lee, Barrett, and maybe Dempster are the ONLY playes I want to be be paying substantial dollars for. I suspect that I'll be stuck with another season of Wood, Jones, and Rusch.

I stayed away from the standard Dusty firing simply because I think it would be much more fun to FORCE him to quit his crappy vet habit cold turkey. Either he does a neifi detox and enters a 12 step program for managers enamored with flotsam, or he quits.
   34. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: June 19, 2006 at 05:37 PM (#2068495)
FYI... OK - wrong on Wood (thought he was signed through 2007... but 07 is a mutual option with a 3 mil team buyout. It would have vested automatically had Wood thrown 400 innings in 2005/06 combined).

He does, however, have a full No Trade clause.
   35. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 19, 2006 at 07:11 PM (#2068577)
Wood and Maddux are in the last year of their contracts. There's no way in hell either one's back next year.

I would bet that Wood is back next season. The Cubs have nowhere else to spend their dollars and keeping Kerry allows them to maintain their insistence that a full, healthy current roster turns them into the 1927 Yankees.
   36. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: June 19, 2006 at 07:15 PM (#2068586)
I would bet that Wood is back next season.

If they exercise that $13.5M option on Wood for next year, it might be the dumbest financial move in the history of the franchise.

If they pay the buyout and bring him back at about $2M/yr with innings incentives, then it would be an okay move. It's going to depend on what Wood thinks his market value would be as a guy who can be good if he's ever healthy.
   37. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: June 19, 2006 at 07:18 PM (#2068592)
Can they do a buyout and offer arbitration?
   38. Benji Posted: June 20, 2006 at 05:36 AM (#2069443)
Hey, I'll be your new manager selected among the Primates. I'll scour the chatters for the smartest posters for my staff (probably mostly Met fans) and front office, and I vow to use sabermetric principles as my major guide for players. I'll just draw the line at Jeremy Giambis or Jack Custs. If you have no speed or defensive value at all, I don't want you. I also promise to throw Jay Mariotti out of my office every time he oozes in there.

But the biggest reason I want the job is not baseball related. I watch a lot of Cub games on EI and WGN, and the female fans at Wrigley are the most gorgeous I have ever seen.

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