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   1. Xander Posted: October 05, 2007 at 02:03 PM (#2561322)
It's not over my Cubs brethren. You aren't the Phillies, who managed to blow the first two games of the series at home. All you have to do is maintain homefield advantage and you can bring this series to a 5th game. It shouldn't be that hard, since the team you're playing isn't very good.
   2. 1k5v3L Posted: October 05, 2007 at 02:16 PM (#2561354)
What TempleUSox said. The Cubs pitching matchups in games 3 & 4 really make them overwhelming favorites to bring this series back to AZ for game 5. Plus, the Cubs are going home. It's not like they lost 2 at home and have to go out and win 2 on the road to win the series (which also has happened in a best of 5, mind you... BOS-OAK?)
   3. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 02:25 PM (#2561372)
Of course, the '84 Padres team that came back to beat the Cubs had the last 3 games at home; the Cubs will need to win game 5 in Arizona.

Anyway, my expectations are zilch at this point, so I suppose I can't be disappointed. The D-Backs may not be all that terrific, but the Cubs are hardly a great team either, and the Cubs have been completely outplayed to this point. So it doesn't seem like any great loss that they won't advance. It's not like '84 and '03, where it felt like some sort of malevolent divine intervention stepped in at just the right moment to deny the Cubs their shot against a lesser opponent.

And however mediocre the D-Backs might be, they've certainly taken what the Cubs have given them this series, so they deserve to be where they are.
   4. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 05, 2007 at 02:27 PM (#2561380)
It shouldn't be that hard, since the team you're playing isn't very good.


Huh? The Diamondbacks' front-line talent IS very good. Young and inconsistent, which is a large part of the reason for the Pythagorean disparity, but when you've got two #1 draft picks in the starting lineup, both of whom were the consensus best overall player chosen (Drew dropped because of money, as most people know), plus another guy who was a consensus top-10 prospect a year ago, plus another guy who did nothing but hit in the minors and who seems to have found a home at 3B, plus the best starting pitcher and the deepest bullpen in the league - how can you say that's "not very good"? I'd take Arizona's front-line talent over the Cubs any day.

-- MWE
   5. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 05, 2007 at 02:31 PM (#2561386)
I feel really sad. Not devastated, as I was in 1984 or 2003, but wiped out like I was in 1989. I really thought the team matched up well to win Game 2 and especially liked Ted Lilly to have a good outing. Ha!

In 1989, I went into the series thinking the Cubs had a fighting chance to win against the Giants, but were certainly not favorites and would probably be crushed by the A's if they made it to the Series anyway. When they lost, I was sad, but felt that they did play ok, but happened to lose.

This is starting to feel the same way, except that the team is playing really crappy.

This is also what I was so afraid of last week, when many of you were just worried about making the playoffs in the first place.
   6. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 05, 2007 at 02:32 PM (#2561389)
The Cubs have been on the other end of it, as a matter of fact.

Don't remind me. That was my single most depressing moment as a Cubs fan. It hurt far worse than 2003.
   7. Xander Posted: October 05, 2007 at 02:43 PM (#2561409)
but when you've got two #1 draft picks in the starting lineup, both of whom were the consensus best overall player chosen (Drew dropped because of money, as most people know), plus another guy who was a consensus top-10 prospect a year ago, plus another guy who did nothing but hit in the minors and who seems to have found a home at 3B
Since when does pedigree determine on-field production? Drew and Upton had brutal seasons at the major league level and Young and Reynolds were just decent. These are the guys that are supposed to scare me in the major league playoffs? Please. This team's #3 and 4 hitters are Eric Byrnes and Tony Clark, both cast-offs in their own right.

Webb is great. Valverde is nice. The rest doesn't do a whole lot for me. I'm sure 2 or 3 years down the line, when Upton develops into a star, the complexion of the lineup looks different.

But citing these guys' prospect status and draft positioning as rationale for why this team is very good just doesn't ring truthful to me.
   8. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:29 PM (#2561517)
I suppose the upside of last night's game is that it should put an end to all of the "I'd take Lilly in a big game over Z" silliness that has infected newspapers, telecasts, and the internet this season.
   9. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:31 PM (#2561518)
And I'm going to cross post the following from the game thread on the newsblog, in case the discussion continues here (and since we're less likely to get things like Red fan trolls over here):

Yeah, this sucks. But I do think there is some room for (a very slight ray of) optimism here.

It seems to me that when the Cubs offense performs like they have the past two games (big 3 doing zilch, the rest of the lineup drawing walks and getting hits but nothing to really show for it), they tend to break out relatively quickly and put some nice numbers on the board. Unfortunately, bbref's 2007 schedule pages are down, so it's harder than normal for me to verify this, but this is what my memory tells me (and as Stephen Colbert might say, isn't that far more important than any 'facts'?).

In addition to that, Livan is the exact type of pitcher that the Cubs (ok, and the rest of the league) tend to feast on. Ditto Owings minus the league part. That isn't to say that these guys should be taken lightly, just that their pitching styles match up well with the Cubs hitters (unlike Davis or Webb). I'm thinking the Cubs could very well put up some big numbers on Saturday.

And despite levski's attempts at reverse-jinxing above, he makes an important point: returning to Wrigley certainly favors the Cubs, given the massive split in Arizona's home/away record.

I'm not saying the Cubs are likely to win out. Their chances of doing so are, what, 5% to maybe 10% at most? But I wouldn't bet against a Game 5 at this point, either.

[Insert your favorite 'it ain't over' cliche here].
   10. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:38 PM (#2561532)
(and since we're less likely to get things like Red fan trolls over here):

Are baudib and [multi-]Situational Idiot Red fans?
   11. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:39 PM (#2561534)
I'd take Lilly in a big game over Z


Crazy thought: Since Lilly only pitched 3.1 innings, what if we flipped him and Zambrano for Games 4 and 5? That way, Lilly'd have the advantages of the home field and only having to beat Owings and you get your ace for Game 5. Of course, you'd still be counting on Lilly to win a must-win game, but that's true whenever he pitches next. I know, it's nuts, right?
   12. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:41 PM (#2561538)
Are baudib and [multi-]Situational Idiot Red fans?

I don't know about baudib, but TDF (aka Sid, the Dirty Frenchman) is.

He pretty much splits his time posting about the Reds and bashing the Cubs. When he's not berating people for not having children, of course.
   13. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2561541)
Crazy thought: Since Lilly only pitched 3.1 innings, what if we flipped him and Zambrano for Games 4 and 5? That way, Lilly'd have the advantages of the home field and only having to beat Owings and you get your ace for Game 5. Of course, you'd still be counting on Lilly to win a must-win game, but that's true whenever he pitches next. I know, it's nuts, right?


They did the same thing with Zambrano earlier in the season IIRC. Threw about 50 pitches, then came back early.
   14. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:42 PM (#2561542)
Hm. And Lilly pitched really well on short rest the last time--perhaps he'd be less inclined to overthrow like he was last night. OTOH, you're talking *two* days rest, which would really be pushing it--Lilly only threw 3.1 innings last night, be he made a lot of pitches, and lot of *high stress* pitches. No, I think they need to lean on Hill and Z to get 'em to game 5, and just hope to catch lightning in the rubber match.
   15. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:43 PM (#2561545)
Crazy thought: Since Lilly only pitched 3.1 innings, what if we flipped him and Zambrano for Games 4 and 5? ... I know, it's nuts, right?

Well, he only threw 3.1 innings, but it was 80 pitches. And he'd be doing it on 2 days rest. So ... yes, lock-Lou-up-in-a-mental-institution insane.
   16. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:44 PM (#2561546)
When he's not berating people for not having children, of course.

That's him, too? Wow. I may have a new least-favorite BTF poster. Then again, that's what you'd expect a man with my empty, child-free existence to say.
   17. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:46 PM (#2561553)
Yeah, that's him. I thought you were one of the guys that he got into that argument with. I figured you remembered him from that but just didn't know his team affiliation.

I don't know if he'd crack my top 10 least favorite posters, but if you ignored everything but baseball posts, he'd be up there.
   18. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:50 PM (#2561561)
Yeah, that's him. I thought you were one of the guys that he got into that argument with. I figured you remembered him from that but just didn't know his team affiliation.

I remember getting into it with a guy named Mark S over the children thing ("I think it's just sad that someone would rather not have children"); don't know if that's the same guy, or if I was in the discussion with the self-described Idiot.
   19. UCCF Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:55 PM (#2561570)
I feel really sad. Not devastated, as I was in 1984 or 2003, but wiped out like I was in 1989.

I was thinking about this yesterday, trying to remember how I felt about the Cubs going into the postseason each year:

1984 - they were going to win, no question. Clearly better than the Padres, and with a real shot to take out the Tigers. The loss that year stunned me. It took a couple of years for me to get over it.
1989 - I wasn't really sure how they'd do. There were some great things about the team, but some awful things about the team. When Clark hit the grand slam in Game 1, I knew it was over.
1998 - I was shocked they made the playoffs, and the whole season (for me at least) was more about Sosa and Wood than the team. It was a thrill watching them beat the Giants in the playoff, but I'd have been floored if they got past the Braves. One of those "just nice to be nominated" years.
2003 - more like 1989 in that I wasn't really sure what to expect. After they won the NLDS and went up 3-1 on Florida, my hopes were sky high, though. Ooops.

This year, the team I've watched has been so wildly inconsistent that I told a friend before the postseason started that they'd either get swept out in the first round or make it into the World Series. There was really no in-between with this team. I can't say that I'm particularly saddened by their performance, beyond the normal sadness when the Cubs get beat. I didn't expect this team to make the playoffs this year, and I don't think winning the tallest midget contest that was the NL Central really means they deserve to be here. So maybe this is more like 1998, without the exciting individual stories to capture the imagination.

The sadness for me is that I think this may have been the Cubs best shot for the next few years. It won't surprise me if it's another 4-5 years before they're back in the postseason.
   20. Bunny Vincennes Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:57 PM (#2561574)
That's him, too? Wow. I may have a new least-favorite BTF poster. Then again, that's what you'd expect a man with my empty, child-free existence to say.

That guy's a total #########. I'm so glad he's reproducing...
   21. 1k5v3L Posted: October 05, 2007 at 03:58 PM (#2561576)
The Dbacks have a lot of potential, it just hasn't translated into consistent production on the field this year. The only constant thing about the team has been their maddening inconsistency. But that's a part of the growing pains.

I really don't have high expectations of them; I also don't have low expectations of them. Am just enjoying every playoff game they play, and hoping for as many playoff games involving them as possible. And I always think the future will be brighter.
   22. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:03 PM (#2561585)
I remember getting into it with a guy named Mark S over the children thing ("I think it's just sad that someone would rather not have children"); don't know if that's the same guy, or if I was in the discussion with the self-described Idiot.

Oh, that was Mark S? I should retract my earlier statement, then. I was sure that TDF was involved in the not having children thing, but now I'm not 100%. Mark S and TDF are not the same person, I do know that.

I thought TDF's stance was something more along the lines of 'a person is selfish if they don't have children'.

But like I said, now you've casted enough doubt on my own memory that I'm not comfortable with my earlier assertion. I may have to try to look it up if I get bored thinking about how much I hate the Cubs right now.
   23. Buddha Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:05 PM (#2561590)
1984 - they were going to win, no question. Clearly better than the Padres, and with a real shot to take out the Tigers. The loss that year stunned me. It took a couple of years for me to get over it.


They lost three in a row to the Padres, they weren't going to beat the Tigers.

The 1984 Tigers were the best team in baseball that season by far. And they were far better than the Cubs.
   24. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:07 PM (#2561594)
I thought TDF's stance was something more along the lines of 'a person is selfish if they don't have children'.

That was pretty much Mark S's argument: It's sad for somebody to feel as if having children detracts from their lives/prevents them from doing things they'd rather be doing than raising children, and I feel for people who think that way. My response: Your view is really feckin' condescending.

But like I said, now you've casted enough doubt on my own memory that I'm not comfortable with my earlier assertion. I may have to try to look it up if I get bored thinking about how much I hate the Cubs right now.

Well, it *is* Friday. And the Cubs aren't playing.
   25. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:08 PM (#2561596)
The 1984 Tigers were the best team in baseball that season by far. And they were far better than the Cubs.

Yes, I guess given your first sentence, the second makes sense, as the Cubs were part of baseball.

The Cubs would've given the Tigers a much better fight than the Padres did if they'd won the LCS.
   26. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:12 PM (#2561600)
That was pretty much Mark S's argument: It's sad for somebody to feel as if having children detracts from their lives/prevents them from doing things they'd rather be doing than raising children, and I feel for people who think that way.


In all honesty, if you don't like parenthood, the world is better off if you don't have children.
   27. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:13 PM (#2561603)
Ok, I found the TDF thing (I guess I was more bored with hating the Cubs than I thought - I mean, really, it's been done to death).

Here.

Good to see the ol' memory's still functioning.
   28. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:22 PM (#2561615)
In all honesty, if you don't like parenthood, the world is better off if you don't have children.

A-frickin'-men. Which I've said many times to those who wonder why I don't want children--along with my being a selfish hedonistic bass-turd (hell, in part BECAUSE of my being a selfish hedonistic bass-turde), my lack of interest in parenting means any children I might have would be getting short shrift in probably the most important area of their lives.

And at the risk of being condescending to the child-bearing, there are a LOT of people with similar attitudes as mine, but who have kids anyway, and the world would be a better place if that weren't the case.
   29. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:26 PM (#2561623)
Ok, I found the TDF thing (I guess I was more bored with hating the Cubs than I thought - I mean, really, it's been done to death).

Here.

Good to see the ol' memory's still functioning.


Huh--I remember that conversation well, and I could've sworn Mark S was the one who made that comment; it may have been a separate thread. (Apologies to Mark S if that's not the case, but I could swear he and I got into it in a similar conversation.)

Hard to believe that was over a year ago.
   30. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:34 PM (#2561638)
retro:

Ya'know, I never imagined myself as the parenting kind and it was only my wife shamelessly throwing herself at me once we were married that resulted in us having children. I say that only half-jokingly as I regularly over the past several decades have told folks that my spouse used her siren call to get her way as it was SHE who wanted a family. At the time being in the military I thought it would be too taxing on all involved.

But it turned out pretty ok. And I surprised myself in the type of father I became.

Of course, the wife did 88.7% of the heavy lifting. She has the patience of Job and more compassion in her little finger than I have in a lifetime.

Still, you might surprise yourself given the chance.

Just sayin'...........
   31. McCoy Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:39 PM (#2561647)
I think I turned off the TV when they made made it 6-2. First time I ever did that in a Cub playoff game, I've done it for the Bears on several occasions though. The only silver lining I get out of this is that Soto is looking pretty good out there.

At this point I have thrown all the matchup crap out the window, and can only pray that Hill and somebody on that offense wins game 3.
   32. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2561651)
Next time someone asks why you don't have children, just say "Raising my own food seems like too much work."
   33. UCCF Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:47 PM (#2561661)
I think I turned off the TV when they made made it 6-2.

I turned on the TV just when the D'backs made the error in the 9th that put 2 on with 1 out. I knew the game was on, but I had more interesting things to do. I didn't turn Game 1 on until the bottom of the 7th, same reason. I'd rather sit and talk to my girlfriend (which is what I did each night).

In the past, I'd have taken these days off from work just to ensure I was appropriately rested and libated for the game. But I can't get excited about this team or its chances.
   34. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:48 PM (#2561663)
Next time someone asks why you don't have children, just say "Raising my own food seems like too much work."

RDF.

Still, you might surprise yourself given the chance.

Just sayin'...........


At the risk of providing TMI (particularly in a purported baseball-related thread), any children I have will be of the adopted variety, as a result of my own choices.

Not to say that my circumstances/wants couldn't possibly change over time, but I really don't see it. FWIW, this issue was the final straw in my ex-marriage--my ex was deliberately deceptive on the issue from the outset of our relationship, but in addition, she constantly harped on how "You have so many good things you could offer to a child." Well, fine--but if I don't want to do that, what good is it? What the hell is the benefit (to anyone involved) of raising a child you resent?
   35. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2561665)
And reviewing that thread Weeks dug up has inspired me to change handles--I always sort of liked that one. Maybe it'll even change the Cubs' fortunes.
   36. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2561668)
Ya'know, I never imagined myself as the parenting kind and it was only my wife shamelessly throwing herself at me once we were married that resulted in us having children.

Hah--I always suspected you were a man of irresistible magnetism where females are concerned (and that therefore, your line about never being invited to spend a night at the Playboy mansion a pure smokescreen). :)
   37. Sweet Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:15 PM (#2561715)
The only silver lining I get out of this is that Soto is looking pretty good out there.

He really is, isn't he? I've been beating his drum all season, so it's hard for me to be objective, but even adjusting for my bias the guy looks solid. Good power, good patience, good arm (though his release seems a mite slow), and good agility for such a big target behind the plate. I feel like catchers are more likely than anyone else to have stretches of aberrational performance -- this might be the Rick Wilkins part of my memory talking -- or to blow up without much warning, but certainly when I look at Soto I see the Cubs' catcher for the next 5 years, and that's pretty cool.

It's also one of the reasons I'm not sure I share the pessimism of Eamus Catuli, who says "It won't surprise me if it's another 4-5 years before they're back in the postseason." Of the teams in the division, only the Brewers are clearly trending upward, and although I expect the Pirates to join them, they have a long hill to climb. Meanwhile, the Cubs, although their stars are approaching the back ends of their primes, seem to have at least one or two more seasons of upside with only marginal improvements to the current cast. The outfield is still subpar offensively, and it's not likely that Soriano, Pie, and Jones/Murton will collectively be much better than league average at the plate next year. In other words, there's room for improvement there, although the fix isn't obvious. Likewise the bullpen, which despite stretches of brilliance was roughly league-average. I expect the rotation to be roughly as good next year as it was this year, which is to say good. Zambrano probably improves a little, Lilly takes a step back, Hill roughly replicates his 2007 performance, and the 4 and 5 spots are filled capably from among the team's many reasonable options or via trade. Catcher almost certainly will be better.

This is all a little starry-eyed, of course -- the Cubs don't have great depth in the system and are a Ramirez quad strain, a Lee wrist break, or a Zambrano elbow explosion away from being five wins down. The health was good this year, as was the defense, and there's no guarantee that either will hold up in '08. But despite the wretchedness of the past two nights, I'm strangely sanguine about next year. Part of this is Lou -- I feel like it took him a couple of months to shake the dregs out of the system and hit his stride with the roster he wanted. A season without any meangingful ABs by honorary members of the F Troop has to be worth a couple more wins. And Lou's generally shown himself to be a decent tactician and (seemingly) an excellent clubhouse guy.

All in, I wouldn't be at all surprised if next year was better than this one. But we should win the next three games just in case.
   38. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:22 PM (#2561730)
All in, I wouldn't be at all surprised if next year was better than this one. But we should win the next three games just in case.


Given that we seem to have a surplus of starting pitching, I think we can trade for a big outfield bat, even if it means we trade away Murton or Pie.

I think Soriano will do better, given that everyone takes a bit of time to adjust to the 50 day games. No more Izturis at SS, or Bowen or Hill at C, and a better idea of what the bullpen can do should all be places where we improve even if Lilly and DeRosa regress. All in all, I think we're a middle of the order bat away from being even with (or ahead of) an improved Milwaukee.
   39. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:22 PM (#2561731)
PFC:

Well, the Mrs. was bound and determined to have kids and barring heavenly intervention figured I was her best option being the husband and all.

I wasn't exactly a Romeo in high school. I'm guessing being as ornery as a badger with arthritis coupled with smelling of hogs didn't appeal to the lasses...........and my personality really hasn't evolved much over the years. I just try and break up the surliness with a dash of humor..............
   40. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:27 PM (#2561742)
TDF was also taking everyone to task for insulting the Reds' signing of Eric Milton. Boy was that funny. I think he changed his name to avoid people calling him out after Milton quickly fell apart.

Meanwhile, the Cubs, although their stars are approaching the back ends of their primes, seem to have at least one or two more seasons of upside with only marginal improvements to the current cast.

Agreed. A full season of Soto is a very big difference by itself.
   41. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:28 PM (#2561746)
and my personality really hasn't evolved much over the years. I just try and break up the surliness with a dash of humor


So you've always been a witty curmudgeon?
   42. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:32 PM (#2561752)
It's not like they lost 2 at home and have to go out and win 2 on the road to win the series (which also has happened in a best of 5, mind you... BOS-OAK?)
It was actually 2001 NYY-OAK. In 2003--when the Sox rallied from an 0-2 hole--the first two were in Oakland. Ramon Hernandez won one with a walk-off bunt, if memory serves.

I believe, and this is apropos of nothing re: the Cubs, but is relevant for the other series, that those Yankees are the only team to rally from losing the first two at home in a five gamer.
   43. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:34 PM (#2561753)
Dan:

When I was a boy growing up I was just mean. My folks moved from area to area so I was always "the new kid". One room schools were not exactly the most welcoming. I was also big for my age. So I was pretty much in a fistfight every school day for about 3-4 years. I don't excuse my behavior but I think one could understand how a young person might get a bit sour on people.

That and my dad worked me like a rented mule. When not taking care of the home farm I was loaned out to others so he could be paid for my work.

If not for books and my wife I don't doubt I would have become something akin to John Wayne Gacy. And I am really not joking.

Sorry if that was more than you wanted to know............
   44. McCoy Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:35 PM (#2561757)
I think defensively next year the catching spot will be better if Soto is the full time but I don't think he will be much of an upgrade offensively next year. I would not be surprised if he posts something along Michael Barrett's line though more OBP heavy and less SLG heavy. Then again I wouldn't be surprised if he put up a 2006 Yadier.

We won't have Izturis but we will have Theriot who is likely to get pretty close to the level of production that they got from Izturis.

I expect a slight increase from Alfonso for the simple reason that I don't expect to miss as much time as he did this year. Hoping for slightly more power out of Derrek and Aramis to continue what he is doing though try to repeat the "healthiness" of 2006.

This offense witout any major deals is likely to put up similar run totals or worse next year.

Pitching wise Zambrano and Lilly should be consistent and I would think by now Hill too. I think Marquis turns into a pumpkin but that might be alright if Prior comes back healthy. Which people are saying he might just do (but of course the Cubs can't realy count on that).

Unless they make some really big trade I don't really see them blowing past this years win total while I do see the Brewers winning 95 games. Then of course you are going to have the Cards rebound.
   45. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:39 PM (#2561762)
If not for books and my wife I don't doubt I would have become something akin to John Wayne Gacy. And I am really not joking.


I never knew you liked clowns that much.

Sorry if that was more than you wanted to know............


If nothing else, I can take solace in the fact that knowledge is power.

I'm mainly just trying to make what I'm doing less tedious.
   46. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:41 PM (#2561765)
In all honesty, if you don't like parenthood, the world is better off if you don't have children.

This sounds good and everything, but it's impossible to know how much you like parenthood without - you know - actually becoming a parent. By just saying "I wouldn't like it" you could be missing out on something that is, truth be told, pretty awesome.
   47. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:42 PM (#2561770)
McCoy:

Trust in Ned Yost and your faith will be rewarded.

He's Fred Haney without Warren Spahn to bail out his sorry *ss.
   48. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: October 05, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2561792)
I agree that he is like Mr. Haney
   49. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:14 PM (#2561817)
We won't have Izturis but we will have Theriot who is likely to get pretty close to the level of production that they got from Izturis.


I'm not sure what the options would be, but shortstop should be one of the spots they look to upgrade this offseason - corner outfielder, shortstop, maybe starting pitcher, in that order.
   50. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:16 PM (#2561819)
smelling of hogs didn't appeal to the lasses...........

Not even in rural Wisconsin?
   51. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:17 PM (#2561820)
TDF was also taking everyone to task for insulting the Reds' signing of Eric Milton. Boy was that funny.

I must've missed that one. I didn't think anyone outside the Reds' front office defended that signing, and figured a Reds fan would be the last one to do so.
   52. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:19 PM (#2561824)
I think defensively next year the catching spot will be better if Soto is the full time but I don't think he will be much of an upgrade offensively next year. I would not be surprised if he posts something along Michael Barrett's line though more OBP heavy and less SLG heavy. Then again I wouldn't be surprised if he put up a 2006 Yadier.

Well, a good defensive catcher with the bat of Michael Barrett ca. 2004-06 is a hell of a player. (I happen to think Soto has more power potential than that.)
   53. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:21 PM (#2561826)
Then again I wouldn't be surprised if he put up a 2006 Yadier.

I would. You wouldn't be surprised if he played full time and hit five homers?

(Unless you mean he'd hit above his established level, as Yadier did this year.)
   54. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:23 PM (#2561831)
This offense witout any major deals is likely to put up similar run totals or worse next year.

Disagree. Soto's a vast upgrade over the mess that prevailed at catcher for most of this year, and other than DeRosa, none of the regulars had a particularly good year by his own standards this year, and the key guys (Lee, Ramirez, Soriano) and some supporting players (Murton, Pie) are likely to improve. Even Floyd, with his age and injury history, is likely to perform better than he did this year, and Jones probably is too.
   55. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:24 PM (#2561833)
I meant to add--Lee/Soriano/Ramirez are still in their primes, so I expect all to put up similar or better numbers next year, assuming good health.
   56. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:29 PM (#2561838)
Then of course you are going to have the Cards rebound.

Disagree again. I think the Cardinals are destined for a multiyear period of suckitude. Jocketty's gone (I find it hard to believe his replacement will be as much of an asset as he was on the trading front), TLR's probably gone, their farm system's threadbare, at least at the upper levels, and their lineup outside of Pujols is old, crappy or both. Same with their pitching staff; I'm not going to assume a return to form or regular health by Carpenter given his history, and even with Carp their pitching's pedestrian at best.

I mean, they might "rebound" in the sense of accidentally stumbling into a .500 season or 2 over the next 5 seasons, but their days of dominating (or seriously contending in) this division are over for the immediate future.
   57. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:34 PM (#2561846)
Post 56:

Agreed. While I am sure the next folks in charge are pretty smart you need "something" to work with and I don't see a whole lot other than Pujols.
   58. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:45 PM (#2561858)
Basically, the Cardinals look to me a lot like the Giants did this year, with less potential for development on the pitching staff.
   59. McCoy Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:46 PM (#2561861)
Trust in Ned Yost and your faith will be rewarded.

I don't expect Ned Yost to be back next year, but even if he is back there is no way they lose 17 games again when they were up by 3.

Well, a good defensive catcher with the bat of Michael Barrett ca. 2004-06 is a hell of a player. (I happen to think Soto has more power potential than that.)


I'm talking 2007 Barrett.

You wouldn't be surprised if he played full time and hit five homers?

For starters this is a guy who until this year had never hit double digits in homers. But what I meant in terms of 2006 Yadier is somethin akin to .216/.274/.321. Soto in the last few years has shown patience at the plate but until this year didn't show any power or any ability to make contact. Is he going to follow in Ronnie Cedeno's footsteps? I dunno know, I hope not but like I said I would epxect for say a 2007 Michael Barrett year out of Soto next year or worse.

none of the regulars had a particularly good year by his own standards this year, and the key guys (Lee, Ramirez, Soriano) and some supporting players (Murton, Pie) are likely to improve. Even Floyd, with his age and injury history, is likely to perform better than he did this year, and Jones probably is too.


Ok so what is a standard year for Lee? His homers were slightly down but they were not outrageously down. Compared to his best year yeah they are down but to a typical DLee year they are not that much lower. Yes Aramis' homers were down but again it wasn't like he was putting 3 homers compared 50. It was 26 compared to say 34. Sure if they all have peak seasons next year they will score lots more runs. No doubt about it. But why should we expect peak years next year? Standard years from Lee, Soriano, and Ramirez will produce slightly more runs out of them then from this year.
   60. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:52 PM (#2561867)
But why should we expect peak years next year? Standard years from Lee, Soriano, and Ramirez will produce slightly more runs out of them then from this year.

I don't expect peak years. I expect them to either sustain this year's production, or to produce at a level between this year's production and their peaks, in which case the offense probably holds steady, at worst.

Lee in particular should return to 30+ homer form; he hit 16 homers after the all star break, which projected over a full season is consistent with what he's been doing for years (other than his outlier in '05, in which he far exceeded it). I think it took that long for his wrist to completely heal.
   61. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 05, 2007 at 06:54 PM (#2561871)
I meant to add--Lee/Soriano/Ramirez are still in their primes, so I expect all to put up similar or better numbers next year, assuming good health.

I agree. I think that what we got this year from the big 3 is pretty much the lower bound of what we should expect from them offensively (still pretty good, but lower than their capability). Really, DeRosa and Theriot are the only hitters that performed beyond/up to expectations this year, and I don't see either of them falling off a cliff next year.

It's interesting. Usually a playoff team will have one or two guys with career years and/or above-expected performance. The Cubs didn't really have that. Lilly, I guess, but I think that has more to do with the move from the AL East to the NL Central. Marquis performed better than expected, but it wasn't terribly out of line with his career numbers. Marmol, possibly, but the combination of projecting relievers and projecting someone his age is fairly difficult anyway.

It was quite the opposite, in fact - there were a lot of players that performed worse than expected (Z, Jones, the Murton/Floyd platoon, Barrett while he was here, Soriano/Lee/Ramirez to some extent). This gives me a fair amount of hope that the Cubs should be better next year even if they didn't make any significant changes (not that I think they should stand pat).
   62. and Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:06 PM (#2561887)
smelling of hogs didn't appeal to the lasses...........

Not even in rural Wisconsin?


It didn't appeal to them because they already smelled of hogs themselves. You've clearly never lived in farming country.
   63. SouthSideRyan Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:07 PM (#2561890)
Yost is back for next year McCoy, it's been announced already.

I think you're underselling Ronny Cedeno as well writing him off at this point. Personally I wanted him starting last night, and wouldn't be opposed to him getting the starting job next year if no upgrade is made. I'm at the end of the line with my patience with Theriot.
   64. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:14 PM (#2561900)
bunyon:

Actually, it's dairy country in Wisconsin. Hog smell really stands out. It manages to offend even those surrounded by smells that would cause a city resident's eyes to water.

Southside is correct. I have taken Melvin and ownership at their word during the end of the season when they stated emphatically that Yost would return in 2008.

It will be another lost season for Milwaukee. Clearly some of the players will take a step back and Yost being Yost I doubt he will adjust ANY of his so-called tactics based on 2007. He has stated NUMEROUS times in interviews that the losses were attributed to 'bad luck'.

I am beginning to regret ever more that Yost read 'The Book'. His SOLE gleaning from that publication is that much can be attributed to random forces. Which has allowed Ned to pretty much walk away from accepting any responsibility for his actions.

So to the writers of said item:

From H*ll's Heart I stab at Thee!!!
   65. 1k5v3L Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:17 PM (#2561904)
Is is certain that Yost didn't just read "My Pet Goat" but just refers to it as "The Book"?
   66. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:25 PM (#2561918)
levski:

We should be so lucky. No, he brags regularly about reading "The Book". Like it makes him some member of Baseball Mensa or some such.

And yes, his big revelation is that "Hey, sh*t happens".

Sigh.........................
   67. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:32 PM (#2561929)
The Cubs would've given the Tigers a much better fight than the Padres did if they'd won the LCS.

Fun fact: in the 1984 postseason, the Tigers trailed for exactly 8 innings over both rounds of playoffs.

If the Cubs won the pennant, it might've been 11 innings!! . . . That was the Tigers' year.

And reviewing that thread Weeks dug up has inspired me to change handles--I always sort of liked that one. Maybe it'll even change the Cubs' fortunes.

It's the Cubs. Better make it ex-Rough Rider Wintergreen.

Of the teams in the division, only the Brewers are clearly trending upward

At the risk of roiling Harv's blood pressure . . .

I'm not nearly as sold on this young Brewer club as most are. They remind me of the 2000 White Sox, except for the whole 95-win thing. That team was loaded to the gills with great young hitters - Maggs, Durham, Lee, Konerko, Valentin, plus elder statesment Thomas. They had two excellent relievers in Howry and Foulke, and one young terrifice (though injury prone) starter in Sirotka. They looked like they were going to dominatnt the division for the decade.

Didn't happen. Sirotka got injured. David Wells had his only bad year there. James Baldwin wasn't the answer. And Cal Eldred had a 5-inch screw in his elbow. They failed to get the pitching that went with it. They floundered around .500 instead of moving forward.

The Brewers have an exciting young offense loaded to the gills with Fielder, Bruan, Hart, Weeks, and the rest. They have one grat pitcher in Suppan, but he's clearly breaking down. Aside from that they have . . Suppan, who is durable but relaiant on his defense (an in Milwaukee that's a very bad thing). Bush and the guy about as good as Bush are just filler. They don't have the pitching. They got that young 21-year-old, but even gaiing a full season from him will likely do little more than ocver for what they lose from Wisconsin's answer to Mark Prior, Ben Sheets. I'd like to see a better staff get assembled up there before I concede a damn thing to them.
   68. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:32 PM (#2561930)
Soto in the last few years has shown patience at the plate but until this year didn't show any power or any ability to make contact

He showed some. 9 HR in the Southern League at age 21 isn't a lot, but it's far from nothing.

I think you're underselling Ronny Cedeno as well writing him off at this point. Personally I wanted him starting last night, and wouldn't be opposed to him getting the starting job next year if no upgrade is made. I'm at the end of the line with my patience with Theriot.

Cedeno has to stop making buckethead mistakes all of the time. If he plays the field and bases like he did in 2006, he has no viability, even if he hits a little bit.

Theriot, I think, is close to being a viable major league player. Maybe he can tweak his approach at the plate a bit, utilizing his speed so he hits .280-.300 instead of in the .260s. Since he will take a walk and plays a solid SS, I think he'd be a solid everyday major leaguer if he can convert a little more of his contact into base hits.
   69. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:36 PM (#2561931)
Pitching wise Zambrano and Lilly should be consistent and I would think by now Hill too. I think Marquis turns into a pumpkin but that might be alright if Prior comes back healthy. Which people are saying he might just do (but of course the Cubs can't realy count on that).

I think Z's about to take a huge step forward, believe it or not. This year reminds me of Maddux, 1990. He was 15-15 but was never average. He began the year great, going 4-1. Then he fell to sh1t, going 13 straight without a win. Then he caught all holy lovin' on fire and was fantastic. Toward the end he slacked off a little. It's a reverse Zambrano (good-bad-good-bad instead of bad-good-bad-good). Z has proven to be durable. I think 2007 is the year his arm finished strengthening to handle whatever workload they throw at him without much damage.
   70. Sweet Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:44 PM (#2561940)
I think that what we got this year from the big 3 is pretty much the lower bound of what we should expect from them offensively

I wouldn't say Lee/Soriano/Ramirez underperformed this year -- their 2007 stats are pretty much in line with their averages over the three years prior:

Lee, 2004-2006 average Runs Created = 87
Lee, 2007 RC = 116
Lee, 2004-2006 average OPS+ = 134
Lee, 2007 OPS+ = 131

Ramirez, 2004-2006 average RC = 104
Ramirez, 2007 RC = 100
Ramirez, 2004-2006 average OPS+ = 133
Ramirez, 2007 OPS+ = 129

Soriano, 2004-2006 average RC = 111
Soriano, 2007 RC = 107
Soriano, 2004-2006 average OPS+ = 113
Soriano, 2007 OPS+ = 123

All three, 2004-2006 average RC = 101
All three, 2007 average RC = 108
All three, 2004-2006 average OPS+ = 127
All three, 2007 average OPS+ = 128

***

If you offered me right now their 2007 RC and OPS+ figures for 2008, I'd take them in a heartbeat. Any one of the three might be somewhat better or worse next year, but I don't think we should expect improvement in the aggregate, and there's a good chance of significant slippage. Don't underestimate the risk of injury.
   71. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:51 PM (#2561950)
Chris:

No disagreement from me. My only solace is that Ben is in his contract year, and I am depending upon avarice to produce a solid season. It's interesting how those circumstances cause previously injury-plagued players to get through a full season unscathed.

Three years ago I never would have dreamed suggesting as such about Ben. But having my nose rubbed in sh*t the past several years has caused me to become a tad cynical.

Bush needs to get yanked out of the rotation and put in the bullpen.

2008 Rotation:

Sheets
Gallardo
Villanueva
Suppan
Capuano

Backups in waiting:

Parra
Zach Jackson
Vargas (makes me ill)
   72. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2561951)
I wouldn't say Lee/Soriano/Ramirez underperformed this year -- their 2007 stats are pretty much in line with their averages over the three years prior:

I'm not saying they underperformed. I'm saying that if you had asked me to predict their production for the year, the results of 2007 would have been on the low end of my prediction range, but still within the expected range.

Lee's injured season in 2006 seriously drags down those averages in his and the aggregate section. I don't know that his 2006 has very much predictive value for 2008.

And I'm not discounting injury at all (especially with Ramirez) - the conversation above specifically mentioned good health.
   73. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2561952)
I did a little checking, and I found 29 times a home team won the first two games in a best of 5 MLB play-off. Here's what happened from there:

In the third game, the team leading went 18-11, ending nearly two-thirds of the series outright in sweeps.

In the fourth game, the team leading went only 2-9.

In the fifth game, the team that had been leading went 2-7.

Of course, for much of that time, the team with the homefield advantage in the first pair were on the road for the remaining 3. Make of it what you will.
   74. and Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:53 PM (#2561954)
Harvey, I am quite familiar with hog smells. I helped many friends with their hogs through the years, though I was never fortunate to have my own.

This allowed me, several years later, to observe that a particular meal served in my dorm cafeteria smelled exactly like pig afterbirth. Despite attending an aggie school, my friends refused to eat with me for a week after that. But I WAS right.
   75. Weeks T. Olive Posted: October 05, 2007 at 07:57 PM (#2561958)
I did a little checking, and I found 29 times a home team won the first two games in a best of 5 MLB play-off. Here's what happened from there:

I wonder what the results look like for a team that was down 3-1 in a best of 7 series. We know of 2 very famous, recent examples that favor the underdog there.
   76. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: October 05, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2561971)
Damn, McCoy, you're quite the pessimist.

I'm still not ready to talk about next year, and have been busy all day. The losses haven't burst my bubble yet. I'm looking foward to tomorrow.
   77. Spahn Insane Posted: October 05, 2007 at 08:10 PM (#2561979)
I'm not quite ready to give up, even though I'm extremely pessimistic the Cubs can come back. My g.f. just pointed out a Stubhub listing for tickets in my section for tomorrow's game going for $275 apiece. Tempting, but I'm gonna use 'em myself.
   78. Urban Faber Posted: October 05, 2007 at 08:18 PM (#2561985)
I did a little checking, and I found 29 times a home team won the first two games in a best of 5 MLB play-off. Here's what happened from there:

Did you include the 1981 Dodgers coming back against the Astros? That was the first version of the division series in the strike year.
   79. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: October 05, 2007 at 08:36 PM (#2562003)
I'm not quite ready to give up, even though I'm extremely pessimistic the Cubs can come back. My g.f. just pointed out a Stubhub listing for tickets in my section for tomorrow's game going for $275 apiece. Tempting, but I'm gonna use 'em myself.

One of my friends offered me the 4th ticket of a set he bought of stub hub. 200's somewhere for $265. I passed, and that was before the series started.
   80. McCoy Posted: October 05, 2007 at 08:46 PM (#2562012)
Damn, McCoy, you're quite the pessimist.

I really don't see how saying the Cubs are going to be about the same is being pessimistic.
   81. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 05, 2007 at 08:58 PM (#2562028)
Since 1969, 17 teams have won at an 88-92 win pace while exceeding their Pythagenpat expectation by five or more games. 9 of the 17 won at least 89 games the following year, and two more won 87 and 86 games respectively.

Here are the six teams that did significantly worse the following year:

White Sox 1972: 87-67, 81.4 expected wins, 77-85 in 1973
Royals 1973: 88-74, 81.3 expected wins, 77-85 in 1974
Giants 1978: 89-73, 83.4 expected wins, 71-91 in 1979
Padres 1984: 92-70, 86.8 expected wins, 83-79 in 1985
Expos 1987: 91-71, 83.2 expected wins, 81-81 in 1988
Padres 1989: 89-73, 82.9 expected wins, 75-87 in 1990

1972-1973 White Sox: Dick Allen played in only 72 games, and his replacements weren't quite up to his standards. Pat Kelly also declined, the Sox had a huge hole at SS and another in CF for which the fixes they tried didn't work. The DH rule didn't help them, either; they didn't have a spare bat to plug into the lineup.

1973-1974 Royals: Traded Lou Piniella, and didn't replace his production. Also replaced Paul Schaal with George Brett, which was obviously the right thing to so but which hurt them in the short term. They bounced back in 1975.

1978-1979 Giants: The starting pitching crashed, simple as that. Vida Blue had a horrible season, and Bob Knepper and Ed Halicki also declined precipitously. Halicki never did recover, and Knepper didn't bounce back until he was traded. Randy Moffitt, the #1 RH reliever, also came apart, although Greg Minton was a more than adequate replacement.

1984-1985 Padres: They still had a pretty good Pyth, anyway, and it was actually about the same in 1985. The team's performance also didn't change much. This is the one example I can find where the team was, probably, lucky to win 92 games instead of 86; with virtually the same offensive stats they scored 36 more runs in 1984 than they did in 1985, and they actually allowed 12 fewer runs in 1985 despite giving up many more hits (and far fewer walks). Offense was a mix of the very old (Garvey, Nettles) and very young (Gwynn, McReynolds).

1987-1988 Expos: Weird. Both the offense and the defense got better relative to the league in 1988 (although offensive levels went way down), and the team's Pyth actually improved by two games. I can't really figure out what happened here. Tim Burke was much less effective in the pen, which might explain part of it, I guess.

1989-1990 Padres: The Padres added Joe Carter in 1990, replacing the three headed Chris James/Carmelo Martinez/Marvell Wynne monster. Carter's offensive production wasn't any better than the guys he replaced, though, as he had his worst season up to that point (and he STILL got 7 points in the MVP balloting, largely because he drove in 115 runs, I suppose). League offensive levels went up considerably in 1990, too. SD had an all-veteran rotation in 1989, with the exception of 10 late-season starts from Andy Benes, and those veterans continued to pitch at about the same level in 1990. This was a fairly veteran team in both 1989 and 1990, with Roberto Alomar and Benito Sanitago the only contributing young players.

I suppose that the Diamondbacks could go the way of the 1978-1979 Giants, which is the one team among these six that they are most like. But here again, I picked a group of 17 teams who had very similar performance characteristics to the D'backs of 2007, in terms of W/L and Pyth performance, and 11 of them performed at a level close to or better than their actual performance in the season in question in the following season. I think that the evidence points in the direction of the Diamondbacks being a legit .550-level team than a one-year fluke, and it does them a huge disservice to act as though they are not.

-- MWE
   82. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: October 07, 2007 at 12:32 AM (#2564591)
[bangs head against the wall]
   83. Fred C. Dobbs Posted: October 08, 2007 at 02:55 AM (#2566838)
The Cubs pitching matchups in games 3 & 4 really make them overwhelming favorites to bring this series back to AZ for game 5. Plus, the Cubs are going home.


Uh, yeah...

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