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   1. villageidiom Posted: October 10, 2007 at 12:27 AM (#2570324)
3. The Cincinnati Kid

6. Hit The Road Jack

9. Ain't That Love

10. I Can't Stop Loving You

11. Busted

12. Here We Go Again
   2. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: October 10, 2007 at 12:40 AM (#2570337)
4. Jones
5. Soto
10. Marquis
11. Barrett
   3. Mike Emeigh Posted: October 10, 2007 at 01:01 AM (#2570345)
#7: Game 1 of the NLDS, because it was the one in which the Cubs looked like they were the better team, at least for the first part of the game. The removal of Zambrano, as defensible as it was, wound up turning things around; the Cubs never looked like they were going to get back into it after that.

#8: IMO, the 2-1 win over the Cardinals on August 17 that put the Cubs alone in first place for the first time. Before that, it looked as though the Brewers were going to weather the storm; after that, I thought the Brewers were on the defensive. One could also argue for the three-game sweep over Pittsburgh in the last home series which put the Brewers in the rear view for good; the Pirates had won 7 of 12 from the Cubs before that point, but after the bullpen rescued Marquis in the opener the Pirates were never really in any of the games.

-- MWE
   4. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2007 at 01:33 AM (#2570361)
1. Despite being middle relief I would go with Carlos Marmol. For the first time in a long long time the Cubs had a pitcher who you knew was going to shut down the opposition for an inning.

2. Jacque Jones, but I'm sure someone will argue that because he played so many games at CF he was decent.

3. ARod

4. Jason Kendall

5. Felix Pie, though it depends on what they do in the offseason. If they give Pie the nod and he flops it will cause problems. If he does okay or better it will be a huge bonus.

6. Yes

7. Game 3. Playing at home in front of a great crowd and the Cubs were stillborn.

8. Taking that 4th game against the Cards just like in 2003.

9. Thumbs up.

10. Carlos Marmol

11. Michael Barrett

12. Depends on what they get. But I would say same.
   5. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 10, 2007 at 01:54 AM (#2570370)
1. Aramis - extra points for improving his defense. I am wildly impressed with ARam.

2. Ryan Dempster; it's a good thing when your he's your biggest negative.

3. Adam Dunn could probably be had with the talent Chicago can spend.

4. Jacque Jones: the Cubs need to improve at CF and he's not good enough a hitter for a corner role.

5. Felix Pie. Soto will be the best of the bunch but Pie could be a huge plus or a huge minus in a full time role.

6. Jim Hendry: Fired. That's an expensive 85 win team.

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs?

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs?

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up

10. Marmol, hands down

11. Jacque Jones's bat. His glove was a pleasant surprise but not enough.

12. 2008 Cubs: Better but so is Milwaukee. 90 wins may not be enough next season.
   6. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: October 10, 2007 at 02:00 AM (#2570374)
1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs?
Michael Barret - or at least, Michael Barrett's face... I suppose I'd have to go with Zambrano - even disappearing for weeks at a time, I think he's the player the team would have missed the most. My idiot sportswriter-type pick would be The Riot.

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs?
Steve Trachsel. I don't think Cherry or Moore will be terribly missed, but the only reason I can think of for acquiring Trachsel was either some silly, maudlin moment homecoming... of course - since few Cubs fans have terribly fond memories of Trachsel (yes, we do/did underrate him, but still), it reeks of a move inspired by an idiot marketing department.

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically…
Bash all you want, but if A-Rod goes FA -- I don't see the Cubs can conceivably pass up at least seeing what it would cost -- then finding SOME way to make it happen... beyond that, what else IS realistic? I suppose a catcher is "likely" - but one would hope based on him starting in the playoffs, the Cubs are thinking they're set behind the plate. The Riot really shouldn't be playing every day -- he makes a fine Ryan Freel -- so I can't see where the money goes except SS anyway (assuming Pie is penciled in to start in CF).

4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?
Marquis. Somehow. Someway.

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?
One way or another, it'll be Pie. I hope I'm wrong about him.

6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not?
Probably... but I think he should be forced to stick around for at least 2 more years... For better or worse, what we have now isn't likely going anywhere for two years -- and beyond my A-Rod pipedreams, I don't see where anyone else significant legitimately fits in, salary-wise. If he does go, I think the incoming GM would best with a good, old-fashioned firesale... the type of legends.

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs?
Game 2. I held out no hope for game 3.

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs?
The Howry blows the game, gets attacked, Cubs win anyway game against Colorado in late June. Just like the Houston comeback or the Lancaster doubles game encapsulated the '89 season and the Sandberg game defined the '84 season -- this was a perfect encapsulation of the 07 season. An incredibly frustrating team wins in spite of itself.

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?
Thumbs up.... Just too many pluses - more than I've seen from a Cubs' skipper since..geez, probably Frey? He didn't hesitate to sit non-performing vets and did a great job mixing in the hot hand, unlike Baker. His rants didn't seem like pointless attacks on his players like Baylor. He didn't project a cardboard cutout like Riggleman. He didn't have the deer in the headlights Essianism. He curse us fans out like Lee Elia (yeah, chronologically broken -- sue me) or try to reason with us like Treblehorn. He hasn't yet gotten inexplicably canned like Lefebvre. He didn't make jaw-droppingly weird decisions like Zimmer.

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007?
Marmol, no question. I'd say Theriot - but then, I actually thought he'd end up making a nice utility player that could even fill for extended periods -- he's stretched as a starter, but a handy player to have around. Marquis' first few months would be a close 3rd.

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007?
The Diamondbacks.... One can't really be 'surprised' anymore by another Prior injury, can they?

12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse?
better, but likely not to show up in the standings, due mostly to an improving NL Central. The Brewers should be very strong - and I could see a couple young Red shurlers making them darkhorse contenders.
   7. McCoy Posted: October 10, 2007 at 02:01 AM (#2570375)
#6 shouldn't be yes for me. I should have been yes, keep him. The way it reads now looks like I am saying yes fire him.
   8. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:00 AM (#2570457)
#2 is Michael Barret people. C'mon!
   9. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:12 AM (#2570465)
#1 is Rameriz, especially if you look at splits. Clutch may not be a skill but it does have value.

#2 Barrett

#3 - Ain't Riveria saying he's going to test the FA waters?

#4 - Jason Kendall. He's redudant, terrible at defense and won't ever be better than he was this year.

#5 - is Soto rookie-ish? Then him.

#6 - I say fire him. He makes decisions out of fear, and without any real sense of a plan.

#7 - June 1. Z allows 13 hits on the field and gets in about that many in the dugout and clubhouse on his starting catcher. Embarressment aside, it was their fifth straight loss and 9th in 11 games. The Cubs would fall to their W/L lowpoint the next day. As painful as the NLDS was, June's start was their low point.

#8 - JUne 29 - Cubs 6, Brewers 5. They had every readon to punt that one. Starter knocked out early. Brewers had their ace closer on the mound with a 2-run lead. Ya had to beleive 'em after tha one.

#9 - Up, way up.

#10 - Marmol.

#11 - Barrett

#12 - Better. I'm very bullish on Zambrano next year. I think he's worked through his arm problems and we should see a whole bunch more Good Carlos next year.
   10. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:29 AM (#2570474)
1. Hard to say. I would go with Marmol, who really helped out a bullpen that was killing us, and was lights out for the rest of the season. In spite of what happened in Game 1, I still really like him.

2. Barrett. Couldn't play defense, couldn't hit.

3. A-Rod if he opts out, Adam Dunn if not. I'm not sure Dunn is realistic, but at the same time the Reds seem to hate him.

4. Not sure. I'd go with Murton, just because I don't think we can make a big trade unless he and a pitcher are in it. I would love it if he would become a good corner outfielder, but if money isn't the problem, we might be better off trading for someone we know will be good simply to reduce risk.

5. Soto. If he can get an OPS of .800 and play good defense, that'll add a few wins to our total.

6. Jim Hendry: Not yet. He has a knack for trading, and that's how the Cubs plan to improve themselves this offseason. Let's let the new ownership decide this, not the Trib.

7. The Barrett-Z fight. It was so frustrating to watch that team struggle, and that game seemed like the lowest point.

8. The game that they clinched the tie for the division. That gave us all a sigh of relief, and gave us bit of hope.

9. Thumbs up. He could have used Marmol in higher leverage situations, and probably didn't need to start Izturis at all, but he hasn't yet shown any hugely negative traits.

10. Marmol.

11. Barrett.

12. Better. Upgrading the Catcher position, as well as having the relief corps sorted out should add a few wins. I also expect Z, Hill, and Pie to do better.
   11. SouthSideRyan Posted: October 10, 2007 at 07:16 AM (#2570536)
1. Aramis Ramirez was the MVP

2. Dusty Baker whose 2003 ruined Mark Prior and Kerry Wood. I'm definitely not bitter.

3. A-Rod, and yes I think it's realistic. If you're gonna DQ him, then Miguel Tejada.

4. Well, Steve Trachsel, but I don't really think he counts cause he's a free agent. In that case, I'd say Marquis cause you can probably dump the contract without eating any cash.

5. Seriously? GEOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

6. Ehhhhh probably, but I'd have a guy lined up that I'd knew would take the job first. Jocketty?

7. Game 3 NLDS. So help me God I still had faith until DeRosa hit that DP in that game.

8. Final home game against Pittsburgh.

9. Thumbs up.

10. Geovany Soto. Amazing AAA #s, a real live hitting prospect, and he's quite good as a defensive catcher.

11. Michael Barrett :(

12. Better record wise.
   12. rickeyhenderosnstealsthirdperson Posted: October 10, 2007 at 08:51 AM (#2570544)
1- Ted Lilly; then Ramirez.
2-Way too easy to say, but Barrett. (although lighting a fire under Z may have been the best, too.)
3-A-rod, but um...just in case that one's crazy, how about...(ack) milton bradley? i mean, he's cheap. and won't block pie. and can play center. or right. jeez. he's gotta hit better than jones. of course, he's only had 500 ab's one season. but then, the kids are our future, right? or whatever, trade for tejada. but the reds are not trading dunn in the division. forget it.
4-marquis? pretty please? but not till after the all star break.
5-the GEO-dome.
6-let him try to sign a-rod first....and...i mean...we at least broke .500 right? playoffs, right? i mean the guys he signed had great year(s)....with a few more nicely paid ones to come.
7-7th inning game 1, NLDS.
8-punch-gate. (i mean the next two weeks after).
9-thumbs up(i forgive #7)
10-marmol.
11-dempster. (wait...you said surprise...umm...i wish he was #10)
12-same.
   13. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: October 10, 2007 at 01:10 PM (#2570587)
If my pick at #3 (A-Rod) is DQ'ed, then I could certainly get behind a movement to bring Dunn to town. He's precisely what this offense needs - a high OBP slugger to give the hackers someone consistently on base. Dunn's career OBP -- .381 -- is higher than anyone in this lineup's single season high, save Derrek Lee of last year and 2005 or the years-ago-but-not-coming-back Cliff Floyd.

Sadly, though, I suspect that the Cubs value what he does about the same as the Reds.
   14. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 10, 2007 at 01:16 PM (#2570590)
1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs?

--Mark DeRosa. I was going to say Carlos Marmol, and do recognize that DeRosa's overall numbers are not magnificent, but it seemed that he gave the team more key hits than anyone else and his versatility in the field was greatly needed.

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs?

--Also tough, because just as the Cubs got contributions from many, it seemed that whenever someone dragged the team down, he was reassigned. I think I'll probably have to go with Scott Eyre, though.

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically…

--Is Alex Rodriguez that unrealistic, particularly if I wanted him back at SS? If so, then I'd be looking for solutions to the CF/RF issue, another good SP, and a backup C (in that order).

4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?

6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not?

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs?

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs?

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007?

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007?

12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse?
   15. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 10, 2007 at 01:40 PM (#2570602)
1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs?

--Mark DeRosa. I was going to say Carlos Marmol, and do recognize that DeRosa's overall numbers are not magnificent, but it seemed that he gave the team more key hits than anyone else and his versatility in the field was greatly needed.


2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs?

--Also tough, because just as the Cubs got contributions from many, it seemed that whenever someone dragged the team down, he was reassigned. I'm not going to say Barrett because (a) I think he was more valuable than people give him credit for and (b) he was only around for a few months anyway. I think I'll probably have to go with Scott Eyre.


3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically…

--Is Alex Rodriguez that unrealistic, particularly if I wanted him back at SS? If so, then I'd be looking for solutions to the CF/RF issue, another good SP, and a backup C (in that order). By CF/RF, I'd like a Kenny Lofton type to pave the way for Pie (this should have been done this year), and something other than a patchwork, finger-crossing answer for RF. (It could be Soriano, and pursuing a LF like Dunn.) Jones, Murton, and/or Floyd are not corner OF answers (though Jones isn't awful at CF.)


4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?

--Steve Trachsel and Craig Monroe, but those are easy because there's no way they'll be back anyway. There are others who I wouldn't be upset to see leave (Jones, Eyre), but none are "absolutely, positively."


5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?

-- Geovany Soto.


6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not?

-- Fire him. Two years ago would've been nice. OTOH, I would neither be surprised nor apoplectic if they kept him next year. I would be greatly upset if he is still the GM in 2009.


7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs?

-- Whatever game was the one before the Piniella ejection, which seemed to turn the season around.


8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs?

-- September 23 against the Pirates was the first (and only) time I felt the Cubs were on the kind of roll they were on in 2003 -- the kind of roll similar to what the Rockies have been enjoying for a while.


9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

-- I'd like a thumb implant just so I can put it farther up. Not only did/do I like the way he keeps the media at bay, but more importantly, I like the fact that he gives playing time to the people who deserve it most, regardless of salary or seniority.


10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007?

-- I'd love to say Geovany Soto, seeing that I didn't think much of him going into the year. He did end up the MVP of the PCL, though, so I can't say he was really a "surprise" in September. I'll go with Carlos Marmol, whom I didn't think was capable of being nearly so dominating in relief.


11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007?

-- Michael Barrett.


12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse?

-- Too soon to tell. It depends on off-season moves. I'm optimistic, but I'm also a Cubs fan so it's part of the territory.
   16. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 01:44 PM (#2570605)
Whatever game was the one before the Piniella ejection, which seemed to turn the season around.


That was the game with the Barrett-Z fight.
   17. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: October 10, 2007 at 01:53 PM (#2570613)
So it was. I don't attribute the turnaround to the fight as much as I do to Piniella, though.
   18. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 10, 2007 at 02:05 PM (#2570632)
1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs?

Aramis

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs?

Cubs' catchers through the first four months. If forced to choose one, I'd pick Koyie Hill, although Barrett was a bigger disappointment relative to expectations, he nevertheless outhit Hill (pretty significantly) and his fight w/ Zambrano arguably turned Big Z's season around.

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically.

A-Rod or Tejada. I thought Bobby Abreu was a free agent; if so, he'd be a nice fit in terms of addressing the Cubs' biggest offensive weakness (Dunn would also work here but I'm less impressed with his defense and he'd cost talent in return, whereas if Abreu's a free agent he'd just cost money).

4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?

Marquis, although I have a lot of faith in Piniella benching guys who deserve it, so "absolutely, positively" is overstating it a bit.

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?

Geo

6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not?

Realisitically, they're going to have to rely on him this offseason. The new owner should have the right to make his/her/their own hire and that's not going to happen in time for the new GM to be in position for this offseason. But in no way would I view this as an endorsement of Hendry's performance and there's virtually no chance I'd want him back for next offseason.

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs?

Barrett v. Big Z

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs?

The clincher in Cincy

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

Thumbs up. Way up. Probably the best move Hendry's made in his tenure as GM.

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007?

Piniella. I was worried that he was an over-the-hill retread; I was pretty wrong about that.

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007?

Barrett.

12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse?

Better regular-season record, but probably not by more than 2-3 games which probably means they won't make the playoffs (similar to 2004 Cubs vis-a-vis '03, only hopefully more likable this time around)
   19. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:32 PM (#2570796)
1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs?

Ramirez. Tough call, though--Marmol, Soriano, Lee and Lilly have arguments.

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs?

Barrett.

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically…

Miguel Cabrera.

4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?

Kendall. (Unless he's not considered "on the roster" as a potential FA. In that case, hmmm. Ohman?)

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?

Soto.

6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not?

No.

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs?

Dempster's blowing a 5-1 lead in New York in May.

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs?

3-run 9th inning comeback vs. the Reds in September.

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

WAY up.

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007?

Marmol, closely followed by Soto. DeRosa gets an honorable mention. Ditto Daryle Ward.

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007?

Floyd and Jones's lack of power. Pie's unreadiness, which appears greater than I expected.

12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse?

Better. Not a LOT better, but 90 wins is realistic.
   20. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:37 PM (#2570802)
Pie's unreadiness, which appears greater than I expected

Should the Cubs go with Pie in center field for 2008? I see it as a more attractive option than Jones; make Pie the full time starter and trade for Kenny Lofton at the ASB if it doesn't work out.

Any FA options out there? Ryan Church would be an attractive target.
   21. NJ in NJ Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:39 PM (#2570805)
I am sick of large market Cub fans licking their chops over potential free agents from small market clubs like Alex Rodriguez. As a fan of the team that currently employs Mr. Rodriguez, I find it offensive and snobbish.
   22. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2570807)
Should the Cubs go with Pie in center field for 2008? I see it as a more attractive option than Jones; make Pie the full time starter and trade for Kenny Lofton at the ASB if it doesn't work out.

I don't know. Jones is under contract pretty cheaply and is better than his '07 stats show, plus his defense in center's pretty good. He might be a better major league player than Pie still. That said, he might be more valuable to the Cubs in trade than on the field nexts year, and they need to figure out what they have in Pie, so I guess I'd lean toward making Pie the starter after packaging Jones for something good (the Marlins still interested in him as their CF? If so, package him with lots of other pieces for Cabrera...)
   23. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:43 PM (#2570813)
Jones, Murton, Cedeno and Marshall for Cabrera. Cubs pick up the bulk of Jones's salary. Deal?
   24. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:43 PM (#2570816)
Is Cabrera capable of playing a corner OF position?
   25. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:44 PM (#2570818)
Any FA options out there? Ryan Church would be an attractive target.

Eh. Only if he's willing to accept the possibility of not playing every day, and a one-year deal, so I don't see it.
   26. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:45 PM (#2570819)
Is Cabrera capable of playing a corner OF position?

He is if I'm running things. Stick Soriano in right (sorry, but left's a waste of his arm), and live with Cabrera's D in left.
   27. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:47 PM (#2570823)
Well, if we start Pie, I'm sure his range will offset some of Cabrera's lack of range.
   28. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:47 PM (#2570824)
Put it this way--I can't believe Cabrera's less capable of playing left field than he is of playing third base.
   29. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:49 PM (#2570827)
If so, package him with lots of other pieces for Cabrera...


The Marlins may be the one MLB team who takes the video game trades of 6-mediocre-guys-for-your-one-awesome-player. So long as they get cheaper, that is. And no, they haven't done one of those just yet.

Is Cabrera capable of playing a corner OF position?

I think the Cubs could live with him in LF - there shouldn't be any question about Soriano's arm in RF.

He [Jones] might be a better major league player than Pie still.

The Cubs really need to move Jones or Pie this offseason. Felix is not going to learn anything in AAA and another season of beating up on pitchers in Iowa isn't going to make his trade value any higher.
   30. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:51 PM (#2570831)
The Cubs really need to move Jones or Pie this offseason. Felix is not going to learn anything in AAA and another season of beating up on pitchers in Iowa isn't going to make his trade value any higher.


I feel the same way about Murton - if he isn't going to start, trade him for someone who will.
   31. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2570833)
The Cubs really need to move Jones or Pie this offseason. Felix is not going to learn anything in AAA and another season of beating up on pitchers in Iowa isn't going to make his trade value any higher.

That's why I lean toward trading Jones--I'd rather take a chance on Pie's upside.
   32. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:52 PM (#2570834)
Murton is a perfectly acceptable platoon option. But I, too, see him as trade bait. Though not very valuable trade bait.
   33. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:57 PM (#2570842)
Murton would've been a lot more valuable after last season, when he played more or less full time and hit pretty well.
   34. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 04:58 PM (#2570845)
So with the way this thread's shaping up, am I now an honorary Latowski? (Or more specifically, the honorary Meatwad?)
   35. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:01 PM (#2570850)
So with the way this thread's shaping up, am I now an honorary Latowski? (Or more specifically, the honorary Meatwad?)


Are you shorter than us and hungover?
   36. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:09 PM (#2570862)
Should the Cubs go with Pie in center field for 2008?


I vote yes, but if they do that, they need to plan on batting him 8th all season and accepting replacement-level offense from center field. And if they do that, they should probably try to upgrade
their offense at shortstop and right field to make up for it.

Jones is under contract pretty cheaply and is better than his '07 stats show, plus his defense in center's pretty good.


If he's willing to accept the role, I think Jones would be a great 4th outfielder - can play center field, okay bat, not too expensive for the Cubs.

Stick Soriano in right (sorry, but left's a waste of his arm)


Why'd they stick him in left field this season anyway? That never made sense to me - Soriano's obviously got a right-fielder's arm and it would have left the left-fielders (Murton, Floyd, neither of whom is really a right-fielder) alone.
   37. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:13 PM (#2570870)
Are you shorter than us and hungover?

Give me a couple days. Well, as to the latter, at least. For the former, we'll have to wait till osteoporosis sets in. (Wait--am I shorter than you, Pops?)
   38. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:15 PM (#2570872)
Pops is 6'2" and I'm 6'.
   39. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:15 PM (#2570875)
Thought Pops was around my height. I'm also 6'2". So waiting for osteoporosis it is. Should happen in the next 6 months or so.
   40. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:17 PM (#2570877)
Then I guess you'd be Tokin' White Guy.
   41. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:20 PM (#2570880)
Then I guess you'd be Tokin' White Guy.

Not for years, my friend. I need all the motivation I can get as it is.
   42. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:21 PM (#2570881)
Why'd they stick him in left field this season anyway? That never made sense to me - Soriano's obviously got a right-fielder's arm and it would have left the left-fielders (Murton, Floyd, neither of whom is really a right-fielder) alone.

Whether it's baseball's version of an urban legend or not -- Wrigley RF is generally considered a pretty tough RF to play. Not a lot of foul ground, but you've got a couple tough wall angles down the line plus the well (ditto in LF, though). I think the big issue has always been considered dealing with the sun in RF.

Of course, the Cubs won a division with my namesake in RF and the crippled Matthews in LF, so I'm not personally all that concerned about who mans the corners from a defensive perspective. So far as I'm concerned -- with even a moderately skilled defensive CF, I'd load up the corners will bats, even bats best suited to DH.
   43. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:22 PM (#2570882)
He's had to stop as well since he became a parent.
   44. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:22 PM (#2570884)
He's had to stop as well since he became a parent.

Uh...I've obviously been out of the lounge far too long. Wow (?).
   45. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:24 PM (#2570886)
So far as I'm concerned -- with even a moderately skilled defensive CF, I'd load up the corners will bats, even bats best suited to DH.

Yup. And if you load up the corners with bats, you can live with Pie's offense in CF (which might even surprise us)--AND you've got a much-more-than-"moderately skilled" defensive CF.
   46. Sweet Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:29 PM (#2570895)
1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs?

Could be any of a number of guys, but I'll go with Ramirez based on his defensive improvement, permanent or not.

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs?

Similarly, could be any of a number of guys, but I'll go with Barrett based on his tangible and intangible impact.

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically.

A-Rod. I think this is realistic, though not likely to happen.

Non A-Rod division, Adam Dunn, although I think the Reds probably won't trade him in the division. Abreu would be a decent choice, but the Yankees will almost certainly pick up his option. I wouldn't oppose a one- or two-year incentive-laden deal for Junior, but he's likely to do better than that elsewhere.

4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?

If Kendall counts as on the roster, Kendall. Otherwise . . . probably Marquis. Sell him high.

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?

I love Geovany Soto and Felix Pie probably more than I should, but I still carry the brightest torch for Angel Guzman.

6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not?

Probably not now, although doing it before he gets the chance to sign another middle reliever at retail would be nice. But I don't want current ownership choosing the next GM, so I'm OK to wait another year.

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs?

At the time, the Barrett/Big Z fiasco, although not in retrospect.

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs?

Game 160 (when they clinched).

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

Way up. Probably worth 5 wins over Dusty.

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007?

Marmol, for sure, although I certainly didn't think DeRosa would be as good as he was. Theriot's useful (though not great) season was also unexpected.

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007?

Well, maybe Zambrano, but only because I always have *such* high hopes for him. (Like 20-5, 2.50 ERA hopes.) I predicted Barrett would crap out (check out the "Your turn" thread), so not him. Cedeno continues not to justify my high expectations.

12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse?

Better, I think, but I see the starting pitching as a big question mark right now. I'd like to see Prior and Guzman -- power righties -- at the back end, but this seems odds-off. I wouldn't be surprised to see a fairly significant trade for a starter.
   47. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:35 PM (#2570906)
Uh...I've obviously been out of the lounge far too long. Wow (?).

He's referring to Tokin' White Guy.

And if they do that, they should probably try to upgrade
their offense at shortstop and right field to make up for it.


Shortstop should most definitely be under consideration for upgrade - apologies to Ryan Theriot. The Riot's salary makes him a nice total package but it's pretty obviously a position where the Cubs can get more production if they make it a priority. As I see it: catcher, third base, first base, and a corner OF spot are pretty much set for 2008. I have difficulty seeing how second base could be upgraded substantially but I suppose it could be done.
   48. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:39 PM (#2570909)
DeRosa posted a 102 OPS+ (and 21.3 vorp in 574 PA) so I don't see 2B as being a huge priority to upgrade. I think a corner outfield spot and SS being the two big places to improve, though I suppose we could shift DeRosa to SS if a decent 2B came along.
   49. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:44 PM (#2570915)
Uh...I've obviously been out of the lounge far too long. Wow (?).

He's referring to Tokin' White Guy.


Yeah, that's how I read it; hence my amazement. Details, please. (E-mail's fine.)
   50. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2570916)
Can A-Rod still play short, you reckon?
   51. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:45 PM (#2570917)
He got married in June 2006, had a daughter in November 2006.
   52. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:46 PM (#2570919)
I think he could try, and maybe try 2B. Then maybe stick Aramis in a corner outfield spot if those don't work?
   53. Sweet Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:47 PM (#2570921)
Should the Cubs go with Pie in center field for 2008?

Heck yeah. If you're not going to go with Pie, you might as well admit you're not going to give any prospect a meaningful chance to succeed if he struggles at first. The guy has a pretty impeccable pedigree -- it's time to leave him alone and let him play.
   54. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:47 PM (#2570922)
He got married in June 2006, had a daughter in November 2006.

Where the hell have I been? This the one who's, uh, several years younger?
   55. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:48 PM (#2570923)
No, Tokin' White Guy is 29.
   56. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:51 PM (#2570928)
No, Tokin' White Guy is 29.

I'm now totally confused. I should probably let it go before I embarrass someone I don't even know.
   57. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 10, 2007 at 05:57 PM (#2570937)
Tokin' White Guy - 29
Pops - 26
DTM - 24
meat - 22
   58. SouthSideRyan Posted: October 10, 2007 at 06:10 PM (#2570957)
I love Geovany Soto and Felix Pie probably more than I should, but I still carry the brightest torch for Angel Guzman.


Won't be helping much in '08. Gooz is out for the year.

Pie absolutely has to start in CF, and so help me God I'm ok doing nothing but upgrading SS this offseason. If necessary to get the funds together, spin off Dempster and Marquis for junk and push hard for A-Rod. If there's not the money there for that, they at least have to bring in Tejada(preferred) or Renteria. Beyond that pencil in Marshall and Hart for rotation spots with a few of the other guys fighting for them. I know it sounds like a pretty nothing offseason, but it's kinda what I'm expecting with ownership in limbo. If you can keep Marquis, and still afford a capable SS, I guess you keep him, but again so help me God, I'm comfortable with Marshall/Hart/Gallagher/Prior/Mateo filling out the last 2 spots if it means getting an impact bat.
   59. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: October 10, 2007 at 06:20 PM (#2570973)
My answers, then I'll read the thread:

1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs? Aramis Ramirez, in spite of his performance in the NLDS

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs? Michael Barrett

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically… I think SS is the area for improvement, I'd like Theriot as a super-sub (can he learn to play CF to back up Pie for next year?). I think Tejada is obtainable (Marshall and something else), but I don't know what to think of his defense and if he's too much like the other hitters on this team already. The way the market's gone, his contract isn't that bad and I would think we'd get a little rebound from him, plus going from the AL to the NL should help.

4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs? Soto. He'd be harder to replace than Pie if he flops.

6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not? Should have fired him last year. Not sure what it'd do now, but it's not happening so I'm not going to think about it.

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs? I want to say game 3, but probably the sweep in Houston in August. I know they were back in the race, but that was just so depressing for so many reasons.

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs? Last home game against the Pirates, with a close 2nd the comeback against the Reds that last week (because I was there)

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down? Up. Way up. Great job.

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007? Marmol. No question. Then Soto.

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007? Lack of power from Floyd and Jones.

12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse? Better.
   60. Hammered to the Gap Posted: October 10, 2007 at 06:27 PM (#2570984)
1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs?

ARam I think has to be - consistent power & production, in months not starting with O anyway

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs?

Barrett - caused problems and couldn't hit to compensate

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically…

ARod would be a stunner
Tejada would fit in nice
Abreu/Dunn couldn't hurt

4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?

Marquis - they got a reasonable season out of him, not sure anymore should be expected - but what to do with him?? And hey, Prior looks good to go for spring training!!!!! (a-hem)

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?

Soto
6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not?

I agree with Sweet - he needs to stay, but should go

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs?

Sep 3 - Big Z tries to score from first on Theriot's double and loses what effectiveness he had - the bullpen helping to hand away a blowout loss. Looked like the nice run into contention would all be for naught.

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs?

Clinching in Cincy.

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

Up - kept a shaky roster together the first half, brought 'em home in first the second.

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007?

Marmol - major problems starting in 06, dominating out of the pen in 07

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007?

Barrett - even without the fight with Z, the top of the "helpless catcher" crowd

12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse?

With no addtitions/subtractions - a bit better (88-90 wins)
With some help added - a fair bit better (90-95 wins)
   61. Spahn Insane Posted: October 10, 2007 at 07:12 PM (#2571042)
Tokin' White Guy - 29
Pops - 26
DTM - 24
meat - 22


Ah--didn't realize there was a fourth. I was contemplating Meatwad and parenthood. *shudder*
   62. dcsmyth1 Posted: October 10, 2007 at 07:13 PM (#2571044)
Does anyone really think that, after their spending spree last year, the Cubs are going to sign an expensive FA like ARod, Andruw, or Torii? I certainly don't, and until I learn otherwise, I'm not going to waste time on such things. It's going to be a) minor additions, b)maturation of young talent, and c) role tinkering.

1) Start Pie and leave him out there for at least half the season, even if he is not hitting well. His MLEs and PECOTAs suggest that he is a major league hitter, and probably just needs time to get over the hump.

2) Platoon Murton and Jones in RF, with Murton getting some extra starts against some of the weaker RH pitchers.

3) Try to install Soto as the regular C.

4) Keep an eye out for a way to improve at SS. Theriot hit only .266/.326/.346, and shouldn't be expected to do much better going forward. And he's not a defensive whiz, either.

5) Move Marquis to 5th starter.

6) Find a new 3/4 starter who is pretty good. Isn't Maddux a FA?

7) Select Marmol to be the closer. Why waste time (and games), if he is indeed the pitcher he appears to be.

8) Dempster, therefore, will need a new role if they can't trade him. There's talk about him becoming a starter again, but in 126 career starts his ERA is 5.01--not acceptable. So, he probably best suits the team as an expensive middle reliever or long reliever/spot starter.

9) Keep Wood if he is reasonable about his salary and his role.

None of these are big moves, but together they could turn an 85 win team into a 90 win team in a weak division.
   63. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 10, 2007 at 07:17 PM (#2571047)
Does anyone really think that, after their spending spree last year, the Cubs are going to sign an expensive FA like ARod, Andruw, or Torii?

New ownership may be afraid of looking miserly. If Colangelo were to get the team I'm sure he'd do something boneheaded to make an immediate splash.
   64. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: October 10, 2007 at 07:27 PM (#2571060)
Right.

The ownership situation leaves things VERY unsettled. Personally, I have virtually zero desire to pursue Torii or Andruw. Torii's on the wrong side of 30 and just like Soriano, not worth a 5-6-7/90-100-120 mil contract. Before this season, I might have been OK with an offer in that ballpark for Jones, but I'm waaayyyy scared off his 2007 season at the plate. I think he's always been pretty streaky, but he just never got hot in 2007. I'm a little worried that though he's south of 30, he's "old for his age".

Of course, A-Rod's over 30, too -- but he plays a much tougher to fill position and does to a degree better than Jones/Torii can touch.

I think someone would have to be moved to make room for an A-Rod contract, but other than Zambrano --- I can't really say I wouldn't gladly move Lee, Rameriz, or Soriano in order to acquire A-Rod. I think what you add by plugging A-Rod into SS (or 3B, if you move A-Ram) outweighs anything you lose by the replacement for any of the 3.
   65. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 10, 2007 at 07:58 PM (#2571102)
The ownership situation leaves things VERY unsettled.


What's the time frame for the ownership change? Will there be definitive new owners in place in time to make a splash in free agency?
   66. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 10, 2007 at 08:03 PM (#2571111)
My answers:

1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs?

Ramirez. Decent defense now coupled with the very good bat.

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs?

Barrett, although it is indeed nice to have a season where this aren't several viable candidates.

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically…

I was hoping that you all would come up with some good ideas. Rivera is an interesting possibility, but you know that would seal the deal on his apparent decline.

4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?

Again, it's nice not to have an obvious answer for this. I think Marquis is going to fall hard. Actually, I think he already did. Take that 12-9 record and pedal it hard.

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?

I'm going to go with Soto. If Pie wins a job on the major league team, I expect him to struggle.

6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not?

I think this organization needs to fire Hendry if it ever wants to get anywhere. However, it's not going to happen this off-season, and it looks as though the Cubs aren't going to delve much into the FA market anyway. More on this in another post.

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs?

Agreed, the Zambrano/Barrett smackdown game.

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs?

Agreed, the first day they went into sole possession of first place.

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

Thumbs up.

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007?

There were a number of them, but I'll go with Mark DeRosa. Sure, he merely repeated what he did the year before, but I didn't expect this kind of value from him.

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007?

Michael Barrett, with Scott Eyre's DiPS-disaster first half the runner-up.

12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse?

Better, I think. I believe the team has made a lot of progress chasing off its demons, and that that will get better next year.
   67. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 10, 2007 at 08:04 PM (#2571114)
What's the time frame for the ownership change? Will there be definitive new owners in place in time to make a splash in free agency?

Probably not. Last I heard there is a good chance of no change before Opening Day.
   68. SouthSideRyan Posted: October 10, 2007 at 08:13 PM (#2571126)
To pee on everyone's parade, Robothal speculates that Trachsel's option is getting picked up. Not sure I believe him, but still WTF
   69. SouthSideRyan Posted: October 10, 2007 at 08:15 PM (#2571131)
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/7315170

The blurb in question, halfway down.
   70. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 10, 2007 at 08:17 PM (#2571133)
Robothal speculates that Trachsel's option is getting picked up. Not sure I believe him, but still WTF

I choose to pretend he is trade fodder or Iowa bound. I mean, Lou gave up on the guy.
   71. Kiko Sakata Posted: October 10, 2007 at 08:18 PM (#2571135)
Trachsel's option is getting picked up


I'm having trouble thinking of something that would actually make less sense for any major-league baseball team to do. What could possibly be an argument in support of this?
   72. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: October 10, 2007 at 08:21 PM (#2571140)
I'm pretty sure I've been reading in the Trib that there was no way they were picking that option up. I guess we'll have to wait and see, but I don't believe it until I see it.
   73. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: October 10, 2007 at 08:21 PM (#2571141)
or Iowa bound

Um... they can't do that so never you mind.
   74. SouthSideRyan Posted: October 10, 2007 at 08:27 PM (#2571150)
I'm with you Moses, if this was anyone but Robothal, or mabybe Miles, I'd blow it off. But the fact that he breaks just about everything frightens me. Miles on the other hand said as of 10/7 that Trachsel wouldn't be back.
   75. Meatwad Posted: October 10, 2007 at 09:27 PM (#2571241)
1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs? Aramis

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs? barret

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically…
arod or tejada
4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go? kendall, jones, monroe, blanco

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs? pie

6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not? hold off one more year unless trachs is re upped in that case fire immedatly

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs? the fight

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs? clinching against the reds

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down? big thumbs up. he hasnt moved onto the list just yet

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007? marmol, and the riot

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007? catchers becomming an offensive sinkhole non blanco division

12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse? better
   76. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: October 11, 2007 at 02:24 AM (#2571423)
1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs?

Ted Lilly. Lousy NLDS start aside, this guy is the reason the Cubs were in the playoffs. He was their true big-game starter. Having a reliable "number two" pitcher is one of the main reasons for the Cubs making such a drastic turnaround this year.

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs?

Barrett. I liked the guy and overlooked his undesirable defense while he was producing, but in retrospect, he was the one constant in all of these altercations. A true case of addition by subtraction.

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically…

I'm surprised to see Cabrera's name mentioned. I honestly don't know what's realistic in the FA market. I think with their bloated payroll, they're going to need to make a trade to net another "big" guy. I like the idea of packaging the likes of Marshall and Murton for an upgrade in the outfield.

4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?

Not sure if he qualifies, but Kendall for sure. One thing I really liked about this year's team is that there wasn't really anyone I consistently despised. But with Kendall, you have a roadblock for Soto, who showed he's got a lot of promise. With Hank White already inked for next year, Kendall can't be brought back.

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?

Soto, for sure. I'm not at all sold on Pie, as much as I'd like to be. But Soto has shown an ability to hang with big-league pitching and I'm excited for the prospect the Cubs may get some good offensive production out of a position that was a black hole this season.

6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not?

I don't know if he's their man, but there's no way he's fired with a turnover in ownership and them getting to the postseason, as poorly as that ended.

7. What game represented the absolute low point for the 2007 Cubs?

The Barrett/Zambrano fight. It proved to be a turning point, but I honestly considered for the first time in my life if I should abandon the Cubs.

8. What game represented the absolute high point for the 2007 Cubs?

Many to choose from, but I'm going to go with their comeback win against the Reds (the DeRo 5-for-5 game). Cub teams of recent vintage lose that game. This was one of the more prominent examples of the '07 version NOT being one of those teams.

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

Way up. Didn't like the signing originally and think the team still underperformed this year, but I love his approach and willingness to try something new in the face of failure.

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007?

DeRosa. I figured Lilly would be an asset if healthy, but I hated the DeRo signing when it was made. He turned out to be their offensive MVP. Great versatility and even though he spearheaded the infamous turning point in Game 3, he was money most of the year. Marmol's definitely up there, too. I loved his stuff in 2006, and knew he'd be a force if he stopped pitching like Rick Vaughn.

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007?

Cliff Floyd. I knew he'd be injury-prone, but I expected a lot more offensive production when he was healthy. I'm going to actually mention D. Lee, too. He just looked uncomfortable too often at the plate and while he was definitely an offensive asset, something seemed off this year. Hopefully that's not the case in 2008, even if his power numbers sort of fell in line with his career average.

12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse?

Better. I'm assuming Zambrano will struggle out the gate, but I think we can expect better production from him. If he stays healthy, I expect another season like this from Lilly. I'm excited for the prospect of having a guy like Kevin Hart round out the rotation. And while you can't really count on them, there's always the possibility you'll have Wood and Prior at your disposal.

I expect Soriano to post better numbers, albeit, not significantly better ones. Ramirez and Lee, though they had fine seasons, are capable of more. The possibility of upgrading in the outfield is promising and as I mentioned before, there's Soto behind the dish.

Given the abilities of the roster, I wonder if the Cubs wouldn't be smart to search for a new hitting coach. I honestly find it odd that so many guys were underperforming offensively. They should go find someone who can instill the idea of situational hitting, since that's one area they could drastically improve on, even if they are better than previous Cub teams.
   77. Giantandre Posted: October 11, 2007 at 02:36 AM (#2571432)
Sorry about joining in the last couple days with you guys, Saturday was the blackest day in Giant's long career as a sports fan (Cubs game three, life long USC football fan, Rutgers grad ((they lost to Cinicy)) I had no will to watch or comment on any sports till today (except game 4 of Clev/NYY) and I've had all my sports joy sucked out of me, I NEVER thought this would affect me this way, I felt like I'd seen everything and nothing would affect me like 1984, or USC losing to Texas ...oh well live and learn ...on to more interesting things.

1. Aramis without a doubt

2. Tough one because the usual suspects actually helped the team (Jones, Kendall) all say Zambrano because of the prolonged stretches of being way below league average

3. Arod -- if that's not realistic a REAL righthanded pitcher ....

4. Kendall and Jones --- Pie needs to be in CF and RF can be a Floyd Murton platoon and everything would be fine

5. Soto obviously

6. If there is a "PLAN" in place from top to bottom of the organization then YES if not let him be till we have a PLAN

7. Friday June 1st 2007

8. Weekend series vs. Pitt Sept. 28-30th

9. Thumbs Way Up -

10. Carlos Marmol and Jason Marquis (he didn't suck anywhere as bad as I thought)

11. DLee's absolute lack of power early ...worried it will continue

12 5-7 games better
   78. rickeyhenderosnstealsthirdperson Posted: October 11, 2007 at 05:22 AM (#2571500)

Given the abilities of the roster, I wonder if the Cubs wouldn't be smart to search for a new hitting coach. I honestly find it odd that so many guys were underperforming offensively. They should go find someone who can instill the idea of situational hitting, since that's one area they could drastically improve on, even if they are better than previous Cub teams.



Who is under-performing?
DLee OPS+: 131, tied for 2nd highest of his career- his .513 slugging also ties for 2nd(last four 114,177, 111, 131)
ARam OPS+:126, (last four years 136,137,126,129)
Soriano OPS+:123 (last four years 98!, 110,132,123) His slugging (.560) is actually the same as last year.
Derosa ops+ : 102 (last four years 59, 98, 106,102) and remember...106 was supposed to be a "career year"
Floyd ops+ jumped from 91-102
JOnes ops+ dipped to 87 (last four 90,99,107,87)

Granted, home runs were down. so was the wind. (Or in, at least)

But I don't see how Perry's approach shifting from power to contact would hinder 'situational hitting'
No cub with greater than 200 AB's hit under .256(BArrett) and next up would be .266(Theriot).

Visting home runs @ WRigley 2007:85 2006:127 Our pitching wasn't that much better this year! (we allowed #85 on Aug. 4th in 06)
   79. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: October 11, 2007 at 05:31 AM (#2571503)
The Cubs inconsistent offense cost them about 4 wins this year. They need OBP, and even if they don't score more runs, the more consistent offense could give them that extra 4 wins. They also lost 4 more based on 1 run margin record.

Those numbers are based on my own research, and could very well change based on refinement and revision of my methods.
   80. Neil M Posted: October 11, 2007 at 09:30 AM (#2571536)
5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?

I love Geovany Soto and Felix Pie probably more than I should, but I still carry the brightest torch for Angel Guzman.


Me too, Sweet, but 2008 won't be his year. He had TJS just before the season ended.

1. Aramis.

2. The catchers (Soto excepted)

3. A LHB. Dunn sounds good but I have my doubts about moving Soriano to RF. The fade he has on his throw seems better suited to left.

4 The Jasons and Ohman because he seems to be a jerk.

5. Soto

6. Let him finish his contract or let the new owners sort it out.

7. Ejection day.

8. The clincher in Cincinatti.

9. Thumbs up, laurel wreath, etc.

10. Marmol and DeRosa

11. Barrett

12. 3-5 games better.
   81. Cabbage Posted: October 11, 2007 at 02:49 PM (#2571646)
He is if I'm running things. Stick Soriano in right (sorry, but left's a waste of his arm), and live with Cabrera's D in left.

Soriano was the best defensive left fielder in the NL (per UZR and my eyeballs). Do a little scouting and figure out which pitchers surrender more hits to which side of the outfield. Essentially:
LHP: Soriano RF, Cabrera LF
RHP: Cabrera RF, Soriano LF

A defensive platoon across the outfield when you've got one really good corner outfielder and one really bad one would probably be worth more than just sticking the better arm in RF. I'd only do that if I knew the days starting pitcher was a groundballer who's flyballs didn't favor one side of the field over the other.

Heck, I'd even flip them during mid-inning pitching changes.
   82. Cabbage Posted: October 11, 2007 at 03:02 PM (#2571662)
So far as I'm concerned -- with even a moderately skilled defensive CF, I'd load up the corners will bats, even bats best suited to DH.

Careful. The reason the pitching staff looked so respectable is that the defense was excellent. An above average defense around the entire field has exponential benefits. Not only do the outs come quicker, but the pitcher's can throw longer, and we stay out of the back of the bullpen more often.

Soriano was a big part of that.
   83. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: October 11, 2007 at 07:27 PM (#2572020)

Careful. The reason the pitching staff looked so respectable is that the defense was excellent. An above average defense around the entire field has exponential benefits. Not only do the outs come quicker, but the pitcher's can throw longer, and we stay out of the back of the bullpen more often.

Soriano was a big part of that.


Good point... but I'd be interested in some info on the 'importance' of the corner OF spots. I fully accept that Soriano was very much a defensive asset in LF, but exactly what is a corner OF defensive asset worth?


I may well be talking out my ass - as I'm not looking up the numbers, but I think the Cubs also had:

- A-Ram's best defensive season at 3B... for the first time, I really think one could say he was a 'plus' rather than a wash or "he hits good enough to compensate".

- Full season of DLee at 1B

- Theriot was pretty solid at SS - he's probably a bit taxed arm-wise, but his glove was steady and his range seems well within norms

- DeRosa was solid at 2B

Sure - they suffered through Barrett for nearly 3 months, and Kendall couldn't throw anyone out either -- but both Soto and Koyie Hill were pretty good behind the plate.

I have no numbers to back it up - but I think IF defense more than anything else helped this team... Looking at the staff, Marquis had an extreme G/F slant, though not what it once was, Zambrano was still more of a GB pitcher... Hill was about neutral. Only Lilly really trended more towards fly balls.
   84. The Polish Sausage Racer Posted: October 11, 2007 at 08:44 PM (#2572101)
1. Who was the MVP of the 2007 Cubs?

De Rosa.

2. Who had the most negative impact on the 2007 Cubs?
Barrett. I think Jones gets a bad rap.

3. What player should the Cubs focus on for the 2008 season, either as a free agent, or by trade? I’m talking realistically…
Not much out there for free agents. Building up the bullpen would be a good idea and should be doable.

4. Who on the Cubs current roster absolutely, positively has to go?
I'm not seeing anyone that I feel that strongly about. Dumping Kendall wouldn't be a bad idea but having someone on the roster who seldom strikes out is useful.

5. What rookieish player will make the biggest impact on the 2008 Cubs?
Soto.


6. Jim Hendry: Should they fire him or not?
I'd give him another year.

9. Lou Piniella: Thumbs up, or thumbs down?

Up. The changes from the Baker regime are substantial and very positive.

10. Biggest pleasant surprise of 2007?
Soto and the development of Marmol

11. Biggest unpleasant surprise of 2007?
Pie not being MLB ready.
12. 2008 Cubs: better than the 2007 team, or worse?
   85. Dandy Little Glove Man Posted: October 11, 2007 at 09:25 PM (#2572134)
There seems to be a consensus on a lot of these, and I'm basically in agreement. Aramis & Lilly were the most valuable hitter & pitcher, Barrett was LVP, Kendall & Trax need to go, I'm looking forward to a full year of Soto, Lou's good, and Marmol & DeRosa were pleasant surprises.

With regard to acquisitions, the 2 guys that come to mind for me are Abreu and Kosuke Fukudome. If the Yankees are going to retain ARod, Posada, and Mo, they might pick up Abreu's option just to ship him out for a prospect or bullpen help. I think there's a limit to how much they're willing to spend, and just like Sheffield last year, Abreu is expensive and somewhat expendable. Matsui, Damon, and Melky likely aren't going anywhere, and Giambi is essentially untradeable.

In the alternative, it seems like the Cubs would be a natural suitor for Fukudome, since they're perhaps the highest profile team not to have attempted to enter the Japanese market, and they could really use a good left-handed bat in right field. Fukudome is apparently a patient, line-drive hitter with decent power, or in other words, a lot like Abreu. If the Cubs could put one of those guys second in the batting order rather than Theriot or Pie, it would be huge. It seems like every year the Cubs have a terrible hitter with a below-average OBP batting second, and then everyone wonders why the offense isn't as productive as it looks on paper. What will it take for them to realize that teams tend to score more runs when the guys at the top of the order get on base?

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