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   1. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 10, 2006 at 02:35 PM (#1814072)
Patterson always had his weaknesses as a young player, but I really believe Dusty Baker ran him into the ground between mid-June and early July, batting him at the top of the order despite being in a horrible slump.
   2. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 10, 2006 at 03:04 PM (#1814098)
Baltimore Sun- After sides got close last week, other teams entered the bidding and drove up the price

Drove up the price? What, from one worthless prospect to two worthless prospects?
   3. Bunny Vincennes Posted: January 10, 2006 at 03:08 PM (#1814106)
That sentiment is mutual, Andere. Of course, that same treatment didn't get the Team MVP down when his OBP was .001 during the same stretch...when Lee was slugging .800 or some such... I'm over it, as of NOW.
   4. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 10, 2006 at 03:15 PM (#1814112)
Drove up the price? What, from one worthless prospect to two worthless prospects?

I was thinking the same thing. I hate to think this qualified as the good offer.

Patterson always had his weaknesses as a young player, but I really believe Dusty Baker ran him into the ground between mid-June and early July, batting him at the top of the order despite being in a horrible slump.

I've been following this team close to 30 years, and that stretch of baseball leading up to the All-Star break was probably the worst I've ever seen a Cub team look. No one had a clue as to what was going on, and Baker spent more time ######## at the press for questioning his choices than trying to fix things.

I still wonder what would have happened if they hadn't gone into Florida and swept the Marlins when Murton and Greenberg came up. If they'd lost 11 straight going into the break, just maybe...

Eh, who am I kidding? Baker's going to be our manager until he's too old to haul his carcass out to the mound to double switch Neifi Perez into games.
   5. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 10, 2006 at 03:25 PM (#1814127)
Wait, I can't say itching-bay?

Wow, that's a new one. Can I still say "gosh"? How about "darn"?
   6. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 10, 2006 at 03:31 PM (#1814139)
Todd Walker is a smaller scale candidate for the same procedure.

I'm not so sure it is a smaller scale. The Cubs have made it clear to anyone and everyone that Walker is going to be traded; the only real difference is that they haven't created a fan backlash. I don't think that Walker's more positive fan image will aid his trade value all that much, when you consider the Cubs apparent desperation to deal him.
   7. JPWF13 Posted: January 10, 2006 at 03:35 PM (#1814147)
Todd Walker is a smaller scale candidate for the same procedure.

And if Omar had a clue... (Mets Hijack)
   8. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 10, 2006 at 03:36 PM (#1814150)
the Cubs apparent desperation to deal him

Has anyone figured out why this is yet? Walker's been the most productive Cub middle infielder each of the last two seasons, in spite of being jerked in and out of the lineup seemingly at random.
   9. Bunny Vincennes Posted: January 10, 2006 at 03:37 PM (#1814152)
I don't think that Walker's more positive fan image will aid his trade value all that much, when you consider the Cubs apparent desperation to deal him.

You know, people can say all they want about Cub fans, but the fan base actually see's value in Todd Walker. More value, than the organization. I'm confounded with the poor treatment of Todd Walker. Is it because Dusty thinks a second baseman should be a little scappy guy?
   10. CFiJ Posted: January 10, 2006 at 03:41 PM (#1814161)
Damn it. And for this Roosevelt Brown was run out of town.

So, to recap:

Corey Patterson, run out of town.
Hee Seop Choi, sent packing.
Bobby Hill, bon voyage.
Jason DuBois, b'bye.

To think that I once suggested that Hendry would want to look out for "his guys", the fabled farm team he built up that was all the talk of BA and other minor league analysts. Hell, even flawed but useful chips like Brown and Julio Zuleta were just let go for nothing.

What sucks is not just that the Cubs suck ass, but that there's absolutely no future to look forward to anymore.
   11. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 10, 2006 at 03:59 PM (#1814203)
Has anyone figured out why this is yet?

Nope. The only messages the Cubs have put out about the middle infield are, in roughly chronological order:

* We exercised Walker's option because it makes economic sense -- he's worth more than what he'll be paid -- but the chances are that we'll send him off to another team.

* You have to respect what Neifi did for this team last year. Quoting Hendry, "He's a way, way, way above average defender and I think an important part of the ballclub no matter what his role is," but it's still too early [in November, pre-Furcal] to define roles and say who is going to play where.

* We believe that Cedeno deserves a shot and should start in the middle infield, either at 2B (if we get Furcal or Tejada) or SS (if we don't). Neifi will most likely move to the other spot and Walker will be traded to help us elsewhere.

Now Hendry is saying (in the Sun-Times) that the starting lineup is essentially set, but will sort out the 2B situation somehow. Hypothetically, this could mean that Walker is staying, but Hendry isn't going out of his way to say this and isn't denying media speculation that Walker will be dealt.

What kills me is this -- if Hendry signed him because Walker is worth more than his option salary, why trade him for someone you don't believe will crack the starting lineup?
   12. Coco McJesus Posted: January 10, 2006 at 04:42 PM (#1814297)
I simply do not understand what the Cubs are thinking and trying to do with Todd Walker. They do indeed seem to be reducing his trade value for no apparent reason.

As for Patterson, I'm not sure what the Cubs front office could have done differently this year to raise his value. First, had they truly tried to project the message that Corey was a core component of their plans for this year (in right or left field), Cubs fans would have gone nuts (including me and porobably many of the posters here). Second, I doubt any other teams would have believed such junk. The facts are the facts - no way for the Cubs to try and sell high on Corey at this point.
   13. My guest will be Jermaine Allensworth Posted: January 10, 2006 at 04:47 PM (#1814312)
Wouldn't Walker be a sound No. 2 hitter? I'd think his plate patience and decent contact hitting would be great for allowing Pierre to steal or to pull off some hit-and-runs.
   14. Bunny Vincennes Posted: January 10, 2006 at 04:52 PM (#1814321)
Wouldn't Walker be a sound No. 2 hitter? I'd think his plate patience and decent contact hitting would be great for allowing Pierre to steal or to pull off some hit-and-runs.

YES! But, you can't deny what the Team MVP did last season. Todd Walker just gets on base, and then clogs them.
   15. Rally Posted: January 10, 2006 at 04:54 PM (#1814326)
Walker is a good offensive player, Neifi a good defender.

If it was my team I'd want a guy who could play good defense and hit some. Look for a guy with a good OBP, though maybe not with Walker's power.

Somebody like Jerry Hairston.
   16. Spahn Insane Posted: January 10, 2006 at 05:04 PM (#1814350)
If it was my team I'd want a guy who could play good defense and hit some. Look for a guy with a good OBP, though maybe not with Walker's power.

Somebody like Jerry Hairston.


What--you think guys like Hairston grow on trees? Hendry's no miracle worker.
   17. H. Vaughn Posted: January 10, 2006 at 05:05 PM (#1814353)
The facts are the facts - no way for the Cubs to try and sell high on Corey at this point.

Or at any other point absent a time machine to take them back to mid-'03, the last time Patterson looked like a breakout player. I'd hazard a guess that a majority of GMs aren't basing their decisions on newspaper articles and other team's press releases. Patterson's poor play this year destroyed his value and made it unpalatable to many fans, myself included, to run him back out there in hopes he'd get hot and transmogrify into a contributor or a blue-chip commodity.

I simply do not understand what the Cubs are thinking and trying to do with Todd Walker. They do indeed seem to be reducing his trade value for no apparent reason.

I doubt he has much trade value. After Boston let him walk, he only got $1.5 mil to be a backup, with only losing organizations offering him more money. He's going to be 33 this year, coming off a serious knee injury. Now, clearly the sabermetric community can see his value, but from the looks of it, the enthusiasm isn't shared by the people running baseball clubs.
   18. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 10, 2006 at 05:26 PM (#1814386)
Hee Seop Choi, sent packing.
Bobby Hill, bon voyage.


Choi turned into Derrek Lee and Hill turned into Aramis Ramirez. I don't have a problem with this.

Patterson are different issues, of course. So is Kelton, for that matter.
   19. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 10, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#1814399)
Or at any other point absent a time machine to take them back to mid-'03, the last time Patterson looked like a breakout player. I'd hazard a guess that a majority of GMs aren't basing their decisions on newspaper articles and other team's press releases.

I submit that the Cubs could have gotten a heck of a lot more for Patterson in June 2005 than they did in January 2006, and could even have gotten more for him in October 2005 than in January 2006.

I agree that GMs aren't making decisions based on news articles and the like. When the team has made it abundantly clear that they have little interest in Patterson, however, whether it be by acquiring other players or -- yes -- by stating so in the media, I do think that lessens his market value.
   20. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 10, 2006 at 05:35 PM (#1814407)
I simply do not understand what the Cubs are thinking and trying to do with Todd Walker. They do indeed seem to be reducing his trade value for no apparent reason.

--I doubt he has much trade value. After Boston let him walk, he only got $1.5 mil to be a backup, with only losing organizations offering him more money. He's going to be 33 this year, coming off a serious knee injury. Now, clearly the sabermetric community can see his value, but from the looks of it, the enthusiasm isn't shared by the people running baseball clubs.


I'm confused by this. Either you're saying:

(1) that the Cubs shouldn't have exercised the Walker option, because they falsely assessed his value (to the Cubs and other teams) as being greater than it is; or

(2) that the Cubs assessment was correct, but that things have happened since then to reduce his value to the point where he doesn't have the trade value that the Cubs figured.

I'm not sure I'd agree with either (especially #1), but which is it?
   21. Sweet Posted: January 10, 2006 at 06:22 PM (#1814517)
From the cubs.com story:

"I thought I played well with the Cubs, other than 2005," [Patterson] said. "I just got in a little rut, and before I knew it, I couldn't get out of it. One day, try this, and try that, and I never really could put anything together, and I didn't stick with it on a consistent basis. The years prior to '05 I thought I played well. Last year, I had a bump in the road and couldn't overcome it.

That pretty much nails it. Of course, "2005" is a long time not to play well. But to me, the "one day, try this, and try that" approach is a real indictment of the coaching staff, and especially Gene Clines.
   22. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: January 10, 2006 at 06:25 PM (#1814528)
In today's BPro, Jim Baker analyzes the PECOTA projections for the lowest VORPs by position, assessing their ability to rebound.

CF, of course, is Corey Patterson. PECOTA is projecting him to rebound from -10.6 VORP to 14.2 (which would have placed him just shy of what Murton and ahead of Neifi, and a bit ahead of his 2002 production of .253/.284/.392). Says Baker:

Center Field
Corey Patterson, Baltimore Orioles
2005: -10.6
2006: 14.2

The largest anticipated swing of any player on this list and rightfully so. Patterson is too talented to be that bad two seasons in a row. His 2005 projection of 26.2 seems like light years away at this point. He probably did enough in 2003-04 to buy himself any number of chances to prove he belongs, albeit now it will be with the Orioles.

Last year’s hopeful . . .was Marlon Byrd. From fourth place in the Rookie of the Year voting of 2003--one place ahead of Miguel Cabrera, no less--to out of the bigs for good by age 30. It could happen to Byrd at this rate--and Patterson for that matter.
   23. H. Vaughn Posted: January 11, 2006 at 01:52 AM (#1815419)
I submit that the Cubs could have gotten a heck of a lot more for Patterson in June 2005 than they did in January 2006, and could even have gotten more for him in October 2005 than in January 2006.

You're probably right. They turned Hawkins into Williams/Aardsma while Latroy was putting it in the ditch. Perhaps they were hoping Patterson could turn it around and improve his value. He couldn't.


I'm not sure I'd agree with either (especially #1), but which is it?


You make a great point, which is that it was dumb of them to pick up the option if they had no plans for him. Not as dumb as starting Neifi will be, but pointless.

My point is simply that, perhaps ever since the 2002 when he lost his job with the Twins, Todd Walker has not been as desirable a commodity to MLB decision-makers as one would surmise through statistical analysis of his offensive production. Thus its hard to argue that the Cubs are reducing his value to other clubs, when he doesn't seem to have much to begin with. Junior Spivey was pretty much freely available talent this winter, why would anyone value Walker more highly?
   24. H. Vaughn Posted: January 11, 2006 at 02:04 AM (#1815430)
"I thought I played well with the Cubs, other than 2005," [Patterson] said. "I just got in a little rut, and before I knew it, I couldn't get out of it. One day, try this, and try that, and I never really could put anything together, and I didn't stick with it on a consistent basis. The years prior to '05 I thought I played well. Last year, I had a bump in the road and couldn't overcome it.
--
That pretty much nails it. Of course, "2005" is a long time not to play well. But to me, the "one day, try this, and try that" approach is a real indictment of the coaching staff, and especially Gene Clines.


I don't buy that, Sweet, any more than I think Geno turned Derrek Lee into Pujols or that he transformed Michael Barrett from an overmatched third baseman into the NL's premiere offensive catcher. At some point, I think its reasonable to expect a professional player to be accountable for maintaining positives and buttressing weaknesses. That time has past for Patterson, at least in Chicago. Further, Corey's infamous Iowa quotes last year, he claimed he hadn't received any coaching suggestions on his approach and that he intended to stay the course.

That said, I think the quote shows him to be a stand-up guy, and I hope he gets it turned around.
   25. Who Swished In Your Cornflakes? Posted: January 11, 2006 at 02:21 AM (#1815448)
At some point, I think its reasonable to expect a professional player to be accountable for maintaining positives and buttressing weaknesses. That time has past for Patterson, at least in Chicago. Further, Corey's infamous Iowa quotes last year, he claimed he hadn't received any coaching suggestions on his approach and that he intended to stay the course.

That said, I think the quote shows him to be a stand-up guy, and I hope he gets it turned around.


Hear, hear.
   26. Coco McJesus Posted: January 11, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#1816180)
I agree - Gene Clines certainly didn't have a negative effect on Murton or Cedeno or any of the other folks metioned above. Moreover, its not like Corey didn't have these same problems before....witness Don Baylor's Oddibe McDowell comments back in 2002. It may be the only thing Don Baylor has been right about in a half decade or more.
   27. Sweet Posted: January 11, 2006 at 05:50 PM (#1816222)
Hm, well, I may be in the minority, but I'm convinced that Baker's (and presumably Clines's) attempts to shoehorn Patterson in at the top of the order did nothing to alleviate his struggles, and probably exacerbated them at a time when a good coaching staff should be seeking ways to do just the opposite.
   28. H. Vaughn Posted: January 11, 2006 at 06:06 PM (#1816273)
attempts to shoehorn Patterson in at the top of the order did nothing to alleviate his struggles, and probably exacerbated them

I think you're right that they were mistaken to keep stereotyping him as a leadoff guy and setting him up to fail by batting him there. But if they had dropped him in the order so he could just continue to flail and smash out of the limelight, I think they would have been just enabling him to continue an unproductive approach rather than asking for improvement.
   29. Luke Jasenosky Posted: January 12, 2006 at 02:12 AM (#1817397)
I think one reason Walker might be moved is his relationship with the Teflon Toothpick. I recall he spoke to the press on more than one occasion about his unhappiness with how Baker put the line-up together. Now, I'm no fan of players spouting off to the press in lieu of discussing problems behind closed doors, but I can easily believe that Walker mentioned his concerns to Baker and was ignored, so he used the press as another outlet. Either way, his comments were pretty spot-on as I remember.
   30. Sweet Posted: January 18, 2006 at 12:58 AM (#1826113)
Patterson got $2.8 million from the Orioles; same salary as last year.

Also, Carrie Muskat has this nice quote from Dusty re Murton (may already have been posted elsewhere):

This guy has hit everywhere he's gone. He's got big legs and he's displayed pretty good power, especially to right field. I tried to break him in slowly [in 2005] against lefties, and then -- bam, bam, bam -- let him play. I don't think it's fair to say we expect this out of you. I think the whole thing is to let him play. This guy has showed the ability to hit tough pitchers, too, last year.

"I like his approach. Anybody who can hit the ball up the middle and to the opposite field is going to hit. He'll learn how to hit for power. If he can hit balls to right field, he has power. He's a good learner. He asks questions. He's always around the old guys. I like the young man a lot. He can run. I'm not going to put any expectations on him. He's got the skill."
   31. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 18, 2006 at 05:39 AM (#1826321)
Such puffery can only mean that the Cubs are trying to deal him.
   32. Sweet Posted: January 19, 2006 at 06:14 AM (#1828120)
Off-topic, and I expect some of you have already seen this, but Bleed Cubbie Blue has a great post summarizing the "Down on the Farm" session at the Cubs Convention. Lots of good info, but the best news is that the Cubs have a pitching prospect named Alberto Albequerque. FREE ALBERTO ALBEQUERQUE!
   33. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: January 24, 2006 at 05:29 PM (#1835975)
We need a thread for the recent news:

Cubs sign Wade Miller to one-year, $1 million contract.

Macias signs with Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.
   34. Lujack Posted: February 02, 2006 at 07:49 PM (#1848011)
Individual game tickets for the 2006 season go on sale on Friday, February 24. 8 AM at the ballpark, 10 AM online.

Cubs tickets link

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