Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Gonfalon Cubs > Discussion
Gonfalon Cubs
— Cubs Baseball for Thinking Fans

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Walt Davis Posted: January 20, 2007 at 08:44 PM (#2283683)
It's hard to get good and almost impossible to stay good if you can't produce cheap young talent.

I thought of making the Prior comparison in another thread because this contract is quite similar to what they gave Prior. But the talent, or most certainly the readiness of that talent, is not similar at all. If this guy projects as a reliever, he'd need to be Huston Street to make this a good deal; if he projects as a starter, it's kinda hard for me to see that he'll be ready before his options run out.

And I'm really hoping that in a year we don't find ourselves pointing at deals like this, DeRosa, etc. as we watch Zambrano walk away.
   2. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 20, 2007 at 09:21 PM (#2283687)
And I'm really hoping that in a year we don't find ourselves pointing at deals like this, DeRosa, etc. as we watch Zambrano walk away.

Between the money they gave to Samardzjia ($2M/yr), Blanco ($2.6M/yr), Derosa ($4.3M/yr), and Marquis ($7M/yr), they spent about $16M/yr on a longshot and some pretty marginal upgrades to the team. There's also the Rusch contract from last year, that was bad even before he got hurt - that's another $3M this season. And they're lucky they're out from under the $3M they would have had to pay Neifi Perez this year.

Zito signed for $18M/yr. Those 5 contracts, without Neifi, get you to almost $19M/yr.

Hendry's shown a disturbing weakness for paying full market price for marginal veterans, and it really hasn't gotten any better as the years go by.
   3. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: January 21, 2007 at 12:06 AM (#2283717)
Hendry: I promise you fans lots of things. That's what makes me such a good GM!
Us: Actually, keeping promises would make you a good GM.
Hendry: No, that would make me a great GM.
   4. The First Pitch Express Posted: January 21, 2007 at 12:15 AM (#2283718)
Fact is, Samardzija is a second-tier prospect, a guy who might put it all together but far from a sure-thing.


Boy, is that an understatement. Here are his college numbers:
2004 – 2.95 ERA, 15 G, 0 GS, 64 IP, 50 H, 42 K/17 BB (5.91 K/9, 2.39 BB/9)
2005 – 3.89 ERA, 15 G, 10 GS, 78.2 IP, 85 H, 56 K/30 BB (6.41 K/9, 3.43 BB/9)
2006 – 4.33 ERA, 15 G, 15 GS, 97.2 IP, 101 H, 61 K/37 BB (5.62 K/9, 3.41 BB/9)

And his numbers from the minors last season (only 30 IP - small sample size alert):
Combined: 2.70 ERA, 30 IP, 7 G, 7 GS, 24 H, 17 K/12 BB (5.10 K/9, 3.60 BB/9)

What exactly do the Cubs see in this guy? A blazing fastball that kids in the Big East have no trouble hitting? Mediocre control?

Somebody please give me some reason to believe the Cubs haven't just flushed $10 million down the toilet.
   5. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 21, 2007 at 02:50 AM (#2283744)
What exactly do the Cubs see in this guy? A blazing fastball that kids in the Big East have no trouble hitting? Mediocre control?

In a nutshell, they see the blazing fastball, and his control is not bad. Those walk rates are actually pretty good for a guy who throws that hard. Of course, those two things together don't make a major league pitcher, not even close, but it's enough of a start that both Baseball America and Sickels like him (a B- in Sickels' system is very good). He's raw in the sense that he has not developed the full set of skills you expect in a major leaguer, but there are significant positives.

But really what the Cubs see is an interesting story connected to a very popular football program. People are going to show up to see Samardzija. Hendry has said that he sees Samardzija as a "high-end starter" and that's just nuts based on what we see now. I don't care how athletic he is or quick he is off the mound or how this phrenology is just right, you need more than one ####### pitch to be a high-end starter. To whatever extent he actually believes that, he still knows that he signed a big name guy who will picque fan interest.
   6. Spahn Insane Posted: January 21, 2007 at 03:55 AM (#2283761)
In a nutshell, they see the blazing fastball, and his control is not bad.

And of course, he's a golden domer, which is all=important to those making decisions here.

If his fastball was that great, he's be striking 5.5 guys per 9 in the Big East. Hell, a couple years ago those numbers would've given him the worst K rate in the Cub rotation if he sustained them in the majors.
   7. Spahn Insane Posted: January 21, 2007 at 03:56 AM (#2283762)
Jesus--I really shouldn't post right after waking up from a nap. He'd be striking out MORE THAN 5.5 per 9.
   8. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: January 21, 2007 at 05:32 AM (#2283784)
I figure this story fits perfectly with the title of this thread.

Prior ready for Spring Training.
   9. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 21, 2007 at 02:23 PM (#2283826)
Prior ready for Spring Training.

Then they'd better start Spring Training now, while he's still healthy.
   10. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: January 21, 2007 at 03:16 PM (#2283840)
This is fascinating to me because it seems like if the Cubs had spread some of this spending over multiple years, they could have bought multiple top tier players rather than a handful of mediocre relievers and bad second-baseman.

I still think Hendry was/is the main problem with the Cubs. That being said, spending $400 million or whatever in one sitting in a crappy division, it's pretty hard not to be some sort of contender. A couple good breaks and a lucky playoff run and Hendry is lionized as one of the heroes of Chicago Sports History.

Look at Ditka--not as good as Lovie Smith, but Ditka is "Da Coach" and some idiots are asking for Smith to be run out of town.
   11. McCoy Posted: January 21, 2007 at 06:00 PM (#2283902)
Da Coach wasn't a great coach or probably even a very good one, but Lovie Smith isn't better then Da Coach. Skill-wise he is probably on the same level as Ditka, personality wise Lovie is a corpse compared to Ditka
   12. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 21, 2007 at 07:19 PM (#2283935)
Look at Ditka--not as good as Lovie Smith, but Ditka is "Da Coach" and some idiots are asking for Smith to be run out of town.

I agree with McCoy - this is a pretty silly statement. Lovie Smith has been an NFL head coach for, what, 3 years now? It's a little early to annoint him as a good NFL coach. He had a team go 5-11, an 11-5 team lose at home in the first round of the playoffs, and now this year's team (outcome TBD).

There have been plenty of coaches to have a little success early in their careers but never do anything with it (and eventually become regarded as bad coaches, or at least not good coaches). Let's see where he is in 5 years.
   13. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: January 21, 2007 at 07:47 PM (#2283939)
I'm quite sure you are capable of disagreeing with me without calling a perfectly defensible statement "silly".

McCoy has his/her opinion and I have mine. His definitely a thoughtful position whether I agree with it or not. In terms of personality, I find Smith to be a much more likeable guy, but that's just subjective evaluation.

Am I to take it that you agree with that it is reasonable that Lovie be run out of town after failing to get his team to show up for the meaningless Green Bay game? Mocking that was part of my statement.

In five years, we will know more. One possibility is that Lovie is not as good as he's looked so far, the other is that he is a great coach. To argue that either will be the outcome is not "silly". To say he should be run out of town, or to mock people who believe that he is an excellent coach, is quite "silly" in my opinion.

But hey, by all means, instead of ridiculing me, you could cite some examples of all of these coaches who took terrible teams and turned them into powerhouses and then proceeded to suck. It'd be compelling reading.

Incidentally, Smith is now ten games over for his career in three seasons. Ditka was 26 over for his 14 year coaching career.
   14. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: January 21, 2007 at 10:13 PM (#2283981)
In terms of personality, I find Smith to be a much more likeable guy, but that's just subjective evaluation.

I'd never disagree with this. Ditka was always kind of a jerk, even when the team was doing well. Smith seems like a nice enough guy, though I haven't heard all that much from him. Living in Maine, our football coverage is about 99% Patriots, 0.5% Jets/Giants, 0.5% other 29 teams.

Am I to take it that you agree with that it is reasonable that Lovie be run out of town after failing to get his team to show up for the meaningless Green Bay game? Mocking that was part of my statement.

Of course not. I don't think Lovie Smith is a bad coach. He's done a nice job with the Bears, offensive problems notwithstanding. I don't know what his contract status is, but if it's up then they need to resign him.

But hey, by all means, instead of ridiculing me, you could cite some examples of all of these coaches who took terrible teams and turned them into powerhouses and then proceeded to suck.

First, the Bears Smith took over were not a terrible team. They had gone 7-9 the previous season under Dick Jauron (who was a pretty bad coach) and were only 3 years removed from a 13-3 season. There were a lot of good pieces in place, particularly on defense.

If you want a terrible team, the Bears Ditka took over were a terrible team. 2 winning seasons in the previous 19 years, and they hadn't won a playoff game since 1963. But they, like Lovie's Bears, had some good players in place (like Walter Payton) and did some good drafting (like Jim McMahon).

Second, if you want a guy who turned around a terrible team and then became "exposed" (for lack of a better word) as a lousy coach, take Jauron. The Bears team he took over was coming off of back-to-back 4-12 seasons. 3 years later, they won 13 games (and, like Lovie last season, Jauron won Coach of the Year). If you want to talk career records, Jauron's well below .500. Or take Art Shell, who took over a mediocre Raiders team, took them to the playoffs a couple of times, and was probably regarded as the worst coach in the league this season.

**************************

You badly misread my post, apparently blinded by anger over my flagrant use of a horrible insult like "silly". Nowhere did I say I thought Lovie Smith was a bad coach. What I said was it's too early to make a statement like "Smith is better than Ditka." 3 years just isn't enough time to make that kind of comparison against a guy who coached for almost 15 years and had more success in that time than most coaches will ever have. Lovie Smith hasn't gone 48-5 with 3 Super Bowl wins in 3 seasons - he's 7 games over .500 in 3 years.

It's like saying that an OF who has a couple of good years is better than some guy who played for 20 years and racked up 2500 hits and 300 HRs - not a Hall of Famer, but a very good player for a very long time. Ditka was a very good coach during his tenure with the Bears - he won 10+ games 7 times in 11 years, 6 NFC Central titles, 1 Super Bowl, and had only 3 losing seasons (one of which was strike-shortened 1982). Lovie Smith has 2 winning seasons, 2 NFC North titles, 2 10+ win seasons, and 1 losing season. Saying he's better than Ditka, based on that record, is just silly.

I'm not saying Smith may not, 10 years from now, have shown himself to be a better coach. But to say it now underrates how difficult it is to put up winning seasons year after year like Ditka did with the Bears.
   15. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2007 at 02:05 AM (#2284072)
For me the negatives on Lovie is that he really doesn't do a good job adjusting or seem to have a solid plan for the offense. That and the team does a poor job on PR. Granted one could argue that the PR part is meaningless, but in terms of leeway with the press and fans it does become important.

Adjusting part is that it seems to me that Lovie's team generally get outcoached in the second half or when the opposing team adjusts, and Lovie and the Bears don't bounce back and adjust along with the opposing teams adjustment. Of course todays game goes in the face of that, at least on the defensive side. The offensive side of the game always seems to collapse when the opposing team adjusts to Grossman, while the defensive side if it goes up against a good team tends to adjust rather poorly in my mind.

The solid plan part has to do with Thomas Jones/Benson, the running game, going away from the TE's, and letting Grossman play poorly and doing nothing about it (at least it appeared that way too me). Grossman despite what the pundits might have said played rather poorly in the beginning of the season, the only difference being that the he got the bounces early on. He threw quite a few passes that were interceptions (and probably run back for TD's) only to have his bacon saved when the defender dropped the ball. Rex was making some very bad gambles that should have cost the bears but didn't until the Arizona game. I think the tight end part is rather obvious. Once teams started blitzing the Bears like crazy forcing Rex to make bad decisions they went away from TE's as recievers costing the bears a major asset.
JOnes/Benson and the running game was just a big question mark to me this whole season. Bears to me just were not serious about the run, to me they were just using it to try and set up the play action so Rex could throw it. It didn't matter if Jones or Benson was running well Lovie and the Bears would eventually abandon the run in favor of the pass.

Also Lovie did get outcoach at times in the finer points of coaching. Such as calling timeouts and using the coach's challenge. Last weeks game comes to mind, as well as the first Minnesota Vikings game I believe in which he kept trying to challenge inconsequential/obvious calls that ended up costing them time at the half that they badly needed.


It is my opinion that Bill and the Patriots are going to totally befuddle Lovie and especially Rex. I picture Rex sitting on the bench at some time in the third quarter crying because he has no idea what is happening to him and how to get past it.
   16. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 22, 2007 at 02:40 AM (#2284085)
Unless they play the Colts, in which case it will be the Dungy and the Colts who do it to them.
   17. Dr. Vaux Posted: January 22, 2007 at 02:41 AM (#2284086)
Well, just Dungy, no "the" in front of his name...
   18. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2007 at 03:20 AM (#2284098)
I wrote that at the half and look at what happens. The Colts make it to the Super Bowl. Well now it is going to be interesting. I don't think the Bears had a chance against the Patriots but against the Colts I think they definitely do.
   19. SouthSideRyan Posted: January 22, 2007 at 04:19 AM (#2284141)
Samardzija’s a good looking guy


Huh?
   20. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: January 22, 2007 at 05:15 AM (#2284170)
First, the Bears Smith took over were not a terrible team. They had gone 7-9 the previous season under Dick Jauron (who was a pretty bad coach) and were only 3 years removed from a 13-3 season. There were a lot of good pieces in place, particularly on defense.

Given the NFL's roster turnover, how much does that 13-3 team have to do with the team Lovie inherited. My understanding of that team's always been pretty basic: They had the two fat guys in the middle (Washington and Traylor) stuffing the run, which allowed Urlacher to fly around the rest of the field helping everyone else out, raising the game of the entire defensive, making them a playoff caliber team. By the time Lovie showed up, Washington was gone and the other guy was either gone or slimmed down due to personal health concerns. Meanwhile, Urlacher had gone from being the Great White Player to the Most Overrated Player in the NFL.

If you want a terrible team, the Bears Ditka took over were a terrible team. 2 winning seasons in the previous 19 years, and they hadn't won a playoff game since 1963.

You didn't have me, but you lost me anyway. First off, the 2 winning seasons in the previous 19 years is largely meaningless. Given the shelf life of an average NFL players, how they did in 1965 or 1969 or 1973 is irrelevant. The only carryovers from 1978 were what - Payton, Fencik and maybe one other person?

Looking at those 19 years might be meaningful as a sign of organizational competence and managerial ability, but that approach also falls flat. In the late 1970s, after all those dismal seasons, George Halas had to admit he didn't have the ol' touch anymore and hired Jim Finks to resurrect the team. This is, by all conventional wisdom I've ever heard, the Great Turning Point in modern Bears history.

Finally, let's actually look at the team Ditka inherited. Mentioning Payton as a good player is just scratching the surface. They had a few other young'uns - Dan Hampton, Steve McMicheal, Mike Singletary - on defense. When you have two future HoFers about to hit their prime on your starting defense augmented by a perennial all-pro, you got a heckuva core. Wasn't at least one of the two All-Pros who held out in '85 there as well? Fencik was (still is?) the franchise's all-time leader in interceptions. And of course, before bringing Ditka over, Halas famously guaranteed the contract of defensive guru and all-out piece of shiite human being Buddy Ryan. The offensive line had Jay Hilgenberg and Keith Van Horne. Matt Suhey was never all-pro worthy, but also a very good compliment to Payton. They had a few other guys too I'm sure, this is just off the top of my head. It was a nice team to inherit, even if they had gone 1-13 a dozen years before.

Ditka was a very good coach during his tenure with the Bears - he won 10+ games 7 times in 11 years, 6 NFC Central titles, 1 Super Bowl, and had only 3 losing seasons (one of which was strike-shortened 1982).

He also coached the Saints. . . .

Ditka stunk. He's the worst coach to ever win it all in any major sport in North American history. Ditka deserved all the scorn Barry Switzer received. He inherited a team with a great core, and saw it augmented by Wilbur Marshall, Dave Duerson, William Perry, Otis Wilson, Richard Dent, Jimbo Covert, Kevin Butler, and Jim McMahon. Posting winning records with that squad doesn't make one good.

The '85 Bears are, by acclamation, the greatest team in NFL history to only win one Super Bowl. FOlks, that ain't a compliment. It means they're the team that most likely should've won another. They didn't even get to the Super Bowl. Christ, they only won two more play-off games, one played under the flukiest weather conditions ever, and the other a poorly played wild card game. Both were at home.

In general, there are two paths to coaching greatness: either be a great thinker/strategist, or a great motivator. No one's ever called Ditka a great thinker like Bill Walsh. Let's look at his brillant motivational techniques.

- In 1986, while publicly feuding with his starting quarterback, he invites the backup up QB to his house for Thanksgiving. Brilliant.

- In 1987, during the strike, he refers to the scabs as the "real Bears." Mind you, pretty much any other coach you can name stayed out of it, recognizing that as a management figure they didn't dare side with the players, and as someone who had to work with the players and have their respect they didn't risk publicly siding with management. Ditka didn't think it through and alienated some of his troops.

- In 1989 the Bears dropped 4 of 6 and Ditka declared "I don't think we'll win another game all year." With that motivational technique employed, the Bears dropped 6 of their last 10.

- Remember his reaction to Harbaugh's autobil (dammit, totally forgot how to spell that word) in Minnesota? Wildly overrated and helping neither his QB's ability to play effectively nor his confidence. A stupid, kneejerk reaction - which is to say Ditka's standard operating procedure.

- He did have one pretty damn successful moment of motivation that I recall. Before a playoff game against the Redskins, he said Dexter Manley had the IQ of a grapefruit. That got the squad pysched up and able to pull off the upset. Damn shame how Washington was the squad in question.

You want to know the telltale moment of Ditka's coaching career? It happened as the Super Bowl ended. Not only did the Bears break precedent by holding two coaches aloft, but there were far more guys gathered around Buddy Ryan than Mike Ditka. He just had the two O-linemen and nothing else, IIRC. That's how important Ditka was.

He was too up-and-down with every game. He made kneejerk decisions instead of thinking it through. His time in New Orleans showed what he was like without an insanely talented core talent propping him up. Barry Switzer can point to several decades of success in Oklahoma.

I like Lovie because he has a solid emotional keel that aids the team. He seems like he thinks things through. He has at least one coaching technique that seems to help the team (tracking "loafs" - though to be fair the D ain't flying around like it used to earlier this year).
   21. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: January 22, 2007 at 02:16 PM (#2284313)
I think this deal is more about creating a perception that the Cubs are going places than actually taking a step forward, a flashy move that doesn’t have a lot of substance behind it.

It is almost impossible to overstate the Notre Dame connection. Samardkiewicz will be up in The Show in September if he shows the least ability to get guys out in AA. Gotta keep those Domers out of the Cell.
   22. Andere Richtingen Posted: January 22, 2007 at 03:04 PM (#2284371)
I just want to point out the irony in my first GC post actually having some football content, and the subsequent hijack of the thread by football talk.

Samardzija’s a good looking guy

Huh?


Admit it. You wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers.
   23. karkface killah Posted: January 22, 2007 at 08:38 PM (#2284690)
REX 4 PRESIDENT 08 #######

Seriously, though. . . 7 points for the freaking Ponies?

Bears 31, Colts 27.
   24. Giantandre Posted: January 22, 2007 at 11:18 PM (#2284820)
First of all I'd like to thank you all for great off season content, I may not post often (usually only during chatters) but I am always reading and ENJOYING the content.

Second, I was just told today, that after 6 years of loyal fandom (and purchasing) My beloved Extra Innings is being yanked away from me, We out of town Cub fans are lucky to have WGN but now I am going to miss about half of the teams games.MLB just sucks sometimes. I have a Dish but the wrong one and now I'm SOL.

What is the status on Re-upping Zambrano, any news.

Congrats to the Bears and their fans, I may not be one, but I will root for you guys, Good Luck in the Big One
   25. McCoy Posted: January 22, 2007 at 11:31 PM (#2284831)
The only thing I dread now is having to listen to Chicago sports radio for the next two weeks, and geez if the Bears lose, forget it. The Score has gotten so downright dreadful lately that I listen to ESPN 1000 whenever I need to tune the radio to something neutral.

Boers and Bernstein (or whatever their name) are just unlistenable. Murph is alright but I usually tune in at the end of his show. Throw in all the secondary hosts on after B&B, bleckk. What is the name of the one host who does the show by himself and always asking his callers to think about the dumbest most drawn out questions possible? Sort of like a Telander-lite.
   26. karkface killah Posted: January 22, 2007 at 11:53 PM (#2284844)
The Score has gotten so downright dreadful lately

Here, here. And Roe Conn sucks now too.
   27. Slinger Francisco Barrios (Dr. Memory) Posted: January 23, 2007 at 01:31 PM (#2285068)
Boers, hah. I remember when he was the Sun-Times' Bulls beat reporter, then they gave him a column. You think Mariotti is bad? Boers tried to be controversial, a pot-stirrer, but he was just stupid, like even he didn't believe the stuff he was writing. At least Mariotti fakes belief in his ordure.
   28. McCoy Posted: January 23, 2007 at 04:48 PM (#2285175)
That was always my impression of B+B. They would pick a side, generally the less popular side and rage against the dying of the light for what seemed like an eternity. It drives me nuts, they pick an issue big or small and then just ride it saying the same thing over and over for about a week.
   29. Biscuit_pants Posted: January 23, 2007 at 07:07 PM (#2285237)
It drives me nuts, they pick an issue big or small and then just ride it saying the same thing over and over for about a week.
I see you have only been listing to B+B for about a week then. They almost never drop a subject. I did enjoy the Steve Stone show but after that I really can't stand them.

I don’t hear much of Murph anymore but when he was on at a time I could listen I did like him. Of coarse I also like Mike North, he is able to give us an inside look into sports because he has been there…well it was 16 inch softball but according to him it’s really the same thing so I am grateful that he can let me know what he was able to accomplish and how he did it. He played with two pulled hamstrings you know!

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
dirk
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Syndicate

Page rendered in 0.3587 seconds
53 querie(s) executed