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   1. Hello Rusty Kuntz, Goodbye Rusty Cars Posted: July 30, 2006 at 01:46 AM (#2117468)
They may never lose another game.
   2. 100 Years is Nothing Posted: July 30, 2006 at 12:55 PM (#2117647)
The Dustbag will lead the Cubs to the promised land in 2009! A very good "evaluation" done by the middle of the "three Blind Mice" triumverant, Mr. Jim Hendry, Esq.
   3. KB JBAR (trhn) Posted: July 30, 2006 at 03:12 PM (#2117664)
It's difficult to know whether Murton's 2005 was a fluke and his 2006 is a reversion to his prior form or whether it's variance around his .272 Eqa projection. I'd like the Cubs to be patient and find out. Still, if he only rests a couple of days a week for Pagan, I don't think that will hurt Murton's development.

To be honest, I'm surprised at how well Pagan has played. A couple ugly misplays aside, Pagan's defense looks good enough that he could be a legitimate option as a fifth OF. And with a little offensive growth he could be a decent fill-in CF for a year or two.
   4. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 30, 2006 at 04:17 PM (#2117684)
I certainly agree with nearly all of the essay, and expressed similar thoughts about Neifi in yesterday's Game Chatter:

I know this is going to sound redundant or superflous, but I can only see one scenario that would justify having Neifi in the starting lineup this season -- Cedeno is hurt, can't play, and Neifi is needed at SS. I cannot think of any justification to start him at 2B.

I know this is a broken record, but let's look at the circumstances:

* Neifi sucks and will neither improve nor be a starter of any contending Cubs team
* The team is hopelessly out of any semblance of playoff contention
* Hendry came out this week and squeched all talk of Dusty losing his job this year
* Though Hendry says the team should be trying to win, even he talks about wanting to get a look at kids

Other than a crippling injury to Neifi, what else would it take for Dusty to possibly be looking for as a basis to start Theriot (if not Walker)?

I'm serious. If a reporter asks Dusty after the game why Neifi started at 2B today, what could Dusty possibly say?

Let me state this in still another way: If Dusty wants to try to win, he'd start Walker. If he's trying to get a look at the future, he'd start Theriot.

What's the basis for starting Neifi?


As for Pagan, I don't mind seeing him and do think he may have some value and a future. The problem is that the value he'll likely have is as a 4th outfielder, and Dusty is auditioning him to the same level as Murton.

Some of that is obviously Dusty's fault, for the reasons Ross describes, particularly Dusty's penchant for fast defensive guys, even if they don't hit. OTOH, part of it is also Murton's fault -- let's face it, his defense has been atrocious and his bat has been silent for much of the season.

At this point, I still want to see what Murton can do, but if the Cubs were to go out and get a legitimate corner OF bat (i.e., not a Todd Hollandsworth or Jody Gerut), I'd be all for it.

As for Restovich, can we give that a rest already? Yes he's hitting well in Iowa (.281/.369.531), but he's not a "youngster" anymore -- he's 27. He may deserve a spot on the team as a bench guy over the likes of Mabry, but he's certainly not a guy I'd be looking at in the long term.

Two other notes:

1. Pierre is always a guy to whom "a change of luck will show up quickly in his numbers," regardless of what his walk rate has done this season. It's always been low. OTOH, Felix Pie is not major-league ready and the Cubs may be in a position this offseason where there is no one truly better out there. If push comes to shove and they are able to resign Pierre on a one year deal, I wouldn't object all that strongly.

2. Pat Hughes observed yesterday that the Cubs record this month is 13-11, so even if they lose today and Monday, they will still be .500 this month. I fear that this will be the rallying cry to keep the regime in place -- yes, they were awful when everyone is hurt, but in the second half, they played .500 ball.

I'm shuddering about this message, particularly in light of the fact that Hendry himself said that "79 wins is not acceptable," but if the Cubs continue to tread water as they have the last few weeks, I'm fearing we'll start hearing this message.
   5. McCoy Posted: July 30, 2006 at 04:38 PM (#2117701)
Pierre has to kill somebodies mother to only recieve a one year offer next year. Somebody and perhaps it will be the Cubs will offer him a multiyear deal.
   6. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: July 31, 2006 at 12:31 AM (#2118742)
1. Pierre is always a guy to whom "a change of luck will show up quickly in his numbers," regardless of what his walk rate has done this season. It's always been low. OTOH, Felix Pie is not major-league ready and the Cubs may be in a position this offseason where there is no one truly better out there. If push comes to shove and they are able to resign Pierre on a one year deal, I wouldn't object all that strongly.


Most Cubs fans on BTF wouldn't object either, but Pierre has always been overrated to a large extent, so you know there's a GM dumb enough to put out a 4/30 offer.
   7. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 31, 2006 at 12:57 AM (#2118806)
What I'm afraid of is that Jim Hendry is that GM. I can easily imagine a scenario in which Hendry feels that Pie isn't ready and that he needs a CF for 2007, and when Pierre says he needs 4 yrs, Hendry relents.

Essentially, just what he did with Jones.
   8. Randomly Fluctuating Defensive Metric Posted: July 31, 2006 at 07:40 AM (#2119297)
I didn't get the title and forgot about it, than I looked back again and just busted out laughing. I mean... if I were a Cubs fan, there would be nothing more infuriating to me than seeing General Dusty observing yet another horrible blow-out, chewing on his tooth pick, all while Nefi Perez taps meekly to second base to end an inning. God, that's horrible. I have all the respect in the world for Cubs fans.
   9. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 31, 2006 at 04:23 PM (#2119627)
Trade deadline is less than three hours away and all the Cubs have done this July is move Williamson, right?
   10. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 31, 2006 at 06:36 PM (#2119840)
25 minutes left and the Cubs haven't even made the rotoworld rumor chart

We all know this organization does not believe in changes but this is starting to look ridiculous
   11. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 31, 2006 at 06:40 PM (#2119843)
Oops, the deadline is 4pm Eastern not 3

80 minutes, Jimbo!
   12. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 31, 2006 at 06:49 PM (#2119861)
Considering that Todd Walker has supposedly been on the market for at least 8 months, I'll be shocked if he's not dealt. Shocked!
   13. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: July 31, 2006 at 06:53 PM (#2119872)
I'm shuddering about this message, particularly in light of the fact that Hendry himself said that "79 wins is not acceptable," but if the Cubs continue to tread water as they have the last few weeks, I'm fearing we'll start hearing this message.

I've posted this somewhere else, but I am going to hold *you* personally responsible if the Cubs re-up Dusty. Well, that's harsh, but I'll remind you every day that you didn't want him fired when we had the chance.
   14. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 31, 2006 at 07:08 PM (#2119902)
It looks like the Cubs won't be trading anyone who wouldn't be gone through free agency anyway. They have no plans for a makeover. Dusty will be back and next year's roster will be largely the same.
   15. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 31, 2006 at 07:11 PM (#2119914)
Murton and Cedeno will lose their starting jobs, of course.
   16. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 31, 2006 at 07:17 PM (#2119928)
How much chance did we have? At what point did you think that Hendry (not us, not the media) was seriously considering firing Dusty?

Since we are taking this from the other thread, though, let me reiterate my response:

It wasn't that I was *against* his firing, per se; it was that I didn't see much point in it happening in July. Furthermore, in several places in the Nine Innings thread, such as Post Nos. 37, 47, and 57, I observed that the only real worry would be that if he were to somehow pull a rabbit out of the hat and get the club to play at a level that would justify him staying.

I just didn't think the Cubs would turn things around. In fact, I still don't. Not only do I not believe that playing .500 is "turning it around," but I'm not at all convinced that the Cubs will manage to tread water the rest of the way anyway.

Of course, if we had a sane GM, then he'd be looking at the previous year and a half much more than at July 2006. Instead, though, we have Jim Hendry; that's my fear.

Actually, let me be more specific: If Hendry re-ups Dusty, I don't think he'll do it because the Cubs played .500 in July (or August or September); it will be because he believes that Dusty is the best guy for the job. If Hendry re-ups Dusty, it would be because once Lee, Wood, and Prior went down, Hendry essentially wrote off the rest of this season, so the fact that they played .500 in July is just as irrelevant to Hendry as what happened in May/June.

That leads to the question of why they didn't re-up Dusty months ago, but we've been asking ourselves that for a while. Hendry's just an idiot.
   17. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 31, 2006 at 07:19 PM (#2119943)
BTW, when I said that "I fear that this will be the rallying cry to keep the regime in place," I didn't just mean Dusty and his coaches; I meant Hendry as well.
   18. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: July 31, 2006 at 07:20 PM (#2119947)
so the fact that they played .500 in July is just as irrelevant to Hendry as what happened in May/June

I'll remember that when I read 50 quotes from Hendry about how much improved the Cubs were in the second half.
   19. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 31, 2006 at 08:05 PM (#2120082)
I'll remember that when I read 50 quotes from Hendry about how much improved the Cubs were in the second half.

If the Cubs break-even in the second half, I'm sure we'll hear a lot about it. That was my point in Post #4.

If he re-ups Dusty, Hendry may also talk about the second-half record it to justify the decision to the media (which is what I was mentioning in Post #4), but I doubt it will actually be the basis of his decision.

IOW, I don't believe that Hendry is sitting on the fence, waiting to see the team's W/L in the second half. I'm sure he's made his decision already, and if they play well in the second half, it will be yet another justification Hendry will point to.
   20. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 31, 2006 at 10:34 PM (#2120450)
Well, I suppose the Walker trade and the Izturis pick-up make it even less likely that the team will finish strongly, so in all likelihood we're worrying about nothing.
   21. Neil M Posted: July 31, 2006 at 10:45 PM (#2120478)
Well, I suppose the Walker trade and the Izturis pick-up make it even less likely that the team will finish strongly, so in all likelihood we're worrying about nothing.

You're almost certainly right.

OTOH, should the Cubs continue to stumble along as they have in the last week, profiting from nice individual performances and capitalizing on the other teams' out-of-character mistakes (see Rolen, S.), and play roughly .500 ball without Derrek Lee, then I think that Dusty is not only re-upped but gets himself an ill-deserved raise.
   22. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: July 31, 2006 at 11:05 PM (#2120506)
capitalizing on the other teams' out-of-character mistakes (see Rolen, S.),

Yeah, I remember that at one point Saturday, I heard a commentator (McCarver, Santo, or Hughes) talk about the fact that the Cubs were extremely lucky to benefit from a one-in-a-million error from a Gold Glover like Rolen (or words to that effect).

It was especially funny because not only did they benefit from an error on Friday, but it was a 9th inning error in this game that allowed the Cubs to send it to extra innings (and later win it).
   23. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: August 01, 2006 at 05:35 PM (#2121592)

If he re-ups Dusty, Hendry may also talk about the second-half record it to justify the decision to the media (which is what I was mentioning in Post #4), but I doubt it will actually be the basis of his decision.


My feeling is that the ownership of this PR driven franchise would not have allowed an extension were this a 100 or 95 loss team despite Hendry's feelings that Baker is the man for the job. As I've said before, however, the dead cat bounce alone will probably be justification enough.
   24. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: August 01, 2006 at 06:03 PM (#2121631)
I don't know. It's quite possible, maybe probable, that we've seen the last of DLee this season. (Actually, we probably *should* have seen the last of DLee, but knowing the Cubs, they'll activate him sometime around Labor Day as a PR move.) Our middle infield is now completely punchless, even as far as middle infields go, and who knows how much Matt Murton will play or how effective he'll be. Meanwhile, on the mound, we're going to get a steady diet of kids on the mound (Marmol, Hill, Marshall when he comes back, Mateo, and possibly Guzman, Williams, or Ryu).

In fact, other than the possibility of Prior returning to form or one of the kids breaking through on the mound, I see very little upside for the team over the next few months. IOW, it's quite possible that we'll be seeing a steady diet of games like last night, or like we saw in May/June.

As it stands now, the team is on pace for a 66-96 record. Although BPro projects them for 70 wins, I think the chances of 100 losses are better than the chances of 70 wins.

If so, I think Dusty's sealed his fate, regardless of how much time he gives to the kids or how well they play. No matter how much they talk about injuries, rookies, or lack of clutch hitting, it's awfully hard to spin the worst record in 25-40 years, especially when just months earlier, the team proclaimed that "79 wins is not acceptable."

My hope is that when Dusty is shown the door, Hendry goes with him. Fat chance.

Yes, I realize that just two days ago, I mentioned my concern that the team would brag about their winning record in July, and keep bragging about it if it continues into August and September. I still believe that's true; it's just that I think the chances of their success continuing are pretty remote.

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