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   1. Meatwad Posted: February 03, 2006 at 01:09 AM (#1848399)
you have no idea how much i hate the fact the neifi ####### perez will be flaiing away in 500 at bats this year, makes me sick, i hope he gets into an accident before the season and cant play again
   2. dcsmyth1 Posted: February 03, 2006 at 01:32 AM (#1848420)
I would really like to see the SuperLwts projections for Walker/Hairston/Perez. We know their offense, but I'm not sure how impactful are the fielding differences. In the absence of definite "proof", I'll go with Walker.
   3. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 03, 2006 at 02:05 AM (#1848443)
The whole Walker thing is ridiculous. Apparently the Cubs are really unhappy with Walker's defense, but that's silly. Use him as a supersub.

Neifi should never, ever be let anywhere near a right-handed pitcher, and Hairston is Hairston. This team needs someone like Walker, who landed in their laps, and they're just going to piss him away.
   4. rLr Is King Of The Romans And Above Grammar Posted: February 03, 2006 at 02:07 AM (#1848445)
I thought Perez wasn't even good defensively at second.
   5. Cabbage Posted: February 03, 2006 at 02:22 AM (#1848455)
You know, I tend to be an extremly calm person. Two weeks ago, some guy smashed up my car. Tonight, I was all set to buy a new car and had to put it off because my mom (who is floating me a small loan) wanted to "think about it". I meeting my girlfriend's dad in two days. I work 6 days a week and 10 hours a day. Now, I'm not complaining, I think I've got it pretty good. but I'm certainly in a position to be somewhat stressed. However, I'm just all together a pretty calm person. So I'm taking this stuff in stride.

And then I start to read about the Cubs. I mean, its freaking February, and I'm starting to get REALLY pissed off just because of what some rarely-updated Cubs blog says might possibly happen in April.

I never thought I'd say this, but maybe I need a djf style trial separation. It would be good for my health.

Oh, and in case any of the chicago-primate-lawyers read this, I'll probably be going to DePaul law next year.
   6. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: February 03, 2006 at 02:34 AM (#1848465)
Pass. I've ####### about this to death this offseason, and I'm now resigned to seeing Neifi out there every day. The "competition" in spring training will consist of Walker getting some hits, then having a sharp ground ball skip through the hole or up the middle, followed by Dusty saying "Defense up the middle wins championships" and giving the job to Neifi.
   7. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 03, 2006 at 05:48 AM (#1848612)
The funny thing (well, maybe not funny but odd) is that if you read the tea leaves, it isn't Dusty that is pushing Neifi -- it's Hendry. Dusty seems to recognize that Walker is the incumbent, but at every turn, Hendry is the one going out of his way to talk about how we can't ignore Neifi's "fine" season, Hairston's return from injury, etc.

Which leads to something I've been thinking for a while -- we know that Hairston was on the DL for part of last year, but am I wrong in thinking that the Cubs are just now saying that Hairston was hurt for *all* of last season?

If the Cubs didn't know that Hairston was hurt, they are being revisionist. OTOH, if they *did* know, why did they really want to trade fro him in the first place?
   8. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 03, 2006 at 05:50 AM (#1848615)
maybe I need a djf style trial separation

It isn't really helping me. I'm just as frustrated and still follow the papers daily. We'll see what happens when Opening Day rolls around -- that's when my discipline will be put to the test.


Oh, and in case any of the chicago-primate-lawyers read this, I'll probably be going to DePaul law next year.

Congratulations and good luck. I went to Loyola, btw.
   9. Sweet Posted: February 03, 2006 at 06:02 AM (#1848628)
Cabbage, take a break. It *would* be good for your health. And you need to stock up on all the health you can get. Being a 1L is tough. Worth it, but tough. Congrats.

Hope we see you in April.

Re Walker v. Hairston v. Neifi, I too would like to see a comprehensive projection -- or, better yet, a set of projections -- for each. I think it's *possible* that Walker could be 15-20 runs worse on defense, which would negate much of his offensive edge. Even if that's true, I think he has a valuable role to play, but it might not be as the everyday starter at 2B.
   10. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: February 03, 2006 at 06:22 AM (#1848654)
Hmmm...I realize that the Cubs are giddy on Guillen-juice and have probably already begun a project to clone Mark Belanger, but this is getting pretty darned silly.

The difference is that Guillen knows that he was a crappy hitter. If the Cubs had Guillen the player, they would be penciling him in as lead-off hitter.
   11. Neil M Posted: February 03, 2006 at 09:55 AM (#1848732)
am I wrong in thinking that the Cubs are just now saying that Hairston was hurt for *all* of last season?

The story they seem to be floating is that Hairston had an operation on his ankle after the 2004 season and was only 75% healthy last year, although how surgery can improve lousy instincts escapes me.

Re Walker - I was surprised by reports from the Cubs Convention that the Cubs broadcasters, to a man, couldn't find anything positive to say about him. If they weren't just toeing the official line then it would seem there is a conviction within the club that Walker isn't up to the job.

I'd add that I wonder how much of this indifference or doubt is related to the two separate knee injuries Walker sustained last year? Is he expected to have less mobility this year?
   12. BDC Posted: February 03, 2006 at 12:56 PM (#1848749)
giddy on Guillen-juice

One irony here being that a big plus for the Sox in '05 was finding a second baseman who could hit for a decent average and middling power. The Cubs already have one and aren't satistfied.
   13. Cabbage Posted: February 03, 2006 at 02:46 PM (#1848813)
It isn't really helping me. I'm just as frustrated and still follow the papers daily. We'll see what happens when Opening Day rolls around -- that's when my discipline will be put to the test.

Frankly, I'm probably just focusing on the Cubs because we're hitting the yearly winter sports lull. I know all the good baseball blogs inside and out, so its the easiest thing to fill my free time with. Maybe I can learn all about the luge or Super G during the winter olympics. That could help.

and thanks for the encouragement everyone. The only thing I'm really worried about is moving back home for three years.
   14. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 03, 2006 at 02:47 PM (#1848814)
First off, scout.com is not at all reliable for MLB info. But, I have read this story elsewhere, so at least they're not making this one up...

I think I said this somewhere else, but I get the feeling that Neifi is going to be starting somewhere and there's nothing we can do about it. Our options are either Cedeno/Neifi (ss/2b) or Neifi/Walker (ss/2b). Maybe because Hendry likes Cedeno so much and knows that Dusty will play Neifi ahead of him, he feels like he has to get rid of Walker. Now, that's all purely Moses speculation.

As for Walker being the super-sub, I think that's the role Hendry wants for Neifi. I have a question, has Dusty ever had a strict platoon on one of his teams? I can't think of any on the Cubs (even though there's been too many opportunities to count), but what about in SF? Does Dusty feel too much loyalty to a "starter?"
   15. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: February 03, 2006 at 03:34 PM (#1848883)
Does Dusty feel too much loyalty to a "starter?"

Depends on how old he is. Choi/Karros started out as a platoon, but we all know how that turned out.
   16. Luke Jasenosky Posted: February 03, 2006 at 04:41 PM (#1848968)
--I have a question, has Dusty ever had a strict platoon on one of his teams? --I can't think of any on the Cubs (even though there's been too many --opportunities to count), but what about in SF? Does Dusty feel too much --loyalty to a "starter?"

Perez is terrible from both sides of the plate, although he does have more power when batting right-handed. Walker, as would be expected, has historically hit significantly better against righties (last year he put up flukily good numbers against LHP). A Walker/Perez platoon would actually be alright. I haven't seen any evidence that Dusty has any aversion to platoons on the whole, so if he is willing to let Cedeno play every day, this is a possibility. Hairston is all over the place on platoon-splits over the past few years.

BTW, I'm sorry the posts have been few and far between - with the slow time of year and a busy work schedule recently, the Cubs have been off my radar a bit. Things should pick up in the very near future.
   17. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 03, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#1849047)
The story they seem to be floating is that Hairston had an operation on his ankle after the 2004 season and was only 75% healthy last year,

Right -- this is my point. We never heard about this until this off-season, which means one of two things:

1. The Cubs didn't know it either; or
2. The Cubs knew all along and kept it from the fans/media.

If it's the first case, why didn't they know -- shouldn't their due diligence picked this up at the time of the trade?

If it's the second case -- and frankly, I don't believe the Cubs could or would want to keep this secret -- why did they make the deal in the first place? Why not insist on a different guy?
   18. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 03, 2006 at 05:35 PM (#1849061)
I would be OK with a Cedeno/Hairston tandem (with Neifi on the bench), btw, provided that the Cubs actually get something of value for Walker. Most likely, they'll end up with minor league fodder, though -- usually a "live" arm in high A ball.


Re Walker - I was surprised by reports from the Cubs Convention that the Cubs broadcasters, to a man, couldn't find anything positive to say about him.

I didn't hear much of the broadcasts, but I did listen to Kaplan/Waddle on the Friday night of the convention (when they interviewed Hendry and Baker). The WGN guys were quite positive about Walker -- directly asking Hendry why they are looking to deal him.

Walker also tended to draw applause from the fans in the audience too, not wanting to see him dealt.
   19. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 03, 2006 at 05:37 PM (#1849065)
I haven't seen any evidence that Dusty has any aversion to platoons on the whole, so if he is willing to let Cedeno play every day, this is a possibility.

Dusty doesn't like the strict platoon because he enjoys playing hitters against certain starting pitchers based on tiny sample sizes. If there is a RHP starting the game, he'll opt for the right handed side of the platoon if that guy is 2 for 5 against him. Dusty doesn't mind rotating players, he just uses a method of playing time distribution that's highly questionable.
   20. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 03, 2006 at 05:41 PM (#1849081)
If it's the second case -- and frankly, I don't believe the Cubs could or would want to keep this secret -- why did they make the deal in the first place?

What would the fan reaction be if the Cubs traded Sammy Sosa for a minor league pitcher and an injured player?
   21. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: February 03, 2006 at 05:46 PM (#1849088)
If it's the second case -- and frankly, I don't believe the Cubs could or would want to keep this secret -- why did they make the deal in the first place? Why not insist on a different guy?

If this is the case, I'd guess it's some combination of:

(1) More poor work by the training staff, who may have underestimated the severity of the injury or the time to full recovery; and
(2) The Cubs having painted themselves into a corner w/r/t Sosa, to the point where they weren't really in any position to be making big demands.

I'd guess more (2) than (1).
   22. taldridge Posted: February 03, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#1849103)
As a Cardinals fan who respects the Cubs... I'd love to see the Cubbies cast aside Walker and the Cards pick him up to use as a supersub. I'm not sold on Bigbie and he would make a good platoon partner with So if he could play decent LF. Walker is an offensive + and would be a on-base a lot in front of Albert, Edmonds and Rolen.
   23. G A Delgado Posted: February 03, 2006 at 06:03 PM (#1849117)
Why not a platoon of Walker/Hairston at 2nd? I'm sure you all know this, but I feel an urge to say it everytime I pronounce his name.


Neifi sucks!
   24. G A Delgado Posted: February 03, 2006 at 06:04 PM (#1849118)
And he's ugly...and doesn't know the proper way to put on a hat. And he's fat.
   25. Neil M Posted: February 03, 2006 at 06:28 PM (#1849152)
didn't hear much of the broadcasts, but I did listen to Kaplan/Waddle on the Friday night of the convention (when they interviewed Hendry and Baker). The WGN guys were quite positive about Walker -- directly asking Hendry why they are looking to deal him.

I heard none of the broadcasts. I'm referring to reports of the Q & A session with Pat & Ron, Len & Bob. Posts on some blogs suggest they were united in their negative assessment of Walker.
   26. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 03, 2006 at 06:30 PM (#1849157)
(2) The Cubs having painted themselves into a corner w/r/t Sosa, to the point where they weren't really in any position to be making big demands.

Clearly, but they surely could have taken someone other than a knowingly injured player without it being a "big" demand. Either way, this is something that the media should address to Hendry -- as far as Hendry is concerned, Hairston was the second most important part of the deal (#1 being to get rid of Sosa).

Look at it this way -- Hendry could have simply taken Fontenot and Crouthers and left it at that. He thought enough to ask for Hairston. Why?

My guess is closer to your #1 -- the Cubs did know about the injury, heard/believed that it wouldn't affect him much at all, were surprised that it put him on the DL, and are only now coming clean with the fact that he was injured all season.

I also think that the reason the Cubs are coming clean has very little to do with propping up Hairston and much more with trying to garner whatever support they can for dealing Walker.
   27. McCoy Posted: February 03, 2006 at 06:34 PM (#1849164)
All I can say is the Brewers better be interesting, or else I might have to find a new sport to follow. Anyone know if womens street luge is a fun sport?
   28. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 03, 2006 at 06:39 PM (#1849173)
Minaya should be on this.
   29. Neil M Posted: February 03, 2006 at 07:16 PM (#1849216)
My guess is closer to your #1 -- the Cubs did know about the injury,

For sure they did. He was DL'ed with a broken ankle in mid-August '04.
   30. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 03, 2006 at 07:54 PM (#1849275)
For sure they did. He was DL'ed with a broken ankle in mid-August '04.

Good point. Now that you mention it, I do vaguely recall a discussion that Hairston was recovering from 2004 injuries.

Still, I don't remember the Cubs ever making a big deal about this during the season. Instead, there were all sorts of stories about Hairston missing signs, lacking baseball instincts, and getting into Dusty's doghouse. Even when he was put on the DL last August, it wasn't for the ankle; it was for an elbow problem.

I just think it's funny that they are now trying to spin it as if the main problem with Hairston wasn't an elbow or a lack of instinct, but rather an injury that he suffered two seasons ago.
   31. Neil M Posted: February 03, 2006 at 08:04 PM (#1849289)
Still, I don't remember the Cubs ever making a big deal about this during the season. Instead, there were all sorts of stories about Hairston missing signs, lacking baseball instincts,

Neither do I. And, as I've already posted, I don't see how injury excuses the mental ineptitude he showed last year. I'm disappointed that he's still around.
   32. Moses Taylor loves a good maim Posted: February 03, 2006 at 08:10 PM (#1849298)
As a Cardinals fan who respects the Cubs... I'd love to see the Cubbies cast aside Walker and the Cards pick him up to use as a supersub. I'm not sold on Bigbie and he would make a good platoon partner with So if he could play decent LF. Walker is an offensive + and would be a on-base a lot in front of Albert, Edmonds and Rolen.

Odds of a Cubs/Cards deal: 100 to 1.5

Minaya should be on this.

And what exactly do the Mets have to offer back to the Cubs?
   33. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: February 03, 2006 at 08:43 PM (#1849354)
Not much exactly but if the Cubs don't really want him all that much I'm sure they could work something out.
   34. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 03, 2006 at 08:45 PM (#1849356)
And what exactly do the Mets have to offer back to the Cubs?

I'm sure they have a single A lefty who can throw 94 and put up a 1.5 K/BB ratio.
   35. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: February 03, 2006 at 08:48 PM (#1849363)
I'm sure they have a single A lefty who can throw 94 and put up a 1.5 K/BB ratio.

The 1.5 K/BB ratio is negotiable. What's more important is the 94 mph and at least 7 K/9. He can walk as many as he pleases.
   36. Raccoon917 Posted: February 03, 2006 at 08:49 PM (#1849367)
Neifi is the new Jose Macias. A player being give WAY too much responsibilty by the Cubs for some unknown reason other than Dusty Baker has no idea what the hell he is doing. In the case of Macias is was that he was even on the team and with Neifi it's that anyone would ever consider starting him consistently. Perez did a fine job filling in for Nomar last year, but if he is the starter at any position on Openning Day for another reason other than the sudden death of Cedeno, Walker, Hairiston, and every IF in our minor league system there is no way I am purchasing a ticket to watch this team this year.

Walker either A) starts a second base and gives this team a solid left handed hitter in the 5 or 6 spot or B) he gets traded for something useful. Since based on Hendry's actions Walker must have no trade value(although I am not sure how that is possible) I choose 'A' and pray that somehow the Cubs do as well.
   37. BreakOut Posted: February 03, 2006 at 11:19 PM (#1849632)
"And what exactly do the Mets have to offer back to the Cubs?"

Sounds like they won't need to offer much of anything. Apparently the Cubs won't be happy until they finally just get rid of Mr. Walker. They have treated him like dirt all along.

That's all fine with us Mets fans, as we'd love to have him. Twist Omar's arm, and he might even give up a high-ERA AA pitcher.
   38. Walt Davis Posted: February 03, 2006 at 11:56 PM (#1849663)
No one runs "strict" platoons anymore. But Dusty has run plenty of platoons -- it's one of the few things he mostly does right. Hollandsworth/Dubois, Walker/Grudz, Choi/Karros, Simon/Karros, Snow/whoever, and (if memory serves) Benard/somebody. Some of those were better ideas than others, some of those were abandoned more quickly than others, but Dusty has pretty clearly shown no problem whatsoever with platooning players.

A Walker/Hairston platoon would most likely be a very nice offensive platoon (D's a bit iffy). A Walker/Neifi platoon wouldn't suck. At best, we'll likely end up with a Neifi/Hairson platoon which would suck. Most likely, we get Neifi as the full-time starter, which would be awful.
   39. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 04, 2006 at 12:30 AM (#1849680)
No one runs "strict" platoons anymore. But Dusty has run plenty of platoons -- it's one of the few things he mostly does right. Hollandsworth/Dubois, Walker/Grudz, Choi/Karros, Simon/Karros, Snow/whoever, and (if memory serves) Benard/somebody.

Your memory of the Karros "platoons" is quite different from mine. Hard to call a right-handed hitter who sees 2/3 of his PAs against RHP a platoon player. And it looked as though Hollandsworth/Dubois was shoved down his throat.
   40. Nasty Nate Posted: February 04, 2006 at 12:32 AM (#1849681)
Red Sox fan here, visiting this neck of the BTF woods for the first time just to say a kind word about Mr. Walker. Seeing this thread makes me wish Boston couldve found a way to bring him back as a lefty firstbaseman instead of JT Snow. Walker was an absolute killing machine in the 2003 playoffs.

Also, I witnessed him hitting a game tying 3-run homer in the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs and 2 strikes. Being at a game like is something that stays with you for a long time. so thanks todd
   41. SouthSideRyan Posted: February 04, 2006 at 03:01 AM (#1849833)
Your memory of the Karros "platoons" is quite different from mine. Hard to call a right-handed hitter who sees 2/3 of his PAs against RHP a platoon player. And it looked as though Hollandsworth/Dubois was shoved down his throat.

Prior to Choi's injury it was a pretty straight platoon.
   42. isaacc7 Posted: February 04, 2006 at 03:40 AM (#1849867)
Maybe I can learn all about the luge or Super G during the winter olympics. That could help.



Curling man, curling!!!


Isaac
   43. Walt Davis Posted: February 04, 2006 at 04:15 AM (#1849885)
Prior to Choi's injury it was a pretty straight platoon.

And after acquring Simon it was a pretty straight platoon.

As mentioned, no one runs a strict platoon anymore -- it's pretty hard to do with short benches. Also, as noted, Dusty will play the hot hand or go with "he's 3 for 10 off this pitcher". Does he do more of that than he should? Sure.

The Cubs got about 700 PA out of Karros, Simon, and Choi, some of them PH appearances of course. Karros got about half of those. Given he was nearly the full time starter for about 6-7 weeks between Choi's injury and Simon's acquisition, that's pretty much what you'd expect for the RH half or a platoon.
   44. Andere Richtingen Posted: February 04, 2006 at 02:20 PM (#1850114)
Prior to Choi's injury it was a pretty straight platoon.

Prior to Choi getting hurt on June 7th, Karros started 21 games, 7 of them against RHP. After starting against a few RHP in early April, Baker used him almost exclusively against LHP, but stopped doing that in mid-May, weeks before Choi got hurt.

Up to the time when Choi got hurt and for a time thereafter, Karros actually hit RHP well, but that eventually proved to be the fluke everyone with any sense knew it had to be.
   45. Meatwad Posted: February 04, 2006 at 05:13 PM (#1850189)
so with the way things havebeen going is it possible that hendry doesnt get his contract renewed this year, and if so who would replace him?
red rover red rover send billy beane on over

p[s a man with raccon as his handle wont last long in this neck of the woods....3 weeks left till freedom
   46. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: February 04, 2006 at 05:37 PM (#1850201)
Sounds like they won't need to offer much of anything.

Then why is he still a Cub? Their desire to trade Todd has been no secret for months now.

and if so who would replace him?

If MacPhail stays we can be sure it isn't going to be a radical change in operating philosophy.
   47. Bunny Vincennes Posted: February 05, 2006 at 03:34 AM (#1850628)
Jason Simontach?

Whatever.
   48. LSR Posted: February 05, 2006 at 03:58 PM (#1850936)
Prior to Choi's injury it was a pretty straight platoon.

At the beginning of the season Baker announced that Karros would start against LHPs and "Right handers against whom he's had success against in the past" (not an exact quote, but pretty close IIRC). It was clear that Dusty intended to give Karros and Choi roughly equal playing time.

I could see him declaring a similar platoon policy this year - Neifi would start against all LHPs and any RHP off of whom he'd ever gotten a hit. Walker would only start against RHPs against whom he had at least a .320 career BA. Hairston would start against everyone else.

You know, this started off as a sarcastic joke, but now that I think about it may actually happen this way. Ugh.
   49. BreakOut Posted: February 05, 2006 at 07:41 PM (#1851118)
"Sounds like they won't need to offer much of anything."

'Then why is he still a Cub? Their desire to trade Todd has been no secret for months now.'

I must confess to playing a bit of a devil's advocate. Although Todd would excel as a veteran to help Anderson Hernandez break in slowly as a Met, he would be better served to remaining a Cub and helping them to finally break through to the World Series. I have just seen Management teams everywhere get into a "just do something" mentality and give away true value for the sake of a short term (and short sighted) objective. (Even the Mets have been guilt of this).

BreakOut
   50. Buddha Posted: February 06, 2006 at 10:22 PM (#1852544)
Oh, and in case any of the chicago-primate-lawyers read this, I'll probably be going to DePaul law next year.

Illinois College of Law in the house!

My advice to anyone considering law school would be: Only do it if you can do it relatively debt free. Other than that, it sucks. Big time. But you can make a nice salary slaving away doing work you hate for despotic, anal-retentive bosses.

If I could do it over again, I would have skipped it altogether or, failing that, studied harder as a 1L.
   51. paytonrules Posted: February 07, 2006 at 04:58 PM (#1853442)
I have just seen Management teams everywhere get into a "just do something" mentality and give away true value for the sake of a short term (and short sighted) objective. (Even the Mets have been guilt of this).


Don't you mean especially the Mets are guilty of this?

I feel so special in a cynical way. I stated repeatedly here and on the cub reporter (more frequently) that Neif! would be the Cubs starting shortstop this year. I said it during the season, and nobody believed me. I'll say it now. This is really very simple, Jim Hendry and Dusty Baker believe Neifi Perez is a good baseball player. Not good defense/no hit, not a utility guy, but a good shortstop. That's a firable offense.
   52. Cabbage Posted: February 07, 2006 at 05:51 PM (#1853507)
Well, thanks for all the encouragement..... :)

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