Wednesday, June 28

Unbelievable feats of staggering ineptitude


Forgive me the steady recent use of hyperbole, but what the fuck. Seriously. What on earth can be done to save or redeem this useless club, this wan outfit, this dead donkey, this heartless crew of ballplayers? Does anyone in the clubhouse care to fix things, besides idle quotes of disgust and false urgency? Is anyone actively trying to right the Cubs organization, aside from press releases and interviews where they claim to be "trying"? What is there to show for it?

Naturally, being the knee-jerk supporter I am, I fear that several options are available, with the scant minority of them being either reasonable, logical or legal in the continental United States.

One. Cut that Meat.
My first desire would involve firing, DFAing, or trading several prominent players and building from scratch. At this point, it seems like the only thing that our front office staff could execute with even the faintest amount of capability. Get market value for the few big names we have, and offer to pay some of their salaries to ease the burden of their contracts, and be sure to receive quality prospects in return. [I should quickly point out that I'm not looking at any salary or contract restrictions while writing this, because I leave research like that to the better Cubs blogs out there, like the Cub Reporter and Bleed Cubbie Blue. Plus, it would really kill my angry buzz.]

Guys like Derrek Lee, Ramirez, Dempster [well, maybe not him], Pierre, Jacque Jones should hit the trade market because right now, they have some sort of value. There are many teams desperate for a "name" outfielder, and who wouldn't want a corner infielder who can hit for power and has a reasonable decade of major league service ahead of them?

In return, get AAA or major-league ready prospects who we can plug immediately into the lineup. This season is essentially finished, I would argue, and there's tons of time left for experimentation and taking a motherfucking risk. It has always bothered me how the Cubs front office treats prospects with insane kid gloves, seemingly afraid to trade and seemingly nervous to put them into the MLB lineup card. That's another rant right there.

Two. The Nucleus.
We have several rookies and young-ish guys who could become franchise names if they continue to see regular playing time and proper coaching [both are things I fear they will never get while in Cubbie blue].

Cedeno, Marmol, Marshall, Novoa, Aardsma, Pie, Murton, Zambrano, Pagan. Keep El Toro [he'd be the grandpappy of the team, much like Willis is down in Florida] around to anchor the side, let the young pitching develop as Marmol and Marshall have shown they can do, work on guys like Guzman and Hill who have struggled with the Cubs thus far, and let these other guys who have begun to age in the major leagues keep growing as a unit. Bring up some AA guys to start building those middle-infield combinations and that team unity, and work on the speed element of our game.

These guys, along with any and all prospects we can receive in trading away our big names [we'd be looking for SPs, IFs and corner outfield positions mainly], would then have time to grow as a unit and get that timing right. Not to mention the money we'd save!

Three. It's Time to Let Go.
Letting go of loved ones is hard to do, but if you can do it with some dignity, always take that high road. Mark Prior and Kerry Wood should be given a fair swansong [because we mustn't forget, they were good once] before being set free like Free Willy, or a wet fart at the family gathering.

Whether it's free agency, the old DFA route [not advisable, no matter how hungry for blood the Cubs faithful gets], or an under-the-radar trade, let them go. Acknowledge that it's time for them to try and ply their trade elsewhere, much like we did in shoving Korey to the curb last off-season.

Pick apart my insanely flawed logic all you want. Call me crazy, seriously, but I think we need to go one of two ways, someway, somehow: The Oakland A's road, or the Florida Marlins' road.

My money's on the Marlins' plan as being the smartest way to salvage this team.

PS. I did see the Cubs won somehow today. Obviously it was out of spite, and they read my bile this morning. More on that at some point tomorrow. Hopefully.


At 12:17 AM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

You're route is one way. Trading off all name players except for Zambrano and Dempster would mean we might have a decent team in 3-8 years. Having a fire sale for AAA prospects means you are not only conceding this year, but both years after that.

Here's my preferred route, once the front office is willing to admit that it would take a miracle to have this team make the playoffs (actually, it doesn't make sense to publicly admit this until sometime closer to the trade deadline, when you will get a bigger bang for your trade buck): Trade Nevin, Pierre, Jones, Maddux, Wood, Miller, Mabry, Womack, Howry, Eyre, Walker, and maybe Ohman and Novoa for as much as you can get (preferably for young talent that is very close to being in the majors or already here). No kidding. Yes, that's a lot of people. However, keep D-Lee, A-Ram, Barrett, Murton, Zambrano, Prior, Marshall, Marmol, Guzman, Aardsma, Dempster, Blanco, Cedeno, Pagan, etc. Perez is up in the air, because he has virtually no trade value. You build the offense around Lee, Ramirez and Barrett. You build the pitching around Zambrano, Prior and Dempster. You've got you're big guys in there already then. This keeps some bigger names in place in order to quicken recovery from the trades. This might be a 2 year plan.

If you're thinking next year, I'd say you have to look at trading Nevin, Miller (once he's healthy), Pierre, and maybe Walker. Also, Maddux and Howry or Eyre are trade options too.

If you're looking to go at it this year, then you'd better hope our GM is on the phone offering up some major prospects right now. And that's probably not a great plan.

At 1:19 AM, Blogger DS said...

I say go the FL route: Z = Willis, Lee = Cabrera, get rid of the rest of 'em.

At 7:03 AM, Blogger JT said...

Lazlo -- yep, and I'm willing to do that. The way certain contracts and salaries are structured, we're gonna be stuck with the same useless bunch of guys for 3 years or more anyway, not to mention the impending backlash from Dusty getting a new contract [I just feel like he will, at which point the Wrigley faithful will implode], meaning that we won't have a decent team for 3-4 years anyway.

Dynasties aren't built overnight. The Patriots spent 3 shitty seasons rebuilding before they went on to get 3 super bowls in 4 years. Not only that, the Yankees were extremely shitty from 1989-1994, and we all know what they did in the late '90s winning 4 WSs in 5 years.

There's no harm in sucking for a while if we at least have a plan. The Cubs have been sucking for ages, with no clear plan in sight.

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

I'm not arguing. That route has had success. The only point on which I differ is that I think we do have some guys to build around already, meaning this could be a shorter process if Tribune is willing to take the financial risk (which is minimal, since fans pack Wrigley every day anyway).

Again, not arguing, that is one route which is likely to be successful. Not exactly what I'd like to see, though.

At 12:14 PM, Blogger JT said...

Lazlo --

yea, I know. Neither am I. And what yr saying about making it a shorter process does make sense, I just think we'd get much better guys in exchange for Aramis and DLee than we might if we traded solely the guys from your list. I mean, Womack, Nevin and Ohman wouldn't find many takers, and this might be Maddux's last year.

We definitely agree that the Cubs need to do some house-cleaning [including the manager] if success is to grace the ivy any time soon.

At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Yeah, you will definitely get more for A-Ram, D-Lee, Barrett, and Zambrano than the guys on my list.

You might get more for Nevin than you think, granted it will not be a blockbuster trade. He's a 1B/3B/OF/C with power and some plate discipline. By the deadline, there will be a team looking for someone like that.

At 1:21 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Glendon Rusch will likely be activated today or tomorrow. If Marmol or Guzman are sent down so Rusch can be on the active roster, I may be upset. Both those guys have put up better numbers than Rusch and have upside.

At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Where'd they find the bats?

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Jim said...

They win three in a row, and you don't make a post!!!

At 10:37 AM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Has baseball not been worth writing about since June 28? You don't even have a comment on the Reds-Nats trade? How 'bout the fact the Cubs have won their last three? Or that Prior strained his left oblique in batting practice? Or the fact that Joey Cora, whom had words with Carlos Zambrano during a game that was but two days after the hit heard round Chicago, hit Big Z with a fungo bat?


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