Sunday, August 6

Retort from a Public Library

I don't think it's funny that I neglect to mention good things about the Cubs, simply because we all know what to expect from this website. Yes, it's been oddly dormant of late [my woes have been insanely well-documented], and while the other members have gone A.W.O.L., it is a proven fact that I am LB's resident old man pessimist, the guy whose cup will always be half-empty, whose opinions will always be knee-jerk, off-base and wholly incorrect, whose emotions will change like the hours on a clock and a man for whom the Cubs will always underachieve.

We had a nice week the other week. Sweeping the Cardinals in a series for the first time in 30-odd years was a refreshing change, as was the more-than-respectable efforts put forth in Shea Stadium against a cocky and talented Mets team. I was in attendance for that dour 1-0, extra-innings defeat, and Prior pitched superbly well.

Aramis has found his swing again, clubbing several big home runs in recent weeks.

Barrett is hitting like a man possessed.

Zambrano is pitching superbly well, compiling a tidy and effective July [6-0, 4.15 ERA].

I do notice these things, honestly I do. But it's the kind of shit that you can read anywhere, glowing reports and happy-go-lucky accounts of good things we've done. I can write in a more positive light sometimes, and maybe I should, but I like to think of my work here as the instant, spur-of-the-moment ramblings of a man who reacts to things as he sees them, not the home for polite, well-reasoned statistical analysis that the AP or can do every day without restraint. [Hence the copious amounts of swearing, profanity and insensitive comments about various Cubs players and personnel and their family members]

It definitely keeps things more interesting.


At 4:27 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

As long as you're going to be insensitive to Cubs players, I nominate Jones as the next target. Please.

At 4:29 PM, Blogger JT said...

consider it done.

At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

So, with Juan Mateo pitching today, a new starting pitcher will have to be named. Who do you think it will be? Who is moved when Marshall is activated, who is moved when Rusch is activated?

At 8:13 PM, Blogger Jim said...

8-13-06: Terry-O!

At 7:32 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Ha! They pulled one out of the hat today. Phil Nevin came through in the 10th against St. Louis. Good going, Phil!

At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

September is not too far away, any thoughts on who should be called up when we expand the roster? A 1B would be obvious, but do we have one worth giving time in the big leagues (if D-Lee is not back by then)? Eric Patterson has been moved to AAA, but he's not on the 40-man and, well, we've got secondbaseman coming out of Dusty Baker's ears. Is Felix Pie ready for even a short stint in the majors? Is Geovany Soto a shoe-in for a September call up?

At 2:38 PM, Blogger Jim said...

You guys all stink big time.

At 4:01 PM, Anonymous lazlo said...

Dusty gone.

Girardi in? I sure hope so. Either him or Brenly. Hopefully not Pinella.

At 5:09 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Please! Please! No Pineapple as manager!

At 11:49 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

On my realistic wishlist for leadoff hitters:

Via free agency - Dave Roberts.

Via trade - Ryan Freel, Chone Figgins.

Should still have money to get pitching or a power outfielder in either case. Maybe a JD Drew or a Carlos Lee? Maybe a Jason Schmidt or a Randy Wolf?

At 11:53 PM, Blogger JT said...

lazlo --

carlos lee is poison. he's fat and slow for an OF [which ain't good in wrigley], his power isn't worth the high salary he's going to command.

JD Drew might be nice, but he's a quitter.

We just got a-ram back. i would like dave roberts, or gary matthews jr. or catalonotto.

screw randy wolf. schmidt's injury history is troubling for an SP in his early 30s.

At 12:52 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

jt -

I know what you mean about Carlos Lee, I'm not really that thrilled about him either. I like the idea of JD Drew too, but he is on the list of players I don't like because of the look their wear on their faces. Still, I'd prefer him to Jacque Jones.

As far as pitching goes, Schmidt will be cheaper than Zito, and arguably has been better, or at least similar. He does have some history of injuries, but he should cost nowhere near what Zito will. And I'm pretty sure I saw a statistic saying he started at least 29 games in all of the last four years, or something like that. Wolf is recovering from surgery, but did pitch some last year and could be an efficiency buy, since the comes are only looking to spend about $115 on next year's club.

Dave Roberts and Matthews Jr. would be acceptable in CF, but I think they will both be overpriced because of having good years last year. They are fairly inconsistent, especially Matthews (though he has consistently great defense).

Freel and Figgins are on my list because they versatile, fast, and have okay OBP - Freel is consistently over .360, and Figgins is typically around .340 or .350. Also, Freel in his career sees about 4 pitches per plate appearance - that's a great number. I also think I'm not dillusional for thinking we could get both of them, and not for anything we can't sacrifice.

To the Reds: Izturis + Cash or bullpen help (Novoa, Ohman) for Ryan Freel and maybe a player to be named. Freel's only on contract until the end of 07 and the Reds need infield defense and bullpen. Also, I personally would rather have Cedeno than Izturis at this point, though I know many people would argue with me on that.

To the Angels: Jacque Jones and cash so they can go after a 3B. Tim Salmon is retiring and their outfielders are getting older, so Jones would provide pop to the tune of last years 28 HRs and could DH as well as rotate around the outfield to rest their other guys.

Do these sound fair? Would they help each club? What do you think? I'm assuming we are going to sign an OBP/power outfielder and hopefully a starting pitcher in these scenarios.

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Sweet. The Cubs signed ANOTHER middle infielder. DeRosa is apparently likely to get most of the playing time at second, while Cedeno and Theriot either ride the pine or play in Iowa. I'm thrilled. DeRosa should be a backup for Theriot and Cedeno and should play in right when we face lefties (if we keep Jones or add Drew). having DeRosa should also mean that we trade Izturis. DeRosa, Theriot and Cedeno can all play SS or 2B, as can Bynum - we don't need Izturis for his gold glove and his brittle bat, nor do we need his likely injuries at 4.5 mil a year. Trade him to somebody who needs a shortstop, I suggest the Reds or maybe the Red Sox. Hopefully Izturis will win a gold glove for us and have a good OBP next year, and I will have to eat my words, but I'm not seeing it as of right now.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Gary Mathews Jr will tank this year. Carlos Lee wants to play in Wrigley where his career numbers are high. That's usually a bad sign. It shouldn't be, but you spell life I-R-O-N-Y.

At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

That's a lot of money, and a lot of years, if the report is true. 8 years, $136. Wow.

But how would you like to see this lineup?


That's opening day, and it ought to spell some runs. This creates ideal situations for our young 2B to prove their offensive abilities, as well as for Murt to really get a chance to hit the ball. It should also mean someone is on in front of Soriano, and who's going to pitch around him to get to Lee and Ramirez?

Also, platooning Jones and DeRosa should mean we get an .850-.900 OPS out of right field.

I like it. Of course, it's my idea, so why wouldn't I like it?

At 11:06 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Actually, I think I would flip-flop Lee and Soriano in that lineup so you could Lee's OBP in front of Soriano's power. Also, if the first three go down in the first inning, you could have Soriano's speed to lead off the 2nd inning in front of Aramis. There ought to be lots of HRs in that lineup, but some of them will be solo shots, becaus the bases will be cleared from prior homers or sac flies.

At 10:26 AM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Reasons why I am dissapointed with Jim Hendry:

DeRosa is starting at 2B.
Soriano is not play CF.
Murton is likely to be traded before spring training.
Theriot is riding the bench.
Cedeno will be on the bench, in the minors, or traded.
Izturis is starting at SS.

I've voiced my opinions on many of these before, but here is a really good reason why Izturis should not start at SS: Craig Counsell. He's a free agent, he bats lefty, he's a stellar defender who will play anywhere on the infield, has serviceable speed, and sports a career .344 OBP (compared to Izturis's .295 mark, and DeRosa's .331). He's going to go cheap to the Padres or the Brewers, or someone of that sort. How's Counsell look in the #2 or #8 spot? Better than Izturis, I'd say. My lineup for opening day (with projected OBP)?

Theriot/Patterson (.350)
Murton (.370)
Lee (.380)
Soriano (.340)
Ramirez (.350)
Jones/DeRosa (.350)
Barrett (.360)
Counsell (.340)

I'd take that over:

Soriano (.340)
DeRosa (.330)
Lee (.380)
Ramirez (.450)
Jones (.325)
Barrett (.360)
Izturis (.295)

At 10:28 AM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

Should be .350 OBP there for Ramirez, not .450.

At 5:13 PM, Anonymous Lazlo said...

In case anyone is still alive: Any thoughts on Ted Lilly?


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