What Time Is The Flight To San Diego?

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W: Jose Cruz (1-0) L: Rich Hill (0-1) The Cubs probably couldn't wait to get out of the desert and head over to America's Finest City. They've scored a total of five runs in their last six games, a level of offensive futility the Cubs have achieved only eight times in the last 105 years. Truly, this is historic -- the last time it happened was in 1992, and you have to go back to 1968 (The Year Of The Pitcher) for a more anemic offensive display. The good news? Hmmm...Mark Prior appears to be over his food poisioning and back on track, Todd Walker is getting on base, Michael Barrett and Ronny Cedeno are still hitting well, and Glendon Rusch didn't stink up the joint in his first bullpen appearance. Other than that, well, criticism without offering solutions is just bitching, and I'm too jet-lagged to be much more coherent than that.


Look on the bright side, Dusty did not use a pathetic excuse for a double switch to put in Neifi.

Also, Jose Macias is hitting a paltry .237/.268/.351 in Japan. He's not on our team!

Game 27 Review
Diamondbacks 6 Cubs 0
W: Zach Duke (2-2) L: Angel Guzman

Does this mean we get to pretend it's Tuesday again and forget the last 2 games ever happened?

The Cubs offense is horrible. I had to drop Barrett on my fantasy team. There is no chance for improvement until ARam starts hitting. I hope its soon.

No recap of the Maddux start? Dissapointment makes us lazy!

Did you see that Sportcenter Highlight where KPat didn't know if the ball was caught? It was 19.3 seconds and KPat was still doubled off first. That is the sh** we don't need. It is ridiculous.

here comes your rumor warnings...

this morning's papers from all different outlets are full of cubs trades rumors.

arizona outlets having tony clark coming here and the GM calling b/s on it...baltimore outlet with the millar/conine rumors kicking...

its all pretty much there as it is in here...kicking around speculation.

suntimes killey piece seems to point to heavy cubs/o's activity, though.

killey wrote a bunch pieces...here's his 1 paragraph blurb...

"While getting rung up 6-0 by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night, the Cubs were hoping for a ring back from Baltimore about trade discussions this week for either Jeff Conine or Kevin Millar. One of those right-handed-hitting first basemen/outfielders could fill the injury gap while first baseman Derrek Lee heals from his fractured right wrist."

BigZ post from the last thread:

"Cubs, I wish I could quit you."

LOL! This must be from the new film, "BrokeBats Mounting."

Offensive constipation.

Still bitching about Patterson? Anyway that 19.3 sec fiasco, is still nothing close to the ineptness that Barrett and Jones have had running the bases this year for Chicago. Barrett has been doubled off of 2nd/3rd 3 times already because he ran when he thought there was 2 outs. And Jones looks aweful out there on the bases, very reminiscent to Moises Alou.

As for Pie, he started off hot, 12 for 36 but has cooled down substanctially. Since then he's 13 for 60 and has dropped his average down to .260. He is keeping his walks up though, something he hasn't done in the past. But the K's are still high, 20 in 96 at bats. No way is he ready for the big leagues yet.

If Jones ever was ran out there in a platoon he'd be looking very good right now, vs. righties he is .302/.345/.585/.930

As far as Jones goes, what is possibly even more discouraging than his enemic plate appearances is his weak arm in throws from the outfield. Repeatedly I see highlights of Cub games on ESPN news in which an opposing player gets a hit to right field, or flies out to right with a runner on third tagging to score, in which Jones winds up madly to frantically toss the ball towards home plate and instead Jones holds onto the ball too long or something and the ball does not even come close to the cut off man, often Todd Walker, before the ball bounces on the outfield turf and then is practically rolling on the ground when the ball finally makes it to Walker, who is standing a long way from home plate. This has happened at least several times.

What I had heard is that Jones had a fairly good, though sometimes erratic, arm. From what I have seen, Pierre has a stronger arm and that says a lot. Jones has not been a Cub long but the signing strikes me, at least at this point, as a total disaster.

Dave, that is classic, simply classic.

Looks like I am buying it on DVD ASAP and watching it all summer.

p.s. I am dreading those 10 tickets I have for Sat/Sun @ wrigley v. Sox.


I think you meant "anemic", but enemic has a certain ring to it, as Jacques-strap could use a crap-cleaning-out. I would hate to see him turn into another LaTroy, where the fans turn on him and he becomes useless due to his "hurt" feelings.

For now he does not stick out since most of the other Cubs in the lineup are stinking it up offensively. I realize Burnitz would have been expensive to keep for this season, but he would have been the kind of guy to get a timely hit or two and lift the rest of the club during this current slump.

Jacques-strap just seems to hit solo dingers, although he has not been able to do that for the last week or so due to the plethora of left-handed pitchers going against the Cubs.

"Cubs, I wish I could quit you."

LOL! This must be from the new film, "BrokeBats Mounting."

Nicely played.

MARK PRIOR UPDATE- The baby has been sidelined down in Arizona as he continues to get sick or hurt. He now has a stomach flu and might not be ready for a minor league re-hab assignment until sometime middle or late June. What a whimp!

"Other than that, well, criticism without offering solutions is just bitching,"

not to be snippy, but honestly: isn't that what TCR posters love the most?

Do you have a link? That update doesn't jive with this:
"PHOENIX -- Mark Prior still felt a little queasy Thursday from what he suspected was a bout with food poisoning or flu.

After playing long toss and then throwing on flat ground at Chase Field, he said he has every expectation of pitching for the Cubs by late May."


W: ZACH DUKE (2-2) L: Angel Guzman (0-1)

Did Zach get traded for yesterday's game?

Late May is Cubspeak for August.

It's not just hitters on the big club who are struggling, either. Felix Pie has just two hits and one BB in his last 25 PA.

BTW, I get the feeling that if Hendry does manage to acquire Conine or Millar from BAL, it would be to platoon with Walker at 1B. The problem with that is that with D-Lee out, the Cubs need all the offensive punch and run production they can get for the next couple of months, which means:

1. Damn the defense at 2B, and play Walker there every day;

2. Get a 1B who can play every day until Lee gets back (T. Clark, replacing Restovich on roster);

3. Acquire Conine or Millar to platoon with Jones in LF, and move Murton to RF (Conine or Millar to replace Hairston on roster, and then DFA Hairston... if he gets claimed off waivers, fine... if he doesn't get claimed, and refuses outright assignment to Iowa, fine too--he becomes a FA and his contract is immediately terminated... if he accepts assignment to AAA, then he's there in case something happens to Walk).

Anything less is not enough. The Cubs need more than just a right-handed 1B platoon mate for Todd Walker. They aren't hitting RHPs now, either. Until Lee gets back, the Cubs cannot afford to have Jones face LHP, and they cannot afford to play Neifi or Hairston at 2B, even when Maddux is pitching.

Also, last night was a good example of what kind of lineup you get when Barrett does not play 1B (and Walker 2B) on days when Blanco is catching. The Cubs need to get Barrett a first-baseman's glove and get Chris Speier or Sonny Jackson to hit him about 100 ground balls there every day. It is absurd to have Barrett sitting on the bench on the days he is not catching, when he could at least be playing 1B.

1. I have not listened to talk radio in Chicago, but from the chats on Cub Reporter, apparently frustration with Prior's injury proneness is starting to turn into into contempt and hatred. (I can't think of any worse name to call a professional athelete than a "Ryan Leaf.") As far as I can tell, all of Prior's injuries were legitimate and I think he pitched with a sore shoulder second half of last season (as reflected in his statistics compared to his pre-line drive starts). It is sorta funny, with all the time he took off for injuries, blisters, and missed starts that Josh Beckett takes a shot at Prior. Glendon Rusch showing up fat and out of shape, boo him. JJ and Juan Pierre getting picked off on the bases, boo them. Hendry and Hughes putting together a crappy farm system that can't produce any sluggers (such as Nick Swisher, Prince Fielder, Adam Dunn, Austin Kearnes, Albert Pujols, Jeff Francoer, etc.) boo them for their preference for"toolsy" atheletes who look good in jeans. Hendry not getting a front line starter knowing Prior's and Wood's injury history the last 3 seasons, boo him. Hendry, McPhail and the Tribune's management failure to at least try to get one or two of the top offensive free agents after 2003 and 2004 (Guerrero, Tejeda, and Beltran come to mind), they should get boo. But if a player is trying his best, or is hurt, then I don't think booing is a great idea no matter how frustrating the injuries or the talent limitations.

3. I hate to say this, what with the White Sox going like gang busters, and 100 years having past since the Cubs won the World Series (almost), but it is time to step back and start to rebuild. The Cubs problems on offense, low slugging and OBP have been building for years and one free agent is not going to fix them. Ditto with the collapse of the starting rotation. A bad starting rotation and a bad offense equals at least a 90 loss season. I just wish I had more confidence in Hendry's ability to rebuild as Melvin has done in Milwaukee and Shapiro has in Cleveland.

4. Cincinnati is likely to score over 900 runs this season (even if Ken Griffey is on the shelf). Milwaukee probably 800 runs and has 4 reliable starters (they are my favorite to win the division as I see both the Houston and St. Louis as very vulernable to key injuries because, like the Cubs, the offensive base of both teams is pretty narrow). But the real problem for the Cubs is that it looks like Milwaukee and Cincinnati will be fielding strong teams for 2007 and 2008 as well, while the Cubs, if they stay with their current core, will likely get worse.

4. The following regular players are over 30 or about to turn 30: Wood, Lee, Walker, Jones, Barrett, and Pierre, and Maddux. Ramirez, who should be in his prime, looks like he is going to be this year's Mike Lowell. I would probably keep Lee, Maddux and Barrett for 2007 and 2008. Of the young players, Cedeno hopefully will solve the Shortstop the post Shawon Dunston problem for the next six seasons. Murton is a nice player, but simply looks like he can't slug enough to be a star corner outfielder, so I would consider trading him or replacing him rather than create a "Mark Grace" in left. (Mark is was a fine player, but lacked power and if you have player like that at 1st, LF, or RF, then you need a power hitter at one of the non-traditional power positions (2b, SS, or CF) or the offense will suffer.)

5. Whether the Cubs will be able to get prospects will depend a lot on Kerry Wood. If can come back and pitch effectively, and not break down again after a couple of starts, he would become a very strong object for desire for teams contending in strong divisions (Cleveland, the two LA teams, Atlanta, perhaps the Mets, perhaps Boston and Yankees) that also have farms systems with hitters who can get the ball passed the infield. But with Kerry, there is always that if.

Wood still has a 100% no trade clause.

Last 6 games, Cubs are outscored 45-5, but only outhit 58-42. In fact, take the two crappy Brewers games out of the equation, they were out scored 20-3, but only outhit 31-30.

What does all this mean, besides the obvious, Cubs not driving in baserunners? Is the youth in the lineup starting to show? Trouble with clutch hitting? Or is it something more insiduous, like poor lineup construction?

I'm starting to come to grips with the fact that the entire Cubs lineup was built around Derrek Lee.

God, Petco tonight. Nothing cures a team-wide batting slump like Petco. *sigh*

Anyone suspect the Cubs clubhouse of juicing in past years? The extra-long recovery of Wood & Prior, slow start for Aram, Z struggling, Walker's lack of "pop"... it just seems strange.

Nah, the juice thing doesn't make sense considering how they were playing in April.

but it is time to step back and start to rebuild. The Cubs problems on offense, low slugging and OBP have been building for years and one free agent is not going to fix them. Ditto with the collapse of the starting rotation. A bad starting rotation and a bad offense equals at least a 90 loss season.

a reasonable theory, impossible in practice; as long as the guys who assembled the current team are still in place, there will be no better outcomes. the tribune extension of hendry was way, way premature. it also sets up a scenario where hendry looks like he is leaving baker out to dry, even though baker should not be extended without some serious reults in 2006.

maybe this is the non-combat version of catch-22? where the helmets get changed but the hats stay the same, and the mediocrity rolls merrily along.

I was nuetral on the Hendry extension, but the last few weeks have turned me against him for the following reasons:

1. I'm not a major league scout, but shouldn't the Cub scouts have seen Jones enough to know he is a rock head in the field and can't hit lefties. He doesn't have any baseball smarts. Signing him to a 3 year contract should have been a terminable offense.

2. Instead of Jones, they needed to acquire another big bat, preferably a 35 HR guy. They had trouble scoring runs last year. If they did this, the loss of Lee wouldn't hurt so much.

3. Hendry has put together a roster of babies. Instead of pulling together like professionals when Lee went down, they are giving up.

4. Our farm system sucks. We have a few good pitching prospects, but the hitters are terrible. Last years draft was a disaster, except for 3 or 4 pitchers. Former top picks, Montanez, Grant Johnson (second round, but our 1st pick), Brownlie and harvey all are busts. Who was at the helm for these picks? Prior was a no brainer, so he can't take credit for him, but he has other issues.

5. We needed to acquire another dependable starter in the off season. Wood and Prior being out was not a surprise. we already knew Wood was coming back from surgery. This would have spared us the Rusch, Hill, Williams, Guzman starts.

In conclusion, clean out the whole group starting with McFail!

1984, 1989, 1993, 1998, 2003.........we will be good again in 2008. It is just the way it is.

(Ok 1993 was a stretch, work with me here, lol. But the Cubs pretty much compete for 1 season every 5 years and then go back to mediocrity)

"Is the youth in the lineup starting to show?"

Yeah, that's why if we had vets at LF and SS producing like Ramirez, Pierre, Jones, Hairston, Walker, Perez, Blanco, Barrett, or Mabry, we'd be winning games...oh wait, they suck.

May I begin with, screw you Rich Hill, that's what I get for backing you. The Cubs should have traded him for Freddie Bynum. I'm mostly kidding...

Cy Young wouldn't have won that game last night, our offense is a pathetic slump. While we've joked lately about the Marlins and Pirates AAAA lineups, its' the Cubs lineup that has played like one. Sadly most of the crap is from mostly established players like Ramirez, Jones, etc. When's the last time we hit a HR?

Yuck and Petco is certainly not a place to get the offense going.

AT this point, what do you think of the Pierre acquisition?

.269 .313 .352 His numbers right now are remarkably similar to what he did all last season except for the extraordinarily low RBI total of 2 and higher K ratio. We can't reasonably expect much more from him. This it.

mlb.com Pierre stats

I'm really disappointed in Pierre. I've always liked the guy and thought he would be the spark we've been missing the last few, er, decades.

But he definitely doesn't merit getting an extension, then again, Jacque played much like this last year in Minny and Hendry gave him a 3 year deal.

blurb from rotoworld on Bynum:

Bynum started at second on Thursday night and went 1-for-3. The speedster is competing with Neifi Perez and Jerry Hairston for time at the position. "The way our offense is going right now, if a guy gets hot... you kind of have to go with who's hot," manager Dusty Baker said. "Plus he [Bynum] gives us more speed on the bases." Plus, he's not a very good hitter at all, which is always a bonus

" Plus, he's not a very good hitter at all,

Dusty Baker, players' manager.

I'm a big believer in Ruz's theory that complaining without offering solutions is just bitching, so in that spirit

1. I'm not a major league scout, but shouldn't the Cub scouts have seen Jones enough to know he is a rock head in the field and can't hit lefties. He doesn't have any baseball smarts. Signing him to a 3 year contract should have been a terminable offense.

So who should Hendry have signed for RF instead?

Encarnacion? a worse player who signed a nearly identical contract in St.Louis?

Giles? If that's your answer explain how you were going to get him when he took significantly less money to stay in SD.

Burnitz? I can understand keeping him because of just a one year commitment needed, but tell me how he would be an improvement over Jones this year?

Sosa? Who Else?

2. Instead of Jones, they needed to acquire another big bat, preferably a 35 HR guy.

Well 35 HR guys don't just grow on trees last time I checked? Who did you have in Mind? Soriano is the only guy I can think of, and I'm not going to complain that Hendry didn't trade for an overrated headcase who doesn't want to play the outfield.

3. Hendry has put together a roster of babies. Instead of pulling together like professionals when Lee went down, they are giving up.

I always thought it was the Managers job to try and keep players focused - particularly when the manager is supposed to be so good at dealing with players.

4. Our farm system sucks. We have a few good pitching prospects, but the hitters are terrible. Last years draft was a disaster, except for 3 or 4 pitchers.

Its too soon to say make any real judgements about last years draft, and right now the rookies on the Cubs are the teams bright spots, but otherwise, I won't argue this point.

5. We needed to acquire another dependable starter in the off season.

Again, Did you have anyone in mind here? Burnett? Jeff Weaver? If Weaver is your answer, please tell me how the extra 5 million dollars he would cost would provide any upgrade over Glendon Rusch?

#31 of 31: By cubswinthepennant (May 5, 2006 12:25 PM)
AT this point, what do you think of the Pierre acquisition?


CWtP: The problem with Juan Pierre is that so many of his hits are infield hits or slap hits to the outfield that just don't produce runs. If you have a lead-off hitter like Pierre, (that is, somebody who is not a run producer), you need to have a run producer hitting in the #2 slot (like Todd Walker or Matt Murton, for instance).

So I actually don't think Pierre is the problem. He is what he is, and that's OK. His main job is to score runs, and he is on a pace to score 108 runs right now. While some hitters get to 2nd base by smoking doubles into the gap, Pierre does it by punch & judy slap hits and then stealing 2nd base, which usually does not involve driving in a run.

I think the main problem with the Cubs offense so far has been a combination of Derrek Lee's injury and Aramis Ramirez's unbelievably slow start (I was touting him as a possible MVP candidate coming out of Spring Training). And I really don't understand why Ramireaz is struggling like he is. Muy misterioso.

But I believe if Hendry were to acquire a proven run producer (like Tony Clark) to hit in the middle of the order (#5), and also acquire a right-handed hitting corner OF (like Millar or Conine) to platoon with Jones in the #6 or #7 slot, that would help A-Ram get going, and the Cubs would score plenty of runs.

I don't think the problem is Pierre. He is doing his job. I just think the Cubs need a combination run producer/high OBP guy (again, either Walker or Murton) hitting in the #2 hole, another proven run producer in the middle of the order (Tony Clark or Craig Wilson, although Wilson is probably not available), and a right-handed platoon mate for Jacque Jones (at this point, probably either Millar or Conine).

I just looked at both Conine and Millar's stats and they're uncannily similar, idenitcal BA and very close on everything else. Can someone tell me what the difference is between these two? Aside from age I can't see how one is better/worse than the other. Especially if it's just for a one season rental.


I always thought you reminded me of Milo Minderbinder!!!!

This talk of rebuilding stirs my soul. I have been following a "rebuilding project"with the Cubs since 1953 now. Eventually, we will get it right, but I'm beginning to wonder. I take great hope, though, in knowing that even a broken clock is right twice a day, so maybe Hendry and His Dustiness can muddle their way into something that doesn't just look like a winner, but also acts like a winner, and performs like a winner.

It amazes me that there are people out there who think that the team of the last two weeks has any resemblance to the team of the first couple of weeks of the season, and that because we still have a winning record, everything is going to be OK. Guys/Ladies: I have seen a whole bunch of Cubs teams in the past 53 years, and this team is B-A-D.[ and d rhymes with p, which stands for pool-yessir, we've got trouble, right here in the Windy City . . . ]

Surely the loss of Lee, devastating as it has been, is not the only reason for this pathetic performance of the past ten days.

I am so glad that we spent time on fundamentals in Spring Training this year, and that Vince Coleman was brought in to work with the baserunning, otherwise I would think that Wendell Kim was back in the coaching box. As Casey Stengel asked the Mets, "Can't anybody here play this game?"

Finally, maybe we ought to cut Prior a bit of slack-- no one ever accused guys who went to school in the Pac12 of being dumb all the time. Would you want to come back to play with this crew? I think he is telling everyone loud and clear what his intentions are. No wonder he got sick to his stomach--he just thought about what he is going to be getting into when he gets back.

This team is in trouble, but we can't really decide what to do because we are too tied up with injuries. I think Hendry should have tried to bring in some starter (or at least make an attempt). We don't need a number 1 guy, just someone who is better than JWill or Rusch. Marshall has been great (considering the circumstances) Hill is either just not ready, or never going to get it. Guzman should have gotten a full, healthy year under his belt before coming to the C-Cubs.

Right now we are playing the .500 game that everyone was hoping for until Wood/Prior/Miller came back, so what's the problem? Problem is we failed in the off-season to pick up a bat. Conine/Millar would be able to provide that for us now IMO, so it's at least worth a shot. I know you don't make trades for the sake of making trades, but if we don't get someone in that lineup, we are heading for.....

....the trading of Walker and Rameriez, and building again.

The thing that will make or break our season over the next month and a half will be
1. ARAM's ability to get out of his funk
2. Matt Murton's ability to come up with hits w/RISP.
3. JJ getting in one of his historical late spring tears.

The pitching hasn't be horrid, but if we can't score more than 2-3 runs per game, it's going to look that way. If the team were able to show some life I'm sure we wouldn't be so moan/groan about it, but right now they look bad, really bad, at the plate.

I fear Ramirez has reverted to being the player everyone was warned about in 2003 BEFORE we traded for him. I hope I am wrong about that, but I certainly do not see an awful lot of self-motivation coming from him, and haven't for several months now. I know he has injury problems, and I don't want to just completely disrespect him. I hope the problems with him are all entirely related to his injuries. But I do not think for one minute that he is capable of "putting this team on his back" and carrying it through until Lee gets back, even if his injuries were all healed.

AZ Phil I agree with your analysis to a certain degree but aside from Neifi or a pitcher I've never seen a collection of more weak or routine outs from a hitter coming than those coming from Pierre. I realize he tries to take advantage of his speed by hitting the ball on the ground, but how about mixing in a line drive sometimes. Each time I've seen a liner coming off of his bat it's been in for a hit. He also seems completely overmatched on anything inside. I still think he'll turn it around but he better consider doing it soon because the fans are already starting to give him the Jacque treatment

after seeing lefty starters in 6 or 8 games in that recent stretch, how many more games is it likely to be before the cubs see 6 more lefty starters?

Aside from age I can't see how one is better/worse than the other.

Conine can actually play average defense, Millar cannot. 5 year age difference too makes you wonder if Conine is completely washed up.

I don't think the problem is Pierre. He is doing his job.
Well I hope his job is to get on-base at something better than a 300 clip (okay up to 313 now). I can't say I really studied much of Pierre before this year, but the few games we played against them he seemed to drive the ball a little more, hit some line drives. Right now, he looks like Neifi out there just slapping away at pitches. I'll cut him some slack for another month, but he needs to turn it up soon. He's almost doubled his G/F ratio so far this year, btw, a ridiculous 4.54 ratio at the moment. I don't need him to turn into Willie Mays Hays ala Major League 2 but pull a pitch once in awhile.

With respect, AZPhil, I can't see how it's Pierre's "job" to generate over 450 outs for this team. 108 runs sounds good out of context, but Pierre's main contribution to the Cubs so far has been to expedite the Cubs' defense taking the field.

Thanks, Rob.

To Bleeding Blue, Why do you limit most of the possible acquisitions to free agents. We're not in the business, we don't know who could have been had and at what price. It's possible he did all he could do, but I just don't believe it. I know of a team that came up Vasquez from the Diamondbacks. Why weren't the Cubs in on that? Benson was traded for very little, he would have been a decent 4th or 5th starter. There were other I'm sure. If you have a need, sometimes you have to overpay. They needed a leadoff man and overpaid for Pierre. Time will tell if this was a good decision. You're suppose to try and improve your team every year and Burnitz to jones was not an improvement. It may even have been a downgrade, we'll give it more time. In another year or two they will be looking for some to take Jones and they will have to eat some contract.

As far as the giving up being Dusty's fault I agree with you, it's primatily his job to keep them focused and motivated. However, Hendry has to share fault for not getting some "Gamers".

Pierre will be fine. His strikezone with 2-strikes is very Vlad-like, but with none of that Vlad power.

Mpls_Stephen: If the team were able to show some life I'm sure we wouldn't be so moan/groan about it, but right now they look bad, really bad, at the plate.

You're right on the money, ever since the Brews series, it looks like they had the life sucked right out of them.

"the tribune extension of hendry was way, way premature. it also sets up a scenario where hendry looks like he is leaving baker out to dry, even though baker should not be extended without some serious reults in 2006."


This team was built around pitching, yet none of it can stay healthy and most of the youngsters are not ready to step in pitch in the bigs in their place. The offense has been horrible without Lee and so far Hendry's signings of Rusch, Pierre and JJ have yet to produce much (it is still early though). Both Hendry and Baker should of had to wait till 2006 played out before getting reupped, and now we are stuck with Hendry for 2 more years, because he is buddies with McPhail. Typical Cubs bullshit, and we wonder why they haven't won in 98 years.

pierre is one of the last things any fan needs to worry about. if he wasnt one of the top 5 runners in the game with one of the best work ethics it might matter whether he has a .330ob% or a .350ob%.

there's a point in speed and contact hitting where you just go "oh yeah, he can turn 40 or so singles into essentially doubles over the course of a year...oh yeah..." we've already seen him go 2nd to home or 1st to 3rd with ease more than a few times.

this team the past 5-6 games...aside from a few rotten ones...are putting guys on base.

the cubs overall stats were thrown in the toilet the past week, sinking almost all their offense stats to the cellar. its been that bad.

what's been horrible is the team cant buy a homer...much less a double or a triple.

all these walks and singles are nice, but hell, even "small ball" involves the double to move runners.

if murton is gonna swing at anythign he can hit insted of waiting on a pitch he can mash...maybe he should just move down to the #2 spot in the lineup...and for all the bitching about jones, aram gets a free-pass from a lot. he didnt ask to be in this situation and no amount of screaming at him will change what he's doing, but any/all power is needed now.

TJ, Sure there are trade options, but you've got to give up people to get people that route. Who along the lines of El Duquke would the Cubs have had to get Vasquez? Arroyo is another one that's been mentioned alot, but who would be the Cubs Willy Mo Pena? Benson for Julio was simply a swap of a clubhouse cancer for a headcase. The fact remains that via trades, you have to give up talent to get talent.

Its possible the cubs could have come up with some pitching help via a trade, but even more importantly, Without at least one of Wood or Prior, this team isn't going anywhere anyway.

And I still haven't heard any trade possibilites that could have helped the Cubs offense, which is the real problem right now.

As far as Jones vs. Burnitz, Jones is outperforming Burnitz at the plate this year, is a younger player, with much more speed and yes, even better defense. While many Cub fans decided they didn't like Jones the day he joined the team, I've yet to see anyone tell me how he is a downgrade.

As far as Hendry getting "Gamers," I don't know really know what you mean there. Pierre and Jones both had reputations as hard workers before joining the Cubs. The fact is the clubhouse has basically completely turned over during Dusty's time as manager, yet despite new players every year, the team keeps making the same fundamental mistakes and has the same 'oh poor us attitude' every year. I don't think there is a single player move in the world that can change that.

Hilarious Mark Prior article courtesy of Rivalfish.com


the RF situation was static...unless the cubs wanted to try to trade the farm for huff. others tried to get huff, too...much like lugo, the price was massive.

noone's been dealing RF'rs worth a damn for about 2 years now. CF'rs have been more abundant than RF'rs the past couple years and that's just odd.

it was basically jones, encarcenon, or reggie sanders...jones got 3 years, encarcenon 3 years, and reggie got 2 years...all got 5-5.5 million per.

the only other point of upgrade for the team was CF/SS...pierre in....someone was stupid enough to give furcal 13m a year for 3 years...it took the top minor league non-1st IF bat to get renteria from boston...

the injured pitching is a 2-4 weeks behind schedule...insted of having 2 arms to consider working into the rotation by mid-may it looks like its just wood, and prior/miller 2+ weeks afterward at best.

the team still had legit starting options to "cushion" the 4-6 weeks expected until the injured tallent started to trickle in...its just a shame while the pitchers got delays d.lee gets a broken wrist and aram cant figure out how to find his power stroke.

If the team were able to show some life I'm sure we wouldn't be so moan/groan about it, but right now they look bad, really bad, at the plate.

Admittedly, I haven't seen a game in days and days (it sucks living outside the Chicago area), but I'd have to disagree with you as far as the last two games. The Cubs have had a healthy number hits and on base opportunities in the AZ series, but they've been plagued by bad 2-out at-bats. Lately, it seems that, without fail, runners on 2nd and 3rd just have no shot at making it past home, no matter the situation. So I would argue there have been signs of life and ample opportunities for runs, but that these just haven't been converted into runs. I don't know which scenario is more discouraging: not having chances or having chances and not converting them.

Also, this team just cannot hit for power of late. It's been, what, a week since their last home run? And they weren't hitting too many before that. Nearly everyone in the majors is having a phenomenal year at hitting the long ball except the Cubs. It's really too bad they're not headed for Colorado on this roadtrip to see if they can liven up a few bats.

"the team still had legit starting options to "cushion" the 4-6 weeks expected until the injured tallent started to trickle in"

Sorry, but you have been saying that for awhile now, and I still don't buy it. Besides Marshall, nobody else has stepped in and done anything. So far, Guzman, Hill, Rusch and Williams have all been a faliures in replacing Wood and Prior.

Guzman, Hill, Rusch and Williams have all been a faliures in replacing Wood and Prior.

Not to quibble, but Rusch wasn't ever replacing Prior and Wood. And most assumed that Williams would be in the starting rotation from the beginning, along with Z, Maddux, and Rusch. I do agree that both Rusch and Williams were unmitigated disasters in the rotation, as many thought they'd be.

Personally, I'd wait a bit longer on Guzman and Hill before I'd call them "failures". Yes, their performances so far (esp. Hill's) haven't been anything to be excited about, but we're talking about 2 starts and 1 start, respectively. I'd give them, especially Guzman, a bit more time before passing judgment.

As for what we could of done in the OF besides Jones, how about keep this guy in LF and play Murton in RF:

2005: .321/.400/.518 19 HR 63 RBI
2006: .370/.424/.667 7 HR 24 RBI

Yes, he might only play 125 games a year, but I will take it with those great stats. Lots better than anything we have had the past 2 years. And I was all for resigning him 2 years ago.

Aside from his defense and baserunning and urine, I'd agree that Alou would be great in LF. But, Manny, that was 2 years ago. For the amount of money he'd have cost, I don't fault Hendry for not bringing back a soon to be 38-year-old (he'll be 40 this July) that in all likelihood was at the end of his usefulness. It's fine to criticize Hendry here if you disagreed, but it's a toss-up decision at best.

As for the lack of options, I'd agree there were few. I think we could have done better than Jacque Jones though. I'd love to find out if the Cubs made any overtures on a guy like Jonny Gomes or a similar player in the offseason. Kevin Mench would be nice about now.

Andrew...trust me, if you were to have seen the past 4-6 games you'd see the lack of effort.

Fair enough, Stephen. Ah, the pain (or joy) of not always seeing every game!

While many Cub fans decided they didn't like Jones the day he joined the team, I've yet to see anyone tell me how he is a downgrade.

bleeding blue-
the measurable (offensive) stats are pretty much a wash. the number of 7 hoppers burnitz uncorks from right field is minuscule compared to jones. but the worst part is not jones' fault per se; hendry was the one who felt he needed to offer a 3 year contract. for this alone, the tribune extension of hendry cries out for congressional investigation.
you are 1000 % correct on encarnacion (blecch) and giles; one was not wanted and the other was not available. i have a terrible fear that the 3 year length indicates hendry does not believe pie will be ready to go for 2007 or 08. just my supposin'

Who's Jose Cruz? I thought he played LF for the Dodgers, but there must be another one out there.

This lack of effort stuff is b.s. It's a lack of timely hitting. Prior to this streak, I believe the Cubs were right near the top in terms of batting average with RISP. Now they're not hitting in those situations. Plus, I do believe they also are trailing in OBP anyway, so before they were maximizing limited opportunities...now they're not.

The Cubs going down with a bullet on the Baseball Prospectus "Hit List." This is not a very good team, with no Lee, and Ramirez and Barrett slumping, they have no power. It is the team that McPhail, Hendry and Baker assembled so they are responsible for it. $90,000,000 payroll is a lot of money for crap. On the bright side, there should be a lot cheap tickets floating around on E-bay come June, July, and August.

"Outscored 27-8 by the Brewers over the weekend, sending their run differential south of the equator. The Cubs are hitting just .216/.299/.349 and scoring a meager 3.67 runs per game in Derrek Lee's absence. Still, things aren't as bad as they could be with Carlos Zambrano, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood all yet to post a W, Jerome Williams farmed out, and Glendon Rusch (8.46 ERA) arrested for impersonating a pitcher, er I mean dropped from the rotation. Wood has begun his rehab assignment, and Prior is tossing BP, but Zambrano remains more of a mystery; he's just one of many World Baseball Classic participants who've struggled since the tournament. All the more time to appreciate Greg Maddux (1.35 ERA and the league's third-highest pitching VORP (17.2)."

P.S. Against Pittsburgh and Arizona over these last four games, the Cubs were outscored 20-3, with two shutouts. San Diego is also a pretty lousy team this year so this weekend could be excruitiating.

I do agree that both Rusch and Williams were unmitigated disasters in the rotation, as many thought they'd be.

Well to be fair to Williams he only made 2 starts, one good, one horrible. He had a 2.46 ERA going into that Cardinal start. Not that I have any problems sending him down, never really liked him much.

Btw, so far in Iowa he's had 2 starts, 3.75 ERA. 12 IP, 4 BB, 4 K, 2 HR

Speaking of the minors, Augie Ojeda apparently has pitched an inning this year and Bobby Brownlie got sent down to AA and Federico Baez was called up to AAA

One of the poster over at Desipio said a guy on the radio said that Pierre has gotten on base 8 times via error. The understanding is Pierre doesn't get credit for being on base for that, and gets docked a plate appearance.

So if you wanted to count that towards his OBP it would be around the .380 mark.

I am just passing along the information. This is territory with very little information to compare against or even get. And more than likely alot of luck is involved also.

Pierre does make defenses hurry and make bad throws when he is running down the line. Does he get an increase in the number of errors when he puts the ball in play over the average player? I have no clue. But I still think he does things beyond the boxscore that helps this team out, that he doesn't get credit for.

I agree with Crunch, he is the least of our concerns offensively.

Bleeding Blue, I think that Jones has been a downgrade this year defensively, at least in terms of his arm. On more than one occasion I have seen Jones wind up frantically in the outfield after a catch and end up throwing a ball that careens into the ground about sixty feet in front of Jones and then bounce a couple of times before the ball even makes its way to Walker. The balls would not have made it the plate even rolling. I have seen this several times from Jones, not just once. He may have the capacity in theory to throw the ball a long way but there is something wrong with his throwing motion that results in the ball bouncing off the ground almost as soon as he throws it towards the plate.

Manny, I assume the guy you are talking about is Moises. I agree. Letting him walk was a big mistake.

Guzman, Hill, Rusch and Williams have all been a faliures in replacing Wood and Prior.

Newsflash, no one on that list is going to replace two all star pitchers. Guess what, no one available this offseason would have replaced them either.

Second, On what basis are we calling Guzman a failure? Because he had 2 mediocre outings with 0 run support? Give the guy a chance. Marshall's first two starts were far worse than Guzmans, are you going to call him a failure too?

Well to be fair to Williams he only made 2 starts, one good, one horrible.

Very true. His performance in the bullpen was similarly inconsistent. I suppose in his case he just didn't show any ability to dominate other than with groundballs, and unfortunately his control and his concentration/nerves aren't good enough to be successful with only that.

One of the poster over at Desipio said a guy on the radio said that Pierre has gotten on base 8 times via error. The understanding is Pierre doesn't get credit for being on base for that, and gets docked a plate appearance.

BP took on this theory awhile back, convincing argument that speed doesn't really lead to more errors, but I can't say I buy it totally. I will say that I highly doubt that all 8 times (if that's the right number) that Pierre reached on an error were because of his speed. Some of them, sure.


Did anyone else read the article in scotts earlier post......... Simply a CLASSIC>

that article has yet another type of person ive noticed around the past 2 years...

the guy loves wood and his genetically messed up body with bad mechanics yet despises prior.

there's more than a few out there...i know 2 in particular who refuse to believe wood's shoulder/elbow issues are much concern when compared to prior's situation. they're ready to call wood a hero and prior a crybaby.

everyone's looking for a reason to feel better (or in some cases worse) about prior...maybe he is a baby about his injuries, but maybe pitching on a sore shoulder causing him to adjust his mechanics might cause more problems with his style...it has once already when he tried to 'pitch through it.'

everyone just wants him to pitch. whether he's a wuss or its not worth changing his style to compensate for injury due to risk none of us know.

signs point to a bit of both conflicting with each other.

he has shown he will go out and pitch through injury and he's shown he's not affraid to let it loose once he's given the all-clear. he's not affriad of getting re-injured, but it seems he's not interally/mentally comfortable with the aspects of being injured in the first place.

it was a kinda funny article, though i could have done without a few paragraphs in there.

it was funny, could have been about 10 paragraphs shorter and I hope he really doesn't like Wood over Prior for the reasons he outlined, that seems pretty silly.

#38 of 73: By samclyatt (May 5, 2006 01:11 PM)

I always thought you reminded me of Milo Minderbinder!!!!

i swapped 2 mike harkeys for 3 kevin ories. then i exchanged 4 brant browns for 5 julian tavarez'. next i moved 6 larry biitners for 7 henry cottos. and i then dealt 8 karl pagels for 9 rich nyes. and i finally sent all 10 of my ty wallers to the marlins for a juan pierre poster (currently positioned in center field at wrigley) and 3 paperback copies of the "south beach diet".
and everybody has a share !!

your devoted friend,
milo m

on cue, Moises Alou was just carted off the field with an ankle injury (so the radio tells me)

crunch, nice post.


But what did you do with your Scott Bullett? Bite it?

We all need to bite the bullet with this team.

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  • crunch 4 hours 57 min ago view
  • My guy Addy

    jacos 4 hours 58 min ago view
  • oh, another a.russell HR...whatever.

    crunch 5 hours 12 min ago view
  • Dylan Cease throwing gas tonight for the Emeralds. In first three innings, has hit 100 mph six times, averaging 98 mph

    Eric S 5 hours 31 min ago view
  • Can I get a gif of Joe West's jowls waving as he chews gum?

    /Asking for a friend

    jacos 5 hours 54 min ago view
  • my gawd...that castillo-to-bryant pickoff was a thing of beauty. the knock on him in the minors being slow out of the crouch is looking less like a thing.

    crunch 6 hours 7 min ago view
  • bless your heart. *pinches cheeks*

    crunch 11 hours 3 min ago view
  • real shame I missed this week's episode of The Crunch Reporter.

    It's highly unusual.

    It does matter a little.

    It matters much less than you think.



    Rob G. 11 hours 5 min ago view
  • four winds field is awesome. it's crazy how minor league parks have "grown up" since the 80s/90s and that park was one of the late-80s models that showed a low-capacity ballpark could look like you're at something other than a highschool baseball game.

    crunch 12 hours 11 min ago view
  • On another topic....I returned to South Bend last night for the 2nd time this season (still haven't tried either the deep-fried mac & cheese sandwich nor "The Porknado", as the drive home is over an hour and that could get ugly), and was pleasantly surprised to find D. Underwood pitching in a rehab start. He looked good -- although, to be fair, these are low-A hitters -- fastball consistently at 94-95 (if the SB scoreboard is to be believed -- several pitches were clocked in the 30s...) and with good location.

    billybucks 13 hours 19 min ago view
  • he gains nothing, no advantage, no saving of resources, nothing...there is not a cost/benefit tradeoff...him letting the running game go on around him for others to control isn't gaining him an advantage elsewhere. it's putting him at a disadvantage even if it's not cashed in with a run.

    crunch 15 hours 59 min ago view
  • And out of respect for the rest of TCR, I'm done on this. I'm sure I'm not the only one in the other camp, but time to let it go. (Until the next Lester start. I kid.)


    Tito 16 hours 3 min ago view
  • He is putting himself at a disadvanage. But how much of one relative to the rest of his game? He's not Justin Germano -- he's inarguably one of the best SPs in baseball, issue or not. It would be more of thing to discuss ad nauseum if it constantly caused him to give up runs and lose games. But it doesn't.


    Tito 16 hours 12 min ago view
  • shouting down my points about lester with "well, it didn't hurt" is like saying it doesn't matter if a guy starts out walking 3 guys every inning as long it's followed by a K and a double play.

    it's like elevating ERA and wins to a high level while ignoring what it took to get there.

    crunch 16 hours 18 min ago view
  • I'm asking how much it has hurt Lester and the Cubs this year. Do you have that answer?

    I legitimately don't recall you answering that quesion, apart from the condescending silliness you just posted. So if you did answer specifically about the impact of Lester's issue, I'd like to re-read it. Thanks.


    Tito 16 hours 31 min ago view
  • if runner = on base and pitcher = j.lester then lead = large

    if lead = large then probability of extra base on following hit > average of mean

    okay, enough of that silliness...

    ...you can read more on the thread i copy/pasted this from the last time you decided you needed to talk to me about me.

    crunch 16 hours 38 min ago view