Looking Back

As I get ready to do some editing on the end-of-year roundtable (and those of you who haven't gotten your answers in yet, you know who you are), I thought I'd take a look back at what we thought about this team at the beginning of the season. Obviously no one foresaw Derrek Lee's injury, but plenty of people foresaw Wood & Prior's struggles. Just about everyone thought Matt Murton would have a decent-to-good year if he got to play, and opinion was decidedly mixed on whether or not the Juan Pierre trade would turn out to be a good one. Opinion was also mixed on Rafael Furcal, with lots of people wishing the Cubs had done what it took to sign him, and others suggesting that what it took was too much. I thought I'd pull out a few predictions, ones that look smart in retrospect and ones that don't, so we can all cast our minds back to six months ago, when anything seemed possible. I mean no disrespect to those people who show up on the bad side of the ledger, all of whom had some prescient things to say as well. If you want to read full responses, you can go back and see what TCR writers, TCR readers, and other Cubs bloggers had to say. The end-of-year roundtable will be posted early next week. THE GOOD MikeC: "A possible disappointment could be Ryan Dempster, he still hasn't got his control problems fixed. Very lucky pitcher last year and baseball has a tendency to even out that luck." ruz: "Jones, meanwhile, will be an albatross by 2008, but this year I expect him to contribute." Rob G.: "Iím glad they stayed away from A.J. Burnett, big upside but just as injury prone as any of our big guys." John Hill: "The short-term results, especially in Cedenoís case, may be ugly, no better than what Neifi Perez might achieve." Rob G.: "I think the biggest surprise will actually be Jacque Jones." ruz: "Sean Marshall looks like he's going to get a chance to prove some things in April, but I think before the end of the year it'll be a different tall lefty, Rich Hill, we'll be talking about." MannyTrillo: "[Hendry] did not properly prepare for the very likely injuries to Wood and Prior." THE BAD Shawngoldman: "Cedeno I think will do well and will be an upgrade over Neifi offensively." Bleeding Blue: "The biggest surprise will be Kerry Wood. Despite being written off as a waste of 12 million dollars, he will come back by early May and win 10-15 games this season." Rob G.: "I envision Baker getting fired if this team is at or below .500 on June 1st." ruz: "I think Scott Williamson is going to be a difference-maker in the bullpen." Al Yellon: "One of the distinct improvements will come from a pitcher who was on the club last year, but didn't contribute much: Scott Williamson. Just as Ryan Dempster took a year to come back from his surgery, so will Williamson." ruz: "[Hendry and Baker] will get extensions early in the season." Joe Aiello: "Juan Pierre's stolen base numbers will be a disappointment. There is no way he breaks 50 like he did in Florida." THE UGLY The Real Neal: "92 wins." Joe Aiello: "The Cubs will win 91 games." Crunch: "I'm gonna go with 87-90 wins." John Hill: "87 wins." Andrew: "The Cubs go 87-75." Al Yellon: "I think the Cubs can win between 85 and 90 games." ruz: "85 wins." Scott Lange: "84-78." Nickelnights: "83 wins." Derek Smart: "I'd peg them at the moment as an 82-win squad." Rob G.: "80-82 wins would be a safe bet." Chuck Gitles: "I've got them between 78 and 83 wins." Will Carroll: "72-90."

Comments

Is there any way we can go back and edit our pre-season comments?

Although reading the bad predictions is rather amusing--almost as amusing as adding Dusty to the list of managers clogging up the unemployment line will be.

Are there games this weekend..?

I predict for the 2007 Cubs:
76-86.....

funny thing - most of those Win-Loss predicitons, as mediocre as they sound, would have won the division!

I made the prediction that eyre and howry were terrific additions, but Dusty would overuse them so much, that he might either reinjure them or hurt them in the future. Eyre's era is over 5 for the second half. Howry set a personal record for appearance. Dusty even uses them in sure losses. It is beyond anything...why hurt them?

Chris deLuca in the suntimes today says something like if they are still any good next year.

This is all on that man's head.

Do you guys think Eyre's era is because of overuse? Will these guys hold up or be ruined because of the soon to be fired (he is worse than Jim Essian)manager?

http://www.rrstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?A...

Sandberg rips Cubs and takes shots at (yes he's talikng about him Manny) Dusty

I've already moved past this season and am looking forward to next season. I am a relatively new Cub Fan and in order to get my Cub fix between October and April I am thinking of going to the Cub Convention in January. Can anyone give me some insight. I am not (yet) a DIE-HARD, BlEEDING BLUE, cub fan but I am somewhat getting there...is it worth the trip...

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  • montgomery comes on with men on 1st/2nd, 1 out, in the 8th.

    crunch 1 min 55 sec ago view
  • from rotoworld...

    "Tommy Stokke of FanRag Sports reports Chris Sale was sent home from U.S. Cellular Field on Saturday after cutting up throwback jerseys that he did not want to wear.

    crunch 6 min 29 sec ago view
  • I thought the same. It'd be great luck to face these non-contenders after the trade deadline.

    Charlie 1 hour 49 min ago view
  • ...why isn't j.lucroy playing for TEX yet?

    :(

    2r HR on a 12-pitch AB.

    crunch 2 hours 23 min ago view
  • nathan to join the cubs tomorrow.

    crunch 2 hours 57 min ago view
  • Wow in deed.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 1 min ago view
  • FOX Sports @MLBONFOX
    Chris Sale was scratched from tonight's scheduled start due to a clubhouse incident before the game

    ...wow

    he was sent home by the team, too. the wsox released a press statement and everything. they stated it was non-physical in nature.

    crunch 3 hours 7 min ago view
  • He was scratched from his start today. No reason given.

    Rob Richardson 3 hours 11 min ago view
  • At the start of the season the book was that he was trying to pitch to more contact so he could stay in the game longer and it seems to be working so far. Contact against is 77.5% this year and it was 70.2% the year before. He averaged 6.7 IP/game last year and so far it's 7 IP/game. His actual pitches per game are only down to 106.1/game from 107.2/game last year but if he's able to go a bit farther into games without throwing more pitches and without giving up more runs that is a good thing.

    johann 4 hours 15 min ago view
  • sale's skills and insane value makes it almost too hard to have a market for the guy...he's got 3/38m owed to him over 3 seasons (2 team options). he could easily pull in 30m/yr if he was on the market as a FA.

    he's throwing a bit differently this season, especially with more sliders and less changeups like earlier in his career, but all his stuff still looks great even if the HRs are a little elevated and the Ks are down.

    crunch 6 hours 10 min ago view
  • Torres, Happ, McKinney, Jimenez, and Candelario for Sale. Deal or no deal?

    "The White Sox are reportedly asking for “five top prospects” for Chris Sale, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports."

    John Beasley 6 hours 23 min ago view
  • Unless he develops 30+ HR power and keeps his walk rate close to his K rate at the MLB level, he's not going to turn into Prince Fielder. And even if he does turn into Prince Fielder, he's gonna have a short prime. His very limited athleticism is likely to also detract some value from his ability to reach base--I don't buy making an out as being preferable to base clogging, but you'd certainly prefer just about any base runner other than Vogelbach, David Ortiz, etc.

    Charlie 6 hours 54 min ago view
  • seeing as arod has played a total of 27.1 innings of D at 1st/3rd and somehow managed a -0.5 dWAR with his 1 error at 1st and an overall positive total zone rating...he might end up even more in the shitter via the characteristics/flaws/whatever of how some sites determine various WAR values. dWAR doesn't directly lead to a WAR value, but the 2 main entities pushing the most popular variations of WAR sometimes lead to some interesting discrepancies in value.

    crunch 7 hours 9 min ago view
  • I have a lot of faith in Baez that he's going to turn into a more consistent, solid player. It looks like it took him about a half season or so of futility at the plate to figure out he was not talented enough to get away with the crazy approach he had. I think his running game will eventually have a more measured aggression.

    Charlie 11 hours 4 min ago view
  • I hope the D and bullpen show up. Cubs haven't had much luck against Davies, and he's been going well lately. A little uncomfortable with the Cards only 6.5 back--feels like they're right on our tails compared to the 11 game lead I've grown accustomed to.

    Charlie 11 hours 8 min ago view
  • Cardinals, stop that. Right now.

    billybucks 12 hours 1 min ago view