If I had a Billion dollars..I'd buy you a green dress?
Driving home from Peoria today, while stuck in impassable trafffic, I caught some of the WSCR "Last Call" show. They continually asked the question "What do you do with the Cubs?.." and would then rip on Prior, Rusch, or another Cub, and cackle like hyenas.
So, without further ado, here is what I would do with the Cubs if I was Jim Hendry. I will take this approach because getting MacFail fired is like wanting lower taxes; it ain't gonna happen.
1) Be a man, fire Dusty Baker.
So long, farewell, no hard feelings. It is June 18th, and this miserable excuse for a ballclub is 16 games behind the Cardinals in the division, and 10.5 games back in the Wild Card behind Cincinnati. Time to sing Auld Lang Syne to 2006, and get ready for 2007. Dusty was given a steaming pile of ox manure masquerading as a major-league roster, but he has not helped a bit. Crazy double switches, trotting out Glendon Rusch again and again, his baffling man love for Neifi, constant shuffling of the lineup....nothing has worked. No free agents want to come play for Dusty, no one in their right mind anyway.
2)Name, on an interim basis for the rest of the year, Chris Speier manager, Von Joshua hitting coach, Don Buford baserunning/OBP/3rd base coach, and ask Fergie Jenkins to fill in an pitching coach.
3)Jettison players that will have no chance to be a part of the team in 2007, by trade or DFA.
Eating a few salaries will not be fun, but those salaries are a sunk cost. We would pay them whether the player is here or not, and if they can't positively contribute, cut'em loose.
This means that the following players will be gone:
Neifi Perez-can't hit, can't run, can't get on base.
Tony Womack-36 years old, terrible career OBP, not someone to build around.
John Mabry-Left his talent in St.Louis I guess.
Roberto Novoa-Walk them all...Walk them all Machine!!!!!
Phil Nevin-When Lee gets back and is healthy, buh-bye
Freddie Bynum-I hear that there's an opening with the Ham Fighters...
Henry Blanco-Hank, great week.
Kerry Wood-Take your 100 year old arm, and go away.
Greg Maddux-Hall of Fame, here he is.
It will hurt to trade Greg, but even he has to realize the pain that he will suffer by pitching here the rest of the year. Also, Blanco has been on fire lately, but his "huge" week had him 8/14, with 2 HR's and 6 RBI's..and he' still hitting .179/.250/.268.
No one is that good defensively.
4)If these players are let go for considerations, or minor leaguers, recall at least 4 of the following:
No power to speak of, and no chance on the field last time up. Will he save us like Neifi? Probably not, but he is hitting .307 at AAA Iowa, wit a .373 OBP, is 12/13 in SB's
Throw him in the pen in the "I Can't be as Bas AS Will Ohman" role..let him pitch.
Once a highly touted prospect, he's battled his way back from severe shoulder injuries. He's a solid 4th OF type, and maybe more. Or maybe not, but he's hitting .311 at West Tenn, his OPS is .858, and he' s9/11 in SB's.
I don't know if he's just Juan Pierre lite, but he's got speed. His Obp is only .340, but he's 22/31 in SB's, and has 10 doubles, and 5 triples.
He is not like his brother in that he played in college, and has had some extended success in the minors. He is geting on base at a .342 clip, and slugging .426. Oh, he's also 20/25 in SB's.
Thomas Atlee/Rocky Cherry/Clay Rapada.
All 3 very solid relivers at West Tenn this year, all at least 3-1 in K/BB ratio.
I am not saying to bring all of these guys up, but some of them? Definitely.
5)Pick a lineup and use it. Minor shuffling due to injury, platoon, or resting a player is fine, but some stability would be nice.
6)Here's the rotation for the next 2 months:
1)Zambrano-He is the man!
2)Prior- 2006 debut notwithstanding, he'll be ok. He has to throw the curve for strikes more consistently.
3)Marshall-Up and down, but he has shown enough to continue to pitch. Not as overpowering as some, but seems to "get it" that location and movement matter.
4)Marmol. Got out of his Detroit start alive, after a horrendous first inning. Nasty stuff.
The bullpen, I'll deal with later.
I just realized it's midnight, and I work tomorrow.
Oops....more to come.