Sunday, June 18, 2006

If I had a Billion dollars..I'd buy you a green dress?

...But not a real green dress, that's cruel. Or a corn cob dress for our friends at 1060 West lol.
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.
Glendon Rusch-C'mon.....
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:
Ryan Theriot
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
Rich Hill
Throw him in the pen in the "I Can't be as Bas AS Will Ohman" role..let him pitch.
Nic Jackson
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.
Christopher Walker
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.
Eric Patterson
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.
5)Wood/Miller/ Guzman

The bullpen, I'll deal with later.
I just realized it's midnight, and I work tomorrow.
Oops....more to come.

Dusty Baylor

Saturday, May 13, 2006

What could happen next?

I give up,...i mean, this should've at least gone into extra innings. JJ's weak throw that let in the first run didn't decide the game, but it sure let the Padres into it!!
Time and time again, the Cubs have made fundamental mistakes in all facets of the game: pitching, fielding, hitting, and baserunning. It is not one person, it is all of the Cubs, for the most part. I am not going to go on a rant aboout how pathetic they are, I am not going to rave about Dusty Baker's boneheaded lineups and double switches. I will not do thes things because there isn't enough space in the blog to thoroughly disseminate this problem. I will, however discuss solutions to the problems at hand.
1)Dusty Baker must be fired.
This year is shot. It is May13th, yes, but this is a team without a rudder, a man without a country, a Hendry without a donut. Dusty is not the only one to blame here, as he as certainly left twisting in the wind by Jim Hendry's failure to have alternatives in the rotation and on the bench. He will not settle on a lineup, and insists on plays Neifi, Fast Freddie, and other mediocrities in a rotating pile of beetle dung he inserts into the lineup. This team is at a crossroads, they are spiritless, and disheartened. A change must be made.
2) Players must be held accountable.
Physical mistakes happen, but players repeatedly getting doubled off of bases, forgetting how many outs there are, and not being able to throw the ball from the OF to the infield grass on the fly...these things are inexcusable. Period.
3)Out with the old crap, in with the new crap.
I was listening to WSCR today, and Zack Zaidman (spelling?) came out and berated the Cubs minor league system, asking who they could bring up from Iowa. The answer is very few players. However, most AAA teams are a place players go to play out the string, learn a new pitch/position, or to bide time until a spot is open. AA is where the real proving ground is anyway...
Instead of bringing up Ryan Theriot, a player that I like, by the way, why not bring up Buck Coats? He can play all 3 outfield positions...3B or 2B in a pinch...he's fast..has a good arm...abnd he's hitting .362!!!!! So he won't hit a lot of HR's but who cares??? We need people who can hit, and run, and get on base. No one else is hitting the long ball either.
At West Tenn? Micah Hoffpauir is hitting .279, with 10 HRs and 30 RBI, and has 20 BB to 24 K's.. put him at 1B instead of Walker, and move Todd back to 2B where he belongs. Luis Montanez..yes THAT Luis Montanez, is hitting .384, and has an OPS of .954. OF Chris Walker is fast, and can hit. He's hitting .313, with obp of .367, and 13 SB's. Why not bring up an outfielder that can play instead of burying Theriot on the bench behind our other second basemen, Walker, Perez, Hairston, Bynum, Bump Wills, Steve Dillard, and Curtis Wilkerson?

Other teams bring up these kind of players to fill in all the time. We choose to stick a "cagey veteran" in there, which means "someone else's cast-off" will play, instead of maybe catching lightning in a bottle with a younger player. For every Gary Gaetti there is a Lenny Harris or a John Mabry.

I don't think that the Cubs can get back into the racem but at least these moves would make the team interesting again.

Dusty Baylor

Friday, May 05, 2006

Ronny Cedeno is NOT the Antichrist!!!

Ok...Ronny C. had a crappy game last night, going 0/5, leaving about 371 men on base. I thought he he a 3 run jack early in the game, but pulled it just foul.
He was not the only Cub to struggle last night, as the Cubs failed to score again, losing 69-0 to the D-Backs.
Who else sucked? Well....where shall we start?
Todd Walker 0/4
Jacque Strapp?
1/4, 2 K's
Hammerin' Henry Blanco, 0/2, 1BB, 1K, now hitting a rather Mick Kelleher-like .087 on the year.

Rich Hill?....ugh!
4IP, 5ER, 6H, 1K, 2BB.
He just looks too timid out there
Juan Cruz looked pretty frigging good out there, with 5IP, 7K's, 2BB, and most importantly, 0 ER!
Remember, we traded him for the immortal Andy Pratt....Juan struggled at times with the Cubs, but he was, as usual, put on the trolley that the Cubs like to use...Chicago Rotation...Iowa bullpen....Chicago bullpen...Chicago rotation....christ!!!
Give a a pitcher a role, and let him stick with it!!!
What a novel idea...because the Johnathon Papelbons of the world are few and far between.

Without further ado, here is a special guest, Gaius Marius:

Thanks Dusty. Its great to be here. I watch the Cubs very closely, and the reason they are not winning is Ronny Cedeno. Last night was a bad night, but Wednesday was even worse, as he had 3 hits and a stolen base!!!!
DB: Um..How is that bad?

GM: Well..he was clogging up all the bases, and...uh..

DB: Didn't he also turn a really good double play too?

GM: Yes, but Neifi Perez could have done that..I mean, he is a gold glover after all...

DB: But isn't it true that Neifi won ONE Gold Glove, and that was 6 years ago???!!
And isn't it also true that Neifi, despite having "saved"us last year is hitting a cool .186 this year?

GM: Well yes, but Neifi has only had 43 at-bats, at 22 of those outs were line drives hit right at people....and all against Oswalt and Carpenter..with the wind blowing in....

DB: Wait a minute.....come here...

GM: No...get away from me!!!! (struggle)

DB: (pulling off GM's mask) A-ha!! I knew it...Neifi Perez all along!!

GM(DP): I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you ......

DB: Save it pal...now take a hike....
note: the above interview was purely fiction, and served only to skewer the opinions of Neifi lovin', Cedeno hating, fact ignoring Gaius Marius. I will stil read his blog, and, besides the bias against Cedeno, is still informative and interesting.
I will also continue to believe that a much cheaper, faster, younger SS with some upside is still better than Neifi F. Perez.
Let's wait a year before running Ronny oout of town, okay?

Go Cubs!!

Dusty Baylor

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

For all of you Neifi fans......

What a revoltin' development!!!! Zach Duke is good, but he isn't Sandy Fucking Koufax!!!!!
My god......9IP, 2K, 1BB...5 hits....Saying that the Cubs were futile yesterday is like saying Tom Hanks new hairstyle is ridiculous.

Apparently, Jerry F. Hairston forgot that he is supposed to be a major league player, as he is 4 for his last 24 AB's, hitting a robust .167....That makes Neifi Perez look like Albert Pujols in comparison.
What's that? Oh....Neifi is a cool 2 for 21 in the same span, hitting .095. For all of you kids listening at home, that is not good. Ronny C., while struggling a bit, is 12 for 45, for a .267 avg.
So for anyone out there clamoring for defensive wizard and part-time savior to take over at SS, let's nip this in the bud. Neifi is a defensive replacement, backup player...period.

You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE....ah, forget it.....
The main reasons the Schlubs are struggling are:
1)Pitching, or lack thereof....
Yesterday was a decent example, with Guzman giving up 3 walks and 2 HBP. He still comes out looking okay if Rafael Novoa could pick up the ball......or kick it into the end zone ....
Too many walks, not enough outs. Yikes.
2)Aramis Ramirez
What the hell happened to him? The last 2 weeks, he's hitting .222...at least he has 8 BB to 4 K's...i guess. Talk about damning with faint praise.
3)Juan Pierre
He is hitting .273 since April 15, but has too many 0fer games, and, since he doesn't walk much, too many games where he ain't on base.

I could take the time to discuss Jacque Jones' follies at the plate, in the field, or on the basepaths, but I just don't have that kind of time or energy.

On another note..screw Mike Restovich...bring up Buck Coates from Iowa, and let him PH, fill in in the OF at 1B, , etc......he seems like he can hit a little, and is fast as weell. Not a lot of power there, but he does have 3 doubles and 2 HR's this year, hitting .338, with OBP of .386.
He can't be worse than Freddie Bynum or Mike Restovich, because they are just putrid.

Dusty Baylor

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Tomorrow's Another Day?

Geez....not much positive to say about getting positively mollywhopped by the Brew Crew this weekend.
I guess a quick review would suffice:
Glendon Rusch:
He is terrible. He should not be on a major league roster. He had a few nice games over the years, but his stats so far are just mind-boggling:
Record of 1-4, 8.46 ERA, 11 Home Runs!!! Holy Crap!!!
I'd much rather give Rich Hill a shot..at least he's younger, and had throw harder than 83 mph if needed.

Big Z:
He was not good. He didn't have much today..4 IP, 7 ER, 1 HR.....ugh.
Anytime he wants to show up this year is fine with me.

Dusty Double Switch:
I'm leasving that alone. I have nothing new to add on his insane manuevers.

Cripes..there's just not much positive to talk aboout...Todd Walker keeps hitting, Scott Williamson pitched well today out of the bullpen...other than that...ugh.

So who comes up to help out this bedraggled bullpen?
I'd guess...mmm..Rich Hill to make a spot start or 2..Rusch DFA'd....Aardsma sent down...maybe bring up..geez...Les Walrond? Clay Rapada?

Any ideas guys?

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Nails For Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks

Well surprise, surprise, surprise, the Cubs snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, pulling out a 6-3 win against the Kane County Cougars.....I mean, Florida Marlins.
Jacque Strapp showed up for one at bat, but he made it count, going balls deep against the struggling Josh Johnson.

After the game, the man of the moment ripped the Cub fans for ripping him. Now, while it may be a little early to boo him consistently, Jacque is in for a real eye-opener if he puts up the numbers he did last year:
.249 ba, with .319/.438/.757 peripherals, 23 HR and 73 RBI.

Sadly, his career numbers show that his career average is not much better than that. So let's just enjoy his success where we can get it, okay? Good job last night, now put the gimp suit back on Jacque...

On another positive note, Carlos Zambrano fought through some"Cabrera-itis" to pitch a pretty decent game. If the Cubs are going to do anything this year, "El Toro" needs to step it up.

Sean Marshall goes tonight, and it would be nice to see him get to 90 pitches and 6IP, yes?

Anyone else happy with Cedeno in the 2nd spot? Just me? Discuss people!!!!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

I Write Sins, Not Tragedies

Nothing to do with the Cubs so far, but a great title, huh? Thank you Panic!Attack at the Disco, who are a really good group..great music.
An interesting start so far, and looking to be really interesting until he-who -shall not-be-named comes off the DL in July or so.
The Cubs are 9-7, with a number of serious questions staring them in the face, most importantly this:Who told Dusty Baker to try to micro manage every effing game?
God...it was like watching my slow cousin Dennis take on a supercomputer in chess.....ugly, plain and simple.
Here's a clue Dustbin, leave it alone. here's the lineup:
1)Pierre
2)Cedeno
3)A-Ram
4)Barrett
5)Walker
6)Murton
7)Whoever is stepping in for Lee
8)Jacque Strapp
Put it in, and walk away slowly....
The game will take care of itself, okay Professor(not!)

The Cubs need to play .500 ball until Lee gets back, and go from there. This was not a team poised for a championship, but that needed everything to fall into place to legitimately contend.
Let Marshall pitch, let Ronny and Carrot Top play every day, and see what we have, ok?

Also, if Jacque Strapp does not pick it up by June 1st, bring up Felix Pie, put him in RF, and the 7th slot in the order, and let him play. Screw what happened to K-orey Patterson, Pie is not Patterson.

go Cubs!!