Kap's Corner

The Cubs Have to Get it Right (or Left) This Winter

After the Cubs were swept by the Dodgers last winter, management was very open about its need to add another bat to the lineup.  And after listening to Lou Piniella and Jim Hendry, it was obvious that the bat had to be left handed.

Why? Who cares what side of the plate a guy hits from?

It is the same ridiculous logic that we see in baseball today when managers feel that they have to go to the bullpen to have a left handed pitcher face a left handed hitter in a key situation. Never mind that, in many situations, the pitcher may be better against right handed hitters than he is against left handed hitters. Remember Mike Remlinger?  He was brought in as a left handed specialist. But a look at his career numbers shows that he was far better facing right handed hitters than he was against left handed hitters.

Is there any doubt that Neal Cotts was on the Cubs roster as long as he was because he threw from the left side? If he was a right handed pitcher and put up the numbers that he did in a Cubs uniform he would have been released a long time ago. Yet, he was given chance after chance despite struggling mightily.

It is this mentality that is pervasive around baseball and it has to change. It is as foolish as pitch counts being used as a definite when it comes to deciding when to change pitchers. There is a great article in ESPN the Magazine about Nolan Ryan and how he has changed the mentality of the Texas Rangers and their use of pitch counts.
The Cubs have to stop using the same tired thought process and start looking at productivity as the #1 factor in who they target. Would they have signed Milton Bradley if he was purely a right handed hitter? Probably not. Would they have decided to part ways with Mark DeRosa if he wasn't a right handed hitter? Again, the answer is probably not.

The Cubs need to add a bat according to Lou Piniella. And unlike last winter when he and Jim Hendry were fixated on only left handed hitters, Piniella is now saying he doesn't care what side of the plate the guy hits from. Why the big change?

Piniella needs to go back to managing like he did in 2007 when the Cubs started very poorly and his fire and demand for changes led to a huge turnaround and a division title. Even last season when the Cubs were struggling to put away the division, Piniella had his famous "roll up your damn shirts and kick somebody's ass" rant that seemed to relax everyone.

This year he seemed much more resigned to the team's struggles. And that, combined with the ridiculous Milton Bradley sideshow and Aramis Ramirez's shoulder injury, derailed the season. Piniella is a talented manager, but the Cubs need him to be about one thing in what he is calling his final season as a manager.  That is winning, and playing the best person for the job regardless of feelings, contracts, or who feels comfortable batting in a certain spot in the lineup.

The question that I am asked everyday is "What will the Ricketts family do after they take over?" Well, from what I have been able to gather talking with people in the know, the answer is not much in terms of the baseball operations side. Crane Kenney, Jim Hendry, and Lou Piniella have all been assured that they will return as Tom Ricketts starts to learn the business and spends the first season of his family's ownership observing and spending more of his time planning the changes to Wrigley Field that you will see in the future.

The Cubs payroll will go up but not dramatically, as they will definitely move Milton Bradley and they will look to add another RBI bat to their lineup. Where that RBI bat plays is up for discussion, because in a perfect world the Cubs would like to move Kosuke Fukudome back to his natural right field spot and add a big time center fielder. However, there aren't many of those guys available. So where Fukudome plays depends on who they add.

Here is an early guess on who returns and who doesn't from the current roster:

Here Next Year

Position Players

Derrek Lee (Starter)
Jeff Baker
Ryan Theriot (Starter)
Aramis Ramirez (Starter)
Alfonso Soriano (Starter)
Kosuke Fukudome
Geovany Soto (Starter)
Koyie Hill
Andres Blanco
Reed Johnson
Sam Fuld

Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Ted Lilly
Ryan Dempster
Randy Wells
Sean Marshall
Tom Gorzelanny
Esmailin Caridad
Angel Guzman
John Grabow
Carlos Marmol

Might be Gone

Mike Fontenot
Aaron Heilman
Aaron Miles
Micah Hoffpauir
Jake Fox

Definitely Gone
Milton Bradley
Kevin Gregg
Rich Harden

So what does this roster that I am speculating tell us about what the Cubs can do this winter? They have definite starters back in only 4 spots in my opinion. They are Derrek Lee at 1B, Aramis Ramirez at 3B, Alfonso Soriano in LF, and Geovany Soto at catcher.

Ryan Theriot will be back and he could be starting at SS, or the Cubs could choose to move him to 2B and add a standout defensive player at short to strengthen the team up the middle. Kosuke Fukudome will play somewhere, and while the Cubs would like to move him back to RF they may not have that luxury because there isn't a great CF available in free agency. A look at the list of available free agents doesn't offer much outfield help that the Cubs could afford because they are not going to be involved in the bidding for Matt Holliday which could approach 100 million.

There has been speculation from the Tribune's Paul Sullivan that the Cubs could deal Milton Bradley to the San Francisco Giants for center fielder Aaron Rowand. I don't see that happening because Rowand's contract calls for him to earn 36 million over the next 3 seasons while Bradley's deal has 21 million left on it. There is no way that the Cubs would take on an extra 15 million, and why would San Francisco make that trade if the Cubs didn't take the bulk of the extra money?

We all know what Bradley can do to a clubhouse, and in a trade like that the Cubs are getting a tremendous clubhouse guy while the Giants are getting a very moody personality. I just don't see it happening. Although if Jim Hendry can pull it off, Rowand would be a great character guy in the Cubs clubhouse.

Alfonso Soriano is a lock to be back because his awful contract and poor 2009 season make him almost untradeable. Geovany Soto will get another chance to prove that he is closer to the Rookie of the Year player that he was in 2008 than the out of shape under-performer that he was in 2009. Koyie Hill has had a solid season. And while there are some people who want to see him starting behind the plate, I believe the Cubs want Soto to win the job because of the ability that he has to drive in runs and add power to the lineup.

Add in two utility infielders in Andres Blanco and Jeff Baker and you have one open infield spot and one open outfield spot in the starting lineup. Does that leave room for Mike Fontenot? If it does, where do you play him? Both Blanco and Baker can play 2nd base and Fontenot showed that he could not play 3rd base well when Ramirez was out with an injury. Add in his .238 batting average and there is no reason to have him on the roster.

In the outfield, you have room for five players and with Soriano and Fukudome here, and the Cubs acknowledging that they want both Reed Johnson and Sam Fuld back in backup roles, you only have room for one more guy and that is as a starter. You will also have room for at least one bench guy who can backup at first base or in the outfield, but whose primary responsibility is to pinch hit.

Would you rather have Jake Fox or Micah Hoffpauir for that role?

The pitching staff has four starters who will probably all be back. Zambrano, Lilly, Dempster and Wells. Both Tom Gorzelanny and Sean Marshall will contend for the #5 starter job unless Jim Hendry adds a veteran starter to the mix this winter. That rotation could be solid if Carlos Zambrano comes to camp in better shape and finally realizes the enormous potential that he has, and Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster avoid DL trips like they had in 2009.

The bullpen is set at closer with Carlos Marmol having performed very well since replacing Kevin Gregg. The right handed setup roles are up in the air with both Gregg and Aaron Heilman questionable to return. The left handed role will go to John Grabow, if he chooses to resign, plus you could see Marshall and Gorzelanny in the mix there.

That leaves at least 2 spots open in the bullpen, with in house candidates including Esmailin Caridad, Jeff Samardzija, Jeff Stevens, and Angel Guzman. I don't expect a big dollar signing in the bullpen, but I believe that they will look to fill any needs from their current roster or from their minor league system where former #1 draft pick Andrew Cashner is close to reaching the big leagues.

Add up all of the names and you have a team that should have room to add one solid outfielder who can drive in runs and potentially one starting infielder. Although, I could see the Cubs staying with Jeff Baker or Andres Blanco as a starter if budgetary concerns prevent them from adding a name such as Marco Scutaro, who had the best season of his career as the Blue Jays starting shortstop before a heel injury a week ago sidelined him.

While Cubs fans everywhere are disappointed in this season's performance, let's not forget that the Cubs will probably finish with somewhere around 85 wins. And that was with several major problems they had to overcome.

The Biggest Problems the 2009 Chicago Cubs Had to Overcome were:

1) Milton Bradley
2) Aramis Ramirez' shoulder injury that forced him to miss over 2 months
3) DL stints of Ted Lilly and Ryan Dempster

I know that every team has to overcome injuries, but the Cubs have a lot to build on for 2010. If they can add the right bat and get their chemistry right they could be a major factor in the National League. They will have Derrek Lee, Ted Lilly and potentially Aramis Ramirez (he has an opt out clause in his contract after the 2010 season) in the final year of their contracts which should lead to excellent performances as they play for new deals.

New ownership, the Bradley situation, and what RBI man GM Jim Hendry chooses to add to the lineup should make this a very interesting winter on the North Side of Chicago.   

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75 Comments

PointSpecial said:

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I know this season has been disappointing... and we know the potential of this team... but we're not talking about a season where the Cubs ended up 17 games below .500. With 7 games, to play, they're 81-74, and while it's mathematically possible for them to end 81-81, they probably will be closer to 84-74. That isn't great... but when you think about the fact that the Cubs played exactly .500 ball without ARam (39-39) and they're 42-35 with him. If you extrapolate that over the entire season and atone for the fact that he likely wasn't 100% right after coming back then the Cubs are 88-67... and in the hunt in both the division and the wildcard. During the 50 game stretch that ARam was out... the Cubs went 23-27... and lost 17 games by 1 or 2 runs. When your most prolific run producer is out, it's going to hurt your offense... Lou can say all he wants that he needs another bat, but he needs all of the bats he HAS for the whole year! ARam would be 3rd in the league right now in RBI if he hadn't gotten injured. And this is all with the Bradley debacle... even though Milton hadn't done all that poorly in the second half, especially in the #2 spot.

cc002600 said:

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Hey Kap, how about this guy for an RBI bat ? Derosa.

He shouldn't cost a ton, and than you don't have to worry about spending a lot of money on an OF'er to fill the RBI need, after we get rid of Milty.

Having a second baseman drive that can potentially drive in 90-100 runs would be huge.


Any chance of that happening ?

Like you said, most of the free agent options out there are not very appealling, but Dero would be great fit again.

IrishYeti said:

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Yea. The Cubs need a guy who's posted this line this year:
.254/.324/.442/.766.. and since joining the Cardinals: .234/.301/.423/.724

This Mark DeRosa love really needs to stop. It's dumb as hell. He's not even an offensive improvement over Milton Bradley. And this whole thing of "RBI guy" is retarded as well. What people should really be saying is "run producer". That encompasses more things. You would need to look at OBP, OPS, or wRC. Things like RBIs are skewed because it doesn't necessarily give an indicator of how good a player has been, because if no one's on base, then they can't get RBIs. An RBI is a team stat more than an individual stat.

IrishYeti said:

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Also, what indication do you have that shows DeRosa could drive in 90-100 runs? The fact that in his fulltime playing career (9 yrs), he's averaged under 50 RBIs per season? Or is it that he has reached 80 ONCE in his career? I'm just curious.

wee-wo said:

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Let start off by saying you are the best Kap.. just wondering if you think this could work. we trade Jake Fox Sean Marshall and a couple of minoe leauge pitchers ( justin berg and jeff stevens ) for Brian Roberts and there is our leadoff guy for next year of course we would first have to find a taker for M.Bradley I would take one year of pat burrell

mytake said:

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Good blog Kap-one place I disagree and most will probably think I am way off base. Here goes-I like Heilman over Guzman and here is why. Heilman has been their all season and takes the ball when asked-ready to go period! Angel was super mostly when he pitched, was superior to Heilman, but his injuries prevented him from being reliable-as in past years. I also like Caridad! He is a keeper. Marshall is ok-but better as a starter imo-but Gorzelanny throws harder and wins my vote. Also, I take Jake Fox over Micah because he hits with power and can play third and catch, along with first and the outfield. Jury is still out on Jeff Baker as a starter-where has he started for any other teams? He was a good trade though, and is a better than average back-up for 2nd or 3rd. Blanco would get my vote as a starter, if needed, because of his defense. Basically, Kap your review is right on target! Go Cubbies in 2010.

cc002600 said:

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Irish,
The only thing that is retarded is you. You should be a politician, because your "spin" is hilarious.

First off, anyone that says Dero was not much better than Bradley this year has to be on some type of drug. Are you kidding ?

Secondly, If you are going to look objectively at Dero's career production, you have to start with 2006 and forward, since that's when he became a starter. In those 4 years, he averaged 17 HR's, 78 RBI's, .290 BA, .360 OBP. Is that enough of a "run producer" for you, genuis ? AND OH BY THE WAY, he plays 2nd base, which is not traditionally an HR/RBI position, which is a huge benefit. Ok, maybe asking for 90-100 RBI's is a bit much, but certainly not 80-90. Shoot me. And don't forget, he's been playing with a bad wrist this year. Try swinging a bat with bad wrist, not real fun.

Thirdly, he is a clubhouse leader. If you don't think that removing Derosa and adding Bradley to that clubhouse this year was a huge negative effect, you are REALLY blind.

And the other point is that he shouldn't cost a ton. I ma sure he would take a discount to come back to cubs.

There aren't alot of options out there. If you would rather have the great Jeff Baker or Mike Fontenot at 2B, than God Bless, but not me.

I wouldn't mind Orlando Hudson. or Derosa.

And OBP is a nice stat, but its not the be-all end-all. Bradley had a great OBP this year, and how'd that work for us ? So please stop with your whining about what a "run producer" is. There is NO comparison between Derosa and Bradley. That's just stupid.

oog of ulams said:

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Good arguments all around. "You must be on drugs" was the most informative here. But declaring DeRosa a clubhouse leader was pretty close. After all, cc002600 clearly was in the clubhouse with the guy, so he would know.

That OBP worked pretty well, btw. Especially when the Cubs briefly overtook first place. But enough with those individual stats. RBI and wins, that's where the truth is.

IrishYeti said:

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http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/b/bradlmi01.shtml#2006-2009-sum:batting_standard
2006-2009 seems to be the years of choice, so I'll go with that: MB: .289/.398/.483/.881. Much better than DeRosa's line. He averaged just about the same HR's and like I said, RBIs are more of a team stat because a player's individual RBI totals are contingent on where they bat in the order, and how often those in front of them get on base. I think it's common knowledge that the Cub offense struggled this year, so I think DeRosa would have struggled to get 50-60 RBIs.

Thirdly, he is a clubhouse leader. If you don't think that removing Derosa and adding Bradley to that clubhouse this year was a huge negative effect, you are REALLY blind.

Sorry, I didn't realize I was talking to a guy who saw the Cubs clubhouse everyday and saw how MB's assholeness made his entire team suck.

IrishYeti said:

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I kinda got faced by oog there. I had the reply thing up and waiting for lunch to make my response. Oog, I accept my CLUBHOUSEFACE

*dan bradley said:

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Is there a stat for being versitile? Because DeRo's versatility is really the biggest part of his value, i think (especially on a team where ARam gets hurt every year.. with Baker backing him up this might be a decent 2B tandem). That said, he's going to cost more than people estimate, I think. Although he might be more inclined to re-sign with the Cubs, who he liked playing for.

And no Irish, the talk won't go away - DeRo or anybody else, free agent second basemen are ALL going to be talked about where the Cubs are concerned.

TracyT said:

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After dumping Milton Bradley and his entire salary for a couple of young players that will help down the road, the Cubs should trade Soriano to the AL, trade Zambrano for Roy Haladay, sign Matt Holliday to play left and trade for Ichiro and have him play right.

Okay, now let's be realistic:

— Bradley goes and Cubs eat much of his salary. They get someone in return, probably a couple of minor leaguers that won't have much impact

— Shore up the infield. Theriot has a decent bat, but I wouldn't mind him going to second. Baker, Miles, Fontennot, Blanco?...meh.

—Be creative and make a TRADE. See what you can do with a package of Wells, Gorzellany, Sean Marshall, Jake Fox.

—Do not sign anybody this offseason. This means you, Jimbo, Do what the Cardinals did and wait until the trading deadline and pick up a guy who is in his playing for his next contract.

—Ricketts takes the helm and immediately starts accessing this team. He should either hire a VP-type guy who will keep Hendry in check or an outside consultant who will give him the straight talk. Ricketts must make his mark quickly, either going for broke and bringing in a superstar at the right time via a blockbuster trade or a significant salary jump OR cutting bait and dismantling this organization from top down.

hjb4971 said:

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Next year's team suggestions:

The keys are getting another hitting infielder, a hitting outfielder, a starter, and a real closer like Heath Bell.

Keep: Lee, Baker, Theriot,Ramirez, Soriano, Soto, Hill, Fuld, Fukadome, Fox

Maybe: Fontenout, Johnson

Keep Pitchers: Zambrano, Lilly, Dempster, Wells, Marshall,Gorzelanny,Caridad,Guzman, Grabow,Marmol, 3 more

Maybe Pitchers: Harden, Smardzja, Stevens

Get rid of: Bradley, Heilman, Miles, Hoffpauir, Gregg, Blanco

Try to Acquire: Guerro, DeRosa, Holliday, Tejada, Abreu,
Try for Pitchers: Halladay, Marquis, HEATH BELL-closer

JF said:

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The Rangers don't have alot of high salaried players, but they might want to trade the ones they do have. Michael Young would have to approve a trade and agree to play second base. He can sub at SS and play third when Ramirez is rested or injured, and he can take over at 3rd in case Ramirez flies the coup after the 2010 season. If they can afford him, they should try to get him.

The team currently doesn't have enough run producers period. Some of the fixtures on the team, who happen to be righthanded hitters, don't hit righthanded pitching well enough or consistently enough, and that is where the mistaken notion of having to have a lefty run producer came from. They just need a run producer, actually two, who can hit righthanded pitchers.

JobbaJibba said:

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Hey Kap, any thoughts on the fact that Jason Marquis is about to be left off the Colorado Rockies' playoff roster? I believe that makes it 2 out of the last 3yrs no? How come you're not blogging about that? I thought you and Stone thought he was so awesome?

David Kaplan said:

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Jobba, whether or not he makes the playoff roster and the speculation is that he will is not the point. The point is that the Cubs paid 5 million dollars to rid themselves of a guy who will win 15-16 games and that is a practice that has to stop. They keep paying to get rid of guys. From Sosa to Barrett to Marquis to Bradley. They cannot keep paying guys to play for other teams. And your Marquis bashing doesn't hold water because he is still tied for 4th best in the NL in wins.

JobbaJibba said:

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Actually, Kap, that is exactly the point. WINS ARE MEANINGLESS. How can you possibly hold a job as a sports analyst or commentator and continue to hold Ws are the barometer for a quality pitcher? Are you serious???? Kevin Tapani won 19 games in 1998...but guess what Kap! He was NOT GOOD. He had an almost 5ERA.

Marquis has been AWFUL since the break. There's a reason why Colorado wants him off the playoff roster...HE STINKS. He's been terrible for the better part of 2 months now. I can give a rats ass if he wins 25 games, if he can't pitch effectively...guess what? He stinks. Marquis has been protected by his offense. Not his quality pitching.

IrishYeti said:

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I admire you, sir.

David Kaplan said:

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I understand your point regarding using wins as the be all and end all but you have to admit that when you look at how many innings he has thrown, the fact that he is not a DL candidate every year, and the fact that the Cubs are paying the Rockies to have him, it is a ridiculous concept. You can dog Marquis all you want but the guy does take the ball every fifth day and he keeps his mouth shut.

Karry Ling said:

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The Cubs starting pitchers have the lowest ERA in the NL. So what, exactly was keeping Marquis going to accomplish? Paying him to pitch for somebody else was not the problem. Not getting back someone useful, or at least using the modest savings to bring in someone useful was the problem.

And people really have to stop pining for DeRosa. The Cubs traded him because they felt he wasn't a good defensive second baseman, they thought (wrongly) that Fontenot would give them the same offense with the advantage of batting lefty, and they got three pretty good pitchers back for him.
He's been awful since he got to the Cardinals, and two teams have thought so much of his defense at second that he's played ONE INNING there this year. It's not like the Cardinals have an outfielder playing second or anything...
oh, that's right, they do.

JobbaJibba said:

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Wow. haha...WOW. Hey Kap...do you remember when Lou had to tell Marquis to shut up last year? Because Marquis was bitching about being a bullpen candidate? Did you forget that? I got a great idea Kap! I hope the Cubs go out and sign Livan Hernandez and Shawn Estes while you're at it. They both "take the ball every fith day and keep their mouth shut", but god knows you'll be wishing they weren't taking the ball every 5th day.

I agree that the Cubs need to stop paying players to skip town. But they saved money on trading Marquis...albeit not a ton of cash...so isn't that a good thing? No Marquis and a few million saved. Doesn't sound like a horrible thing to me...ESPECIALLY when you factor in that he'd have to pitch for the Cubs.

JobbaJibba said:

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And actually you don't understand the point that Ws are meaningless. Cause, well ya know...you keep bringing it up in arguments. I know, it's ok...Stone does too. Cut from the same cloth.

David Kaplan said:

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I keep bringing it up? Maybe I do sometimes but you definitely want everyone to know how meaningless you think it is when your guy Big Z is getting rocked. Oh wait, he had a good start last Friday so that must mean he is back to being an ace. At least in your world.

JobbaJibba said:

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Hey Kap, I don't think I mentioned Zambrano once here did I? I did a search function just now...nope...not a mention. Please don't put words in my mouth. I'm simply stating that your analysis is flawed, and quite frankly for someone that is an "analyst" is very poor.

Hey, Kap...so by your brilliant analysis, Greinke gets shafted as the AL Cy Young right? Because he's short on Ws?

And yes, you do keep bringing it up. You and your homeboy Steve Stone.

I also like how you dodged the fact that Marquis isn't the golden boy you claim. He bitched, he whined, he complained, and he pouted when left off the playoff roster in 2007. But hey, why bother doing some research or simply google things.

JobbaJibba said:

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Kaplan by your analysis, Scott Feldman (17-6, 3.90ERA) > Zack Greinke (16-8, 2.06ERA)....and that's laughable.

David Kaplan said:

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BTW, I love the picture. Thanks for the pub. I now have it as the wallpaper on my computer. You da man!

backslap said:

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Kap: WHEN are you going to have Lou Pinella on your show. You have been pretty critical of him this year so I would like to hear you ask him point blank your concerns and questions. If he has been on recently I apologize but I have not heard him on your show in a long time.

JobbaJibba said:

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Dodging my points once again are we Kap?

*dan bradley said:

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Your argument over Marquis is pointless, Jobba. He's a fifth starter, and fifth starters that can hit, run the bases, and get some W's (meaningless or not) are few and far between. I don't think it's a coincidence that he's been on a winning team EVERY year of his career. (And for all the clamoring in this town for Dunn.. or as i call him "Soriano #2".. he has NOT.)

There are reasons for all these things. Wins are not arbitrary. Baseball is a team sport. Sometimes a player's value to the team cannot be put into statistics (ex. DeRosa vs Milton Bradley).

I know you'd love to think of them this way, but players are NOT machines. They are human beings. There aren't statistics for everything.

IrishYeti said:

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He's been on a winning team, but he's rarely on the playoff roster. So, he's more just lucky to have been on said winning team

*dan bradley said:

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who the hell gets "lucky" that often?

*dan bradley said:

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honestly, Lilly and Marquis were pitching the best at the end of 08. If Lou'd gone by that, they should have been 1-2 in the playoffs.

Karry Ling said:

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Marquis was 2-2 with a 4.56 ERA in September and October last year with more hits than innings pitched and more walks than strikeouts.

Karry Ling said:

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Anybody who played with the Yankees from 1997-2007, or anybody who played with the Braves from 1992-2005.

JobbaJibba said:

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Just like Kap, you're not addressing my points.

I also DON'T think it's a coincidence that Marquis has been left off of a team's playoff roster for 2 of the last 3 years, and is about to be 3 of the last 4yrs. Do you?

Gorzelanny is a 5th starter for the Cubs in 09, why aren't we clamoring for him to return as the 5th starter in 2010? He's been decent? He eats innings?

cc002600 said:

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Irish,
I cannot believe anyone could defend Bradley, but somehow you do. Since you are so big on stats, let me ask you this. In your world, since RBI's are misleading because its dependent on the team, than what are your feeling on Bradley's stellar .205 BA with runners in scoring postion ? Is that the team's fault too ? LOL

And where did you study math ? from 2006-2009 Bradley's average HR / RBI were 15 & 52. Not even close to Derosa. THAT IS PATHETIC for a guy batting in the middle of the order. And oh by the way, he plays a corner OF postion, where your power guys are supposed to be, Derosa plays 2B. And derosa knows how many out there are every inning.

And you said the cubs offense struggled thsi year and Derosa would only have gotten 50-60 RBI's. LMAO !!!!

Did you ever stop and think that maybe the cubs offense "struggled" becuase BRADLEY SUCKED !! and Soriano !

You think its a coincidence that they are playing their best baseball since they suspended him ? I don't.

And no, I'm not in the clubhouse, but did you see any one of the players come to his defense after he got suspended ? Not one ! The silence was deafening. Please, the guy is a cancer.

There's a reason he's been on 7 teams in 9 years. (soon to be 8)

You are funny.

Karry Ling said:

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Did you suffer some sort of head trauma?

Yeti isn't defending the Bradley acquisition, he's pointing out how similar his numbers were this year to your beloved Mark DeRosa, and every time he does you go on a rant about how much Bradley sucks.

You do realize that only goes to support his argument and not yours, right?

Karry Ling said:

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Oh, and DeRosa has now played on four teams in the last six years. Soon to be five.

And I'm not defending Bradley either. He was a selfish punk who couldn't handle any kind of scrutiny or expectations. Just pointing out that you have no idea how to successfully frame an argument.

cc002600 said:

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Well, I'm not sure what you are looking at but my argument is obvious. Their numbers are NOT similar. Maybe I'm missing something but Bradley's avg HR / RBI is 15/52 and Derosa is 17/78. And please don't tell me that Bradley has a high OBP, becuase I really don't care, so does Derosa. If your idea of a good player is someone who does nothing other than draw a lot of walks, then you don't understand baseball.

And comparing the fact that Derosa has played on 5 teams in 6 years to Bradley is just asinine. We all know that Bradley has been on 7 teams in 9 years becuase he's a cancer. Derosa is not.

So if his only argument is that Bradley's numbers are similar to Derosa's, but we all know that Derosa is MUCH better player when you consider the whole package, what is the point ?

I think YOU have suffered from head trauma.

oog of ulams said:

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Don't tell me about a very important statistic, because I don't care! Neither does DeRosa.

That has got to be some of the funniest shit I've ever read.

I'm glad to know that you at least admit that you're pulling shit out of your ass. "becuase he's a cancer. Derosa is not." You don't know if DeRosa's a cancer! Oh lord.

JobbaJibba said:

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Good poitn Ulams...you don't know if DeRosa porking everyone's wives. At the same time. This is possible since DeRosa is almighty and has 40 penises and can bone all their wives simultaneously.

DeRosa can also cure cancer simply with his handsome smile.

Karry Ling said:

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Thanks for proving that you are a complete dope. As if there was any doubt.

Let's go through this one more time.

Yeti mocked you for your DeRosa love. He pointed out that as terrible as Milton Bradley was, he still outproduced your mancrush. He was using that as a way to point out how bad DeRosa has been, not how good Bradley has been.

Every time you try to disprove that point, you fail. Mark DeRosa has had a bad year.

You pointed out how many teams Bradley has played on in nine years. That point was completely irrelevant to the argument (which was--I'll remind you again--that Bradley sucked this year, just not as much as DeRosa). To illustrate how little that means, I pointed out that your boyfriend has played on four teams in six years.

In your last poorly written missive, you said that I'd just throw some meaningless stat like on base average to prove Milton was better. I quote "And please don't tell me that Bradley has a high OBP, because I really don't care, so does Derosa [sic]."

Bradley's OBP - .378
DeRosa's OBP with St. Louis - .291

"If your idea of a good player is someone who does nothing other than draw a lot of walks, then you don't understand baseball."

Again (apparently you need a lot of reiteration), the argument is that Bradley had a bad year, but that DeRosa's was worse. This statement does not help your argument.

And about that? Walks aren't bad. Walks are good. Walks are freakin' awesome. You know why? Because they're not outs. Batters who appear at the plate and do not create an out for themselves or a baserunner have done a good thing. Offensive baseball comes down to two things, getting on base, and scoring runs. That's it. Everything else is an attempt to do those two things.

Bradley's problem was not that he walked too much. That's completely asinine. There are about 400 things you could have pointed out about Milton Bradley that would have helped your argument, and you picked one of about three things that would have hurt it.

You sir, have some sort of gift.

David Kaplan said:

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Karry (or should I say Andy): You make some valid points about DeRosa's play with the Cardinals. It certainly has not been at the level that it was last year or during his time with the Cleveland Indians. However, he has been dealing with a wrist injury which has had some effect on his numbers with the Cardinals. However, you say that Bradley had a bad year year but DeRosa's was worse? How? 23 HR's to 12? 78 RBI's to 40? I'll give you his .257 batting avg. to DeRosa's .250. And yes Milton has a higher OBP and OPS (.775) to .754 but has DeRosa ripped apart a clubhouse like Milton did? BTW, I am enjoying your Bears coverage on Desipio.

Karry Ling said:

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Andy who? You mean the guy you and Greenfi banned from commenting? How could it be him?

David Kaplan said:

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Good point Karry. :)

Bad Kermit said:

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So, DeRosa gets a pass for playing with a bad wrist, but Soriano doesn't get a pass for playing with a bad knee? That seems completely fair.

David Kaplan said:

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Solid point Bad Kermit!

melissa said:

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At any point will you come to realize that RBI are a team driven stat? You keep using RBI to praise or deride players and it really says very little about a player's ability or value. You needn't be versed in advanced metrics to understand this concept.

melissa said:

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Kap,
You asked, "has DeRosa ripped apart a clubhouse like Milton did?" You tell us. Was DeRo one of the morons that took baseball bats to the water pipes in the Dodgers' clubhouse after the Cubs lost in the 08 playoffs?

cc002600 said:

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Wow.

Dude, Grow up.

*dan bradley said:

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You guys are really trying not to look at things as they are, arent you?

It's very obvious that Bradley has been on so many teams because he IS a cancer (and as a cancer survivor, i wish we all could come up with another term), otherwise, why would Texas not have re-signed him? It's also very obvious from his dealing with the media's alone that DeRosa is a decent guy. Banging wives or not- at least he wasnt obvious about it. You can see that his clubhouse hopping is determined by his value: signed as a free-agent with the cubs, traded to cut money, traded again beacause that team sucked.

You guys can interpret "statistics" however you want to see them. But at some point you have to get real, guys. Because you're just making this conversation stupid.

*dan bradley said:

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you can be tired of DeRosa talk, that's fine - but if you're going to, because of that, start viewing his trade as something that WASN'T dumb, in which we DID get back equal or greater value and DID move the team in the right direction.. well.. then that's just dumb.

Karry Ling said:

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I defer to you on the subject of dumb. You are an expert.

David Kaplan said:

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BTW, the only other person that I ever heard say walks were a bad thing was Dusty and his infamous "baserunners clog up the bases" quote. I agree, walks are a good thing. Anything that drives up pitch counts and gets into a bullpen quicker and puts guys on base.

cc002600 said:

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Karry,
Oh my God, are you an idiot.

Have you ever run for office ? I have never seen anyone spin or distort better than you.

Let me count the ways:
1.) Derosa had double the HR / RBI's that Bradley had. DOUBLE !!!! Apparently you flunked math in school. Let me say this slower for you, so even you can understand: RBI- 78 is more 40. HR: 23 is more than 12. Get it ? Repeat after me 78 is more than 40, and 23 is more than 12. See if you can spin that around somehow and give me an excuse for Bradley.

2.) You only mentioned Derosa's OBP on St louis. Why didn't you mention his total OBP, including his time in Clev ? Gee, I don't know, maybe becuase he did better in Clev ??? Nawwwww, that can't be it. And by the way, he's been dealing with a wrist injury during his time with the Cardinals. If Bradley had a wrist injury he would have hit .150.

3.) What about Bradley's stellar .205 BA with RISP ? Isn't that an important statistic ? Gee, ya think that might have something to do with the fact he drove in a whopping 40 RBI for a guy who hit in the middle of the lineup most of the year? By the way, Derosa's BA RISP is .271, which might explain why he has double the RBI. Can you spin that one too ?

4.) You said the only thing that matters is getting on base and scoring runs. Great !! Ok, let me take you back to math class. Runs scored - Derosa 78, Bradley 61. Ok, a little slower for you. 78 is more than 61. Repeat after me, 78 is more than 61. Ok ? Can you spin that one too ? Do you want to just count Derosa's runs scored in St. Louis ?? Will that help your case ?

5.) And I never said that walks are bad. Walks are good, I totally agree. My point was that that was the ONLY thing that Bradley did well. Walk. Sorry, but that is pathetic, and that's not we brought him here for $30M to do. TERRIBLE.

So once again, outside of OBP, Desrosa's stats DWARFED Bradley.
So WTF are you talking about ? Are you dense ?

And I didn't even mention all the intangibles. Bradley's horrendous character and attitude are well documented. I don't have to re-hash it here.

And somehow you think I have a "mancrush" on Derosa, which just unsderscores your ignorance. I like Dersosa because he's a good ballplayer with high character. Everything that Bradley is not. If the cubs don't re-sign him, its not a big deal to me. I'm just pointing out that I think they can re-sign him at a discount and he would fill a big need at 2B. If not Dersoa, than maybe Orlando Hudson.

spin, spin, spin.

IrishYeti said:

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DEROSAZ WRIST IS PREVENTING HIM FROM BEING TO HOLD THE BAT ON HIS SHOULDER AND TAKE WALKS!

Also, I defer to Kerm's point about Soriano in regards to playing with an injury

IrishYeti said:

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Milton's wRC: 63.2
DeRosa's wRC: 67.8

Since I'm sure wRC is a stat you've only seen in this thread it, I'll point you a couple places so you can see how important it is (or choose not to see):
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/wrc-and-wraa/
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.php/the-joy-of-woba/

IrishYeti said:

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Also, I haven't fully digested your post until now:
You said the only thing that matters is getting on base and scoring runs. Great !! Ok, let me take you back to math class. Runs scored - Derosa 78, Bradley 61. Ok, a little slower for you. 78 is more than 61. Repeat after me, 78 is more than 61. Ok ? Can you spin that one too ? Do you want to just count Derosa's runs scored in St. Louis ?? Will that help your case ?

You're not that dumb to think that Milton's Runs Scored is only a product of his actions. I mean, when he gets on base, he can't necessarily control what the other players behind him do, can he?

Oh wait, I guess he can. Because they hate him so much, they don't want to drive his ass in, do they?

Bad Kermit said:

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We get it. You don't understand baseball.

Karry Ling said:

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Why would I be spinning anything? I don't like either player. I used to like DeRosa until idiots like you distorted his value, and then pined for his return.

There is not a single person in the world who would add homers and RBIs together to calculate the value of a player. If anything, they subtract homers from RBI to get a better idea of runs created instead of counting the homer twice. The only people who would use your convoluted math are you and Rick Wilkins.

I'd be happy to give you DeRosa's OBP with Cleveland, because it, too, is lower than Bradley's was at .342.

As for BA with RISP, I do not think that is an important statistic, because batting average itself is not important. Why should walks be excluded from a player's "batting average?" A walk is a single. Just because 130 years ago, the first box scores didn't count walks as a successful trip to the plate doesn't mean we have to stick with that nonsense.

By the way, your numbers were wrong. DeRosa's batting average with RISP this year is .258. Bradley's is .205 like you said. You know what DeRosa's is with St. Louis? .205. It was .289 with Cleveland.

Bradley's OBP with runners on this year was .383. DeRosa's is .347 overall (.351 with STL, .345 with CLE). But I guess walking with runners in scoring position is bad. Why add another runner on base?

As Yeti said, Bradley and DeRosa can only control how often they get on base, not how often they score once they are there. Unless they steal home.

You never said walks are bad? Let's see what you did say then. "And please don't tell me that Bradley has a high OBP, because I really don't care, so does Derosa [sic]." Which was wrong, because DeRosa doesn't have a high OBP, not in St. Louis, not in Cleveland, not anywhere.

Again, this entire discussion started because you wanted DeRosa to come back to play for the Cubs next year. And Yeti pointed out that it was dumb because he's not worth it. We used Bradley as an example of why NOT to bring DeRosa back, in no way did we ever defend the signing of Bradley in the first place.

Here's what you wrote way up at the top of this post.

"Hey Kap, how about this guy for an RBI bat ? Derosa.

He shouldn't cost a ton, and than you don't have to worry about spending a lot of money on an OF'er to fill the RBI need, after we get rid of Milty.

Having a second baseman drive that can potentially drive in 90-100 runs would be huge."

But you probably have forgotten that by now. You wanted DeRosa back because you thought he could drive in 90-100 runs. Something he's never done once in his 12 year Major League career.

Yeti then said that he wasn't even an offensive improvement over Bradley. He didn't say the Cubs didn't screw up by signing Bradley or that they should keep him.

cc002600 said:

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No, Genius, but your butt buddy said the most important stat in the world is runs scored. So I said, ok fine. Let's compare the two. Derosa - 78, Bradley - 61. That's all we have to go by.

And yes, that is dependent on your team. Maybe I'm missing something but didn't Derosa play half the year on one of the worst teams in AL ? (Cleveland) Just asking.

And is it the teams fault that Bradley hit .205 with RISP ? I'm still waiting for the spin on that one. Did Lou hurt his feelings when he called him a piece of crap, therefore he couldn't hit anymore ? Was the sun in his eyes ? Was he drunk ?

The guy has never had more than 77 RBI is his career. THAT IS BRUTAL !!!!! But oh wait, it must be beuuase all his teams sucked during those year. Cry me a river.

Please. You're an idiot.

Bad Kermit said:

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You do realize that having a high or low batting average with RISP is basically statistical luck, right? And that batting average isn't really that useful a statistic in the first place, right? I can pick a random sampling of at-bats in which Milton hit .800, and it would mean about as much as his batting average with RISP. You are further aware that you're judging Milton based on a measly 88 at-bats, right?

Unless- Wait. You don't think that guys magically get better or worse at baseball with runners in scoring position, do you? If so, just so you are aware:

DeRosa Career RISP: .785 OPS
Bradley Career RISP: .804 OPS

JobbaJibba said:

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@cc002600....please stop. This is like Super Bowl XX (Bears vs Patriots). You're the Patriots. Kermit, and Yeti are the Bears. They're whooping your ass (statistically and mentally).

cc002600 said:

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Jobba,
Please put down the bottle. I think you are getting delusional.

And thanks for the 25 year old football reference. That was brilliant.

cc002600 said:

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Hey Kap,
Did you realize there are so many Bradley lovers out there ? Could have fooled me.

He of 12 HR and 40 RBI ?
And great attitude ?
And Great glove in RF ?
And doesn't know how many outs there are ?
And blames everyone else, but not himself ?
Called the fans racist ?
Was suspenbded twice ?
All for 10 million per year !!!!
What a steal.

I never would have guessed

In fact, I think we should give him a raise !!!

Anyway you slice it up the stats, the guy is a loser. Period.

That's why Hendry suspended him and will do everything he can to trade him. He's played his last game as a cub.

Bad Kermit said:

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If you're referring to me, I don't like Bradley, and I want him gone. What I do like is when Cubs fans aren't so stupid that they allow emotion to color their arguments instead of actually looking at and understanding some rather basic statistics.

In conclusion, I have no idea why I come here.

IrishYeti said:

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If I had a choice in the matter, I'd take Bradley over DeRosa. Bradley has a much better upside when it comes to offensive production. However, Bradley won't be in Chicago next year and DeRosa hopefully won't.

cc002600 said:

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Tell me you didn't just say "A walk is a single" ???? LOL

So if its 2nd and 3rd, you mean a walk will drive them in ????
LMAO

I undersatnd your point that you don't like Derosa. I'm not saying he is the best option out there. I'm looking at it from the context of the cubs situation right now. And right they have little financial flexibility. So whomever they add, it won't be for big $$. So given that, and we have a hole at 2B, and Derosa is available again. Why wouldn't you want him back ? Almost every other position is locked. How many second baseman's out there can hit .275 / 20 HR / 80 RBI ? The list is very very short.

That was the impetus of my reasoning for bringing him back. I know he's not Albert Pujols, but you have to look at it from the context within the cubs operate right now, which is a tight budget.

Karry Ling said:

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If Ryan Theriot is on third and a "single" is hit to left field he won't score either.

Karry Ling said:

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Oh, and the Cubs tight budget is about $30 million more than the Cardinals' is. This isn't about money. This is about the lack of any need for Mark DeRosa to return.

Why are you still arguing this? Are you trying to make Jeff Baker cry?

Max Power said:

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A little late to the fight...and a little OT... But, to those who believe that whether or not a guy plays cards in the clubhouse with teammates actually affects his teammates perfomance on the field, wouldn't Derrek Lee want Bradley back? I mean he had his best season since '05. All while the evil Milton was in the clubhouse. Even better than any season he had while St. Mark was in the clubhouse.

And has anyone else ever noticed that pretty much all of the guys who are defined as "clubhouse leaders" by the media are guys who kiss the media's ass?

cc002600 said:

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Dude, you're the one that keeps arguing. All I ever said from the beginning is that, GIVEN what's out there, and what the cubs can afford at this point, Derosa would be a nice fit or Orlando Hudson, since they have a hole at 2B. That's all I said when you and the other idiots went on the attack. Personally, I think it pisses you off for some stupid reason that most fans like Derosa. Did he stiff you on an autograph or something ? I don't get it.

They are not going to sign a guy like Matt Holliday, because he'll command 15-18M a year. Have you seen the free agent list ? There's not much out there. If they can pull off a good trade, than great, I'm all for it. If you would rather see Jeff Baker or Mike Fontenot at 2B again next year, than I think you will be thoroughly disappointed once again. Is that what you want ? You would have Baker than Derosa? Come on. Are there other second basemans available you would rather have that are affordable ? If yes, please share. If there are, great, but I don't know of any.

And what does the cardinals budget have to do with this ? Unless you are Cardinals fan, who cares what they are going to spend. They are going to let him go b/c they can't afford him or Holliday. I'm not sure what your point is.

and your other comment:
If Ryan Theriot is on third and a "single" is hit to left field he won't score either.

Whaaaaaaaaaat ????? Are you doing bongs ?

IrishYeti said:

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That last point... And I can't even believe I'm having to explain this... It was a joke.

cc002600 said:

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which just proves how asinine it is to say that "walks = singles"

thanks for making yourself look stupid

D said:

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Respect begets Respect - I will tell you the BIG problem with the Cubbies, it's the fans. Once you bleacher bums stop throwing opposing teams home run balls back onto the field, you will win a World Series.
There's a curse for ya!

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