A League of Her Own

Cubs To Trade Z, Milty?

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Photo courtesy Chicago Tribune

Bruce Levine of ESPN 1000 seems to think so.

According to Bruce, even though the Cubs players insist they're "still in it" (whatever, YAWN), talks have already begun about next year. And, that next year may not include fan-favorite Carlos Zambrano and fan. . . not-favorite Milton Bradley.

So what does Lou think we need?

"We need a little speed at the top of our lineup," he said. "We probably need another nice RBI bat as well, but that's Jim's [Hendry, the Cubs' general manager] department. But if I'm asked, that's what I think is appropriate."

With all the backloaded contracts we're carrying, and with the Ricketts family probably flat broke after buying this train wreck of a team, how are we going to pay for a big RBI bat?

"The team will most likely explore deals for outfielder Milton Bradley and starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano. Bradley has had a disappointing season and has a back-loaded contract for the last two years of his deal that will pay $23 million.

Zambrano has three years left at close to $50 million. He also has a complete no-trade clause over the life of the contract. However, the Cubs pitcher told me earlier in the season that if the team ever wanted to trade him, he wouldn't stand in their way."

It is unclear to me how this would make our team better.

I disagree that Bradley has had a disappointing season. I will admit that he's had an un-even season, he started out unbelievably slow and, in August, was unbelievably hot. But it's going to take a long time to make up the hole he put himself in early, both with the fans and with his stats. Currently, Bradley is currently still below his career average in almost every category, but I don't think shipping him out is the answer. If nothing else, he's got a great approach at the plate that every other hitter on our team could learn from. Give the guy another chance.

As for Z, his act is starting to wear thin on a lot of people, but are we really better off without him? Maybe if we went after another big-time pitcher and stopped trying to cram Carlos into that "Ace" role we'd all be a lot happier.

"Bradley, a huge disappointment in the run-production department, has improved his ability to hit from the left side the past two months of the season since Piniella implemented him in the No. 2 hole. Bradley is sixth on the team in extra-base hits and eighth on the team in RBIs; both numbers are unacceptable to both Bradley and the team."

Let's look at Milty's RBI totals for the last few seasons:

2005      38 in 283 ABs

2006      52 in 351 ABs

2007      74 in 418 ABs    

2008      77 in 414 ABs 

2009      39 in 385 ABs

Okay, so is he hitting under his career average in RBIs? Yes. But was he EVER the HUGE RBI guy we needed? No. That would have been Adam Dunn (.282/.410/.563  99 RBIs). While I think it's more than fair to hold Milty accountable for the way he's conducted himself while here in Chicago, it's not really fair to call him a "failure" because he didn't live up to something he never was.

What say you, peanut gallery? What do you want this team to look like in 2010?

 

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117 Comments

gravedigger said:

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This is just stupid.

gravedigger said:

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To clarify, I'm not talking about your post, Julie. I'm talking about the idea of trading two of the teams better players because fans are "tired" of their "antics."

I'm tired of the god damned mongoloid Cubs' fans antics.

Doc said:

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I say trade Bradley...put K-Fuk back in right and get a center fielder.

Zambrano...I don't care what they do with him. But the Cubs can't continue to treat him like he is the ace of the pitching staff. He's not. The Cubs need a new top of the rotation starter. I'd hoped that would have been Harden, but a top of the rotation starter has to be able to pitch more than 5 innings in a game.

flyball said:

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agree on Zambrano

thisyearcub said:

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This would be a bigger mistake than Crystal Pepsi.

And gravedigger, I agree with your last sentence. Can we trade some Cubs fans?

Doc said:

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I liked Crystal Pepsi...

and I like the idea of trading these guys.

So BLAH!!!!

thisyearcub said:

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I thought it tasted terrible. Speaking of terrible, that's what the Cubs would be again if both of these guys were traded. You're going to have to eat a lot of money, which means you won't be getting a lot back.

To me, this would signal Ricketts & Co. overbudgeted in the sale and need to start trying to get money back.

JulieDiCaro said:

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And THAT is my real concern.

(not the crystal pepsi, the ricketts family trying to recoup the purchasing cost.)

flyball said:

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I don't know, I'm a little concerned Doc liked the slightly watered down corn syrup that was Crystal Pepsi

oh, and the Ricketts thing, but I kinda figure that is going to be the case

Doc said:

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That stuff was great. I went through that stuff as if it were cough syrup when I was a kid.

Doc said:

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Part of me wouldn't mind that...

Because, seriously, we now have an owner that is in some really deep debt. And it is only through some accounting trickery, it sounds like, that MLB will allow Ricketts to carry this much debt.

And they still have to spend $250 million on the ballpark (or find some sucker to pony up the money for it).

I have to wonder if Ricketts will try to sell the ballpark in order to get the renovations done.

Sgt. Tibs said:

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I don't think trading Z or Milton is the answer. Agreed w/ your assessments above, especially w/ Milton.

I say we make some minor tweaks like an everyday 2B w/ speed (Chone Figgins?) to lead off. We were also missing our best RBI guy in Aramis for a great portion of the year. Adding another one can help but where? It seems like our position players are locked in. It's just a matter of staying healthy and our big names producing like they can (Soriano, Soto).

Of course adding some arms would help also.. someone to replace Harden in the rotation if he goes and another solid back of the end rotation guy. And as always, sure-ing up the bullpen with whoever you can get besides Gregg, haha.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I agree with that.

thisyearcub said:

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Agreed. Well said.

gravedigger said:

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comments on ACB indicate Guzman is injured. YAY god i hate this team

Doc said:

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speaking of guys to trade!!!

The Cubs should shop him around next time he's healthy and pitching well.

flyball said:

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ok, I'll say it, I don't care if they trade Zambrano, if..IF..who they get back is worth it, unfortunately I don't think that there is a realistic trade that makes it worth it

and I would prefer to see Bradley in a Cubs uniform next year

millertime said:

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I think we should trade Zambrano and Bradley.

gravedigger said:

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I think I should stab you in the face. Did not not just et your back?

Doc said:

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What do I want this team to look like in 2010?

Ok...

Trade for Mark Teixeira to play first.
Trade for Chase Utley to play second.
Trade for Derek Jeter to play short.
Trade for Michael Young to play third.
Trade for Ryan Braun to play left.
Trade for Torii Hunter to play center.
Trade for Ichiro Suzuki to play right.
Trade for Tim Lincecum to be the #1 starter.
Trade for Matt Cain to be the #2 starter.
Trade for Roy Halliday to be the #3 starter.
Trade for Cliff Lee to be the #4 starter.
Trade for Justin Verlander to be the #5 starter.
Trade for Joe Nathan to be the closer.

And make Koyie Hill the starting catcher.

That's doable...right?

JulieDiCaro said:

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i should have known that not being specific would come back to bite me in the ass.

Doc said:

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oh...sorry about that.

I'm sorry about the Koyie Hill thing. That was probably a bit over the top. The Cubs could probably trade for a better catcher.

Edelweiss said:

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You are, at least, as realistic as the other fans who keep saying we should trade for this or that star player. Why not Joe Mauer as the catcher? You could get rid of all the players fans keep trashing and get your dream team, and they would all have bad years if they become Cubs - they fans are the reason.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Dear Doctors of America,

Could we come up with some kind of consensus on whether or not cell phones contribute to brain cancer?

It's not really the kind of thing I feel comfortable with you guys "debating."

Thanks,
Julie

gravedigger said:

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That's not how it works.

Doc said:

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you know...

if they do cause brain cancer, just image the class action lawsuits that come up from that! Some lawyers will hit the jackpot on that one.

JulieDiCaro said:

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maybe i should start signing up plaintiffs now.

millertime said:

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The only thing that could make this better is if they trade Soriano as well.

flyball said:

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oooh, who could the Cubs get in a Zambrano, Soriano, Bradley trade? in a single team deal, it would be interesting

Doc said:

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I don't know who they'd get, but I'm fairly sure the trade would have to include about $100 million in that package.

millertime said:

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Considering the amount of money involved, unless it's a multi-team deal, we wouldn't get a big name.

We would, however, get rid of a lot of our salary. So we'd have a smaller payroll. And fewer players with egos. So we'd probably be better somehow. Addition by subtraction. Ask Phil Rodgers or David Kaplan, they seem to know what needs to be done.

flyball said:

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you guys are no fun, I was hoping for outrageous fantasy baseballesque trade ideas

JulieDiCaro said:

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this is what I call the "ACB Effect." No one will say anything "controversial" for fear of getting made fun of on other blogs.

it's not the end of the world, people. I get made fun of on other blogs all the time. do I care? not really.

thisyearcub said:

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I don't think this is the case. Are you being serious?

JulieDiCaro said:

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Yeah, I am. If you say something over here that doesn't comport with the "correct" way of thinking. You get jumped on here AND over there. What other blog has a contest to find the biggest douche in the Cubs blogosphere.

Doc said:

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can we have that contest?

I think the cubs should trade A-Ram.

flyball said:

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I think Koyie Hill should be converted to a pitcher

I think his bionic hand will help

Doc said:

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Koyie is so good that he could both pitch and catch at the same time.

Did you know Koyie Hill once pitched a 95 mph fastball to strike out a batter, caught the pitch, threw to second to throw out a would-be base stealer, caught the throw and applied the tag?

thisyearcub said:

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I can't imagine people are "afraid" of other blogs/bloggers.

And you got to admit, the GTOD is quite clever/hilarious.

Doc said:

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I am not afraid of saying anything because of another blog or anything else...mainly because I think everyone else is wrong and I hate everyone.

Screw you all.

millertime said:

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Can't you guys picture it? Think of a lineup card with Theriot, Reedz, Sammy Fuld, Jeff Baker... I can't wait.

Doc said:

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I tried picturing that...

And I had a seizure.

Doc said:

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I'm better now.

millertime said:

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Just think of it. Every day next season you could e-mail Phil Rogers Zambrano's ERA and the ERA of the pitcher we replace Zambrano with. Every day you could look up MB's OPS, divide by 7, and see how much larger it is than Sam Fuld's. I would be able to enjoy myself all season doing just that.

thisyearcub said:

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Millertime, you also forgot about Jake Fox, Hoffpauir, Fontenot, Koyie Hill, Samardzija as the starter.

Whitewash! Cubs fans rejoice!

Doc said:

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And the Cubs will still draw 3 million to Wrigley next year.

Ugh.

millertime said:

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Here's an idea. With the money we save on contracts, we can get Sammy Sosa and Ron Santo statues outside the park. Cool, huh?

Doc said:

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and instead of having people sing only during the seventh inning stretch, we have have them sing every inning before the cubs bat.

BLAH!

millertime said:

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And instead of baseball, we can have a giant ferris wheel!

millertime said:

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With Scarlett Johanson as the ticket taker!

Doc said:

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I don't want her stuck behind a ticket booth.

JulieDiCaro said:

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so i'm learning how to knit.

it's supposed to be all zen and warm and fuzzy.

i have never sworn so much in my life.

i don't feel any inner peace.

flyball said:

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I feel knitting would probably cause me to have a nervous breakdown

gravedigger said:

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Why are you doing that? You're not old, and this isn't the 1800s. Go buy clothes that are already knitted.

Doc said:

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no doubt!

Julie, you concern me.

You are taking good jobs away from poor knitters around the world.

You should go back to doing something productive for society....being a lawyer. Oh...nevermind.

JulieDiCaro said:

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I JUST TOLD YOU!!!! IT'S SUPPOSED TO HELP ME RELAX!!!!!!

millertime said:

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JUST KEEP YOUR COMPOSURE! WE DON'T NEED ANYBODY FREAKING OUT HERE!

berselius said:

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once you get good enough to do it without looking at your work, it can be pretty relaxing. Especially if you have a big enough book to knit and read at the same time.

gravedigger said:

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I'm gonna pretend like I didn't read this.

JulieDiCaro said:

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when i used to take the green line from oak park into the city, i was amazed by how many people, men and women, were knitting on that train.

i'm determined to get the hang of it.

berselius said:

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Also, handknit socks are awesome AND comfortable

antuck said:

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I think the team would be better off without these two. When Zambrano loses his cool that is the end of him in a game. Bradley has thrown his fits and cost him time in game too. I wonder how much that has an effect on the rest of the players. It has to get old after awhile. You end up losing these players when they are needed and that''s not good for any team.

millertime said:

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I do agree from a fan point of view it gets annoying trying to defend a guy and then have him act like a jackass in the middle of a game. And Zambrano does seem to lose his cool on the mound rather quickly. I just wish he could channel his anger into more strikeouts.

JulieDiCaro said:

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But if he wasn't our Number 1 starter, if he was say, our Number 3 behind someone else and Lilly, would we really care?

The problem, of course, is getting him to understand that this means he's going to get paid as a #3 starter.

Doc said:

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Another thing...

Fans keep saying stuff like "channel his anger into more strikeouts"...

You know, it's been 7 years we've been saying this.

It ain't going to happen.

gravedigger said:

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I'm just going to assume you are NOT serious, which will save me from having an aneurysm.

Doc said:

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I'm quite serious. I'm always serious.

gravedigger said:

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I hate the idea of labeling starters as "the #1" and "the #3," etc. If you had, say Halladay, Webb, Carpenter, and Linecum (assuming they're all healthy) in your rotation, would you really spend time trying to figure out who was where in the order, and then tell them they had to take pay based on it?

The Cubs have Z and Harden, two of the best god damned pitchers in baseball, and also Lilly who is great. It doesn't matter who "#3" is. Pay them for what they do, which is help the team win games.

JulieDiCaro said:

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you can not like it all you want, but you know that's not how it works. guys get slotted in the rotation and paid accordigly.

and who the hell would ever have halladay, webb, carpenter, and lincecum?

gravedigger said:

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No it isn't. They get paid for performance.

And if some GM does think that way, he should be beheaded. Or fired.

JulieDiCaro said:

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okay. find me a #3 starter that gets paid what Z gets paid. I'm not saying there isn't one. . there might be.

gravedigger said:

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What I am saying is that the Cubs have three great pitchers, and shouldn't say "well, one of you has to be #3 and get paid less." You have three talented pitchers -- pay them fair market value so you can keep them.

flyball said:

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3 great pitchers?

you're using great to describe anything about this team?

JulieDiCaro said:

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okay, but if you think we have three pitchers that are equally good, i think you need to go look at some stats.

JulieDiCaro said:

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oh, i know! hendry will sign them all in 10 years when they're WAY past their prime.

millertime said:

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Ummm, my MLB The Show Chicago Cubs Dynasty team?

flyball said:

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for me its not about you're the first in the rotation, you're the second in the rotation etc, because eventually the rotation gets messed up anyway, but who is the guy you want starting the first game of a world series

now go on, tell me thats Zambrano, because I don't have that kind of faith in him

Doc said:

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I'm fairly sure if the Cubs were to somehow make it to a World Series in my life time, I wouldn't want Zambrano on the mound to ruin it for me. In fact, the only pitcher the Cubs have that I'd like to see on the mound in game 1 of the world series right now is Randy Wells.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Look, I'm not saying pitchers are not or shold not be paid by performance. But what I'm saying is that, whether you like it or not, teams DO rank pitchers in their starting rotations.

I can't believe we're arguing about this.

Doc said:

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millertime said:

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Have you guys ever blogged with a man by the name of Bill Brasky? I'll tell ya one thing, Bill Brasky is a son of a bitch. Best damn blogger on the internet. You know he goes about 6'8" 340 pounds?

Doc said:

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Did you know, Brasky once blogged none stop for 14 days, while eating a whole live deer, all while serving 3 terms in 'Nam?

millertime said:

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I once saw him eat the bible while water skiing!

Doc said:

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He'll eat a homeless person if you dare him.

millertime said:

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His first name is Bill!

JulieDiCaro said:

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Okay, what's the joke?

I don't get it.

millertime said:

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On Hulu, search for Brasky. SNL skit.

Doc said:

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millertime said:

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He makes brooms somewhere in Georgia doesn't he?

Doc said:

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You know he goes about 7 foot 10, 650 pounds.

millertime said:

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To Bill Brasky!

millertime said:

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You talking about Bill Brasky? I know Bill Brasky!

Doc said:

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You know Bill Brasky? Let me buy you a round!!!

Doc said:

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You know...it's funny, because I think you could probably take Bill Brasky and replace him with Ted Lilly and it would all be true.

millertime said:

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The legend of Bill Brasky had to come from somewhere.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Hey, turns out this thread is very timely. Z's no hitter was one year ago today.

Doc said:

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All that did was fool people into thinking he was a good pitcher.

cubphanatic said:

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I think the only thing we need next year is Chone Figgins.

Doc said:

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honestly, I think people are vastly overrating him.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Me too.

I didn't want him when his name came up LAST season.

Doc said:

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I guess what really worries me is that right now Figgins is having a career year (close to 2007) which means his asking price in free agency is going to be astronomical.

And at age 31 (32 next year), it is likely his speed and other skills will be diminishing during the span of this contract.

We've already got too many players like that right now.

millertime said:

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If he plays like he did in 2007,or this year, he wouldn't be too bad. His OBP is almost .400 this year.

Doc said:

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He'll also be 32 next year...and the Cubs have not exactly had a good history free agents in their 30's to reasonable contracts over the last few years.

If they Cubs sign him, it will be to a 4 year $40 to $50 million contract with a full no trade class...and in about a year and a half into the contract, they will be trying to figure out how to dump him.

It would be nice if they got him for at most 2 years...but it will likely take more than that to sign him.

MJG said:

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Tom Rickets needs to make sure that Jim Hendry has nothing to do with the general manager's role immediately. Either buy out his contract or move him somewhere in the organization were he can do no more harm. He is the one who assembled this team. I agree that they need to move Bradely; he is a head case and disruptive to the team. Forget Chone Figgins or any other high priced free agent. You cannot buy a championship team.

millertime said:

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I just think Jim should get some credit for the fact that the team won the division two years in a row. Also, this has been a tough luck year for injuries to the pitching staff and key hitters like Soriano and Ramirez. The team Jim put together wasn't exactly on the field the entire season. Bradley hasn't had a that bad a season, and Derrek Lee has even said that Bradley hasn't been a distraction. Jim made bad moves this year with Gregg and Miles, but otherwise his moves over the years has put this team in contention.

As far as not buying championships go, see: Yankees, Red Sox. Money isn't everything, but it keeps your team in or near the playoffs each year, every year. All it takes is one hot playoff run and you're in. Winning a world series is more about making the playoffs consistently and giving your team a chance to catch fire.

JulieDiCaro said:

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Mark, look:

Lilly 12-8, 3.05, 1.08, 162 IP, 137K, 34BB, .234 BAA
Z 8-6, 3.77, 1.41, 164 IP, 123K, 66BB, .254 BAA
Harden 9-8, 4.04, 1.31, 138 IP, 168K, 64BB, .231 BAA
Wells 10-8, 2.96, 1.25, 143 IP, 84K, 38BB, .260 BAA

Does that look like 3 or 4 equally "great" pitchers?

I don't think so.

gravedigger said:

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Someone is going to come make a better argument than me, but first, this is probably Zambrano's worst year. Look at his line there. And that's his worst year, OK?

And, I'm misspeaking when I say "great," because my point wasn't about these players, but that it is ridiculous to say someone shouldn't get paid fair-market because they're a #3 on this team, when they would be a #1 on another team. All I'm saying is you pay players based on how they contribute to the team, not on some silly slot label.

millertime said:

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I also believe you pay players based on their past performance, age, and future expectations. When Zambrano signed his contract, he was young, coming off some great years, and looked like he was on his way to dominate the league. Unfortunately, the last couple years Zambrano has had arm problems and hasn't come close to his top year. TO me Zambrano is more a victim of too high expectations. He's no Johan Santana, but then, who is? Zambrano is a very good pitcher who got paid a fairly reasonable contract at the time, if you take market conditions into consideration.

If you never go after "big money" free agents, you'll never overpay people, but you'll also probably have a bad team. Unless you somehow hit the jackpot and randomly get 3 or 4 allstars in 2 drafts. Which doesn't happen often.

millertime said:

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I'm surprised we haven't talked about how awesome Ye was last night at the VMA's.

Doc said:

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what is Ye?

millertime said:

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Kanye West. He interrupted Taylor Swift's award acceptance speech and went on a rant about how Beyonce should have won.

Classy guy, that Mr. West.

Doc said:

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Is there a game tonight?

Since I'm more focused on spring training right now, I've lost track of what's going on with the 2009 Cubs.

millertime said:

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ALl I know is I'm tired of talking about this team, talking about who to blame, what moves to make. I'd rather just enjoy the simple pleasures of watching fall sports. And remembering Bill Brasky. And forgetting Jay Cutler.

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