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Holding on to your rainbow sleeves. Cubs 13 Pirates 9

Holding on to your rainbow sleeves. Cubs 13 Pirates 9

The Cubs did everything they could to lose today’s game with the Pirates. But then they decided to do everything to win today’s game. And the Pirates were more than happy to assist. The Cubs were down 6-1 and 9-5 came roaring back to win going away 13-9 in an obscenely long 4 hour game. There were many offensive stars, but none bigger than Anthony Rizzo, who knocked in 6 RBI and had 2 HR, including a 6th inning grand slam which gave the Cubs the lead for good at 10-9. Alfonso Soriano also recorded his 100th and 101st RBI. Let’s laugh with the sinners rather than crying with the Saints. After all, the sinners have much more fun.

 

TRAPPED IN THE INNER CIRCLE OF FAULT.

 

This….is…..what…it’s…like…watching…Chris…Volstad……pitch……Pretty……annoying……isn’t…… it?......Why….. Can’t…... he……just…..throw….the….. ball?... It’s……like….having…. a… dial….up….modem…..or….getting….pecked…. to…death….. by…..ducks…..So…Sllloooooooowwwwwwww. The final line was 4 2/3 innings, 10 hits, 6 runs, 4 walks and a gigantic headache for anyone that watched. I know there are some that still look at his frame, his stuff and still see a project that’s worth keeping around. I see Sunfalufagus trying to attack Mordor. If he proves me wrong on another team fine. He hasn’t earned a second chance here.

 

THERE’S TOO MUCH CONFUSION, I CAN’T GET NO RELIEF

 

Before we get to the good stuff, one more kvetch. (And Happy New Year to all those who are celebrating 5773.) The bullpen is filled with sorrow and broken dreams. I thought the bullpen was going to be filled with young hard power arms. Now granted, I thought two of those arms would be Samardzija and Carpenter. But Cabrera has been very inconsistent. And Jeff Beliveau has had more than enough time to lockdown a LOOGY role. But Pedro Alvarez Congo drummed his ass out onto Waveland today. He’s the guy you need to get if you want to stick around. Effective years from Russell, Camp and a bounce back from Marmol, have allowed these kids to pitch in non pressure 5th, 6th, and 7th inning situations. But those two, Dolis, Maine, none of them have gotten it done. The good news is that Jaye Chapman looks like he wants it. After a leadoff triple by Starling Marte (who’s going to be a pain in the ass for a long time) Chapman stranded him there. He even correctly executed a rundown, something rarely seen in these here parts.

 

ANTHONY AND CLEOPATRA

 

Anthony Rizzo deserves a “Hell Yeah” for his performance today. A double in the first and scoring the opening run. A deep homerun to center off of lefty starter Jeff Locke. And then the dagger, a grand slam bomb to right center off of a shelled Rick Van den Hurk, whatever that is. He even won some dude a car. Cub fans were so appreciative that they even gave him a standing ovation after he struck out in the 8th. Rizzo had been plaining out until the last week. Now he’s on a tear. So good to see.

 

Would love to say we’re done with the Pirates. It seems like the Pirates are done with the Pirates. But there’s one more game to go.  Travis Wood looks to build off his best start against the opinionated Kevin Correia. Then we start a long week of hillbillies and rednecks as Red fans and Cardinal fans invade Wrigleyville in succession. Stock up on PBR and get ready to hose a lot of things down.

 Boxscore

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  • Volstad. The new Trachsel. If Trachsel was "The Human Rain Delay," then what should be call Volstad?

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    DMV: Department of Motor Volstad!

  • I know that the Pirates are supposed to be the lesser of the two evils, when you consider that they came into today's game 2 games behind the Cardinals for a wild card spot. That being said, it is fun to see the Cubs play the role of spoiler, and if you're the Pirates, you've got to be sick of seeing the Cubs right about now. The body language in this series, to me, says that this is a team ready to fold up and watch baseball in October.

    This Cubs team, on the other hand, looks like they're more than happy to keep playing...even though they have long since been eliminated. They are developing a don't-quit attitude on the field, which is refreshing after seeing steady, but laid back stars like Ramirez and Lee.

    One last thought, and it's about Darwin Barney. It seems like you either love the guy, or you can't wait until there's somebody else ready to replace him. My question is, what is an acceptable offensive output for him, if you are critical of his game? If he hit .275 with a .330 OBP, is that enough with his defense? I'm just curious what others think. I like his attitude and defense a lot, but .263/.310 is really not ideal...though he has looked much better of late (11-game hitting streak, and 4 walks in the past two games!).

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    I've always liked Barney. Hitting isn't everything. Even with Castro stepping up his defense, we still need a defensive anchor to the infield. Barney is that guy for the Cubs. He's a very heady player, always makes the right decisions, and those are as hard to find as a solid hitter. He seems to improve in the areas that he needs to. Since he's a lock (at least to me) for a gold glove, I think he'll concentrate on his offensive game this offseason. When he was in AAA, he was one of the better hitters in the league.

    As far as Volstead goes, I'd like to see him return and improve his game. Maybe we can flip him for a younger prospect and make that deal with the Marlins become an even better for us.

    I also want to see Stewart in spring training and see what he can do with a good wrist. He'll come cheap, I'm sure.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    I agree... bring Stewart back... his defense alone is worth a look at if he wrist is good to go we have a quality 3B that can stay for until some of the guys come up and he's pretty young so if none can take the spot we have serviceable at least guy there

  • The "waiting room"? "The Dan Ryan at Rush Hour"? "The Cable repairman"? That's a good one. Doesn't really matter. In a few weeks we can hopefully call him non-tendered.

    I agree with you Urge on the Cubs attitude these past couple of weeks. What makes it even more special is that Rizzo and Castro seem to be stepping up and leading the charge. Not just on the field, but in the press and clubhouse too.

    As for Barney, i think it's more of a question of what number is the lowest before his defense isn't enough. Ideally, I think if he hits over .250 with an OBP over .300, .320, he's fine. I guess another way to put the question is what would this "replacement" have to hit in order to move Barney off second base?

  • In reply to felzz:

    You've got to like the attitude, and yes, that Rizzo and Castro are the ones setting the tone. Rizzo screams "natural leader" to me. Even after a game in which he hit two homers, including a grand slam to give the team the lead for good, he gave huge props to Jaye Chapman for getting out of a big jam in the 7th. Rizzo looks to be a guy that will have a long career in this game. I wasn't sure that the Cubs would ever have a first baseman that I would like quite as much as Grace, but I think they've found him.

    It's hard not to like what Rizzo and Castro can and will do for this club. A first baseman with potential of hitting .300 with 30 homers, and a SS that can also hit .300 with 15-20 homers? Those are a couple of pretty good building blocks. Cornerstones, you might say.

  • In reply to felzz:

    As to Volstand and Trachsel, Howrey was the one who drove me crazy. Standing on the mound staring at the baseball, looking in for the sign (another 15 seconds), going into the stretch (another 10 seconds) - I don't see why he wasn't punished with a ball call for delaying the game.

    As to Barney, we surely don't want to give up his defense for a few more BA and OBP points. How many baserunners does he save for whomever is pitching? Defense still wins games, and we are likely to have plenty of thumpers to fill that gap.

  • Something had me laughing so hard today as I looked at a story on the cubs website. A person in the comment section said that barney is a great second baseman and for that they should trade castro and I guess move barney to shortstop. I like barney but in no way is he on castro's level. He said he is sick of castro, but he never said why. It was so funny I just had to share that with you guys.

  • In reply to seankl:

    People that respond to Cubs.com or newspaper articles online are the worst types of people, and typically have no baseball knowledge. You can add the people that are signed up for the Cubs official facebook group, too. I remember several idiots complaining about trading Dempster and Johnson, but not Castro at the deadline.

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    And, with that win, the Cubs lead over the Rockies is gone. Even better: the Indians are 2 games back and the Twins are 1 game back.

    This is another one of those wins it's hard to be too upset about because it was Rizzo -- hitting left handers, at that -- that did most of the damage. But, man, for a team as awful as this Cubs group has been all year to wind up with the 5 pick would be a travesty.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It's just the Cubs luck that the Twins, Indians and Rockies
    all pick this year to suck. No sense going crazy the 5th pick
    it is.

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    The killer is that it pushes us out of the top tier college pitcher category, which makes a real run in 2015 more difficult. (Not impossible, but more difficult.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    It will be ok mike, sometimes getting the higher pick does not mean we get the best players. I understand your worries, the front office just have to out scout the other teams just like they would have to do if they had the number two pick. The draft is such a crap shoot, remember eric munson and alot of other players went before a guy named albert pujols.

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    In reply to seankl:

    Not the point.

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    In reply to Mike Moody:

    Oops. hit return to quickly. We'll get a good player for sure.

    But at 2, Appel or Stanek would be available. If you get them they have a real chance of being ready by 2015, which makes them the best 5 starter in the league for the push. Plus all the other reasons it's good to finish low.

    Just not where we want to be, IMO. This is our chance to stock up, let's stock up.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I get what you are saying, I hope we get appel or stanek to. Hopefully the teams in front pass on one of them. We also need to keep picking high upside pitchers in the later rounds.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Agreed, and I can't blame dale for doing his part to improve draft pick by running out Mather at lead off and his crazy lineups. With that and the pitching there's no reason they should be winning these games, except for the pirates seemingly giving up and the kids stepping up.

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    Let's not forget about Sean Manaea. I just love this kid and nothing would make me happier than to see a Scott Boras client (Mark Appel) get shafted. Wouldn't everyone just love to see him slide down in the draft next year year due his continued signability issues? Ahhhhhhhhhh, a guy can dream..... lol

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    In reply to bocabobby:

    I don't think Appel will slide again, because this time teams know he can either a) sign for what they can offer, or b) go to the Independent leagues. He's lost his leverage. As a college senior, he does get a longer deadline, which means he can wait until the team that picks him signs every other player, THEN ask for every penny available left before having to surrender a draft pick. That's probably what will happen, and what Appel will get.

    This all of course assumes that Appel doesn't get hurt, has a great year, and doesn't lose any command or velocity. It's a risk on his part, no question.

  • In reply to bocabobby:

    I agree with Zonk's take. No offense to Appel, and I realize he has the higher floor.... but I'm with you on what I'm seen from Manaea. An ace LHP that sits at 97mph is too good to pass up imo. I'm planning on going to see him play in the spring.

  • The most important point that everyone is missing is (1) the
    higher the pick the more draft pool money you get and (2) the
    more money that can be given to your #1 pick. Can someone
    explain how Pittsburgh was able to offer Appel $8 million?

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    In reply to emartinezjr:

    Pittsburgh didn't offer Appel $8 mil. They only offered him whatever their max was, something like $2.5 mil IIRC, which is why Appel chose not to sign.

    But you are right, the higher the draft choice, the larger your pool of money is to sign players

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Appel will need to be looked at carefully by the scouts......with a year and half out of organized ball, his skills will be lowered......Appel will not be a guy who can walk in by next June to pitch at major league level.

    Appel and Boras cannot risk another year off.

  • Does anyone miss Andrew Cashman now?

    Gee, I feel bad for that Neil guy over at CCO.....all his buddies left him....not real Cubs fans.......

    I believe any draft pick between 1 thru 10 is okay.......

    Can Theo and Boras co-exist without the Cubs over paying?

    The Good.....Cubs won today........The Bad......team pitching gave up too many runs....The Ugly...Volstad pitching line.

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    In reply to CubsTalk:

    UGH.... Now I remember where I have read inane posts like this before.

  • In reply to Rich Cap:

    Nothing makes sense when we talk about the Cubs......meantime, I hope I filled a void in your life.

  • In the past the team doing great in Sept. meant that the team
    would not make any big moves. Theo/Jed are too smart for that.

  • Man alive. i think everyone is overrating this draft pick thing by a factor of 12. And before you give me the whole "it's not the draft pick it's the extra money." speech just don't. However much money you think it is can be marginalized... you pick an additional college senior that you can lowball to the minimum thus freeing up extra cash, you can use more money to sign fA's who you in turn flip for better prospects a la Paul Maholm. Or your 15th round draft pick gets developed into an all star.

    This idea that if you draft 5th you won't get one of the three college pitchers.... are you kidding me? Says who? You have the inside dope on what 17 year old kid is going to rocket or not rocket up the charts?"

    I don't mean to pee in the soup here. But good grief. Most people here seem to think that Anthony Rizzo is going to be a cornerstone player for the Cubs. Well if that's true, than that makes Andrew Cashner the most valuable draft pick in recent Cub history, right? After all he was traded for a cornerstone piece. And he was picked 19th. So a 19th pick can lead to a cornerstone of the franchise but we're screwed if we pick 5th in next year's draft? That's FUBAR, no matter what the parameters of the CBA were, are, or will be.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Well said, Felzz. I for one am tired of the "Oh hell, the Cubs won today; there goes our future" line.
    Let's give the FO some faith for being resourceful, far-seeing, and adaptable.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Exactly Felzz! While next year's draft is thought to be weak, there is no telling what will happen this year with guys in college and highschool who aren't even on the radar yet. As for the additional pool money, how much does that give us? If one guy makes 50k and another guy makes 60k, who has the bigger house? The one that spends more wisely.

  • In reply to felzz:

    felzz may be my hero.

    Let's also keep in mind that the vast majority of Cubs fans and Chicago reporters don't really pay attention to the draft/development of players. The on-field product at Wrigley Field is what most people are going to focus on. It's important for this team to remain somewhat competitive so that ticket sales stay up. When this team is ready to start competing, they are going to need some of that revenue to add some pieces to the roster.

  • In reply to felzz:

    If the season ended today, the Cubs would get the second pick in the draft. So for those who stress over the draft placement, everything is still on track. Relax and enjoy a victory, because you don't get many.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Of course you can still find good players late in the draft, that's why they have later rounds of the draft... But if you want the top talent and impact players to rebuild a team, you have the best chance to find them at the top of the draft, strasbourg and harper both numero unos. Of course you can pick through what is available in rounds 5 or 6 and may find great players, just will take longer to do and will add years to rebuilding efforts for a team.

    As long as fans are content seeing Rizzo's home runs and can be satisfied with the cubs goal of not losing over 100 games, then ok, high draft pick don't matter. Soriano's big year has gotten the cubs what exaclty? If the cubs don't get some top tier starting pitching talent from this draft or a trade of Garza, they'll either have to trade Castro or Rizzo to get it, or just wait 6 or 7 years until they can compete financially to buy it in free agency. I would rather see them lose and draft higher now, in a season that is long since over, and win a championship sooner rather than later. Wait until we reach year 5 and 6 of the rebuilding process and the cubs goal is still to not lose 100 games, then see if a higher pick might have helped speed things along. Might have to start repeating song lyrics in the recaps then.

  • In reply to eddie35:

    But that's just it. The Cubs have lost and the Cubs are drafting high. And yet people think that they have to lose....harder? They can't get front line starting pitching with where they're drafting now? A quick scan of front line starting pitchers shows your probable Cy Young winner in the NL R.A. Dickey drafted with the 18th pick #2 is Clayton Kershaw who was drafted #7 GioGonzalez was picked with #38 Kyle Loshe is probably in the discussion and he was drafted, By the Cubs of all teams, in the 29th round.

    But the Cubs are screwed if they draft #5 instead of #2? I guess.

    And I'm already repeating song quotes....lol. I trust that the Cubs future is in good hands. This hand wringing about the draft strikes me as worrying about Christmas shopping in April. I think it's great that people on this site have such great interest in it. But this debate can't really be solved until ......2017? Soit seems odd to me to get worked up over it now.

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    In reply to felzz:

    Two points:
    (a) All your examples are from before the draft rule changes. Top line starters slipping due to signablility was a reality under the old system. It isn't under the new.

    (b) No one is arguing that you CAN'T get a front line starter later in the draft, just that it's much easier earlier in the draft. if you look at the fates of starters picked with the #2 pick and those picked with the #7 pick, it's night and day. Why? Because major league scouting departments tend to be pretty good. They can analyze and identify top talent and, if you pick later, your top choice is likely to be gone and you're settling. All things considered, I'd rather not have the Cubs settle this year.

    None of this says "it's over, we lose, we're doomed for another 100 years" if we pick fifth. But, all things equal, second makes the road much, much, much easier than 5. Given that, why is there joy at winning games that just makes our road more difficult?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Wait, one of the reasons you cite is that players won't drop due to signability issues with the new CBA? Isn't that precisely what happened to Appel this season? Did we not see some good high school talent drafted later, or not at all, because it was seen as a long-shot for them to sign for their slotted amount? If anything, it probably just means teams taking a greater risk on younger talent up top, and waiting out those college players who have lost leverage.

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    In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Fine, top players that drop will never be signed and will choose to go to school instead (Rhett Wiseman, Mark Appel, Lance McCullers had the Astros not outthought the system), so it adds up to the same thing. But the good young talent HAS to go earlier. You will not get a Nick Castellanos signing in the 40s ever again.

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    In reply to felzz:

    Another way of looking at it: WAR.

    Between 1990 and 2008, the players picked #2 have averaged 11.6 WAR. By contrast, players picked #5 have averaged 9.3. That's a pretty big difference. Made even more extreme by the fact that 5 has 3 big winners in it (J.D. Drew, Mark Teixeira, Ryan Braun) that really boost that number. Again, it suggests that MLB scouts really do know what they're doing, and are much more likely to pick an impact guy at 2 than at 5.

    You mention Kershaw. There are two options here. (1) The Dodgers did their homework and knew he was a can't miss prospect. In this case, they got very lucky that the 6 teams going ahead of them simply missed it. Any one of them could have said, "eh, what the hell, he looks okay." And the Dodgers homework means nothing. (2) Kershaw was a project, and everyone knew he had 10% chance of Cy Young, 20% chance above average MLB pitcher, 70% chance flameout. (Numbers made up.) The mere fact that the 10% hit doesn't mean he was a safe choice, or one that should have gone first. It means, again, that the Dodgers got lucky. And that happens.

    But since we can control skill and not luck, I'd rather be in a position where skill has higher payoffs.

  • In reply to eddie35:

    "Soriano's big year has gotten the cubs what exaclty?"
    It has gotten us 1) a 3-4-5 / Rizzo-Soriano-Castro sequence in the batting order that is something to build upon, even when the #4 will no longer be Soriano; 2) TIME to have minor league outfielders develop where they belong, in A/AA/AAA ball, instead of being pushed up before they're ready; 3) wins; and 4) the rejuvenation of a veteran slugger, now adapting into the role of a mentor to young players.
    Perhaps too intangible for the numbers-lovers, but valuable all the same.

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    "Wins" are a distinct hindrance to us at the moment. The CBA has changed. Teams that finish in the middle get screwed. We won't finish in the middle, but that doesn't mean we want to win. Even though John came to a different conclusion on this, he pointed out the other day that the CBA has huge, huge, huge incentives for bad teams to lose.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    For this team to "learn" how to win is huge. Winning breeds winning(example Cardinals), losing breeds losing (look at Pirates even though they have been drafting high for 20 years). For the young guys on this team (Castro, Rizzo, Castillo, Shark, Campana, Jackson, Dolis, Cabrera, Barney, Russell) winning at a young age teaches them how to win and how fun it is. Losing gets them learning how to lose and losing habits are hard to break. Winning this year yes is going to hurt our draft position but it gets the young guys learning to win earlier. Also picking 6th last year got us the player we wanted. The year before that the 9th pick got Baez. I am sure Theo/Jed will get a very good player at the 5th slot, if that is where we end up.

    Course if the twins, rockies and indians get hot and we stumble after we are done with Houston and Pittsburgh and we end up with the 2nd pick, i would not have a problem with that either. Enjoy the journey.

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    In reply to John57:

    A couple problems here.

    First, I don't buy the "learn to win" argument at all. The Pirates were one of the best teams in baseball for four months (16 games over in August), and then the wheels came off. The Pirates had those 4 months to learn how to win. If that didn't teach them, what is one month in a completely lost September going to teach the Cubs players?

    Second, Baez is an awful example, for two reasons. First, that was one of the most obscenely stacked drafts in history. In any normal draft, he's a top 5 if not a top 3 players. (He is probably the first pick if he came out this year.) There is almost zero chance of getting that value out of the five pick -- let alone the 9 pick -- in a normal draft. Furthermore, if the Cubs have the 2 pick that year, Trevor Bauer is available. If the Diamondbacks were to call the Cubs today and offer Trevor Bauer straight up for Javy Baez Theo would set the new land speed record calling the commissioner's office to consummate the deal.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Mike,
    Real quick on your WAR post: I looked at all the names from 90 to '08. The number 2 picks have produced exactly 14 total allstar games (Beckett and Verlander have 8 combined). The number 5 picks have produced 14 as well (Braun and wells with 8 combined). The allstars from the 2 slot are Tony Clark, Ben Grieve, Mark Mulder, Josh Becket, Mark Prior, Rickie Weeks and Justin Verlander. The allstars from the 5 slot are Vernon Wells, J.D. Drew, Mark Teixeira, Ryan Braun, Matt Wieters and Buster Posey. The $ is where the difference may lie, but what will the difference be between #2 and #5 overall?

    As for learning to win, it's a very subjective issue. What does a month in the big leagues teach the Cubs rookies? I would guess a ton. It is lost for us fans, not the players, and to see them lay down and play dead would almost certainly hinder their development. Watching Rizzo and Jackson lay it all on the line, watching Barney's plate discipline and seeing Castro come back into light have made this an enjoyable time to watch baseball. I'm not rooting for them to lose and being mad every time they do. I want them to win, and don't think it will push back our future success.

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    In reply to Break The Curse:

    All Star games is a terrible metric, as there are so many variables that go into that. The question is how much better will your team be for the pick. The WAR suggests 2 games better. Even more interesting is if you take the 3 best players in each position out -- that gives a WAR of about 7 for the 2 pick and 3.5 for the 5 pick. That might be a better indication of just how much better the "average" 2 players is vs. the "average" 5 player.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I am weary of the refrain of the Greek chorus: "Beware, the glass is verging on empty--each victory is portent of future tragedy.".
    I would rather root for the Cubs, bad or good, and trust the FO to do right with the second, third, fourth, or fifth pick---and the rest of them too.
    i am grateful that our organization, unlike the Houston example, didn't choose to tank an entire season or two in vague hopes of striking silver in several years.
    But I have faith in the FO, which others seem to lack.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Minnesota and Cleveland play each other this week. Here's hoping the Cubs win enough games down the stretch to end the season with a better record than at least one of those teams, if not both.

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    I have faith as well. As far as the 2nd to 5th pick debate, the CBA has changed so it's kind of a mute point what the WAR was for any picks prior to this draft as teams strategies have changed. That being said, in next year's weak draft, I really want the second pick. I'm just not willing to root against my team. I can't wait until we have a good team where we can have spirited debates over whether a guy should be our 5th starter or stud in middle relief.

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    In reply to Break The Curse:

    "the CBA has changed so it's kind of a mute point what the WAR was for any picks prior to this draft as teams strategies have changed."

    This is also a logical fallacy. The changes have conspired to make top talent *more* likely to be drafted earlier than later. So, WAR numbers suggesting that 2 is better then 5 will get more extreme in the new CBA.

    Listen, you can choose to root for them or against them. As it's the one race we can "win" this year, I choose to root for them to lose. But you have an enormous hill to climb if you seriously want to argue that there is no difference between picking 2 and picking 5.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Of course the second pick should be better than the 5th and it's not surprising that the numbers back that up. My point is that there are just as many busts so all we can do is hope the front office is talented enough to make the right pick. Did you notice how many of those 5th picks were the Expos by the way?

    I think what matters more is total spend and total picks. In 2012, the top ten picks didn't necessarily have the most money to spend:

    1. Astros (2nd most $)
    2. Twins (1st)
    3. Mariners (7th)
    4. Orioles (11th)
    5. Royals (17th)
    6. Cubs (8th)
    7. Padres (3rd)
    8. Pirates (16th)
    9. Marlins - (20th)
    10. Rockies - (14th)

    The Jays picked 17th, yet had the 5th highest to spend. The Cards picked 19th, yet had the 4th highest spend. By the time the Astros selected their 10th pick, the Padres, Cardinals and Jays had taken 12 picks. Stockpiling picks is the way to go. I don't want to rely on getting the 2nd pick to save the draft. I want more picks to stockpile the system.

    I believe last year was a bit different for supplemental picks though. How will this change? How can the Cubs exploit the system?

    Mike, good points. I am not disagreeing with you, just trying to look at it another way.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I see that you ignored points 1), 2) and 4). Does that possibly mean you agree?

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    To the extent that they're probably true, sure. To the extent I think they matter a damn for the long term success of the team, no. And as (3) is actively destructive of the long term future, for me it wins.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    If only the FO had had your crystal ball and got rid of worthless Soriano last year......

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    We know for a fact they tried to trade him THIS year, and not because he's worthless, but because he isn't part of the rebuilt. This is just pointless nastiness.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    So, for example, by playing a productive Soriano, we are giving minor-league OF prospects time to develop properly---and that does not "matter a damn for the long-term success of the team"?
    You're right, this IS pointless.

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    In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    Logical fallacy. We could start an outfield of DDJ-Mather/Jackson-LaHair and let the minor league prospects develop. Sorry, should have clarified that. Next batter.

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    Its always fun when you go to watch a condensed game on Mlb.com and see that it goes for 25 minutes, you know that some crazy shit has gone down.

  • We are in the stretch drive of the final two weeks of the 2012 Cubs........lets forget about future draft picks, Volstad ERA, Vitters average, and why Mather is still leading off......Cubs fans survived a bad season once again.....and I have no doubt that many of us will watch the White Sox in the playoffs.......then again, most of us will laugh if the Sox choke in the final days of the season and the Tigers win the division...........i saw that FOX news girl on YouTube answering email questions, and she was a cutie.........Zambrano lost another game yesterday......it seems that Carlos has come to an end in his baseball career.

  • The Cubs could pass Colorado tonight and Minnesota by Wednesday! Go Cubs! Win Cubs!

  • FOX Alert........no, not that FOX news, but Muskat has a photo of a fan named Alicia Barnhart on the "Soriano Power" story....this girl is smoking hot...she is a producer for a sports station.

  • I see the debate still rages!

    We can all agree on this...

    A) We'd like to see the Cubs get the highest pick possible, even in a weak draft.
    B) We'd all like to see the Cubs core continue to develop and play better baseball down the stretch -- which inevitably leads to a win from time to time.

    Assuming you can't have the ideal scenario both ways, the question is this: How much of A and how much of B is the proper balance?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Point (A) seems to be a very odd thing to write just below: "The Cubs could pass Colorado tonight and Minnesota by Wednesday! Go Cubs! Win Cubs!" I'm not sure it's a given. And that it ISN'T a given is some of the frustration I'm feeling.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    We certainly all want the best for the future. I think with the new CBA, it'll be the teams that figure out how to exploit it that will win out in the long run.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    Well, I think Ray would rather have the 2nd pick than the 5th pick, all things being equal.

    To me, he's just against the notion of rooting for them to lose.

    Personally, I reconcile it by just rooting for them to win, knowing that my doing so has no actual bearing on the result. It may sound odd, but I'll root for them to win every game I watch or attend and when I look up, I hope they somehow have that 2nd pick.

    It won't be easy though because it's not just Houston, the rosters on the teams "competing" against the Cubs for that spot are just plain terrible. The Twins have Mauer, the Rockies have CarGo...and that's about it. Neither team has any player that resembles a core player who is both performing well now and who will be peaking in the next few years. The Cubs have several.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    For me it's 100% B. I'm not part of the "We" in A.

  • Maybe I'l ask you again next June after this year is well behind us. At that point would you rather have the 2nd pick or the 5th?

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    It's a deal, John. Right now, even if we knew with certainty who the 5 most talented draft-eligible players were going to be next June, I don't believe the talent difference will be that great between 2 and 5.

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    Personally, I have attained the perfect state of release. I don't care much how the Cubs do day to day. I'm watching them as though I was a fantasy owner with all of the young Cubs players on their team. So I'm happy to see Rizzo do well, but Soriano's success does nothing for my mood. If the Cubs win, that's ok, and if they lose that's ok too. I'm just not invested in that part of the team right now because it's irrelevant to my long-term enjoyment of the team.

    However, I admit that the idea of the Cubs closing out the season with 10 straight wins to drop in the draft actually upsets me more than the idea of them dropping 10 straight and picking 2nd. The former is so so Cubs. Win at exactly the wrong time for no real reason. So I guess, as far as I'm paying attention to wins and losses right now (which I'm really not), I'm on the A side.

  • In reply to Kevin Heckman:

    That's a good way to put it..

    And I can say I'm not nearly as upset when they lose now as I was earlier in the season -- and it's nothing compared to when they lose when they're in contention. The wins in it of themselves mean very little right now.

    On the other hand, in response to your last paragraph. I would also say that if the Cubs were losing because Rizzo regressed to San Diego Rizzo, and Samardzija regressed into 2009-2010 Samardzija, and Welington Castillo was hitting like the Duke of Wellington, and Castro was swinging at anything in the area code and making tons of errors, I'd be more upset about losing because of those things than losing out on spot or two in the draft.

    That would indicate that the Cubs core was regressing and a higher pick wouldn't be enough to compensate for that.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    "On the other hand, in response to your last paragraph. I would also say that if the Cubs were losing because Rizzo regressed to San Diego Rizzo, and Samardzija regressed into 2009-2010 Samardzija, and Welington Castillo was hitting like the Duke of Wellington, and Castro was swinging at anything in the area code and making tons of errors, I'd be more upset about losing because of those things than losing out on spot or two in the draft."

    I could not agree more with this paragraph. I want our young stars to play well. (Though, for multiple reasons, I'm not at all upset with Shark watching the rest of the season.) You're right, losing because Rizzo and Castro are awful is just no fun. My best case is days like yesterday before it came apart -- where the young guys showcase their talents and the not-ready-for-prime-time pitching staff just gives up more.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    My ideal (and logistically impossible) scenario is this: The Cubs and any team with a chance to catch them for the 2nd pick all go undefeated for the rest of the year

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm totally good with that :)

  • Thanks, John and Felzz; and nice debate, most of you guys and gals.
    I'm leaving now to go fill my glass beyond half-full. As a Cubs fan, I can hold my head high for many reasons.
    (Now, if I were a Houston fan, I'd be looking for a foxhole to hide in....)

  • In reply to StillMissKennyHubbs:

    You're welcome :) Totally agree with you on Houston. Things can always change, but I'd much rather be where the Cubs are at right now.

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