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Anarchist's Brunch- And the winds begin to howl….

Anarchist's Brunch- And the winds begin to howl….

As anyone who follows my writings and ramblings know, almost everything breaks down into some quote or scene from the Simpsons. This season of Cubs baseball is no different. The Simpsons scene that's currently running through my mind is the one where Chief Police Officer Wiggum gets his tie caught between the hot dog rollers in the hot dog machine. Wiggum recognizes what is happening and as he's being pulled into the machine he says "Well, this is gonna get a whole lot worse before it gets better….." He then starts to climb IN TO the machine.

Cub Fans, I sense a war coming. the rhetoric is being ratcheted up. A lot of people are digging in their heels.  There are people that are either tired of the PLAN, or are losing faith in the PLAN, Or want to see an acceleration of the PLAN. And they're fed up. On the other side are staunch believers of the plan. They not only seem to think everything is fine, but that "You don't get it" and aren't very smart if you don't appreciate what Epstoyer are finally doing after years and years of futility.

Again, the answer, and where I am, is somewhere in between. I believe in the Plan but want to see more. But there's no room for in between. Drink the kool aid or be a hater, or a Hendry supporter. I forget which one it is. I guess I'm both. I rooted for Hendry. You did too. People tend to forget that. I've rooted for Jim Hendry, Ed Lynch, Andy MacPhail, Dallas Green, Jim Frey. I root for whoever the Cubs GM is. It's called being a fan.

And I root for Epstoyer too. I just wish it wasn't so hard. I mean, what have they done.

"THE FARM SYSTEM!!!!!!!" LOOK AT THE FARM SYSTEM YOU IDIOT"  is usually the first thing the apologists yell. And by that they mean the Core four- Baez, Soler, Bryant, and Almora. I mean who else is close. You never hear Alcantarra's name as an option. Villanueva's neither. Shouldn't their be some OF prospect that can beat out the Ryan Kalishes and Justin Ruggiano's of the world. I mean…..this farm system is supposed to be loaded right?

THE GARZA TRADE!!!!!!!! LOOK AT THE GARZA TRADE.

OK. Kevin Orie Redux and some arms. I like Grimm but I don't know if he's a starter. Ramirez looks like a bullpen arm and who knows if/when/where CJ Edwards even makes it. Has anything Epstien, Hoyer or Renteria done or said made you think they're bullish on Mike Olt's future? Yet the Theo heads are…..

I mean, I know you can't do this…… But if the Cubs had a rotation of Samardzija, Cashner, Garza and Feldman, this team would be a lot more competitive than it is. It would still have "the core four" and life would be a hell of a lot more optimistic than it is now.

And again, I'm for the Plan, I agree with what Epstoyer are doing. But shouldn't they be doing more? I mean, the Cubs hired the best, who in turn hired the best.  And yet I see them taking the easiest route possible. The most draft picks and save the most money and absolutely no time restrictions or improvement demands of any kind……? The Core four will become the fab five, and after next year will be the super six and we'll be working on "Studley seven" before someone wakes up and says, hey, shouldn't most of these guys be major league stars by now…..?

The New York mets were every bit the bloated payroll, depleted farm system disaster of an organization the Cubs were when Sandy Alderson took over. his team is currently 13-11, and that's with Granderson being terrible and Kyle Farnsworth being the team's 4th closer of the year.  Oh and no Matt Harvey….

Is it so wrong to ask for more from the highest paid, most respected front office the Cubs have ever had?

The Cubs outfield consists of three waiver wire pickups, a C level prospect and a fringe free agent. Plenty of barrel under your fingernails there…. And yet people seem fine with it.

We haven't even touched who's gonna pitch for this team once the Cubs trade Samardzija and Hammel.

I read Garza and Soriano's comments about how nice it is to be on a team that actually wants to win.I wonder how they communicate with future FA's. And they are gonna have to sign a real FA or two if they're serious about helping Baez, Bryant and the rest of the kids develop. Can you even convince an F that you're serious about winning or are you simply gonna have to write bigger checks? I know what I think will happen.

I am a fan of the plan. But I still think they should be better. And I expect them to compete next year. I don't think it's wrong to set some expectations after 3 years of doing nothing but getting prospects and building the farm system. Thi is a Complete rebuild right? Or are we just rebuilding half the organization. Or is it a full rebuild being done had-assed?

These are the thoughts I think of when my team has its tie stuck in the wheels of the hot dog warming machine. And it's gonna get a lot worse before it gets better.

 

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  • fb_avatar

    Well put again, felzz. Be ready for the backlash.

  • Felzz,
    Thanks for writing this. I think that is great perspective to identify that seemingly every comment on this board is taken to be either for or against the plan. I too have been very frustrated by board members who suggest a comment-er is an idiot or "just doesn't get it" if they don't like all of Epstein's moves. I think it is fair to believe in a process without agreeing with the execution of the process. I like the process that Epstein has but in place but as a big believer in pitching/defense, I would have liked to have seen the re-build be around more elite caliber pitching and athletic defenders. Disclaimer, this is just my opinion. Perhaps their is some part of the Cubs FO plan that has not been executed yet which will make it all make much more sense some how...

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to travelguy:

    Hey, to each their own own, but I'm INSANELY happy they didn't a I'm for pitching.

    The number of highly ranked pitching prospects who's arms have fallen off the past two years is very disconcerting.

  • In reply to travelguy:

    Basically, I think the plan all along was to tank this season and go for a high draft pick in 2015. And again in 2016 if the fan/media base allow it. Epstoyer are not idiots so they knew this was a joke of an outfield and team offense going into the season. They of course "hoped" that Olt or Kalich, or Lake would become baseball dross spun into Gold, but so far, not.

    I do think we have to give Olt 200 ABs. But so far, he is not making a good argument for moving Kris Bryant to the outfield.

    Cashner for Rizzo so far is pretty much a wash. Rizzo has a 3.5 career WAR and Cashner has a 3.2. It would have been nice to see the Cubs sign Nelson Cruz this off season. But apparently $300 million in revenue does not go as far as it use to. See Sam Zell and his IRS swindle while blowing up the Tribune Company for fun and profit (especially profit).

  • Well put felzz. For me the most maddening thing is that there are beat reporters who clearly have an agenda, and are not happy with this current regime. But I know they were some of the same people often criticizing Hendry's regime and all his insane spending. It's fine if you want to be pro or anti or in between on this current PLAN, but you have to be consistent. Whether you're a fan or a writer you have to be consistent. Because I know that some of the same people who complained about the giant, bad contracts are the ones who were wondering why we don't have Choo and Cano.

  • The light over the horizon is being negated by the burning house you are standing in. 7-16 is such a dismal start. We saw it coming..,I know I did. And the 100th Anniversary Day meltdown will be remembered as the LOST ALL HOPE DAY for a lot of us. My friend told me we would have a better 2nd half than 1st half. Looking at things realistically, he will be right. But who will notice. The Cubs are doing most everything they can to lose fan interest early. WE can Achieve.., if Achieving is being the Worst team in BaseBall!
    My fears were another 100 LOSS SEASON. Now I have New fears. 100+ LOSSES. Now that's optimism!

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    I get what you're saying, but also winning attracts fans. If the Cubs finish the season well, with their core players up in the majors and contributing, most casual fans probably won't notice. But if they pick up where they left of in 2015 with more core players contributing, maybe a nice FA signing, then people will come back. In droves. Because that's how sports is. The Cubs have largely been immune to such an ebb and flow of interest/attendance until recently, but you see it in most other teams. And you see people interested when they are winning. The Brewers, the Reds etc...with few exceptions (the Rays, the White Sox) attendance goes up when they start winning, no matter how bad things were when they are losing. The Cubs have the added cache of finally ending the longest running championship drought in professional sports. People will come(back) Ray, people will most definitely come(back)

  • In reply to rakmessiah:

    who were the most profitable team in the majors last year? it was the Astros.. you know the team who no one went out to see.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    The Astros denied the validity of the Forbes article but it made a good point. I crack up everytime I hear of a 'Stros game drawing 0% rating from Nielsen.

  • I was expecting another lousy season, but when I saw that the brewers were the best team in the league, and that the white sox were .500, I got really frustrated. The white sox have an all star in Jose abreau in his first year, the dodgers have all star puig in his second year, and the A's have an all star in cespedes, and we got a soler, who will be lucky to make the majors by 2016. Oh yeah, Baez is hitting below the mendoza line in AAA. In closing, we'll be lucky to be a .500 club in 2016

  • Great read. Agree 100%. I'm in on the rebuild too, but was and still am a fan of what Hendry did for this franchise. The Cubs were fun to watch.
    What I do like about this team is that the players that are getting a lot of time in pressure situations are going to go to the bench when the best arms and everyday players emerge. I think Sweeney and Kalish can be good bench bats (200ish at bats a season) when all of the right-handed prospects come up. If the Cubs commit some money to a key bullpen piece, a key starter and a key left handed bat, your current best reliever becomes your 8th inning guy, your current ace becomes your #2, etc.
    I was ready for the Cubs to make some bold moves this past offseason, but I'm OK with the fact that they didn't. They'll get one more pick around the top of the draft. If they don't do something in the upcoming offseason, I think the frustration will kick in.
    The Cubs have so many players that they'll have to protect from the Rule 5 next season that they almost have to make a trade or two.

  • fb_avatar

    You think we would be ... MORE competitive with Shark, Cashner, Garza and Feldman?

    Really?

    So... Who is hitting the ball on this team. We are one of the worst offenses in baseball and Rizzo is by far and away our best offensive player.

    Yet you complain about the outfield.
    Garza is not all that good. Feldman definitely isn't special. And Cashner gave us every reason to think he was a reliever.

    I'm assuming you also think we should not have traded for Wood as well?

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I think we would be more competitive with shark, garza,wood, Feldman, and Cashner. That is a competitive rotation. Now we run out Jackson and mustache. That back part hurts us. Offense would still struggle but if you put 55 million from Jackson toward a hitter it could have helped???

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    With that rotation... Fielder. If the Cubs didn't trade Cashner for Rizzo, and Hendry was still around, Fielder would be a Cub. And I'd be just fine with that. I know everyone else will say something along the lines of... "That's a bad contract (I disagree) and then the Cubs wouldn't have been bad enough to draft Bryant" (there I agree and that's why I do like the front office and am on board with the rebuild). But, even if the Cubs hadn't signed Fielder, there's a whole lot of Mark Reynolds' out there that would be fine until Geiger or Vogelbach came up. I support Felzz' point.
    That said, I'm a fan of both Rizzo and this front office. It's getting to the point where you can say to the front office; "anyone can tank like this and win someday". What I respect about the front office is that they don't care. They have a plan and they're gonna exercise it irregardless of the way people may belittle it.

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    In reply to Kodak11:

    Fielder is a fat piece of crap and will continue to get worse.

    All the complaints about the last three years make me that much happier we have rebuilt like we have.

    Can't wait for the draft, and next year.

  • The problem is not the front office. Its money. The debt restrictions on the team are a killer.

  • Agree.

  • See Giffmo, that's why I qualified it with "You can't do this…." Because who would be at first base….? Suppose they signed James Loney, or Lyle Overbay? You spent Edwin jackson's money on a hitter…. They're not hitting now.

    Are you happy with this outfield? This is fine with you?

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to felzz:

    The outfield is, without a doubt, stinking like hot garbage.

    But I love the plan. I'm okay with being terrible this year and even before Theo was hired, I REALLY WANTED a full reboot. A bottom-up, 100% start from scratch. I hated pretty much everything Hendry did. He had a nice draft on his way out but that's it.

    I do expect tangible progress next year. In a big way. I hope the fire sale this year includes moving some prospects for MLB talent, like CarGo or Yasmani Grandal. And I expect a hard run at Scherzer, Shields, Masterson, McCarthy.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    Expect the hard runs at those pitchers to end the same as the hard runs for anibal and tanaka. Tried, came in second, we weren't going to overspend.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to SKMD:

    I still maintain those are both unfair criticisms.

    Anibal NEVER intended to leave. They needed leverage and got it.

    The Tanaka contract/opt-out clause is ridiculous. The Yankees are desperate and gave him the freedom to build insane value and make himself a free agent.

    I would've been angry if the Cubs would've made that deal.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I agree with you. That was an "all in" now deal. Something that Hendry would have done. And he came real close a couple of times to making the dream happen.
    But making any attempt to bring in a big name free agent (big bucks) now is pointless unless you are going to surround him with something other than waiver wire pickups. If the plan is to wait for the waves to start hitting shore, then they ought to time that pursuit accordingly.
    I'm getting weary of the McDonalds, Lillibridges, Ransoms, Murphys, Hopes and Prayers.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I hope for a big jump next season or at least effort to address issues but I am not sure we have anyone to offer a club for a trade in to get a big contributor???

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    No? Alcantara? Soler? Christian Villanueva? Dustin Geiger? Gioskar Amaya? Hammel? Schierholtz? Bonifacio? Barney?

    There's so many more. This is just top of my head?

  • "I like Grimm but I don't know if he's a starter. Ramirez looks like a bullpen arm"

    What's wrong with that? I'd be really happy if they both end up GOOD bullpen arms. We have an awful bullpen. They are young, cheap, and if they're successful that trade is a win without even taking Olt and Edwards into consideration, and they're the two bigger pieces. For two months of someone who was for sure leaving anyways? I don't get how you can try to make a joke out of that trade.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    We trade a guy who is a solid 2 or 3 in a rotation and all we can get out of it is a couple of decent bullpen arms. That doesn't sound like a good trade to me. As far as him leaving. Who knows if we had a better line up, garza could have stayed. I think the dempster trade will end up being better.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    But Garza was leaving, he was not going to resign no matter what, under any circumstances. That leaves you no leverage in a trade. Why then, did Jon Daniels himself say he gave away too much for just two months of a pitcher who didn't help them get to the playoffs?

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    U answered your own question. He was upset they didn't get into playoffs. Garza may or may not resigned but his decision was made for him in regards to no offensive support. I would rather trade 1 for 1 and have an impact player rather then 4 question marks. Why was olt untouchable the year before and the year of the trade he was a throw in???

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    No, it's not "he may or may not have resigned", he absolutely wasn't going to. Since he left he has made it clear he did not want to come back. What grounds do you have calling Olt a throw in? Were you in the room with the GMs? For all you know he could have been the main target.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    It is easy to say you didn't want to come back after you just beat your former team and your current team is 18-6. At the time you have no idea what garza was thinking as much as I was in a room with the GM's. Just look at the obvious go from untouchable to 4 ppl involved in the trade. Sounds strange.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    We'll have to agree to disagree. When you trade two months of an expiring contract and get four prospects in return, three currently on your big league team and one a top 50 prospect, and the opposing GM later admits he may have given up too much, I call it a good trade. And if Garza didn't want to stay and resign with Texas's offense and playoff roster, it tells me he was determined to cash in on free agency, and he did.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I agree with you. We will disagree. 3 guys on this roster hardly qualifies as a winnable trade. Teams r in desperate need for a 2 or 3 starter and we get 2 bullpen guys, a untouchable to a throw in hitting .180 and this top 50 prospect has a fatigued arm after4/5 starts. Seems like a push. For right now whether u like it or not it is a push.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I agree with you. We will just disagree on this. Three players on this roster doesn't mean much. Especially since it is 2 bullpen arms, a 3b that us hitting .180 and a top 50 arm that is so fatigued after 5 or so starts. Just saying.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I agree with you on that fact. Just because you have 3 ppl on this roster proves nothing... 2 bullpen arms, a untouchable player hitting .180 and a top 50 who has a fatigue arm after 5 or so starts this year. Texas is Texas maybe he liked players on cubs better. Gotta b hard to know ppl after 2 months. At this point it is a push until someone emerges as a steal.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    We will disagree that is for sure. Yes we got 4 players and 3 are on the roster if the worse team in baseball. 2 are bullpen help, one is hitting .180 and they top 50 pitcher has a fatigue arm after 5 starts or so. Do it is a push now
    Until someone steps up.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    Yes we will disagree the fun of this site. But to say3 ppl on this roster makes it a better deal is accurate. 2 bullpen guys, 1 guy hitting .180, and the top 50 prospects has a fatigued arm after about 5 starts. So it is still a push until some one emerges as a important piece.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    Yeah, it can't be that Garza is a far more valuable pitcher than Dempster, and Olt is worth trading for one but not the other. Pfffft.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I thought you were a hater on garza but now he is better then a quality pitcher like dempster. If olt was worth garza then why did the rangers have to add 3 other pieces to get him? Mmmmm, interesting as I said I believe dempster trade will be better. And it can't be cause Hendricks and Villanueva are safer bets. Pffftttt.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I was sure you were anti garza. But now you say he was better then a quality pitcher like dempster. If olt was so good why did rangers have to add 3 players to mix or was he throw in after being so untouchable. I still think dempster trade will be better since both are safer choices.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    You're REALLY ate going to argue that a 36 year old pitcher is more valuable than a 30 year old?

    Olt's troubles lessened his value some, sure. But teams are extremely hesitant to concede loss of value on any of their own prospects.

    If you really think that a guy that was one year removed if being a top 20 prospect, a guy with a reputation for good D and hitting fir power, just suddenly has no value, I'm not going to waste my time arguing with you.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    If the rangers were in a win now mode then they wouldn't care about age. But to say a guy like lake is more valuable then Beltran cause the simple fact he is younger and you are wrong.

    If the rangers had him untouchable and gave up there next best 3b prospect then in one year dump him into a 4 player deal seems awful strange. If you can't see that then in will not discuss that with you. They most have known something and so far they are correct. You just don't go from elite to that big of a trade deal for a pitcher you don't think is very good.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to Giffmo:

    Wow. That is all absurd.

    #1. Even in win now mode, a 36 year old pitcher is not a super attractive proposition. But on top of that, Dempster the older pitcher never had the pure stuff that Garza did. Dempster may have learned the art of pitching better, but don't pretend that means TONS when you're comparing against a guy with Garza's stuff that was, at the time, 29.

    And nice straw man argument by bringing up an older player that is one of the best hitters of his generation.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I know what we could do. We can send Olt to AAA when we said Baez to AA. Hahahaha. I couldn't resist.

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I am not debating garza vs dempster. It was your theory based on the age. That isn't what it was so don't turn it into that.
    Bottom line is we haven't benefited from the garza trade.... Yet
    Until someone emerges as a important piece it is a push.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    We will disagree on this topic. But to say we got 3 players on the worse team in baseballs roster isn't helping you. 2 bullpen arms, a guy hitting .180 and your top 50 guy has a fatigued arm after a few starts already. Until some one steps up it is a push

  • I'm not making a joke out of the trade. I think it has a chance to be a good trade. But it also has a chance to be a push, and it also has a chance to be underwhelming. If Grimm and Ramirez are just bullpen arms, and Olt and Edwards bust out and then I'm not sure what all the hullabaloo is for. I HOPE its a great trade. But again, the minute you start to Question anything, pro Epstoyer apologists come out of the woodwork and start labeling you names and giving you thoughts you never had….

  • In reply to felzz:

    Unless all four players bust, it's a win. There is no push, because Garza was never coming back. The comment "just bullpen arms" is not very intelligent if you ask me. Every team needs bullpen arms, our current team proves that, and if we get one solid one for two months of someone who was NEVER coming back, sure it's underwhelming, but it's a win.

  • In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    See If Garza left the Cubs would have gotten a supplementary pick. Pierce Johnson, the Cubs best pitching prospect was a supplementary pick. Michael Wacha, whose throwing 97 and is the 2nd starter for the Cards was a supplementary pick….

    I ho[e the Garza trade works out great. But I'm not ready to stamp it a good trade, a great trade, a terrible trade or anything other than a trade right now. And for some reason that angers a lot of Theo-pologists.

  • In reply to felzz:

    A comp pick has an infinitely smaller chance to make an impact than four prospects relatively close to the major league level. There is no way you can deny that. Especially when two are already helping a terrible bullpen and one is playing 3B almost every day. There's a very large chance that a comp pick never even makes it to that point, and if you don't believe me go look at previous drafts and you'll see the small percent of them that ever make it. It doesn't matter what side of the fence you stand on in regards to the rebuild to see that it was a good trade. It doesn't matter who the GM is, if I was a marlins fan and they made that trade I would still think it was a good trade, along with every expert, and along with Jon Daniels, the GM on the other side of the trade. So saying that "Theo-pologists" are mainly the ones who think that, is way off base. Labeling sides and calling them names is childish, and the argument doesn't have just two sides.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to nmu’catsbball:

    I liked the trade a LOT but to back Felz up a bit here, Theo himself built up a veritable army of high level prospects in Boston, virtually all of whom were comp picks.

    If we can't get a ridiculously unfair return for Shark at the deadline or the winter, I'd prefer to take the comp pick than trade him at the next deadline when we can't ask for as much.
    (To clarify, I'd rather resign him than get the comp, but I'm operating under the assumption that he continues to ask for too much)

  • In reply to Giffmo:

    I have confidence in the scouting and development to turn a comp pick into a major league player, so I'm not looking down on the value of a comp pick, but the probability of one comp pick amounting to more than a combined effort of two bullpen arms, a third baseman, and a pitcher who is a top 50 prospect is almost zero. Look at the history, it's just not probable in the least for one comp pick to add up to more than that.

    As far as Shark, I'd like to resign him. But down the road if he ends up like Garza and has basically declared for free agency, you're going to get a lot more value in a trade than in one comp pick.

  • fb_avatar
    In reply to felzz:

    Felzz sometime it feels like you and I are the only ones here willing to challenge the prevailing theo orthodoxy while still being part of the congregation - but I have to disagree with you on that trade. It's already a win to have the POTENTIAL of Olt, CJE and Ramirez in the system (Grimm is a dime a dozen). By far outweighs the potential of one comp or supplemental pick.

  • In reply to felzz:

    One thing is for sure either the Cubs have great luck or are really good at finding these rent-a-starter guys. Hammel has been lights out and could bring us some solid prospects coming back. Hopefully he stays hot thru May and into June

  • In reply to bleachercreature:

    Could be the law of averages, too. You throw enough against the wall sooner or later something will stick.
    Look at the roster for the last two years and see how many really amounted to anything. Lots of duds there.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Couldn't agree more. The trade is a question mark right now and people make it seem like it's this huge success, "oh what a haul we got"

  • In reply to felzz:

    the trade put two prospects in the cubs top ten.. a comp pick only would give us the possibility of one. and isnt CJ Edwards rated higher than Pierce Johnson?

  • In reply to felzz:

    Granted the plan is all right (for the sake of argument only), then I ask what about the planner? Is Epstoyer the man to execute it?
    (I'll run for cover now, Felzz.) Great article, Felzz. Keep it up. I certainly don't need to hear more from the apologists of Epstoyer.

  • Well said felzz. I'm a supporter of The Plan as well. I just don't recall reading in the "Keys to Success" section of The Plan, the sub-category "Major League Club Must be a Raging Dumpster Fire for Three Seasons."

  • In reply to YouCannotBeSerious:

    ML club doesnt have to be a "raging dumpster" but if we are semi competitive then we dont get Bryant,Baez & #4 pick.

    That being said next year HAS TO BE A COMPETITIVE YEAR!!!!!

    My first experience with the Cubbies was the 1969 season (that should have told me something) So I can wait until next year I have been doing it for 45 years.

  • fb_avatar

    First of all, stereotyping those who like Theo and Co. makes you sound as petty as those you purport to criticize.

    The, farm system can be " loaded with prospects" without teeming with MLB ready ones. We've seen the downside of rushing ptospects, and you have six minor league levels for a reason.

    I'm also waiting for the critics to specify who they think the Cubs should have added.

  • In reply to John Winter:

    You're absolutely correct John. And my rule is usually the first person to retort to "name calling" is the first person to lose their argument. I sometimes lower to the level of my competition

    And I love that the farm system is stacked. But for three years couldn't we see one or two close to ready at Iowa. Can't develop one outfielder in three years?

    As for who they should have added, I can't say because I don't know who was available. I hoped for Ethier from the Dodgers because I figured they had to dump an OF ( still do) But somewhere between the top (Ethier, matt Kemp) and the bottom ( Ruggiano) would be a reasonable answer…….

  • fb_avatar

    The "moderator review" filter here is getting old - I've lost so manny comments that never came back, I'm beginning to think I've been banned from the site.

  • In reply to SKMD:

    I agree. I have about seven comments not go thru. Don't know what issue is.

  • fb_avatar

    Many, not manny.

  • I know those feels, Felz. I, too, am getting anxious to see some attention paid to the roster at the MLB level, though I'm also trying to be patient and let the kids develop at the right pace. I'm really hoping this offseason they do something that signals to the fans that they are ready to turn the corner... whether it's signing a FA, making a trade, or not bringing in more Sweeney-type players that scream "placeholder."

    One little quibble, though... I don't know if we can assume if we had Shark, Cashner, Garza, Wood and Feldman that we would have the big three given that Cashner's trade for Rizzo a couple years ago and the Garza/Feldman trades surely had some impact on our record meaning that Bryant and Almora aren't certainties (for better or worse in terms of draft position). But I agree that obviously that starting 5 would look pretty damn solid at this point and it's easier (though not necessarily easy) to find the other pieces to fill in.

    While John and Mike, etc are voices to keep us off the ledge, it's also nice to have you around to give voice to some of the frustrations all these losses piling up give us and to remind us that there are other ways and other paths that could have been chosen... sometimes for the better, though in my opinion, often for the worse.

  • In reply to Pura Vida:

    *big four

  • Why is someone automatically an apologist if they truly believe the right approach is being taken, regardless of how painful the present is?

    When an educated fan speaks about the farm system they are not only referring to the core four. Three other players consistently made the top 100 of a lot of other publications and the system is considered deep.

    Next, mentioning a hypothetical rotation, including a pitcher traded years ago in Cashner, is just a ridiculous exercise. Not to mention our rotation is not the main reason the team has been awful this year.

    Really, you're bringing up the Mets having a 13-11 record in April and employing the names of Curtis Granderson and Kyle Farnsworth to strengthen your point? This keeps getting better.

    This is not about about the front office wanting to win. It is about having a plan and being disciplined. And yes, that means we will have to really overpay when there is a free agent worth acquiring but that also means not overpaying mediocre free agents for past performance so impatient fans can get excited about a meaningless 13-11 start.

  • its not just the "Cubs" plan. its the plan with alot of teams that werent/arent expected to do much. its the MO for bad teams. dont waste money. keep payroll down and acquire long term assets.. The pirates did it, and are now reaping the benefits, the nationals did it and are now reaping the benefits.. the Twins are currently doing it, along with the astro's, Marlins and San Diego.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    How many of those are major market teams that could draw 3 million with just a reasonable product? The Cubs plan may the correct one, but I think they underestimated the patience of fans. Put something, anything, out there that the fans can latch onto and you can pack the park and the coffers.
    It would be interesting to see the success rate differential between drafting 4 and 14. Is it really that critical to lose 100 to draft higher?

  • "On the other side are staunch believers of the plan. They not only seem to think everything is fine, but that "You don't get it" and aren't very smart if you don't appreciate what Epstoyer are finally doing after years and years of futility."

    "THE FARM SYSTEM!!!!!!!" LOOK AT THE FARM SYSTEM YOU IDIOT" is usually the first thing the apologists yell."

    Yup.

  • Felzz...what a great and interesting article and I agree 100% with your points. I a huge cub fan too but because of that doesn't mean we have to gobble up everything FO says. I am on the fence and will have the mentality that theo and Jed need to prove the plan is working.

  • In reply to WaitTilNextYear:

    the farm system is proof.. this current team isnt built to win now. .. the judgement comes when the prospects are on the big club. so those judging epstoyer now on this current team is rather ridiculous.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    You get judged how the big club is doing. That is what theo and Jed will be judged on in the end. Just because myself or other fans just don't hand over are faith in them doesn't mean we r against them. I personally am taking the approach to earn my praise and will give credit when credit is due. Thing with minors is it does appear to be decent only time will tell. Almora hasn't played for a few days? Soler is hurt. Baez is struggling. Bryant looks good. Edwards is fatigued already. Lot needs to improve and to drink the kool aide seems ridiculous.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Jed and theo will be judge on the major league club. It appears the minors are improved but only time will tell and instead if just giving those two all the credit and faith. I have the approach of waiting for them to prove it. Let's look at top 5 prospects. Baez is struggling, Bryant looks good. Soler hurt for 2 years and has anger issues, Almora hasn't played for a few days and Edwards has a fatigued arm after a handful if starts.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    "THE FARM SYSTEM!!!!!!!" LOOK AT THE FARM SYSTEM YOU IDIOT" is usually the first thing the apologists yell."

    Lol right on cue.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    The farm system is proof that they have a good farm system. Is it encouraging? Sure. But this team is at the bottom right now. To be competitive means that the top rated players have to continue to develop AND produce at the ML level. The other thing to remember is that other teams are not stagnating, waiting for the Cubs. Teams like the Red Sox, Pirates, Cards, Royals, Orioles, Dodgers, Rangers, Nats, etc. have systems ranked top third...and are competitive now. The Cubs will have to put it all together and leap over these other teams.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Theo and Jed will be judge on the big league team when it is all said and done. The farm system isn't proof. Is farm system seem decent? Yes but Almora hasn't played for a few days and is in A ball. Bryant looks good. Soler has been hurt twice and has anger issues. Baez is off to a bad start. And Edwards has a fatigued arm after a handful if starts.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Theo and Jed will be judge by how the big league team does year in and year out. Always saying wait 3 years will not cut it. Does the minors look better ? Yes but Almora is in A ball and hasn't played for a few days. Baez is struggling. Bryant looks good. Soler has been hurt twice and has anger issues. Edwards has fatigued arm after a handful of starts. I think it is ridiculous for people to say that is proof.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Jed and theo will judge on how well the big league team does. Does the farm system look decent? Yes but Baez is struggling, Almora is in A ball, Bryant looks good, Soler has been hurt twice and has anger issues, and Edwards has a fatigued arm after a handful of starts. That isn't proof that is a theory and to give Jed and theo great props now is ridiculous.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Theo and Jed will be judge on how well the big league club does. Does the minor leagues look decent? Yes but Almora is off to a slow start in A ball, Baez is struggling in AAA, Bryant looks good, Soler has been hurt twice and has anger issues, and Edwards has a fatigued arm after a handful of starts. This isn't proof. This is a theory with a hypothesis. To give them all this credit is ridiculous.

  • Brilliant. Simply brilliant.

    The thing that gets me is the constant excuses. Where is the sense of urgency for chissakes? I can't imagine my local steak house bringing in Chef Pierre to update the menu and giving him 5 years to do so. Can you imagine his first reassuring words to customers being "Have patience. We realize the filet tastes like cardboard. But we have to clone a new breed, raise, slaughter...in 5 years we can present you with something special. In the meantime, it's gonna still be $75 for the cardboard." Where are you gonna eat the next 5 years???

  • wow. that is the worst comparison I have ever read.

  • In reply to CubfanInUT:

    Pretty bad meal too.

  • To me, this is one of the worst indictments of where we are now. It's a comment from another blog:

    "Man, I really like Hammel. Throwing 94 with late movement. Really interested to see what we can get for him."

    At one point are we ever going to say, "Wow, great we found this guy. I wonder if he's open to resigning a long-term contract."

    Why not stop thinking of these guys as sign-and-flip and instead as potential good long-term additions to the pitching staff??

  • Frankly, if you had the rotation of shark, feldman, cashner and garza as proposed then who if anyone hits on this team? Because Rizzo is one of the very few who are hitting.

    As for the mets comparison, what was left in the farm was some exciting guys in the low minors(Alcantara and Baez) and two guys who've yet to do anything at the major league level(Vitters and Jackson). Personally, I'm not excusing the lack of an outfield this year but to make that comparison just isn't right because who would be the cubs David Wright?

    I totally get the frustration. I have it too. And when people are already talking about trading someone like Bonifacio i get a tad uneasy. I'd like to see them start trading for hitting and using some of their well stocked farm to get some current major league players. It doesn't have to be Baez and change for David Price but going after someone like a Denard Span for a Vogelbach or something like that wouldn't be so bad.Then when you have your Bryants and Baez's come up it's not hopes and dreams all laying on them. That's another reason I wouldn't trade shark unless they got some silly deal similar to what the Rays got for Shields.

  • Count me in with Felzz. Rebuilding the farm system is all fine and dandy, but at the end of the day, it's not the MLB club. And the Cubs' record (and performance, for the most part) does indeed scream "raging dumpster fire". If they had money for Tanaka, they had money to sign some FAs or trade for an extra Dodger outfielder (picking up most of the salary). They've (Theo and Jed) put themselves in a position where it's going to take a Jayson Werth type signing to get a FA to even come to the Cubs at this point. And they need someone to provide leadership and teach the young guys how to be winners, because so far they are getting a top notch education in losing.

  • In reply to VaCubFan:

    I think Hammel is providing leadership. His record is 4-1 and he just shut out the best team in baseball. I would give him an extension. He is a keeper.

  • In reply to VaCubFan:

    You make several interesting observations here. It is guys like you who are most needed now in fandom, not those who blindly jump on the bandwagon in support of the decisions of the front office, and say dissenters need attitude adjustments. Thank you for pitching in.

  • Adam,
    I'm down with your comments 100%. I have supported the PLAN too, but am waiting for some results, and losing patience. Its been 69 years of it, and I won't last long enough to see it. Certainly not at this pace. I was under the misguided apprehension that the Rickets' pockets were deep enough to get competitive. I was knee deep in the horizon with that one. They're csrimping and shaving and the PLAN is looking tattered. I can't fault them on Tanaka, I'm pretty sure he wanted the Apple all the time. I sure wish we had a second sacker to hit .320. for the 2 hole Beckert is a little long in the tooth. The team looks like 65 wins, maybe. The pitching won't get them much more.

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