View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



November 2005



The Patterson problem

Written by , Posted in General

Okay, it’s time to beat a dead horse again. Jteezy and I got into another discussion about what to do with the Cubs enigmatic centerfielder. My concern at this time is that the Marlins have cut enough salary to where they are under the $40M ceiling they wanted to get to – I suspect that they are really turning the screws now on Hendry to get Pie for Pierre. I’m also suspicious that Hendry is using Pierre as a foil in his discussions with Furcal’s agent – why else is this deal not done?

In either case it’s time to send Mr. Patterson on his merry way. Every day on Rotoworld I see where this major leaguer or that is playing in Venezuela, Mexico, Puerto Rico or the DR. They aren’t doing it because they have to, they’re doing it to hone their skills. And where is Corey? Sipping Cuba Libras on a beach in Copacabana? Eating hotdogs at the Varsity in Atlanta? He sure ain’t working on his ability to hit, in fact he hasn’t done that since he donned a major league uniform.

Corey is the same player he was when he came up – he is flat-out resistant to change. His attitude is “stay the course.”

Jeez Louise, haven’t I heard that somewhere before?

Accordingly I call on the Cubs to set a firm timetable, a commitment to when and in what steps they will deal with the “Patterson problem.” I wish to go on the record now as favoring a “cut and run” solution. Let’s let this loser go – if anything it will send a message to the team about bucking the management. I go on record now for releasing Patterson no later than December 8th (if he cannot be traded) and signing Kenny Lofton to a two year contract by the same date if Juan Pierre cannot be obtained.

Joe’s Opinion:
My thoughts on this “issue” is a more optimistic one. I have not given up on Corey Patterson. We all acknowledge that the talent is there. Everyone is mad at him for not going to winter ball to work on his skills. However, let me present some arguments for you to consider.

1. Winter baseball in a foreign country can be just as frustrating, if not more, than playing in the U.S. – When you are in a place where you don’t have any friends and sometimes do not speak the language, it makes it even tougher to focus. All Corey would be doing there is growing more and more frustrated.

2. Sometimes you need to step back. – We all have jobs that sometimes get us down. We go through a spell where nothing we can do is going well. I have it happen in teaching. I go through times where no matter how easy the math concept is that we’re working on, the kids look at me with dumb looks on their face. I grow frustrated and need to take a step back and rest. It is usually God’s timing that those are the times where things like Thanksgiving break and Spring Break come along. The same goes for Corey. After last year’s complete failure in which nothing was going right for him, maybe the answer is not more baseball, but less baseball.

3. Corey is coming to the prime age of his career. – At this point of careers, players begin to figure things out and put up their best numbers. Should this scare the Cubs into keeping Corey? Certainly not, but it does deserve consideration. We know that the numbers can be put up, because he did it in 2003 before he got hurt. At this point in his career, he could be primed to breakout.

4. Stubbornness? – I read in the Pete Rose book that he was not stubborn or selfish when refusing to change positions to help the team. It was the way he was told and not asked to change positions. Now, obviously I am not in the dugout or on the practice field when the coaching staff is working with Corey, but perhaps this is the issue. Maybe the coaches are not asking him for his opinion, but rather, just telling him what he needs to do. I’d like to know if this is the case, because perhaps this is the issue for Corey.

5. We have so much invested in Patterson – We’ve come this far, so why trade him or, God forbid, release him as is talked about above? It would be like investing tons of money in building your dream house and then giving it away to whoever gets there first. That would be stupid. At this point, we need to circle the wagon and give Corey one that try. Until we have someone better to fill his shoes (Pie – perhaps) then why not hold tight. Last time I checked, we were a little short on good outfielders. So, unless you want Jose Macias getting the start as the fourth OF, it would be wise to hold on to Corey and see this investment through.