View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003

Wednesday

29

June 2011

43

COMMENTS

Game 79 & 80 – Double Dose of Crap

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 7, Giants 13
Cubs 3, Giants 6

Box Score (Game 1Game 2) / Highlights (Game 1Game 2) / Condensed Game (Game 1)

WHAT WENT RIGHT

  • Carlos Pena went deep to bring the Cubs within one and then Koyie Hill hit a HR to tie it early. It was down hill from then on in game one.
  • Homeruns by Montanez and Ramirez. Neither of these guys project into the Cubs future but it was nice to see them hit long balls.
  • Nice defensive plays by Castro and Johnson. You expect good glove plays from Johnson but Castro hasn’t been up to par recently. I’ve been laying off of him because of his bat but it was nice to see him flash some leather, perhaps he will be our starting third baseman next year. I’d like to see him transition to the hot corner.
  • Samardzija put in two solid innings of relief, as did Mateo.

WHAT WENT WRONG

  • Poor pitching by Lopez and Grabow, both of those guys need to be released. I’ve been patient with Cubs general management for a while but Hendry needs to go now. Why are these guys with the team? Because of bad management decisions – let’s cut the head off of the snake right now. Same with Clown Kenney. But we all know our new Bozo Tom Ricketts will express total support for the management won’t he? Get a show on WGN Ricketts, I want to play the bucket game again. It’s sad to say but we have a loser team, loser management and a joker for an owner. Other than that things are just fine on the North Side, it isn’t even July and the Cubs are not even an afterthought.

ON THIS DATE IN BASEBALL HISTORY

  • 1907: The Washington Senators stole thirteen bases on Yankee catcher Branch Rickey. Apparently he was a smart fella but didn’t have much of an arm.
  • 1910: Cub infielder Joe Tinker stole home twice in the same game.
  • 1939: The New York Yankees hit 13 homeruns against the Philadelphia A’s to set a major league record for most homeruns in a doubleheader.
  • 1970: The Cubs helped the Pirates close Forbes Field by losing a doubleheader and the Pirates tied the Mets in the standings. Then the Pirates were doomed to play in Three Rivers Stadium for several years, it was like watching baseball being played at an airport.
  • 2010: The Cubs put Carlos Zambrano on the restricted list. We still don’t know the outcome.


  • Josh

    The anti-spam word is very fitting this morning, as it is every morning.

    Suckage.

  • Dennis

    Hendry should trade or release Ramirez, Pena, Soriano, Bryd, Fukodome, Lopez, Davis, Grabow, Soto, Baker, Dewitt, Johnson, Hill, Denpster, and Zambrano. Then immediately fire Quade and resign.

  • Buddy

    I don’t want to see Montanez do anything postivie, as it could lead to him returning next year.

  • Buddy

    Positive. Sorry for the typo!

  • Mark

    What went right: The world didn’t end today.
    What went wrong: The Cubs played a double-header…
    My anti-spam word is “traffic” as in watching the Cubs this season makes me want to run into it. Also, how is Mike Quade on the all star team coaching staff?

  • MJ

    “I’ve been patient with Cubs general management for a while but Hendry needs to go now.”

    This is a joke right????

  • Katie

    Soriano just pisses me off. I mean really. On that bases-loaded double, he JOGGED over the the left field wall, bent over and TOOK HIS TIME picking up the ball, and LOBBED it in to Castro, who threw a strike to home. I mean seriously, some people still like this guy. Why?! He sucks. He’s lazy. He doesn’t hit.
    Soto’s defense has been really bad recently, too. He dropped a perfect throw by Johnson at home that would have saved a run. I shake my head at the Cubs.

  • Mr. David M. Beyer

    Based on yesterday’s performance, expect the following from Hendry:
    1) Montanez signs 6 year/55 million dollar extension
    2) Hill gets 3 years/18 million
    3) Samardzija 14 years/172 million
    4) Pena 8 years/110 million
    Most general managers want to put their signature on the team. Henry’s signature is terrible contracts that ensure that the team pay far too much for a player during their decline years. This plan would let him leave his mark long after he gets fired. He is getting fired, right, Ricketts family? Right? Please say yes…

  • Joe

    @Dave – I’d probably pay the $13.75 mil a year for Pena, but not for 8 years. Call me crazy, but I’m OK with him coming back next year if it means we save money over Pujols and apply that in other holes.

    Also, you forgot the full no trade clause on Montanez’s deal. A Jim Hendry staple.

  • Norm

    @katie – It looks like Soriano did everything right on that play, tbh.
    “Rowands bases clearing double”
    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/index.jsp?gid=2011_06_28_sfnmlb_chnmlb_1&mode=box

  • Doug S.

    Some recent history (FWIW)going into the ASB.
    2008 19 games above .500
    2009 even
    2010 11 games below
    2011 18 games below (at current pace)
    Not a pretty going out of business graph.
    As owner, would you be happy with this trend?

  • Doug S.

    @David
    How come only 3 years for Hill?
    Guy hit a HR yesterday for crying out loud.
    Pay him!

  • PackerCubBull

    Who would be the SS if Castro moves to 3rd? I think we should just blow this team up, go young, and not go for the quick fix that will hurt us down the road.

  • I am fine with giving raises to every position player we have and welcoming them back in 2012. Even Koyie…welcome back, buddy. All I want is pitching. Aside from our big three in the ‘pen and maybe Wells, nobody’s pitching is even remotely reflective of his paycheck. Grabow is the (my) punching bag, but Demp’s contract is just as big of a joke. 18M for Z? See you too. Take Garza and his 6M with you, please. I’m pretty sure I could scratch out a few hits in a double dip against R-Lo and Ace Davis.

  • Josh

    I was reading Gordy Witt this morning and he said the brass is meeting this week to decide whether or not to become sellers.

    The very fact that they don’t already know this speaks volumes about the ineptitude of our front office.

  • MJ

    @Joe – are we sure the no trade clause is a Jim Hendry special? Or do the agents insist on them nowadays, and he folds?

    • @ MJ – That’s an interesting take. I’d not considered something like that before. That could explain it. I may take a look at the guys we’ve given the clauses too and see who the agents are.

  • Jedi

    “I am fine with giving raises to every position player we have and welcoming them back in 2012.”

    Please tell me that is a joke. If Fukudome and Ramirez are back with raises, something has gone horribly wrong.

  • Doc Raker

    The worst hitting team in the bigs meet the worst pitching team in the bigs. Nothing like the Cubs pitching staff to make an anemic line up look potent. My Giants friend was telling me, ‘watch the Giants will win while scoring 1 or 2 runs’- I say no no friend you are facing Doug Davis today, runs will come. I would rather march a bunch of minor leaguers through the rotation and see if you find someone ready to pitch in the bigs, this Doug Davis is no longer a big league pitcher, he obviously sold his soul for one last W vs the Yankees, it’s over for Mr Davis, time for him to buy a ticket like everyone else if he wants to get into Wrigley.

  • Doc Raker

    I think no trade clauses are standard in the MLB for free agents. All the other free agents on the trading block seem to have to wave the clause and as a matter of negotiating leverage you would think the player in a free agent situation has enough leverage to get a no trade clause. If a team is willing to pay millions for a player they most probably are willing to give a no trade clause, Hendry is probably within MLB standard on the no trade clause.

  • chet

    MJ & Joe,

    Trade clauses are yet another way of sweetening a deal. They are typically reserved for guys who have a family and want to settle down over the course of a long contract. It is also something a player will do when being courted by large market teams. Most players want to play in a large market and would be unhappy to be traded from say Chicago or New York to Kansas City. Unless of course the small market is a home town team then that changes things the other way. Sometimes the GM will get to chop two years or a couple mill off a long deal if he kicks in a no trade.

    It’s just another bargaining chip.

  • Mark in Toronto

    @Joe: I agree on keeping Pena around. Sure he’s not the most consistent hitter, but he has good power and is very patient at the plate (he walked twice in the second game yesterday). I’d rather pay a decent amount for him on a short term contract as opposed to overpaying for an endlessly long contract for Pujols or Fielder.

  • Doc Raker

    Chet- You think a no trade is worth 2 years or a couple mil? Seems a high valuation for the no trade. I will ask my friend who is best friends with a prominent baseball agent. Interesting question. What is your source on this?

  • Mark in Toronto

    In addtion, I don’t see that we have any other viable in-house options for 1B next season.

  • Doc Raker

    Pena is a worthy PART TIME player and should be paid as such if he returns. I agree on not going long term with Pujols or Fielder. But Pena negatives are to glaring to pay him like a full time player. 1) Can’t hit with the wind blowing in, his home runs turn into outs. 2) Can’t hit left handed pitching.

  • chet

    I was actually just looking for my source but it may be gone. After Ramirez signed his second deal with us there was an article that was in the trib (I think) that brokedown the deal and all of it’s elements. One of the biggest victories for Aramis was the No trade….mainly becuase he has family and wanted to settle down in one place for the Summer. The writer then went on to ask the question of whether Aramis would still be a contributor at his position in the latter years of his deal.

  • chet

    Spekaing of options, what options do we have for third base?

  • chet

    crap, meant “speaking”

  • Jedi

    The problem with Pena is that there won’t be an option to keep him for $13mil for 3 years (or something that might be similarly palatable).

    Once Pujols sets the bar in the stratosphere, and Fielder comes along and grabs a Soriano-like deal from the Pujols maid of honor, Pena will be waiting to get his. By that time, Pena’s going to be getting something more in the $15mil-$16mil for 4-5 years range. That’s especially going to be true if he can reach 100 RBIs (he’ll more than likely hit 30 HRs).

    If you think that Scott Boras had a 32 year old take a one year deal slightly below market, only to setup a 3 year deal the next season, you’re nuts. Boras will be looking for 4-5 years, based on this one season of production, and a dollar amount relative to Pujols and Fielder. Someone will pay the man, I hope it’s not the Cubs.

  • chet

    Another interesting detail to the Aramis deal is that his No Trade actually only went through 2010 season. In return they gave him the right to void his contract after 2010 and become a free agent.

  • Jedi

    That’s because Aramis has 10-and-5 rights now. So even though the no-trade isn’t written into his contract, he has the option to void a trade just like every other player who has been in the league for 10 years and with the same team for the last 5 years.

    Really, Aramis’ ability to void the deal after last year was just another unnecessary Jim Hendry concession. If Aramis had been great in 2010, you can guarantee he would’ve voided it and held the Cubs hostage for more years and more money (just like he did to get his last contract!). Aramis gave away nothing (his no-trade clause) and receive the opportunity void his deal (potentially screwing the Cubs).

  • The way I see it, Rami is our best option at 3rd for next season. Pena may turn out to be our best option at 1st…I still have no idea what that 5M deferred junk was all about. He is worth 5M for 30 dingers…that whole ‘can’t hit a leftie’ nuance Doc mention should preclude his ass from seeing 10M. Either way, that stuff is pretty much going to be pedantic bullshit if we cannot find five guys to show up and pitch some baseball games.

  • Norm

    “voiding” the deal is the same thing as the contract having a “player option”. Just another sweetener of the pot.
    Aramis took a lot less money to stay with the Cubs at the time it was signed. He had to get some concessions.

    Most free agents get no-trade clauses or protection. Taking a look around, I found this one pretty smart on the Red Sox part:
    if traded, club acquiring (Carl) Crawford may not subsequently trade him to NY Yankees

  • Doc Raker

    I would think like anything else supply and demand play the roll in what a player can get. For Aram, Demp, Zambrano and Dlee they all wanted to remain Cubs where they could of gotten more on an open market, therefore Hendry would pretty much have to give them other concessions. I would think sought after free agents would comand such no trade clauses while fringe lower end free agents would not. Hard to believe Aram’s $80M contract was below market at the time.

  • Doc Raker

    Jedi- How was Pena’s $10M below market? The guy had a down year in 2010, can’t hit lefties, how does that translate into more than a $10M salary? How does that translate into a $10M? Boras must be a witch to get these GM’s to believe the crap he sells.

  • Jedi

    Doc – first, let me say I agree that it’s crap a guy like Pena could be worth $10 million. But, in the current MLB landscape, a guy who can hit 30-40 HRs with 100+ RBIs (something he’s done 3 of the previous 4 years) – that’s going to translate to at least $15mil for 3-4 years.

    I’ve been quite vocal that I don’t think he’s worth a long term deal, but someone will give him that kind of money. Go back and look, Hendry was wanting to give him a 2-year deal, and he was willing bump up the per year price too (I believe he’d pitched a 2-year $24mil deal to Boras). So yeah, he’s below market right now…but he won’t be after this year; and I would argue he’s not worth it THIS year, so he DEFINITELY won’t be worth it next year.

  • Norm

    I have never heard that Hendry was willing to go 2 years on Pena…not saying it’s false, but where did you see this?

  • Doc Raker

    The MLB salary landscape is certainly askew and we need a GM who understands that, not aids it. The Cubs should consider moving Soriano to 1b for 2012, if we can’t trade him we should minimize his defensive pain, if the guy played 2b he can play 1b.

  • Katie

    Norm – his mechanics were good, they were just too slow.

  • PackerCubBull

    @Norm – What would happen if Crawford was traded and the team traded him to the Yankees?

  • Danny B

    Soriano shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a glove.

  • Norm

    PCB: I don’t think they can…it would be prohibited by MLB due to the provision in the contract.

  • Steve

    I’m pretty sure the “Crawford, can’t be traded to the Yankees.” thing is bogus and unenforceable.