View From The Bleachers

September 26, 2012

Chet’s Corner: Five Burning Questions for Seasons End

Filed under: Featured,General — Chet West @ 6:43 pm

With eight measly games left in a season that saw more positives off the field than on, questions remain as to the future of the Cubs.  However, before we drag this potential hundred loss horse out back and shoot it,  let’s take a minute to find some positives.

As always, your input is encouraged.

1)  Who would be your Cubs MVP of the 2012 season?

I am torn.  I want to vote Rizzo but Castro played a full season and turned in another fine performance.  Darwin barney and Shark could make a claim for the spot.  I think I am sticking with Castro here.  If they would give him a regular slot in the lineup I think he would be more consistent.  Bouncing him around did him no favors and he still performed at the plate.

2) If you had to grade Theo, Jed and the crew on their first season in the Cubs front office what grade would you give them?

I am going with a solid B.  I can’t even expand on why, other then to say the effort just looks like a B at this point, but if they moved Soriano and Garza (somewhat out of their control) then the grade could be higher.  Dempster-gate probably was not their fault but better communication may have solved that Braves deal.   In all, the moves they made or didn’t make get them a B.

3)  What is the one area on this team that needs to be addressed between now and through next season?

Pitching.  Third base is weak and needs attention, but the pitching is next to atrocious up and down the system.

4)  How do you feel about Theo’s honest assesment of the teams low expectation’s for 2013?

In a weird way, I liked it.  I also feel that it takes a lot for management to forecast low expectations in any industry, so things must really be bad on the north side from an organizational stand point.

5) Let’s talk about Eric Gagne’s recent admission regarding HGH and his new Biography, what are your thoughts?

According to Gagne, 80% of the Dodgers were using HGH when he played there.  More numbers are going to come out as more and more of the PED era players retire.  The greats may not talk as much, but the fringe guys like Gagne will, especially if they can sell a book in the process.

 

Only eight more games people, hang in there.  Then again, since the front office states next season won’t be much better, look at it as 170 games…that’s a lot of baseball.

 

 

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Chet West is an IT professional living in Minneapolis, MN with his wife and two daughters. He has a pug named Banks and loves photography. Follow him on Twitter @chetwest19

  • Buddy

    1) Soriano. The only regular with an OPS over .800, which is sad.
    2)  Grade A. So far so good.
    3) More guys who get on base. Team on-base percentage of .302. Truly awful.
    4) I don’t pay much attention to what executives, managers, players, etc. say to the media.
    5) Don’t really care, but I’m not surprised.

  • Jedi

    1. I’d probably go with Castro, but Soriano and Samardzija would be my other choices.  No on Barney, and Rizzo was in the minors for the first three months.
    2. You give them a B, you don’t know why – but if they’d traded our only frontline pitcher and 1 of the 2 guys who can put a ball over the wall then it would’ve been a better grade?  Huh?  We need to stop assessing the new regime based on who they get rid of, and instead evaluate who they bring in.  Ian Stewart and Anthony Rizzo are the biggest names they’ve traded for and have suited up at the MLB level.  It’s a start, but some of the other guys in the minors that they’ve acquired need to pan out too.  I’d give them an incomplete, 11 months really isn’t enough to make a decent evaluation.
    3. Yep, pitching.  And more pitching.
    4. I don’t care about his expectation; he’s not being paid to set expectations.  He’s being paid to build a franchise.  I don’t think it’s breaking news that the Cubs will probably suck again next year.
    5. If 80% of the 2003 Dodgers were juicing, it wasn’t working.  Adrian Beltre was the only guy who hit more than 19 jacks.  Their pitching staff – outside of Guillermo Mota – doesn’t really scream ‘juicers’ either.  Maybe Kevin Brown did?  Maybe.  Unless Mota was the only guy that Gagne knew on the team, I can’t see how he gets to 80%…Hideo Nomo, Andy Ashby, Paul Shuey, Robin Ventura, Fred McGriff, Cesar Izturis, Shawn Green – 80% of the team was juicing and those guys didn’t benefit and didn’t know?  I mean Darren Dreifort was on that team, if he was pumping HGH he must’ve gotten the worst batch ever because he couldn’t stay healthy for more than a series at a time.

  • Timo Hoffmann

    1) Soriano. He is having a really nice season of offense and also is a good LF. Castro still makes too many mistakes to be the Cubs MVP and also did not have a very good offensive year. Rizzo simply did not play all year.
    2) Grade B-. Rizzo was a good deal, Steward not. The systems seems to have had some inputs, but they could get really good value for Dempster or Garza (I honestly don’t care much why, fact is we did not get the talent in return for the Dempster trade I think we could have).
    3) Starting pitching! 
    4) If he would have said anything else he would have the wrong job.
    5) Don’t really care!

  • Cubs Future

    1) Soriano as scary as that sounds.  Everyone else was more of a 1/2 an MVP, which is much better than being LaHair at the moment ( a Has been All Star all in the same year)

    2) They get a B, but can easily see how Jedi puts an incomplete.  Anyone can form a plan as it is the end result that matters most.  I just feel that they are getting the farm system in order top to bottom.  They had a good draft (obviously can’t truly tell until years down the road).  They did decently with the trades, but I’m sure they could have handled that Dempster trade better (not all on him).  Gotta love that Rizzo trade and seems decent thus far for the Marshall trade, but again time will tell.  Stewart trade was not good, but not huge risk there as it was trading for an all star who crashed and burned. 

    3) Better plate approach.  Most hitters didn’t know how to take pitches as were too aggressive, but then hitters were getting to passive and led to strikeouts.  Not easy to overcome for the newbies, but got to have good at bats to get people on base and the ultimate goal of knocking them in.  You can’t win if you don’t score runs.  Starting pitching was very good, but still got a lot of no decisions or losses to start the year.  They will pick up 1 or 2 guys to hopefully be the next Dempster/Maholm types to spin off.

    4) He is trying to temper expectations so he looks more like a genius as we know not all Cubs fans are rational.

    5) Don’t care at all.  

  • Eddie Von White

    1. I cannot bring myself to even consider an MVP on a 100 loss team.
    2. A grade is based on outcome – not effort or feelings or even progress, therefore, Theo and company get an F. As my teachers used to tell me, “as you improve, you can bring that grade up.” Ditto to Theo.
    3. It has to be pitching.
    4. Agree with Cubs Future – it’s all about Theo. I don’t like it when someone sets the bar low no matter how realistic it may seem. Does complacency mean anything to anyone?
    5. Gagne was in the locker room every day. Have no reason not to believe him. Too bad keeping the rules does not equate with honor anymore. I guess it never has.  

  • charley

    1. On a 100 loss team i tink Soriano makes for a good MVP.  Although I’d put Shark and Castor in the mix.
    2. I like what they’ve been doing but its still too early to tell.  THe Mashall trade looks like a good move and bringing in Rizzo gives us all immediate hope for the future.  But still too early to grade.  I’d give them an A for effort, i guess.
    3. Pitching (echo, echo, ehco) and more quality position prospects, you just can’t have enough depth.  Regarding third, I think that we should give Stewart another shot with Valbuena and Vitters (and more waiver pickups) waiting for him to fail or succeed and get traded.
    4. I want them to suck. Suck to another 100 loss season for all i care.  The season is a win if the farm system continues to significantly improve, especially if they can fill the pitching hole.  After another season i think the cubs could have one of the better farms in baseball (i said better not best).
    5. Who cares.  Its interesting but i didn’t care about the Dodgers then and i still don’t.

  • http://www.facebook.com/christopherjamesallen Christopher Allen

    1. Soriano – only full season regular who had a decent season.  Never would have guessed that at the start of the season!
    2. IMO, it’s impossible to grade Team Theo at this point.  Too much potential value in the draft picks that we won’t know how they pan out for years.  So the grade is incomplete but it appears we are going in the right direction in terms of building depth in the minors.
    3. Pitching and plate discipline.  We don’t have enough good starters (we actually did well in this department until the trading deadline), our bullpen is atrocious, and the pitching cupboard appears to be mostly bare in the minors.  If we can’t get guys out consistently we have to get on base consistently and the current team appears to prefer the comfort of the dugout over running the bases.
    4. Coaches often sandbag expectations to the media to not give the opposition locker room fare.  Theo is doing the same but with a lot more accuracy and it is directed at the fan base.  The rest of the league already knows we are going to suck.  I prefer to set expectations high and shoot for them… but what are high expectations for the 2013 Cubs, a 70 win season?
    5. I loathe the Dodgers almost as much as I loathe the Yankees.  I am less likely to read Gagne’s book than Vitters’ likelihood of getting a hit.  Hmm, I didn’t realize Vitters crested .100, well, you get the point.

  • BLPCTB

    You forgot our old pal Todd Hundley, who for us turned into Eric Karros and the G-Man, Grudz

  • BLPCTB

    1. Soriano for the same reasons everyone else has listed
    2. I give McJedEp a B so far. They have a war plan, and they are sticking to it so far. Not their fault that Tribune Company went on a drunken spending spree before selling the team and Hendry is an incompetent clown. They are still cleaning up the mess left by Hendry. Getting rid of Bozo was a good start though.
    3. This team needs a complete overhaul, but the pitching is atrocious.
    4. Who cares what Theo says? Is he supposed to say we’re built to win the World Series when they clearly aren’t?
    5. Who cares? This is old news. It was in the Mitchell Report that a lot of those Dodgers guys were doping.

  • CLWhitlatch

    1. I’ll have to name both Soriano and Castro as the co-MVPs.
    2. I’ll give them a B.
    3. Pitching, third base, more offense.
    4. I’m glad that expectations are low, we’re likely to finish last.
    5. I don’t care about Eric Gagne.

  • Eddie Von White

    Funny

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