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July 2014

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It's Just Darwinism…..

Written by , Posted in General

Darwinism –

1:   a theory of the origin and perpetuation of new species of animals and plants that offspring of a given organism vary, that natural selection favors the survival of some of these variations over others, that new species have arisen and may continue to arise by these processes, and that widely divergent groups of plants and animals have arisen from the same ancestors

2:  a theory that inherent dynamic forces allow only the fittest persons or organizations to prosper in a competitive environment or situation

For a minute, let Webster’s second meaning, listed above, soak in….now apply that to the Cubs current state.

Darwin Barney typifies the model and make of that old home grown Cub product to come and go over the past 15 years.  Overall, just above average when at his best and rarely above average for an extended period.  More Specifically, I should say, he represents Cub prospects drafted or traded for between 1998 and 2011, usually never drafted in the top 2 or 3 rounds, or sometimes the side effect of a bigger trade.  I will give you a few names that share these qualities…..

Ryan Theriot

Brendan Harris

Geovany Soto

Sam Fuld

Tyler Colvin

Eric Patterson

Corey Patterson

Brandon Guyer

Tony Campana

DJ Lemahieu

Brett Jackson

Josh Vitters

Micah Hoffpauir

Jason Dubois

 

The above list is made up of just about every position player I can think of,  drafted or traded for since 1998 up through 2011, that at least made it for a small sample size of Major League experience with the Cubs.  The rest of them never saw the field, or at least not for more than a game or two.   You’ll notice, a few of those players were first round picks, but the majority were further down the list.  You may wonder why I make mention of their draft position, well, one of the most astounding qualities of all these drafts was the 1st and 2nd rounders.  They were horrible in most cases.  Many never made it past A ball.

I left pitchers off the list, there was a bit more success there (think towel drills), but not much.  I also left international signings off the list, which were by far the most successful signings of the era in that they alone yielded Starlin Castro, Carlos Zambrano, and a brief but impressive year or so for Carlos Marmol.  Otherwise, as far as players at the prospect level (i.e., Aramis Ramirez and Derek Lee don’t count as they were not prospects at the time of the trade), the above list is what was developed in their system.

Arismendy Alcantara started the Darwinian process over the past week or two when he came up for what was supposed to be a quick stop and turned it into his own little version of Hunger Games.  The infield got crowded and somebody had to go…Darwin Barney proved to be the weakest link.  A .230 Average and a .265 OBP aren’t going to be enough when there is talent starting to ripen at the levels below, which is exactly what is happening.  Over the past few years a guy like Barney may have lasted the year, he still has some decent defense to give (only two years removed from a Gold Glove) but his bat was never that great.

Most of the guys on the list above created some sort of excitement for a bit but never really panned out.  Cue the guy who is going to tell me that Corey Patterson was better then average, okay fine he was,  for about one year at the most.

You never know how everything will pan out. Some of these guys coming won’t adjust to the bigs well, some will have injury troubles, but some will make it.

There isn’t much left from the previous regime.  Granted prospects such as Mendy and Baez are products of that regime, However a bulk of their handling since has been all Thed.  The only players with Major League time as Cubs, prior to Epstein and Co. taking the reigns, currently on the roster are James Russell, Wellington Castillo, and Starlin Castro.  I would not be surprised to see them go prior to this team being competitive again.

Darwin’s theory is very fitting for this organization.  We could also apply a portion of the first meaning, “…that natural selection favors the survival of some of these variations over others, that new species have arisen and may continue to arise by these processes…”, which is exactly what is happening in Wrigleyville.  The old specie of Cub is fading and a stronger specie is rising.

So readers, who will be the next player to fall? Who will be the next to rise?

  • Dusty_Baylor

    Well apparently it’s Mike Olt. Hopefully he goes to AAA and gets his eyes checked again, and his head on straight…..because he looks lost at the plate.

    • Dork

      That Lake – Olt combination last night was the one downside of the game last night. 0-8 with 5K’s. This was overdue, I do hope that Olt can continue to develope.

  • Dusty_Baylor

    Well apparently it’s Mike Olt. Hopefully he goes to AAA and gets his eyes checked again, and his head on straight…..because he looks lost at the plate.

    • Dork

      That Lake – Olt combination last night was the one downside of the game last night. 0-8 with 5K’s. This was overdue, I do hope that Olt can continue to develope.

  • Dork

    So was yesterday the turning point to this whole thing, lots of pretty big news. I think we will see Soler in Wrigley this season, more because of his contract situation vs the others.

  • Dork

    So was yesterday the turning point to this whole thing, lots of pretty big news. I think we will see Soler in Wrigley this season, more because of his contract situation vs the others.

  • Doug S.

    Barney DFA’d. It was coming, but kind of weird when it happens.

    • PLCB3

      With cardinals luck they’ll pick him off the scrap heap and he’ll discover his bat.

      • You know, it is probably a fine time to put the whole Theriot thing behind you.

      • PLCB3

        I never cared for Theriot after he left the Cubs. But this is just the history of Cubs luck vs. Cardinals luck

      • What would that luck be exaclty? Turning a light hitting mullet-head into a slightly less lightly hitting mullet-head?

      • PLCB3

        He can’t hit as a Cub, he starts hitting as a Cardinal.

      • Dusty_Baylor

        Theriot put up a .271/.321/.342 with STL. With the Cubs he hit .287/.350/.362. He was just on a better team in STL.

      • They call that “Cubs luck” in St. Louis. And they call jorts “shorts.”

  • Doug S.

    Barney DFA’d. It was coming, but kind of weird when it happens.

    • AC0000000

      With cardinals luck they’ll pick him off the scrap heap and he’ll discover his bat.

      • You know, it is probably a fine time to put the whole Theriot thing behind you.

      • AC0000000

        I never cared for Theriot after he left the Cubs. But this is just the history of Cubs luck vs. Cardinals luck

      • What would that luck be exaclty? Turning a light hitting mullet-head into a slightly less lightly hitting mullet-head?

      • AC0000000

        He can’t hit as a Cub, he starts hitting as a Cardinal.

      • Dusty_Baylor

        Theriot put up a .271/.321/.342 with STL. With the Cubs he hit .287/.350/.362. He was just on a better team in STL.

      • They call that “Cubs luck” in St. Louis. And they call jorts “shorts.”

  • I’ve honestly never heard of Brendan or Brandon, but that screams sitcom.

  • I’ve honestly never heard of Brendan or Brandon, but that screams sitcom.

  • Doc Raker

    Hee Sop Choi.

    A new brand of Cub species is about to arise. Dig it!

    Can we get a new species of broadcaster in the TV booth? Please!

    “and that widely divergent groups of plants and animals have arisen from the same ancestors” Although this is taught as fact it is still an unproven part of the Darwin theory.

    • PLCB3

      I don’t consider Choi and Hill busts because they got us Lee and Ramirez

  • Doc Raker

    Hee Sop Choi.

    A new brand of Cub species is about to arise. Dig it!

    Can we get a new species of broadcaster in the TV booth? Please!

    “and that widely divergent groups of plants and animals have arisen from the same ancestors” Although this is taught as fact it is still an unproven part of the Darwin theory.

    • AC0000000

      I don’t consider Choi and Hill busts because they got us Lee and Ramirez

  • Seymour Butts

    I feel compelled to point out that in the context of Darwin, “Theory” is not a guess…In academic usage, the word theory refers to analytical tools for understanding, explaining, and making predictions in various fields of study.
    If there were not the occasional troglodyte here denying scientific facts, this would not be necessary.
    You may return to you regularly scheduled commenting, and of course, dick jokes.

    • Get off your soapbox. Just yesterday our insightful Wood commentary was praised by a newcomer.

      • Seymour Butts

        As well it should have been.

      • Seymour Butts

        As well it should have been.

    • Doc Raker

      Parts of Darwin’s theory is still just that, an unproven theory. Are you arguing against that? “Making predictions”- like the scientific community predicted the polar ice caps would be melted by now. Like those kinds of inaccurate unproven ‘predictions’ are suppose to be accepted as facts?

  • Seymour Butts

    I feel compelled to point out that in the context of Darwin, “Theory” is not a guess…In academic usage, the word theory refers to analytical tools for understanding, explaining, and making predictions in various fields of study.
    If there were not the occasional troglodyte here denying scientific facts, this would not be necessary.
    You may return to you regularly scheduled commenting, and of course, dick jokes.

    • Doc Raker

      Parts of Darwin’s theory is still just that, an unproven theory. Are you arguing against that? “Making predictions”- like the scientific community predicted the polar ice caps would be melted by now. Like those kinds of inaccurate unproven ‘predictions’ are suppose to be accepted as facts?

  • Buddy

    Nothing against Barney, who is probably a nice guy, loves his country, is nice to dogs, etc. He simply can’t hit. Not even a little bit (career OPS of .625). This isn’t 1978. There’s no reason to have automatic outs in your lineup anymore. Guys like Barney are a dime a dozen.

    • Eddie Von White

      I was hoping he would evolve into a really good hitting second baseman but time was not on his side.

  • Buddy

    Nothing against Barney, who is probably a nice guy, loves his country, is nice to dogs, etc. He simply can’t hit. Not even a little bit (career OPS of .625). This isn’t 1978. There’s no reason to have automatic outs in your lineup anymore. Guys like Barney are a dime a dozen.

    • Eddie Von White

      I was hoping he would evolve into a really good hitting second baseman but time was not on his side.

  • cap’n obvious

    DJ Lemahieu would have the 2nd highest avg. on the Cubs currently…one of the first things Epstein did after getting hired was give him and Colvin away for basically nothing. Colvin was a bust, but so were Ian Stewart and the minor league stiff they got in return. My point? While most of you continue to drink the kool aid, I don’t see the improvement. These savior prospects are jack squat to me until they do something to win a game or three at the corner of Clark and Addison…

    the troglodyte himself could probably do better than a .139 average with 12 meaningless jacks in 200 garbage-time plate appearances…but HEY, at least Theo the genius got us something for Matt Garza….a legit #3 starter.

    I need some vodka for my kool aid.

    • Jim Jones

      I shall send you some.

    • Noah_I

      DJ LeMahieu’s batting line in Coors Field this season: .325/.394/.394

      DJ LeMahieu’s batting line playing anywhere but Coors Field this season: .238/.272/.318

      In other words, if the Rockies picked up Darwin Barney I wouldn’t be surprised if he put up a .700+ OPS at home.

      Also, no one considered Olt as the primary piece in the Garza trade. The primary piece was CJ Edwards, and we’ll see how he does as he returns to Tennessee shortly. Olt was one of the three secondary pieces along with Ramirez and Grimm.

  • cap’n obvious

    DJ Lemahieu would have the 2nd highest avg. on the Cubs currently…one of the first things Epstein did after getting hired was give him and Colvin away for basically nothing. Colvin was a bust, but so were Ian Stewart and the minor league stiff they got in return. My point? While most of you continue to drink the kool aid, I don’t see the improvement. These savior prospects are jack squat to me until they do something to win a game or three at the corner of Clark and Addison…

    the troglodyte himself could probably do better than a .139 average with 12 meaningless jacks in 200 garbage-time plate appearances…but HEY, at least Theo the genius got us something for Matt Garza….a legit #3 starter.

    I need some vodka for my kool aid.

    • Jim Jones

      I shall send you some.

    • Noah_I

      DJ LeMahieu’s batting line in Coors Field this season: .325/.394/.394

      DJ LeMahieu’s batting line playing anywhere but Coors Field this season: .238/.272/.318

      In other words, if the Rockies picked up Darwin Barney I wouldn’t be surprised if he put up a .700+ OPS at home.

      Also, no one considered Olt as the primary piece in the Garza trade. The primary piece was CJ Edwards, and we’ll see how he does as he returns to Tennessee shortly. Olt was one of the three secondary pieces along with Ramirez and Grimm.