Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Best 3-4-5 hitters in History?

The Cub Reporter has an interesting post in response to ESPN writer Jim Baker on, "Can you suggest a 3-4-5 combo in baseball history that has the potency of Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield?"

The Cub Reporter uses MLVr statistical analysis to say yes I can. I can say right off the bat I don't know what MLVr is.

He points to the 2001 Seasons of both the Cubs and the Giants and picks out Bonds, Kent, Snow, and Sosa, White, McrGriff as having more potency than anything projected from the current Yankees 3-4-5 hitters.

I am a baseball purist. I like to stick to the basic stats, Runs, HR, RBI, BA, OBP. You don't need to combine them into complex formulas to get your point across. On top of that I don't like projections based against actual stats. Projections are just that, projections. They are wrong more than they are correct. The problem with comparing A-rod, Sheff, and Giambi is that 2 of the 3 played for different teams, so we have no idea how they will react to each other.

If each player maintains his .400ish OBP they will provide each other will plenty of RBI chances. The speed of Sheff and A-rod will keep them scoring 120 runs a year on top of that. I see no reason they cant continue to keep putting up the numbers they have.

So lets start off with last years numbers of Sheffield, Giambi, and A-rod.

Sheffield - .330 BA, 39 HR, 132 RBI, 126 Runs, .419 OBP
Giambi - .250 BA, 41 HR, 107 RBI, 97 Runs, .412 OBP
A-rod - .298 BA, 47 HR, 118 RBI, 124 Runs, .396 OBP

Totals from core categories - 127 HR, 357 RBI, 347 Runs

Now the 2001 Giants.

Bonds - .328 BA, 73 HR, 137 RBI, 129 Runs, .515 OBP
Kent - .298 BA, 22 HR, 106 RBI, 84 Runs, .369 OBP
Snow - .246 BA, 8 HR, 34 RBI, 43 Runs, .371 OBP

Totals from core categories - 103 HR, 277 RBI, 256 Runs

Not even close in that comparison, except for the HR's. The discussion is over the 3-4-5 hitters and the 2001 Giants suffer in that respect because J.T. Snow, Armando Rios, and Calvin Murrary each had AB's in the #5 spot. You might say what about Rich Aurilia? He spent that year in the #2 spot in the order. If his stats were included it would make it much more respectable.

Aurilia - .324, 37 HR, 97 RBI, 114 Runs, .369 OBP

Revised core categories - 132 HR's, 340 RBI, 327 Runs.

Again were trying to stick to the 3-4-5 hitters not the most productive/potent 3 hitters in a row.

The 2001 Cubs stack up like so.

Sosa - .328 BA, 64 HR, 160 RBI, 146 Runs, .437 OBP
White - .307 BA, 17 HR, 50 RBI, 43 Runs, .377 OBP
McGriff - .306 BA, 31 HR, 102 RBI, 67 Runs, .386 OBP

Totals from core categories - 112 HR, 312 RBI, 256 Runs

I included McGriffs entire season totals because he didn't skip a beat when he was trade to the Cubs, what hurts in this comparisonn is that White was injured and McGriff was slow as a brick on the base paths.

Runs wise the 2001 Cubs were horrid when compared to the other 3-4-5 hitters. That is due mostly to horrible hitters in the lower half of the order. This is a problem the 2004 New York Yankees will not have. Sheff, Giambi and A-rod should continue to cross the plate at or around 120 times a year.

The question is again, "Can you suggest a 3-4-5 combo in baseball history that has the potency of Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield?"

In recent history? No I cant. But in distant history i can suggest the 1927 Yankees 3-4-5. Now I am not a baseball expert and don't know where to begin looking for where these guys hit exactly in the order so I could be completely wrong. If anyone knows a site that tells exactly where hitters of the past hit in the order by year that would be wonderful.

I just went over to and started scrolling through Yankees teams and Ruth, Gehrig, and Lazzeri come out as followed.

Gehrig - .373 BA, 47 HR, 175 RBI, 149 Runs, 474 OBP
Ruth - .356 BA, 60 HR, 164 RBI, 158 Runs, .486 OBP
Lazzeri - .309 BA, 18 HR, 102 RBI, 92 Runs, .383 OBP

Totals from core categories - 125 HR, 441 RBI, 399 Runs

Power wise the 2004 Yankees are nearly identical to the 1927 Yankees. However in RBI, Runs, BA, and OBP the 1927 Yankees dwarf what a possible 2004 Yankees team could put up. Thats a potent collection of 3 hitters the Yankees put out in 1927.

Another fun one from the past to put up is the 1930 Chicago Cubs hitters of Hack Wilson, Kiki Cuyler, and Gabby Hartnett.

Wilson - .356 BA, 56 HR, 191 RBI, 146 Runs, .454 OBP
Cuyler - .355 BA, 13 HR, 134 RBI, 155 Runs, .428 OBP
Hartnett - .339 BA, 37 HR, 122 RBI, 84 Runs, .404 OBP

Totals from core categories - 108 HR, 447 RBI, 385 Runs

Close to the 1927 Yankees collection but not quite good enough. A very worthy 2nd best in my opinion.

Again I could be way off on the 1927 Yankees and 1930 Chicago Cubs, someone who knows that Hartnett batted #2 could make this all moot.

I believe the author was going more for the question, "Can you find a better group of 3 great hitters together," as compared to specifically the 3-4-5 hitters even though he said 3-4-5 hitters. If that makes any sense at all.

I have a hard time excluding Rich Aurilla from 2001 and putting in J.T. Snow just because one batted #2 and one batted #5. The fact was Aurilla, Bonds and Kent formed a very effective 3 hitters to go through that year.

Ofcourse I will probably get slammed because I used last years numbers of Sheffield and A-rod from their former teams. Most tend to agree that their numbers should probably fall off, atleast RBI wise, making them not as productive. But even if they maintain their career averages it makes it a very potent lineup.

Career Averages

Sheffield - .299, 33 HR, 106 RBI, 103 Runs, .401 OBP
Giambi - .302, 35 HR, 116 RBI, 105 Runs, .415 OBP
A-rod - .307, 44 HR, 126 RBI, 128 Runs, .382 OBP

Totals from core categories - 112 HR, 348 RBI, 336 Runs

Just an average season by these 3 puts away the 2001 Cubs and Giants comparisions. I don't think one expert doesn't expect them to atleast match their career averages this coming year.

And who knows we might see a 2001 Bonds/Sosa or Ruthian display from one of these Yankees hitters. I don't think we have seen an off the chart year by any of these guys yet. Giambi might be in decline, Sheffield is 35 and the chances are slim for a monster year. A-Rod could thrive in New York. One monster year by any of these guys and we start putting them up with the 1927 Yankees and 1930 Chicago Cubs. Until then they are just a crude camparision to the some of the great teams of the past.

This is the way I compare production/potency. If you are knocking in more RBI, and scoreing more Runs your the most productive/potent. And I believe thats what Jim Baker was looking for in the question he asked.

I don't want to knock MLVr, but...

MLVr is a rate-based version of Marginal Lineup Value (MLV), a measure of offensive production created by David Tate and further developed by Keith Woolner. MLV is an estimate of the additional number of runs a given player will contribute to a lineup that otherwise consists of average offensive performers. MLVr is approximately equal to MLV per game. The league average MLVr is zero (0.000).

By its own admission its an estimate. And frankly when you start estimating how many runs one player contributes over another you start getting into murky waters. Just because Alex Rodriguez joined the Yankees doesnt mean he is less important. Just because the offensive load is carried by the rest of the lineup, doesn't mean A-rod is less valuable over Bonds or Sosa who hit in less productive lineups.

Again the question is,"Can you suggest a 3-4-5 combo in baseball history that has the potency of Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi and Gary Sheffield?"

Not who has the best Marginal Lineup Value. And I will stick with the 1927 Yankees of Ruth, Gehrig, and Lazzeri for now.

Update: I think The Cub Reporter probably also forgot about the 1998 Cardinals and the combo of Mark McGwire, Ray Lankford, and Brian Jordan. I am sure the MLVr example would probably be better than the 2001 Cubs one.

Anyways their stats are as folllowed.

McGwire - .299 BA, 70 HR, 147 RBI, 130 Runs, .470 OBP
Lankford - .293 BA, 31 HR, 105 RBI, 94 Runs, .391 OBP
Jordan - .316 BA, 25 HR, 91 RBI, 100 Runs, .368 OBP

Total from core categories - 126 HR, 343 RBI, 314 Runs

The 1998 Cardinals 3 combo hitters compare very closely to what the 2004 Yankees should do. They were also a much better heart of the order than the 2001 Giants and Cubs.

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Understanding the Logic

Some bloggers have said that they dont understand why Cruz was traded with Mark Prior injured?

Well its simple. He isnt one of Bakers guys. Remember when Cruz went off on Baker for jerking him back and forth? It was only a matter of time till he was gone. Look what Baker did to Bellhorn, Hill, and Choi......they all got jerked around and i know Bellhorn had some words with Baker and all got sent packing to other teams.

Is that just plain coincidence? I dont think so for a minute. So no It didnt surprise me one bit when Cruz was traded, because Dusty Baker was never going to let him pitch for him again, just like he would never let Bellhorn start over Lenny Harris or let Hill and Choi play regularly. So goes life in Dusty Town, one of the many reasons i hate this vindictive asshole, you got to kiss his ass for playing time. Apparently Jose Macias must do it well, along with Alfonseca, Harris and Estes.

Want to play for Dusty Baker? Pucker up and get the lip balm out.

And the king of all ass kissers is Alex Gonzalez, if a .250 hitting Hill and a .230 hitting Choi werent good enough how do you explain a .230 hitting SS never getting benched? I wish Baker was fair and balanced but he isnt.

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Update on Prior

As usual Ivy Chat is all over any changing news on Mark Prior.

rumors are starting to slowly leak out that Prior might not be ready to go until JUNE. Holy crap Bat-man!

Again Ivy Chat points to denials from the Cubs Management and they are sticking to the he will only miss his 1st couple of starts on the year. Ummmm didn't Cubs Management say he would only miss the first couple of starts in spring training? I guess if you keep saying he will only miss a couple starts over and over maybe the injury will go away and people will believe you.

Well the injury hasn't gone away, but the people for the most part are believing what Cubs Management is saying, hook line and sinker. Just because we won last year doesn't mean management has broke free of its deceptive ways. Any GM of the Chicago Cubs over the last 50 years is a master at downplaying bad things as not being important. Andy and Jim are no exception.

I still believe the training staff dropped the ball big time on this Prior injury and would love to get to the bottom of it.

On 1/12/04 we hired a new trainer named Dave Groeschner. I have no idea what happened to the trainer before him, whether he moved on, got promoted, or even fired behind closed doors. But had an interview with him and at the end this is what he said. Will you contact all the Cubs players this winter?

Groeschner: That's probably the first thing I need to do is contact all the players and introduce myself, let them have my phone numbers, catch up on some of the guys and their rehabs. Before we know it, we'll be in Spring Training. I want to have conversations with everybody and be aware of what's going on in the whole minor league organization as well.

Did he follow up on Prior's injury? And if so, that means they have been actively treating it from atleast January of this year with virtually no improvement. Not a good sign if that scenario is true.

Or did the previous trainer not follow up on it, and then didn't pass along to the new trainer that Prior had a previous injury?

The way Prior talks about it, is that after the season was over he went home with no check up's by trainers or doctors and wasn't treated again until Spring Training when it started to hurt again.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Hill and Choi Updates

Looks like Bobby Hill will win the 2nd base job with Pittsburgh out of spring training. In reality its more to do with Freddy Sanchez being injured than Hill actually winning the job, as most experts expect Sanchez to get the majority of AB's once he returns.

Hill after a slow start this spring, has raised his average to .314 with 2 HR's, 3 RBI, and 5 R.

Hill has gone from one of the top Cubs prospects to what many scouts are saying as one of the most over hyped prospects. Again I like the deal that brought us Aramis Ramirez, but I still honestly believe that Hill can be a productive major league baseball player if given a chance. The injury to Sanchez could give Hill some breathing room to establish himself with the Pirates and I really hope he does.

Hee Seop Choi I think is a much more gifted player than Bobby Hill and expect him to be a better major league player also. His spring hasn't been particularly good on the other hand and I expect Wil Cordero to get the 1B nod with Choi as his backup. That wont exactly help Choi.

While he hasn't hit for average this spring Choi has showed some decent power. .222, 3 HR, 9 RBI.

I hope both of these players live up to expectations, and I will continue to track their progress.

The Circle of Life

Remember when Jose Hernandez was traded for Mark Bellhorn? We all thought whats the point? Or how about trading for Tony Womack? Again what was the point?

Ahh but now the Cardinals have traded for Tony Womack. Oh the joy to see Womack flail away at the top of the Cardinals order against our pitching staff. He doesnt hit well, he doesnt walk, he swings at every thing, and the one tool (speed) he had to get on base is quickly fading.

I hope the Cardinals enjoy him as much as they enjoyed Jeff Fassero. Maybe if we are really lucky and Womack doesnt work out the Cardinals can swing a deal for Jose Hernandez or even the great Lenny F. Harris.

Personally i would love to see Antonio Alfonseca in Cardinals red so we can get some payback like with Fassero.

I just find it weird that it seemed like for years we picked up the dead scraps of players the Cards didnt want on the market, and now it seems the Cards are picking up the dead scraps of ex-Cubs players. I know Walt Jocketty is a smart man, but if they couldnt cut it as a Cub that should be a MAJOR avoid sign. Dont touch, dont sign, dont trade, dont pass go.

Tommy John Surgery

Just recieved my latest issue of Baseball Digest and it has a pretty good article on Tommy John Surgery and how its helped major league pitchers to continue with their career.

The article stats that players typically perform as well, if not better, after the operation and have stronger arms, with radar gun readings. Billy Koch who was throwing in the high 90's before he blew out his arm is now, according to some reports, has hit 108 and 103 after the surgery.

I highly doubt that but ya never know. Still it doesnt help Koch much because he has horrible control.

Kerry Wood said, "I hit my top speed after the surgery......I'm throwing harder, consistently.

Towards the end of the article it says, most of the players say they throw the same pitchers post-surgery with basically the same mechanics. Wood is the one exception.

"I really had to change the way I was throwing across my body," he says. "If I didnt fix that, I would eventually have the problem again. I dont have that big loopy slurve (combination curveball anb slider) I was throwing early in my career, which is probably a good thing."

I was watching Kerry Wood's 20 strikeout game today at and that slurve was really amazing. Its just as spectacular today as when i saw it for the 1st time way back in 1998. Once in awhile Wood will pull it out of the closet and use it, i can just recall a few times since his surgery he has actually used it.

Cruz Traded, Macias Hurt

I wish him the best of luck and hope he turns into what the Braves want him to be. Go to Ivy Chat for the stats on pitcher Andy Pratt and infielder Richard Lewis. Also included in the deal was pitcher Steve Smyth.

Jose Macias has been injured and will miss the next month. The Cub Reporter wonders if it is wrong to be happy that he is injured.

I agree that he shouldnt even be on the roster anyways. At the very least this should give Scott McClain(.419, 6 HR, 15 RBI) a chance to make this team, which he should.

MSN I Love You

In a $40 million dollar deal with Major League Baseball MSN now offers free live web video broadcasts for its Premium customers. Over 240 live broadcasts of baseball games a month. Also included is gameday audio of baseball games.

Before you had to pay either $19.95 a month or $99.95 a year for this package. Now it comes included with regular membership to MSN.

AOL has also struck a deal to bring a similar service to their community.

America Online plans to announce a two-year, $9 million deal with MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM), the leagues Web business, to offer live audio streams and 20-minute video clips for each game, the sources added. AOL will offer the games free of charge to its AOL for Broadband members, most of whom pay $14.95 a month on top of their broadband bills for the service

The AOL service it looks like is a much more slimed down version of MSN's.

With MSN you get everything they put out on, live uncut video, home or away audio, highlight clips, archives you name it. For a baseball fan trying to choose between which service they want, this will attract more customers to MSN than AOL.

I did have some problems just trying to get the video to work, it kept wanting to try and play it on a real player but wasn't working. I do not mess with my Windows Media PLayer that much but once I figured out how to get that as my default player it streamed the broadcast no problem.

I enjoyed watching part of the Cardinals and Orioles game today, and now I am listening to the Cubs and Oak radio broadcast. Both of which I could never do before with MSN and

Thanks MSN. You made this Cubs fan extremely happy!!

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Prior On The DL

Yep thats right Mark Prior will start the season on DL according to the Cubs. Does this story keep getting worse or what? At first it was no big deal they said, and he could pitch if they really needed him to. Now 3 weeks later, and virtually no improvement in the situation, he hasnt seen any action this spring, and Cubs management keeps telling us its no big deal, he could be ready to go early to mid April.

He was supposed to be ready to go a week ago, this is serious. And who ever dropped the ball and did not following up on this injury from last season needs to be fired. Even if that means his name is Dusty Baker. He is the manager of our team, i dont know what could be more important than the achilles tendon on the push off foot of the most important pitcher in Cubs history.

I dont blame Prior as much as i blame Cubs management about this. When your young you think you can bounce back from anything, a little rest and your fine. The team knew about this, put an even greater work load on his back after this injury and then failed to follow up on it in the off-season? Heads need to roll, and quickly on this. I am getting sick of excuses and blowing it off as no big deal.

Monday, March 22, 2004

Honoring a Legend

Courtesy of Dissident Frogman...

Thanks for playing the mass murderer GONG Show. Next?!?!

And on that happy note......ends my political expression on this blog.....i will rant and rave on my other blog Times of Change.

That picture was just too funny, to pass up.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Greg Wood

Its only spring training and it doesnt really matter much, but Greg Maddux today did his best impersonation of Kerry Wood. His pitching line was 3 innings pitched, 8 strikeouts, 1 hit, and 2 walks.

A sign of things to come from the old crafty veteran? I think its Maddux's way of showing the other pitchers in camp he still has game, and he can turn it on and off when ever he feels like it.

Sadly the game ended in another double digit loss for the Cubbies. Come on guys i know its spring training but lets try and make an effort to be competitive. Or atleast keep the ball inside the stadium.

Ivy Chat Keeps His Eye On The Ball

He is probably the only blogger that noticed the other bit of information not related to the "walks dont matter" interview with Baker. Hurry up go to his site............what are waiting for? Ok, Ok, it has to do with Mark Prior.....interested now? Thats what i thought..........Ivy Chat.

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Spring Training

Through the 1st week of Spring Training.

Who's Hot -

Todd Hollandsworth - .417 BA, 4 R, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Alex Gonzalez - .400 BA, 4 R, 3 RBI
Tom Goodwin - .400 BA, 2 3B, 3 RBI,
Aramis Ramirez - .333 BA, 4 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Scott McClain - .333 BA, 2 HR, 4 RBI
Jimmy Anderson - 1.50 ERA, 6 IP
Todd Wellemyer - 0.00 ERA, 4 IP
G. Glover - 0.00 ERA, 5 IP
Carlos Zambrano - 1.80 ERA, 5 IP, 9 SO's

Who's Not -

Nick Jackson - .200 BA
David Kelton - .200 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBI
Jose Macias - .154 BA, 3 SB's
Todd Walker - .133 BA,
Michael Barrett - .111 BA, 1 3B, 2 RBI
Matt Clement - 10.80 ERA, 5 IP, 6 ER
Francisco Beltran - 18.00 ERA, 3 IP, 8 H, 6 ER

Cubs Round Table

I missed the e-mail The Cub Reporter sent around to the Cubs bloggers for the round table. So I went ahead and answered them anyways. Enjoy....or not.

Q: Most pundits agree that the Cubs have one of the best rotations in baseball. Will the rotation live up to the hype? If so, which pitcher will have the best year? If not, who will falter, and will the team be able to overcome it?

For the most part the rotation will live up to the hype. The only way it wont will be because of injury. By far Mark Prior will have the best year. He is leaps and bounds ahead of where Wood should be.

Q: Which, if any, of the Cubs pitching prospects will make an impact on the team this year?

None. Baker as we all know has zero patience with rookies. There is always some crusty veteran who Baker thinks is better than some nobody prospect. Shawn Estes, and Lenny Harris are perfect examples. And afterall were talking about a man who benched Rich Aurilla for a year so he could play the crafty veteran Jose Vizcaino in San Fran.

Q: What should be done with Juan Cruz?

For the sake of his career he needs to be traded. I think all Jose Cruz wants is a legit shot in the rotation, anyones rotation. He has no future with the Cubs barring catastrophic injuries to the front 5.

Q: How much better is the Cubs bullpen this season than it was in 2003?

Overall its a little bit better. I dont trust Remlinger or Merker to remain effective. And if Borowski falters your down to 1-2 dependable arms. What is this an even numbered year? Which Kyle Farnsworth is gonna show up? I hope its not the 7.00 ERA one. Alot of people need to remain effective out of this aging pen to be a significant improvement.

Q: While there are very few questions about the pitching, there are plenty of questions about the offense. Will the Cubs score enough runs to hold off the Astros in the NL Central?

Not if they repeat the hitting from last year. And that should be no problem to avoid. But expect alot of droughts in the offense like what happened last year. The Cubs can win 15-2 one day then get shut out the next 2 games. We still dont hit RHP very well, i think around .250 overall. And our division and the National League as a whole is dominated by very good RHP. Its going to be all about getting the 3 run homerun this year. Just like it has the last 3-4 years. Not a good sign.

Q: Who will have a better 2004, Michael Barrett or Damian Miller?

Damian Miller - I think Barrett is nothing more than a Alex Gonzalez clone with the bat. Were are gonna miss Miller's defense, and Barrett's small improvement in hitting over Miller wont be enough to take away from his defensive short comings.

Q: Who will have a better 2005, Derrek Lee or Hee Seop Choi?

Derek Lee. I am not quite in the boat that Derek Lee will have a monster year just because he is in Chicago compared to the Florida. What i dont get is a move to Chicago for Lee means he will have monster numbers while if Pudge came to Chicago his numbers would decrease? Huh? People seem to knock Pudge for playing in the SAME EXACT park but prop up Derek Lee on a golden horse. That train of thought doesnt jive.

Q: The Choi for Lee trade was a classic example of trading potential for current performance. Do you think it was the right trade to make for this year? What about for the future of the team?

Yeah it was the right trade to make to win this year. On the other side it sends a terrible message to an organization who has troubles developing positional talent. If you dont come out hitting like Albert Pujols your trade bait. It puts tremendous pressure on minor league talent to be good right away. And very very very few players hit straight out of the gate.

Q: Jim Hendry was very active this winter. Everyone expects the Lee and Maddux acquisitions to help the team immensely. Was there another, lesser transaction the Cubs made this winter that you think will have a significant impact on the team?

Todd Walker. Mark Grudz has never put up back to back good seasons. And i dont expect him to do it this year. I put Walker down as one of the players the Cubs should get over a slowing Luis Castillo. He brings a much needed ability to hit RHP that we are missing, and he has RBI and extra base potential. Plus he makes a cool $1.75 million your going to get your moneys worth with him.

Q: What sort of seasons do you expect Moises Alou and Corey Patterson to have? If one or the other struggles, will Dusty pull them from the lineup, or stick with them?

I want Moises to hit .350 again. But i dont see it happening. He is pretty injury prone, so he will probably miss significant time this year, which will just make Todd Hollandsworth our every day LFer. Alou will be given every chance in the world to play if he remains healthy. If he is hitting .230, he will still be our #4/#5 hitter. Remeber who is our manager.
Patterson should jump right back on the horse and continue to do what he was doing last year. Patterson doesnt walk, has speed, and power. He is a Dusty player, he will play if only hits .230 as well. Well as long as he jacks 30 HR's. OBP be damned.

Q: Who will get more playing time at second base, Mark Grudzielanek or Todd Walker? Who should get more playing time?

Baker has already said its Grudz's job. You know my stance, Walker.

Q: How close is Sammy Sosa to being a Hall of Famer?

He already is. I can already hear the Sammy Bashers screaming bloody murder. He has one of the greatest 5 year runs in the history of baseball. His career numbers also are worthy of induction. No question he is a Hall of Famer.

Q: Recently, GM Jim Hendry locked up Greg Maddux, Kerry Wood and Derrek Lee for the next few years. Who on the current roster, if anyone, should get the
next long-term contract?

Aramis Ramirez. Considering how long it took for us to find a decent 3rd it would be insane for Hendry to just let him walk away. If he hits 15 HR's and drives in 75 RBI. He will still be locked up.

Q: As a Cubs fan, are you having a hard time dealing with the fact that the Cubs go into this season as favorites?

Not really, every year i hope Cubs are going to win the division and the World Series no matter how horrible i think the team might be. But there is a difference between being the hunter (last year) and the hunted (this year). Should be great to find out how the team handles it.

Q: What are you looking forward to about the 2004 Cubs? What are you dreading about them?

By far the pitching. Last year was pretty fun, but i dreaded waking up and seeing Estes name on the day to pitch when i had the day off. GREAT, Cubs baseball, day off, Shawn FREAKING Estes. Shoot me now. This year i will have the pleasure of waking up and not caring who is pitching, because they are all going to be so much fun to watch.
Again the offense. Us fans will scream at the TV for wasted opportunities. Lead off double, followed by SO, walk, and then double play. Or everyones favorite. Bases loaded no outs, infield pop fly, SO, liner out to the 1B. We should see some more HR's hopefully. HINT HINT - AmRam and Lee. Thats your que.

Insert Foot Into Mouth

Baker isn't new to making stupid comments. And today is no different.

"I think walks are overrated unless you can run. If you get a walk and put the pitcher in a stretch, that helps. But the guy who walks and can't run, most of the time they're clogging up the bases for somebody who can run."

Hmmmm that must explain why he keeps putting Alex Gonzalez in the #2 slot. He doesn't walk, thus he isn't clogging up the base paths for Sosa. Which of course means Sosa has less runners to drive in. Which means reduced offensive output for the team. That's just brilliant thinking Dusty! No wonder I never thought of it!

I guess Baker has never realized that walks, especially lead off walks have a HUGE chance at scoring. In addition walks increase the pitch count of the opposing pitcher and walks help other hitters get a longer, better look at the opposing pitcher.

Rickey Henderson was probably the best leadoff men in the history of baseball not because he hit HR's and stole bases, but because every team that he has ever played for said his best addition to the team was his ability to work pitchers. Henderson even said himself, that my job is to get the pitcher to throw all of his pitches and try and get me out, so the rest of the lineup could see what kind of stuff that pitcher had that day.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Kerry = Clueless

I just love this quote out of a Time Magazine article interview with John Kerry....

I suggested that all the evils of Saddam Hussein alone were not a cause to go to war.

LOL. This was crap Howard Dean was spewing, and his campaign went up in flames. So will John Kerry's.

I love to read Steven Den Beste and he sums up exactly the situation in Iraq that John Kerry fails to see.....

It has been a long and slow and very expensive process. The price has been steep in both blood and treasure, but more and more Iraqis are coming to believe that we are sincere and steadfast, and that this opportunity is not illusory.

Let's be clear that it is precisely our willingness to make sacrifices which has purchased that credibility. The Iraqis don't give a tinker's damn about international approval, and are not impressed by pious words and pompous statements. They see Americans on the ground, all over Iraq, working their butts off to try to make Iraq a better place. They see Americans being killed by insurgents attacks, and not lashing out brutally at the population as a whole or giving up and leaving. And they see "world opinion" constantly criticizing the US and making the argument that the invasion was wrong and Saddam should have been left in power.

This coming election isnt just about america. When you go cast a vote you will also be deciding the fate of 25 million Iraqi's. I dont think the average Iraqi is gonna be too happy to see the UN come back into their lives the way John Kerry wants it too. Afterall, why should Iraqi's embrace the organization that was trying to keep them in bondage? And most americans arent going to vote for a guy that says, "that all the evils of Saddam Hussein alone were not a cause to go to war." Unlike John Kerry, most americans have moral standards.

Sorry for this political post, that quote really ticked me off.

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Roto Opening

1 Person had to back out of the league so i have an opening. The Draft is tomorrow at 11:45 AM PST.

This is thru Yahoo Fantasy Sports. The League ID # is 10266 and the password = prior.

Thursday, March 04, 2004

After Thoughts

Good to see some Cubs baseball again. Glad to see Baker trying two lefty hitters in the #1 and #2 spots to get on base ahead of Sosa. If that happens for the entire year Sosa will have a return to 140+ RBI.

It seems the Walker defensive play has confirmed the fears that he is horrible in the field. Lets get this straight the slow as a brick Grudz would of had a difficult time getting that ball. Wet grass, slipping of feet, dont want to get injured. Hell Bonds nearly did a face plant running to the OF.
One Giants player did do a face plant and got injured and left the game running for a foul ball down the 1st base line. Another Cubs player, Scott McClain(?) at 1b missed a ball completly on a simple pop up.

So what am i trying to say? It was terrible field conditions to judge any defensive performance. On the plus side Sosa had a nice sliding out field catch and Hollandsworth did a nice diving stop. So they must be instant gold glovers right?

Some other key points, Zambrano looked like he lost weight, about 10-15 pounds. The announcers on ESPN even commented on that. And Beltran gave up a grand slam. Other than that a typical spring training game.

Gameday Chat

Testing out a chat room for todays game, the link is to the right --->. Just in case anyone wants to chat during the game.

And just as i write this Patterson goes deep. A HOMERUN!!!

This is the way the lineup should start off all year long. Two lefthanded hitters in front of Sosa.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004


Down to one E-mail. I will just be using my MSN address for the time being.

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


Recent news out of San Francisco has reported that Barry Bonds, Gary Sheffield and Jason Giambi have receive steroids through the mail from BALCO. Ofcourse all of their denials are we may have received steroids but we didn't know what they were.

I know they aren't that stupid, because if they did receive steroids through the mail that jumps from simply breaking a local law to breaking a federal law. And if they did receive it through the mail the first thing they should of done is contact their attorney and get in touch with local law enforcement to report they receive something in the mail that may have contained steroids but aren't sure what it is. Because you do not want to be caught up in a Federal investigation that could put you away for a very long time. As far as what is being reported neither of these athletes did that.

The use of steroids by any athlete in baseball is an attempt to destroy baseball itself. More than any other sport baseball depends on its history. When the numbers 3,000, .300, 500, 755, 61 and 56 are repeated people know exactly what they mean and what the significance of those numbers are. Baseball is built on numbers and with those numbers we judge the players of now with ones of the past. By using performance enhancers you cheapen those records and in the end you cheapen and hurt baseball.

It will be really sad to find out that Bonds has used steroids because that will show he is a shallow, pale comparison to guys like Willie Mays and Babe Ruth. It will show a fat guy that got drunk before each game was still better than a steroid enhanced behemoth named Barry Bonds. While for some that may enhance Babe Ruth's status as the greatest ever, I don't want a guy who used steroids having his name ahead or even near Ruth's records.

Any athlete that has been found to have been using steroids should have all of his records from the day he entered baseball till the date he was discovered taking steroids erased from the record books. No asterisk should be placed next to their names, their records should simply just disappear.

that's why the baseball players union needs to start testing everyone in baseball for steroids now! You need to make sure these records that are falling left and right are being done legitly and only through natural methods.

I don't agree with Ivy Chats comments.....

All entertainers enhance themselves artificially. Until they eliminate plastic surgery from Hollywood, then juice in baseball is fine by me.

But actors don't become better actors if they get a boob job or a better looking face. If you give steroids to a ball player he becomes a better player overall. On top of that its not fair to the athletes that are not using steroids. These natural athletes should not have to compete against un-natural athletes that were basically created by the best chemist money could buy.

You have to test everyone, only then can baseball get out from under this dark cloud.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Concerned Now?

It appears Mark Prior suffered an injury last September and its still bothering him going into Spring Training.

"I had it last year from the beginning of September on," Prior said Monday. "We just treated it and fought through it. When I started working out again in January on the mound, it fired back up. I got here and it got inflamed and basically they want me to get rid of it before I go (into the regular season). I'm just going to take time when I have time."

It's Prior's right foot, which he uses to push off the rubber, and he can feel the Achilles pinching.

Any injury that doesn't require surgery, and hasn't healed in 5-6 months is a concern. The good thing is Prior and the trainer say its a minor injury.

"It's a minor thing, but it's something that I don't want to get serious," Prior said. "It's not something I'm taking lightly, but I'm not going to miss any time in the regular season."

"If it was the season right now, could he go out and pitch? Absolutely," Cubs trainer Dave Groeschner said. "We're being pretty aggressive with treatment right now, and if it was the season, we'd get him out there to pitch. We have the opportunity right now to get rid of this."

Which brings me back to, if they couldn't get rid of it in 5-6 months how are they gonna get rid of the same problem in a month?

And is it just a coincidence that Prior may have injured his Achilles on September 1st, with a 7-0 lead over the Cardinals, Dusty Baker made Mark Prior go back out there in the 8th inning to balloon his pitch count to 131 for the game. I am most critical of that game because Prior looked totally gassed after he left in the 8th inning.

I remember making a post after that start to say Prior needed to be rested when given the chance. He is not superhuman, he is not god, he is not a robot, he can be injured. It was after all only his 5th start since coming off the DL, and he has never had this kind of workload either.

Also the usually economical pitch counts of Prior disappeared after Sept 1st.

Sept 1st - 8.0 IP - 131 P
Sept 6th - 7.0 IP - 129 P
Sept 11th - 5.2 IP - 110 P
Sept 16th - 8.2 IP - 124 P
Sept 21st - 7.2 IP - 131 P
Sept 27th - 6.2 IP - 133 P

Yes he had other months with 120+ pitch count games but only in the month of September did he have 5 of 6 starts over 120 pitches thrown. Was he laboring because of the injury? Again their is no way to tell. It didn't affect his over all numbers or his ability to win. I just think this gives more recognition that you need to rest Prior when given the chance. I am sure that massive work load he had down the stretch didn't help matters with his Achilles.