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munchman33
01-19-2004, 11:37 PM
I'm sick of hearing from everyone how great the Cubs will be, and from our fans how much we hate that the Cubs will be good. I, for one, do not believe the Cubs will repeat as NL Central champions. I give you these reasons:

Carlos Zambrano was terrible in the last two months of the season last year, and didn't exactly step up in the playoffs, either. Two words: Damaged Goods.

Juan Cruz will be the fifth starter. If Juan Cruz has showed anything in his career, its that he becomes a headcase when he's starting.

Corey Patterson is not as good as everyone thinks. Not only is he coming of surgery, but before he was hurt the league was catching up to him. Pitchers were beginning to realize that he has the same plate approach as Randal Simon, only without the ability to make contact out of the zone.

Moises Alou will get injured again. It's only a matter of time.

Aramis Ramierez was over his head last year. In the last three years, the guy has had one good half a season.

Alex Gonzalez can't hit at short.

Mark Grunzalanek has no range and can't hit for power. Todd Walker's defense is actually ten times worse, as he has no range yet still manages to make a ton of errors.

The platoon of Micheal Barret and Paul Bako at catcher is merely adequate. At best.

Derrick Lee has a history of coming up short in key situations (Except for that bloop single against the Cubs!).

And with the way Dusty worked Prior, Wood, and Clement last year, you'd think that at least one of them would spend some time on the disabled list this year.

So tell me. Why does a team with all these question marks get so much attention? Because they're the Cubs. Just let it be and don't fret. We have a better shot at the postseason in our crappy division than they do in the toughly contested NL Central!

beckett21
01-19-2004, 11:46 PM
I for one will not take up the cause for the Cubs. Perhaps Saddam Hussein's defense team wants to tackle your post--not me! :D:

DrCrawdad
01-19-2004, 11:58 PM
Originally posted by munchman33
I'm sick of hearing from everyone how great the Cubs will be, and from our fans how much we hate that the Cubs will be good. I, for one, do not believe the Cubs will repeat as NL Central champions. I give you these reasons...

http://images.chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/media/thumbnails/columnist/2003-05/7622751.jpg

...For a franchise that hasn't had back-to-back winning seasons since 1972, there has been a sense of arrogance about the Cubs and their fans since they did the unthinkable and won a playoff series. It's as if Dusty Baker just has to snap his fingers and they're right back in Game 6 of the National League Championship Series, another five outs away from the World Series...

Houston's starting rotation of Clemens, Pettitte, Roy Oswalt, Wade Miller and rookie Jeriome Robertson combined to win 77 games last year—16 more than the Cubs' vaunted foursome of Mark Prior, Kerry Wood, Carlos Zambrano and Matt Clement.

The Astros' pitching is so deep that Tim Redding, who compiled a 3.68 ERA over 32 starts last year, and newcomer Brandon Duckworth are likely to work out of the bullpen.

"I certainly like our pitching, and anyone in baseball would tell you this is how we win," Bagwell said. "It's going to be fun to watch. Our offense can settle in a little bit. You won't feel you have to score seven or eight runs to win."

This might be a good time to point out that St. Louis and Houston outscored the Cubs by 152 and 81 runs, respectively, last year. The Astros have certainly narrowed the pitching gap that allowed Baker to eke out a Central title. They might have eliminated it altogether.


WHAT? CUBBIE FANS ARROGANT?

Jjav829
01-20-2004, 12:00 AM
I'd like to think they won't be good, but I like the way their team is set up. I have predicted injuries for Alou and Clement this year, but I think they can overcome them. They still have a great top 3 in Prior, Wood, and Zambrano. They upgraded at first with Lee over Karros/Simon and added a good arm to their pen in Hawkins. While Walker is bad defensively, he can still handle the stick and will be a nice utility man for them. I know they had plans of using him at 1B so you may see some of Walker at 1B against righties.

I wanna think that they will be bad but I don't see it happening unless they have a lot of things go wrong (which is always possible I guess since they are the Cubs). The only positive is that the Astros have added some much needed pitching and should give the Cubs a run for their money.

depy48
01-20-2004, 03:17 AM
woah, dont tell cubs fan that, they dont want to hear a realistic view of their team. they're quite satisfied with the inflated image the cubune gives them. and you cant tell a cubs fan that because they wont know half the players on that list. i recently asked a self proclaimed die hard cubs fan if he could name every starter on the current cubs. he named...sosa, prior, and wood. hmm hmm hmm, oh yeah they know their team. he then went on to say, its not about knowing your team, its knowing what team to root for. well, i really deemed that bs. oh well. i agree with your breakdown on the cubs, but one thing i do disagree with is derrek lee. i think he;s a quality player, top of the line defensively and does provide offense. and yeah, i REALLY dislike zambrano, he isnt good!!

hsnterprize
01-20-2004, 08:12 AM
I did a little research based on Phil Rogers' numbers, and I found out some interesting stuff. Like the article quote said, the Cubs' "Big 4" of Wood (14-11), Clement (14-12), Prior (18-6), and Zambrano (13-11) finished the regular season with a combined record of 59 and 40. If you add Juan Cruz's numbers (2-7 record), then the Cubs' pitching starters finished at 61-47. And even if Greg Maddux were to end up with the Cubs, his 16-11 record only gives the Cubs starters a combined record of 75-51. That's impressive, but here are Houston's numbers...

The five hurlers for Houston are Roger Clemens (17-9), Andy Pettite (21-8), Roy Oswalt (10-5), Wade Miller (14-13), and Jerome Robertson (15-9). Their record is 77-44...2 more wins and 9 less losses than the Cubs with their BEST pitcher possibilities based on last year's statistics.

I tried to get the "runs" numbers, but I couldn't find them fast enough. Simply put, Houston will win the National League Central next year in spite of all the Cubs' hysteria. I was talking with some people yesterday afternoon, and they all were basically saying the Cubs will "win the World Series", and they got me because I didn't know a lot of the Houston roster. Well, I've done some digging, and I'm daring the same people to challenge me again...I've got some stuff for them.

Kilroy
01-20-2004, 08:40 AM
I know its a slow off season for the Sox, but not so much that I'm gonna sit around and think about the Cubs chances.

The less they are talked about around here, the better...

Hokiesox
01-20-2004, 09:08 AM
Originally posted by hsnterprize
Simply put, Houston will win the National League Central next year in spite of all the Cubs' hysteria. I was talking with some people yesterday afternoon, and they all were basically saying the Cubs will "win the World Series", and they got me because I didn't know a lot of the Houston roster. Well, I've done some digging, and I'm daring the same people to challenge me again...I've got some stuff for them.

This is why they play the games. The NL Central will be the most competitive division in baseball next year, unless the AL Central teams are all equally lousy, in which case we'll have the best futility competition.

chosk8
01-20-2004, 09:32 AM
Originally posted by Hokiesox
This is why they play the games. The NL Central will be the most competitive division in baseball next year, unless the AL Central teams are all equally lousy, in which case we'll have the best futility competition.

I have a hard time agreeing that the NL Central will be the most competitive division with the current state of the Brewers, Pirates and Reds. Good competition between the Astros and cubs, yes, but the remainder of the division, with the possible exception of St. Louis, gives the AL Central a run for it money.

Baby Fisk
01-20-2004, 10:07 AM
The Cubs are cursed. Nuff said.

Cubs Baseball: The excruciating trauma of inflated expectations.

ma-gaga
01-20-2004, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by munchman33

Carlos Zambrano was terrible in the last two months of the season last year
...
Derrick Lee has a history of coming up short in key situations (Except for that bloop single against the Cubs!).
...
And with the way Dusty worked Prior, Wood, and Clement last year, you'd think that at least one of them would spend some time on the disabled list this year.


The biggest plus for you is Dusty Baker. He will RUIN those golden arms. "You're at 140 pitches? SURE, go right back out there. Be a man." He's almost as bad as Grady Little.

Zambrano was bad the last two months? Really? (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlbpa/players/6559/gamelog) I count 8 quality starts in his last 10 games. His last two games he really stunk up, but the 8 before them he was unbelievably good. 10 earned runs in 61 innings, = 1.48 ERA.

Now the jump in innings pitched from 2002 to 2003 = arm injury in 2004. THAT I'll agree with.

I love the, 'Derrick Lee isn't that good except for his hits in the playoffs' argument. Very funny. How did the Marlins ever make the World Series anyways? Luck?? Everyone else hit except Derrick Lee?!? Must have been Dontrelle Willis and the leg kick which lured everyone to sleep...

munchman33
01-20-2004, 10:59 AM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
Zambrano was bad the last two months? Really? (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlbpa/players/6559/gamelog) I count 8 quality starts in his last 10 games. His last two games he really stunk up, but the 8 before them he was unbelievably good. 10 earned runs in 61 innings, = 1.48 ERA.


My bad. I guess I'm just remembering those two starts and all of his playoff starts. Still, it was quite a dropoff. A dropoff that significant is more indicative of an injury.

DrCrawdad
01-20-2004, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
...Zambrano was bad the last two months? Really? (http://sports.yahoo.com/mlbpa/players/6559/gamelog) I count 8 quality starts in his last 10 games. His last two games he really stunk up, but the 8 before them he was unbelievably good. 10 earned runs in 61 innings, = 1.48 ERA.

Now the jump in innings pitched from 2002 to 2003 = arm injury in 2004. THAT I'll agree with...

In those starts, how many were against good teams? How many of the teams finished above .500?

fquaye149
01-20-2004, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by ma-gaga


I love the, 'Derrick Lee isn't that good except for his hits in the playoffs' argument. Very funny. How did the Marlins ever make the World Series anyways? Luck?? Everyone else hit except Derrick Lee?!? Must have been Dontrelle Willis and the leg kick which lured everyone to sleep...

derrek lee might be sort of good, but he sure isn't that good.

how did the marlins ever make the world series anyway? well dontrelle and his leg kick certainly helped. so did beckett, redman, penny and urbina among other talented pitchers who helped them win the wild card.

oh, and their lineup wasn't half bad either even without the almight derrek lee.

mike lowell, i-rod, juan pierre, luis castillo.... maybe they couldn't have done what they did with a complete void where derrek lee was...but with an average 1B who knows?

ChiSox21
01-20-2004, 12:13 PM
The Cubs last season played there last 30 games against teams that had given up. (Mets,Pirates,Reds,Brewers) while the Astros were playing the Giants and Cardinals. That is why they got in. I hate to say this but i think the Cubs will be good this year. THis year will suck.

ma-gaga
01-20-2004, 01:50 PM
Originally posted by fquaye149
derrek lee might be sort of good, but he sure isn't that good.


Derrek Lee is awesome. You just have to appreciate him for what he brings to the table. He's not going to hit 40+ homeruns, but he'll do so much more. As much as I think it was a mistake to trade away Choi, the Cubs did alright for themselves here.

The Cubs have Derrek Lee (http://www.baseball-reference.com/l/leede02.shtml) who will get you 0.270/0.380/0.500 with 25 homeruns, 20 steals and Gold Glove defense.

He'll be 28 this year. He's had an OPS+ of 131 and 135 the last two years. He was 6th in MLB in RARP (http://www.baseballprospectus.com/current/eqa.html#postot) last year, and 4th in Win Shares (http://www.baseballgraphs.com/winshares/nlwinpos.html#1b) for 1st baseman.

But I'm sure he's not that good...

:gulp:

Hangar18
01-20-2004, 02:05 PM
The Cubs will be "awesome" this year, and the Media will again
continue to make them the Greatest Show On Earth. Real Reason will be Because they get to play 2/3 of their Schedule against 100 Loss-Weak Sister Teams like the Pirates (gave their best to the cubs, and got nothing in return, they deserve everything thats coming to them) the Reds , and the Brewers (worst farm system in decades)

Hangar18
01-20-2004, 02:10 PM
Originally posted by ma-gaga
Derrek Lee is awesome. You just have to appreciate him for what he brings to the table. He's not going to hit 40+ homeruns, but he'll do so much more. [B]

Thats what gets me also ........ The Cubs acquired a Proven, Reliable Hitter, simply because they want to Spend the $$$
and fill a hole they have. So simple for one team, but 8 miles
South, theyre still hoping to Rid Themselves of a 4 time All-Star.
talk about warped thinking .......

quade36
01-20-2004, 02:46 PM
I don't discredit the Cubs being good next year. They definitely aren't in the best division in baseball. I think Both East divisions are better and more competitive. However, the Cubs will have a tougher battle then people think. I do think Houston and St. Louis are both very good teams. To say the Cubs are going to roll right over both of them is arogent. It won't be easy.

I feel (in my opinion) it would be easier for the White Sox to win their division then the Cubs win theirs. I think the only team that can match up to the Sox are the Twins. That being said, I feel thier biggest loss pitching-wise this offseason was Kenny Rogers. He won 13 games for them and was solid most of the season. Every other team has horrid pitching(including the ESPN favorite Royals), therefore the Sox average pitching should be good enough to win in this bad division.

Vsahajpal
01-20-2004, 03:17 PM
Rogers is one funny guy.

SergeantMahoney
01-20-2004, 03:38 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
Real Reason will be Because they get to play 2/3 of their Schedule against 100 Loss-Weak Sister Teams like the Pirates (gave their best to the cubs, and got nothing in return, they deserve everything thats coming to them) the Reds , and the Brewers (worst farm system in decades)


It's true, those are all bad teams and the Cubs are lucky they get to play them as often as they do. By my count, though, they play those three teams 52 times next year, which is a heck of a lot closer to 1/3 than it is to 2/3.

Dub25
01-20-2004, 04:49 PM
Originally posted by hsnterprize
I did a little research based on Phil Rogers' numbers, and I found out some interesting stuff. Like the article quote said, the Cubs' "Big 4" of Wood (14-11), Clement (14-12), Prior (18-6), and Zambrano (13-11) finished the regular season with a combined record of 59 and 40. If you add Juan Cruz's numbers (2-7 record), then the Cubs' pitching starters finished at 61-47. And even if Greg Maddux were to end up with the Cubs, his 16-11 record only gives the Cubs starters a combined record of 75-51. That's impressive, but here are Houston's numbers...

The five hurlers for Houston are Roger Clemens (17-9), Andy Pettite (21-8), Roy Oswalt (10-5), Wade Miller (14-13), and Jerome Robertson (15-9). Their record is 77-44...2 more wins and 9 less losses than the Cubs with their BEST pitcher possibilities based on last year's statistics.

I tried to get the "runs" numbers, but I couldn't find them fast enough. Simply put, Houston will win the National League Central next year in spite of all the Cubs' hysteria. I was talking with some people yesterday afternoon, and they all were basically saying the Cubs will "win the World Series", and they got me because I didn't know a lot of the Houston roster. Well, I've done some digging, and I'm daring the same people to challenge me again...I've got some stuff for them.

Keep in mind that Oswalt(10-5) missed quite a few starts due to a groin injury I believe and could have won maybe 17 games. That would have been 84 wins for their starters.

fquaye149
01-20-2004, 05:12 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
Thats what gets me also ........ The Cubs acquired a Proven, Reliable Hitter, simply because they want to Spend the $$$
and fill a hole they have. So simple for one team, but 8 miles
South, theyre still hoping to Rid Themselves of a 4 time All-Star.
talk about warped thinking .......


come on now.

yeah they were willing to spend the money...

for someone the DIDN'T NEED

then when the time came to pony up for a real need (catcher)...

they were caught wearing a barrel...


i know the sox haven't been great this offseason in signings, but borderline superfluous transactions are not the answer

MarkEdward
01-20-2004, 06:02 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
Thats what gets me also ........ The Cubs acquired a Proven, Reliable Hitter, simply because they want to Spend the $$$
and fill a hole they have.

Well, they also gave up one of the best prospects in baseball.

I'm sure we could get a darn good hitter if we gave up Honel or Reed. Doesn't mean we should do it.

hftrex
01-20-2004, 06:23 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
The Cubs will be "awesome" this year, and the Media will again
continue to make them the Greatest Show On Earth. Real Reason will be Because they get to play 2/3 of their Schedule against 100 Loss-Weak Sister Teams like the Pirates (gave their best to the cubs, and got nothing in return, they deserve everything thats coming to them) the Reds , and the Brewers (worst farm system in decades)


Wrong.

The Pirates only traded some slackers such as Error-a-Miss Ramirez to the Cubs for one of their best prospects. The Pirates actually played much better ball the 2nd part of their season going 50-48 as opposed to 25-39 before they started shedding all that salary. Despite the fervent belief that you and so many others like you have, Payroll is NOT Necessarily Destiny. Look for Pittsburgh to be the surprise team of 2004.

As for the Brewers, their farm system is in much better shape than it has been in a long time. There was a recent article at Rotoworld.com that credited the Brewers with 8 out of the top 150 minor league prospects, the largest number of prospects of any MLB team.

Now, if you want to find a NL Central team that will indeed lose 100+ games, its the Cincinnati Reds complete with the glorious D'Angelo Jimenez at 2nd base.

beckett21
01-20-2004, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
Well, they also gave up one of the best prospects in baseball.


She-Chop?? Please. And keep in mind how old (young) Derrek Lee is. I swore I wouldn't come to the defense of the Flubs but I have to defend that move 100%. Solid baseball move. Lee could put up monster numbers at that bandbox for the next 10 years. Choi has that dreaded "P" word written all over him...Lee has already proven he can do it.

MarkEdward
01-20-2004, 10:24 PM
Originally posted by beckett21
She-Chop?? Please. And keep in mind how old (young) Derrek Lee is. I swore I wouldn't come to the defense of the Flubs but I have to defend that move 100%. Solid baseball move. Lee could put up monster numbers at that bandbox for the next 10 years. Choi has that dreaded "P" word written all over him...Lee has already proven he can do it.

I never said Derrek Lee was a bad player. I think he's a pretty good player, one I'd like to have on my team. However,Hangar argued that the Cubs acquired him "simply because they want to Spend the $$$..." That's not exactly true. They had to give up a very good young player also.

Maybe I went a bit overboard in saying that Choi is one of the best prospects in the game. However, I do think he'll be a very good player for the next few years. Good glove, and one can't ignore his season in Iowa at age 23: .287/.406/.513. If I was a gambler, I'd bet that Choi and Lee put up the same numbers over the next few year, though Choi will do it for much cheaper.

beckett21
01-20-2004, 10:30 PM
Originally posted by MarkEdward
I never said Derrek Lee was a bad player. I think he's a pretty good player, one I'd like to have on my team. However,Hangar argued that the Cubs acquired him "simply because they want to Spend the $$$..." That's not exactly true. They had to give up a very good young player also.

Maybe I went a bit overboard in saying that Choi is one of the best prospects in the game. However, I do think he'll be a very good player for the next few years. Good glove, and one can't ignore his season in Iowa at age 23: .287/.406/.513. If I was a gambler, I'd bet that Choi and Lee put up the same numbers over the next few year, though Choi will do it for much cheaper.

Fair enough; I understand your point. As far as putting up the same numbers, I doubt it if not because of talent because of the parks they will be playing in. The question is, would Choi have been capable of big numbers at Wrigley? Probably, but he still has to prove he can be a productive player. Lee will undoubtedly, barring injury, put up nice consistent numbers. But you are right, the Cubs did give up a decent prospect. And the guys on that team seemed to like him a lot, for whatever that's worth. Still, give me Lee in a heartbeat.

CWSGuy406
01-20-2004, 10:38 PM
ok, a cub post are ok here and there, but can we stick to the sox? I agree with you that the Cubs are a tad-bit overrated and they'll have their hands full with the astros, but let's stick to our sox.

Go Sox!

depy48
01-21-2004, 12:30 AM
whatever happened to the great pat cline? the savior to the cubs, the catcher who'd become the be all end all to catchers...
thing is with prospects, you can never tell. we can vouch for that with sox prospects who never banned out

munchman33
01-21-2004, 02:49 AM
I'm not that sold on Lee. Does anybody have his batting average with runners in scoring position or runners in scoring position with two outs. I'm willing to wager neither were too good.