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View Full Version : BP's Joe Sheehan down on the Cubs


jeremyb1
03-17-2004, 02:54 PM
Cubs: I'm not only out of step with the mainstream here, but with many of the people inside BP. PECOTA sees them as a 90-win team, and many staffers agree, based on their strong, deep pitching staff and the addition of Derrek Lee at first base.

I see a team that lacks left-handed hitting--only Corey Patterson should get more than 200 at-bats from the left side--and will have problems getting enough guys on base to sustain an offense. They continue to emphasize power at a cost of outs, and may have crossed the line from a short-sequence offense to a dysfunctional one. In addition, the Cubs' bench could be as useful as a pan flute at Ozzfest.

It's worth mentioning that I don't share the mainstream's high opinion of Dusty Baker. While Baker does seem to have an ability to get veteran players to outperform expectations (Michael Wolverton's excellent Giants essay in Baseball Prospectus 2003 discussed this), I have to think that's going to be outweighed by the strain he puts on his young starting pitchers and his questionable grasp of what makes an offense work. As much as I love that rotation, I'm not going be able to put the Cubs atop the NL Central this year.

http://premium.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=2675

Baby Fisk
03-17-2004, 03:08 PM
Blasphemer! Sacrilege! Profanity of the most unspeakable degree! :D:

Cubs win 77 games this year.
Sox win ... 95! **maniacal laughter**

MRKARNO
03-17-2004, 03:10 PM
I saw that and it made plenty of sense to me and I took some joy in reading it.

cheeses_h_rice
03-17-2004, 03:14 PM
:moron

*Someone* just fell of my Christmas card list, and I'm not saying who.

Northside fan
03-17-2004, 04:02 PM
Many inside BP say this is ONLY a 90 win team? They are only off by about 5-7 wins. Last years team won 88 games and that team is not nearly as good as this one. Time will tell but I see a 95 plus win team if it stays healthy.

jeremyb1
03-17-2004, 04:11 PM
Originally posted by Northside fan
Many inside BP say this is ONLY a 90 win team? They are only off by about 5-7 wins. Last years team won 88 games and that team is not nearly as good as this one. Time will tell but I see a 95 plus win team if it stays healthy.

Hehe. Well you can't just assume that because the Cubs won 88 games last season that would happen again this season with an identical roster. Some players overachieve and regress to the mean, some players age and their production falls off, some players are injured, etc.

MRKARNO
03-17-2004, 04:11 PM
Originally posted by Northside fan
Many inside BP say this is ONLY a 90 win team? They are only off by about 5-7 wins. Last years team won 88 games and that team is not nearly as good as this one. Time will tell but I see a 95 plus win team if it stays healthy.

Was anybody asking you?

Besides the likelihood that the entire rotation stays healthy the entire year under dusty is low. The year is not getting off to a great start health-wise with Prior a candidate to start the season on the 15-day DL.

MRKARNO
03-17-2004, 04:12 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Some players overachieve and regress to the mean, some players age and their production falls off, some players are injured, etc.

I think the Cubs easily could encounter all 4 of those factors in 04.

SergeantMahoney
03-17-2004, 04:23 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Hehe. Well you can't just assume that because the Cubs won 88 games last season that would happen again this season with an identical roster. Some players overachieve and regress to the mean, some players age and their production falls off, some players are injured, etc.

This is true - there are tons of variables and things usually go both ways from year to year. Which is why all this prediction stuff is pretty useless - let's just see what happens and then talk abot it - Sox or Cubs same story.

Northside fan
03-17-2004, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
Was anybody asking you?

Besides the likelihood that the entire rotation stays healthy the entire year under dusty is low. The year is not getting off to a great start health-wise with Prior a candidate to start the season on the 15-day DL.

97-65.. Take it to the bank. Again, this is IF they remain healthy.

SoxFan76
03-17-2004, 04:33 PM
I'm glad someone with half a brain had the guts to write a story against the Cubs. The Cubs are extremely overrated, and they cannot recreate the "magic" they had last year. The person who holds this team down is none other than the Lord of Chicago, Dusty Baker. Sure, the Tribune Co. loves this guy, but the fact is, he's not THAT good of a manager. Obviously there are worse than Baker. coughmanuelcough.

But then again, we really should be talking about the Sox.

Northside fan
03-17-2004, 04:34 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by jeremyb1
[B]Hehe. Well you can't just assume that because the Cubs won 88 games last season that would happen again this season with an identical roster.
QUOTE]

Identical roster??

MRKARNO
03-17-2004, 04:37 PM
Originally posted by Northside fan
Identical roster??
Originally posted by Northside fan
97-65.. Take it to the bank. Again, this is IF they remain healthy.

I'm wondering how much longer we should let this :troll stay around.

Northside fan
03-17-2004, 04:46 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
I'm wondering how much longer we should let this :troll stay around.

What I did is trolling? Interesting observation by you.

MRKARNO
03-17-2004, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by Northside fan
What I did is trolling? Interesting observation by you.

I'd say you're getting pretty close to being a troll. Not quite there yet but almost.

Northside fan
03-17-2004, 04:55 PM
Originally posted by MRKARNO
I'd say you're getting pretty close to being a troll. Not quite there yet but almost.

If you say so. I am not here to troll. I alerted many of you to a KW interview a month back on WGN 720. Sure, I'm a Cubs fan but I think many on here will agree I don't START threads with regards to the Cubs. I may jump in on threads started by Sox fans on the Cubs but I do not start them.

JohnJeter
03-17-2004, 05:22 PM
In all fairness, a lot of people are piling all these negative "ifs" on the Cubs- "what if ____ gets injured, Grudz had a career year last year", etc.

You also have to take into account that other things might go right to offset the negative "ifs" (if the bad stuff even occurs!) - Patterson may excel, Maddux might make everyone on that staff better, Lee might hit 40 in Wrigley (vs. Pro Player), etc.

On the other hand, Sox need to have a lot of stuff go right, and very little go wrong.

jeremyb1
03-17-2004, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by Northside fan
[QUOTE]Originally posted by jeremyb1
[B]Hehe. Well you can't just assume that because the Cubs won 88 games last season that would happen again this season with an identical roster.
QUOTE]

Identical roster??

You're predicting 97 wins by taking the figure of 88 wins and projecting improvement by young players like Prior, Zambrano, and Patterson, full seasons from Sammy and Patterson, and the addition of Maddux and Lee. The problem is that you're skipping steps by automatically assuming that since the Cubs won 88 games last season they would do so this season without your expected improvements wheras that might not be the case. Maybe the Cubs were actually an 80 win team last season that overachieved immensely and when you add the 6 games of improvements from their moves they're an 86 win team and on the outside looking in. That was my point.

Northside fan
03-17-2004, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
You're predicting 97 wins by taking the figure of 88 wins and projecting improvement by young players like Prior, Zambrano, and Patterson, full seasons from Sammy and Patterson, and the addition of Maddux and Lee. The problem is that you're skipping steps by automatically assuming that since the Cubs won 88 games last season they would do so this season without your expected improvements wheras that might not be the case. Maybe the Cubs were actually an 80 win team last season that overachieved immensely and when you add the 6 games of improvements from their moves they're an 86 win team and on the outside looking in. That was my point.

Fair enough.

Hangar18
03-17-2004, 05:45 PM
Originally posted by Northside fan
[QUOTE]Originally posted by jeremyb1
[B]Hehe. Well you can't just assume that because the Cubs won 88 games last season that would happen again this season with an identical roster.
QUOTE]

Identical roster??

The Cubs have done their Annual "add 8 to 10 new cubs"
to the roster, and Mike Kiley writes Glowing articles on the new baby bears. Where would these Flubs be if the Marlins
didnt Let LEE get away, not to mention Hollandsworth.
WHat if the Pirates werent so Poor, and DIDNT give away a 25 yrold 3rd baseman. The Cubune today wrote Glowingly
on how Ramirez/Lee could be the best Cub Tandem since the 1960s. The Reason the Cubs DIDNT have a Tandem like this, was because their Farm system sucks. Secondly, teams in the 70's, 80's and 90's didnt feel Compelled to give away players to the Cubs, simply because they couldnt afford them. Who knew this is what it wouldve taken, for the Flubbies to field a squad, simply by Paying for it. Sadly, theyre only here because their former teams were stupid enough to get rid of them for peanuts

TaylorStSox
03-17-2004, 05:47 PM
Who cares? They're going to be good. Let's worry about the players on the southside.

Realist
03-17-2004, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by jeremyb1
Hehe. Well you can't just assume that because the Cubs won 88 games last season that would happen again this season with an identical roster. Some players overachieve and regress to the mean, some players age and their production falls off, some players are injured, etc.

This is the difference between the Sox and Cubs fans. They win 88 games and they're a lock for the next World Series. We win 86 games and we're underachievers and we suck.

If you wanna know how good the Cubs are going to be in '04, look at the Cubs in '85. If you wanna know how good the Sox are gonna be in '04, look at the Sox of 2K.

We just need one good 20 minute bench clearing brawl to bring the team together and the World Series is a lock for the White Sox. Wouldn't it be cool if it happened against the Cubs at Comiskey? :D:

Foulke You
03-17-2004, 07:41 PM
I tend to think the Cubs made a big mistake by letting Kenny Lofton go and sticking with Patterson and that may come back to haunt them later. Patterson put together one good half of a season in his whole career. He has the body of a Lofton type player but wants to launch homers like A-Rod. I think even you can agree Northside Fan, Lofton is what made that Cubs offense go last year down the stretch and especially in the playoffs. He was always on base and setting up the rest of that order. After watching Patterson against the Sox, (granted it was one game this Spring) it looks like his swing is big and loopy. Like he has only HRs on his mind. This does not bode well for a team devoid of a leadoff hitter. Of course, Uribe and Harris aren't exactly great leadoff hitters so the Sox aren't in a much better position. But overall, I can't disagree with what that BP guy is saying.

They do have a good rotation and Hawkins will help them in the bullpen but they have many question marks like a lot of other teams. Besides Patterson, you have two leftys in the pen who are hurting, Prior has a nagging injury, Todd Walker is a butcher in the field, Is Aramis Ramirez a one year wonder?, Alou could be on the decline at the ripe old age of 38, etc. I guess a lot of people are just sick of the Cubs hype that they are an absolute lock to win not only the division but the World Series when they aren't a lock. They have a good shot, but they aren't a lock. Ok, enough Cubs talk. :D:

JohnJeter
03-17-2004, 08:15 PM
Cubs need some things to go wrong to suck.

Sox need some things to go right NOT to suck.

What situation would you rather be in?

MRKARNO
03-17-2004, 08:22 PM
Originally posted by JohnJeter
Cubs need some things to go wrong to suck.

Sox need some things to go right NOT to suck.

What situation would you rather be in?

I would rather be a sox fan :)

JohnJeter
03-17-2004, 08:46 PM
That goes without saying!

I guess I'm not adhering to the "totally biased" ideology of this board.

longshot7
03-17-2004, 10:42 PM
90 wins, but they'll still be looking up at the Astros.

book it!!

Realist
03-17-2004, 11:30 PM
Originally posted by longshot7
90 wins, but they'll still be looking up at the Astros.

book it!!

Not if the patterns of recent history have anything to say about it.

1984 96-85*
1985 77-84

1989 93-69*
1990 77-85

1998 90-73*
1999 67-95

2003 88-74*
2004 ?

*= made the playoffs

If I were to book anything, I'd book on at least 3 of their top pitchers being on the DL for extended periods of time this season.

That team's gonna go through a lotta ice. I wish I had that contract with the Tribune Co.

Vsahajpal
03-18-2004, 12:30 AM
97 wins? Even if things go right, that's doubtful.

Hangar18
03-18-2004, 02:53 PM
Originally posted by Foulke You
I tend to think the Cubs made a big mistake by letting Kenny Lofton go ..........................

I tend to think the PIRATES made a Bigger Mistake by letting Kenny go, (despite his cheap price tag) then compounding the
foolish mistake by Trading him WITHIN THE DIVISION. major
divisional faux-pas right there. Its mostly disgusting in that the Pirates gave THREE players to the cubs simply because they were hungry and destitute in the MLB Alley. Like buying a Rolex from a Hobo for $5 bucks ...... Who keeps saying Sammy and McGuire "saved" baseball back in 1998? oh yeah.....CHimp Caray

Foulke You
03-18-2004, 03:07 PM
Originally posted by Hangar18
I tend to think the PIRATES made a Bigger Mistake by letting Kenny go, (despite his cheap price tag) then compounding the
foolish mistake by Trading him WITHIN THE DIVISION. major
divisional faux-pas right there. Its mostly disgusting in that the Pirates gave THREE players to the cubs simply because they were hungry and destitute in the MLB Alley. Like buying a Rolex from a Hobo for $5 bucks ...... Who keeps saying Sammy and McGuire "saved" baseball back in 1998? oh yeah.....CHimp Caray

I totally agree what the Pirates did was ridiculous. I was just pointing out that I think the Cubs were foolish for letting their "Christmas Present" from the Pirates, Kenny Lofton get away to the Yanks. Without those Pirates freebies, the Cubs don't win the division and don't advance to the NLCS. Lofton was a huge part of that and now they don't have a leadoff man but a cocky young player (Patterson) coming off an injury who likes to swing for the fences and will K a lot. Not that I'm upset about that. :D:

kempsted
03-19-2004, 12:13 AM
I was very happy to see someone at BP saying what I have been saying for a while now - (check the threads from earlier this offseason). The Cubs had one of the worst bullpens and they improved it with Hawkins but very little other improvement. Their outfield is extremely suspect with Alou getting older and coming off a carrier best in terms of number of games played.

Before the Maddux deal the only significant improvements were, one guy in the bullpen and first base. You don't win championships by improving at first base. The fifth starter would have been an improvement just by getting rid of Estes so Maddux is an upgrade for sure.

Oh well enough about the Cubs. Go Sox.