The Cubs Have Underperformed and Other News and Notes

The Cubs made changes to their bench and bullpen on Tuesday. The Cubs added Kameron Loe and Kevin Gregg to the pen while Cody Ransom was claimed off waivers from the Padres and will take the place of the DFA’d Brent Lillibridge. The front office also designated Hisanori Takahashi for assignment leaving James Russell as the only lefty in the bullpen.

Jed Hoyer and Theo Epstein addressed the Cubs’ poor start to the season before the Cubs dropped their third game in row … and the eighth loss in the last ten games since beginning the year by taking two of three in Pittsburgh.

Jed Hoyer called the results over the first 12 games “frustrating” and the Cubs GM feels that with the production they have received the team should have more wins.

Quote from Jed Hoyer:

“It’s been frustrating with the results. The wins and losses, they are what they are, and that’s our record, but given some of the production, we should have more wins than we do. “It’s always bad when you can’t close out games. If you want to look for a silver lining, we’ve been in a lot of games and we should’ve won more. If you’re getting blown out night after night and don’t have the talent to compete, I think it would be more frustrating. I think the way we’ve played is probably the most frustrating brand of baseball. There’s nothing worse than winning a game for 2 hours 45 minutes and then losing. I think that starts to wear on a team. As the game goes, the most frustrating brand of baseball is winning for most of the night and losing in the end, and we need to stop that. Obviously, the bullpen needs to tighten up and the defense needs to tighten up, too.”

Theo Epstein also voiced his displeasure.

“We’re off to a slower start than we would’ve liked. [There's been] some sloppy play that we need to eradicate sooner rather than later. The bullpen is off to a slow start which can make for some tough losses. We’re not that talented that we can get away with playing sloppy ball, so we need to fix that.”

Cubs Payroll

Theo Epstein addressed the Cubs payroll on Tuesday. According to the Tribune, the Cubs “payroll declines would reverse” if the Wrigley Field renovation plan is in place. Epstein explained that the payroll itself “won’t be a determining factor” the organization must develop a “stream of young talent” so they will be able “to complement that with some aggressiveness in free agency.” Epstein needs and expects the revenues to increase in order for them to be able to execute their plan. Epstein explained that he knows the business side is working hard to increase revenue.

The payroll is not where Epstein needs it to be right now but he expects it to increase.

Full Report from Bruce Levine

News Bits

Kevin Gregg told the media that he would be interested in returning to his former role with the Cubs. Gregg thinks there will be opportunities for him to close games and that is one of the reasons he signed. Dale Sveum said he would continue to mix and match late in games. Jed Hoyer addressed the additions of Gregg and Kameron Loe. Hoyer said Gregg gives the team more options that Hisanori Takahashi and Loe adds a sinker-baller to the bullpen.

Ian Stewart is expecting to be back with the Cubs within the week or 10 days. Stewart made the announcement on Twitter early Tuesday morning.

Lance Berkman volunteered to push the button if Wrigley Field is ever blown up. The former Astro and Cardinal does not like Wrigley due to the way he’s performed at the old ballyard.

The Cubs have scored three runs in 36 innings against lefties this season according to ESPN Chicago.

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"Change is inevitable, but personal growth is a choice." - Bob Proctor
Share on Fancred
  • Sonate

    Cub starters have an ERA of 3.20 — 4th best in the league. Cub relievers have an ERA of 6.06 — the worst in baseball. (If only the game lasted 7 innings!)

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

      Beer league softball!

  • Ripsnorter1

    The worst OBP in MLB?

    Why, it’s your Chicago Cubs! .276

    That’s lower than Houston, Pittsburgh and Miami.

    • No Baseball In Indiana

      LOL people hated it when I pointed this out yesterday.

  • redlarczykg

    The new Cub plan is to build from within, while FO keeps bringing in old broken down has beens, take up roster room that should have been left for the younger guys that may prove themselves if given the chance.

    Just look at all the rotting dead wood they have in AAA Iowa. No reliefers worth their salt, while Frank Batiasa is stuck at AA Tenn, after a great 2011 there. He had a ERA of 2.22 with 24 SV. 2013, still at Tenn, he has 2 Sv with an ERA of 1.42

    Then they have Jeffry Antigua who pitch well last year at AA Tenn, piched well during winter ball, the boy wonders have him “waisting away in Kane Countyville”?

    Anyone have an explanation?

    • 07GreyDigger

      There’s quite a conundrum in rebuilding and as a FO, I think you have to decide priorities when developing players. Obviously, if a player is succeeding at AA, you have the option to send them up a level or to the majors, but you have to decide to let them fully mature in all areas of the game or promote them and possibly ruin their development.

      Batista may be putting up great numbers, but unfortunately we don’t see other factors like arm slot, pitch selection, ability on other pitches, etc. We don’t know if he’s where they want him to be yet or that AA is considered a more elite talent level and they think he’ll better develop there.

      As for the Gregg signing, I 100% agree he’s not the answer. But what I am encouraged by is the action taken. After 13 games, they’ve seen enough to make changes. Obviously the talent available is similar to what they’re getting rid of, but the effort is there.

      There’s players all the time that have amazing seasons out of nowhere, so it’s worth the effort to give it a shot and the fact they’re making the effort should be encouraging. How would we feel if they just let Lillibridge continue to play everyday even though he was awful? It would feel like the last regime with the Milton Bradley debacle wouldn’t it?

      It’s 13 games. If it was the end of the year and they lost 100 games again, then yes, let’s all be mad. The FO may have a good track record so far, but they’re not miracle workers, give them a chance to let them make it work.

      • Ray Ray

        Theo sustained the plan in place at Boston. He spent money to continue what Duquette had started with Boston. He built up the farm system by doing what big market teams did. Drafted harder to sign players in lower rounds and gave them more money to sign. Can’t do that anymore. He had the #2 payroll in all of baseball under his regime. He has no track record of doing a complete rebuild.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          But he has a track record of building a winner. No two situations will ever be the same.

        • 07GreyDigger

          But what evidence do you have so far this rebuild is a failure? 179 games in is not a enough to deem it one.

          • Ray Ray

            So if the farm system improves over the next 3 years but the mlb team still “underperforms” and is not competitive….is that successful?

          • 07GreyDigger

            Depends on the end result. Hypothetically, if from 2016-2020 they won 4 WS in a row, would you be OK if they lost 100 games from 2013-2015? I would.

          • Ray Ray

            But what if they don’t win any WS? Can you take back the losing years and not trying. Did the Cardinals give up 2 years ago when they barely snuck in the playoffs and won the WS? The best team does not always win the WS. Just give me an opportunity. At least I always felt that Hendry was trying to win. Right way or not at least he tried.

          • 07GreyDigger

            That’s the point, they’re trying to give us the opportunity. I think that’s the issue here, all the “rebuilding” years we were forced to sit through we’re never truly rebuilding, so we can’t recognize it for what it is.

          • triple

            Well that hypothetical will never happen, but if the Cubs win one World Series by 2020 and can make the playoffs regularly in for 4 out of 5 seasons by that point, I’ll be happy to lose 120 games this and next season!

          • Dorasaga

            Of all the things you’ve been criticizing so far, I’ll need to go by this one.

        • willie smith

          it’s also obvious alot of the credit should go to duquette now that he has turned baltimore into a winner. and theo had help from cheater manny ramirez and cheater david ortiz.
          cheaters are not allowed anymore
          cubs were a 75 win team; he made worse; not 93
          no 175m payroll here as ricketts has lied about money going back into baseball operations.
          jed’s padre team was a last place team too. so will his cubs team this year.
          last year lost 101.
          jed’s here as he is theo’s starbucks buddy.
          funny how the rays can re-build their bullpen every year with a shoestring budget; yet jed couldn’t do it once so far in 2 years with alot higher budget.

          • Dorasaga

            There are managers who can build farm, but know little of trade and notching international FAs to build a perennial winner. There are managers who can spend big and build winners for a good team years to be, but not having a streamline of developed farm players to fill the hole in years to come.

            Duquette was the earlier, while Epstein was closer to the latter. However, Hoyer had the same situation (or worse) like Duquette’s. With him on helm of things to provide Epstein’s operational team a fresh view (and methods), they might still do a better job than what former, allegorical teams we fans have been bringing up.

      • redlarczykg

        Batista is not maturing in AA Tenn, he’s being left there to ROT! The FO is building quite a pile of evidence that they are more media hype than the real deal. How many poor player moves will it take to open the eyes of Cub Fans who are desperate to believe that their Cub saviors have arrived?

        • 07GreyDigger

          How do you know he’s being left there to rot? Because he played two seasons in AA? What’s your evidence?

          • redlarczykg

            With the rejects the Cubs have at AAA Iowa, they have nothing to lose to give Batista a full chance.

          • 07GreyDigger

            But where does he better have a chance to develop? With other organizations top prospects in AA or with other organizations rejects at AAA?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

            alot of teams keep their best prospects in AA. Its a common practice. Most great players never even make it to AAA, they get called up from AA.

        • Denver Mike

          Ditto ’07…do you work in the clubhouse in Tenn? Do you have some insight to Batista’s mental state I’m unaware of?

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      The retreads will be flipped at the deadline for more prospects. They are building a system from the ground up. The explanation is to stop looking at any moves from the angle of trying to win more games this year. When you put on a new pair of lenses the plan lays out beautifully.

      • 07GreyDigger

        We’re fighting a losing battle here my friend. :)

        • Ray Ray

          Exactly. What do you think other teams will give up for these re-treads? Be serious!

          • 07GreyDigger

            I meant Boardrider and I are fighting a losing battle to convince you guys to have some patience.

          • Ray Ray

            sorry. misunderstood

          • Dorasaga

            I would say half and half; see my reply above to willie smith, the allegory to Duquette.

      • Ray Ray

        Boardrider- The Cubs aquired Christian Villanueva and Kyle Hendricks for Ryan Dempster last year. Dempster had one of the best 1st halfs in his career. What % would you put on Villanueva and Hendricks being mlb regulars for the Cubs? 10%? 20%? I think the odds are lower than that. What do you think they can get for Feldman? Fujikawa? Baker? Navarro? DeJesus? Schierholtz? Valbuena? Barney? You are over evaluating their value. These players will bring back mediocre prospects who will probably never sniff a mlb field.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I think Villanueva will be an MLb starter someday. But I get your point. Prospects are all longshots which is why you load up on them and hope a few stick. I’d imagine between all those big leaguers you mentioned we will get a few that will make it. It’s a numbers game, stockpile and see who can make it.

          I believe you get sustained success by having a majority of your starters be guys that played their rookie year in your uniform.

        • Denver Mike

          You are exactly right that Dempster had the best 1st half of his career last year. I knew it, you knew it, everyone else knew it, and I don’t think anyone expected him to continue that performance. So if it was that obvious to us, do you actually think there was a GM in MLB that was going to give up top prospects for him? Do you think the front office passed on a deal for stud prospects because they just loved Villanueva and Hendricks so much? No, it was the best anyone was going to give up, and Demp has been pretty terrible since leaving. I think it’s time to move past that arguement.

          • Ray Ray

            You are missing my point. I am not complaining about the return. I am saying if Dempster only got that return with the 1st half that he did…..What value does Feldman and others have. That is my point.

          • Denver Mike

            Yeah, I caught that the second time around, and tend to agree with you.

        • Denver Mike

          After re-reading your post I think I may have mis-interpreted the point you are trying to make.

          I feel like since the Dempster trade there have been quote a few people who think we got the short end of that deal, or we should have gotten more.

          I tend to agree (with the point I think you are making), and also that GMs are smarter than we give them credit for many times. Just because a player bounces back from a down year, or has great 1st half doesn’t mean that we are going to magically get top prospects back for them.

          • John_CC

            Let’s not forget the way Dempster nixed the first trade that was nearly sealed thus ruining the market for himself.

  • Ray Ray

    I don’t think I ever remember feeling so blah about baseball this early in the season. Supporters can say all you want about sticking with the plan and all that but this plan is so long term for a big market team that I feel it can not be sustained. Realistically……how many fans will put up with another year like this? I can honestly say that I probably cannot. I have been a fan my entire life. Lived and died with this team but I actually turned the TV off last night in the 7th when it was only a 1-0 game. This product is so pathetic. Dave Sappelt as a leadoff hitter,Scott Hairston,the bullpen is a cluster. And to top it off…..this building up the minor leagues so far isn’t improved at all yet in AA or AAA. In AAA the roster is pathetic. Nothing to be optimistic about at all. Brett Jackson has 15K’s in 41 AB’s. Josh Vitters is hurt. In AA, Christian Villanueva is hitting .216. Matt Szcur is hitting .304 but has only 1 extra base hit in 53 PA. The one bright spot is Rubi Silva who is basically an afterthought. The only thing to be optimistic about is Baez,Soler,Almora and Vogelbach and they are basically all high school kids who have a lot of maturing to do. Theo and Hoyer have 100% underperformed in my eyes. They ignored the mlb team and slapped the fans in the face with these re-treads.As I have said, as Gordan Wittenmeyer(Cubs beat writer) has said and as many people in baseball say….you can rebuild and put a better product on the field.

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      I believe in the plan and I’ll put up with it because I believe in the decision makers. And I personally have waited 30 years so what is another 24 months? Those that won’t wait will feel foolish when in a few years they’ve jumped ship and the Cubs are playing in the world series. I just love the Cubs. And I’ve loved them this long while losing so for me it goes beyond wins and losses. Even if the Cubs never went to the postseason again I don’t have an off button for my passion for them.

      And as I said, I belive the front office is following a plan that will yield a consistent winner. I’d rather win year in and year out and wait a little than have another first round playoff loss, and be saddled with more bad free agent signings, which turn out at best 50-50. The way to build a winner is from the ground up, and it takes time.

      • Ray Ray

        That’s the issue boardrider. You have waited 30 years….which is a long time….but what about the people who have waited 50 years,60 years,70 years and even 80 years. Could you honestly say you would feel the same way if you put up with double the disappointment???? This team charges one of the top ticket prices in baseball. They can put a better product on the field. They choose not to, It is a choice. They chose this route.

        • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

          I think I would. My point is I’ve already waited 30 so what is two more? Applies even moreso to more time using my rationale.

          And I believe their choice is to put a better and consistent product on the field rather than simply a better product. They could be better this year but would sacrifice the consistency I desire. It’s all about being a franchise that wins, not just a team.

          • GaryLeeT

            A contender in 2 more years? You’re a funny guy.

          • willie smith

            2 more? what will happen in 2 more? 2012 and 2013 are 2 years. next year will be 3. how many years till theo is expected to be a playoff team at minimum?
            ricketts made more money in baseball than any other owner last year. team lost 101 games. and you think anything will happen in 2 more?
            take the blinders off. ricketts can’t even say when he’ll allow the budget to go up…..(and the renovation was approved, they’ll make 25M more next year from the national tv deals and after 2014 alot more from the WGN deal.)
            instead of jed saying the team has underperformed; he needs a mirror to see who has really underperformed. theo too.
            team is a joke.
            and i’ve waited nearly 40.
            my dad nearly 80.
            funny thing, red sox are 9-4 after 1 year when cherington cleaned out all the crap theo brought in. maybe we should of hired him instead.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Two more years….and you’ll have what you have today: a last place team. Baez et al will not be ready in two years.

        • RynoTiger

          so if they’re more ready to be contenders in say 2015, that’s “so long term”?…it took a few years to get there…seems short to me

          • Ray Ray

            So how will they get there in 2015? Baez,Almora,Soler will all be starting and putting up all star numbers? Is that realistic? They need to add better players through trade and free agency. There is no one to trade on the current mlb roster who can bring back any impact players other than Castro and Shark. What is Rizzo’s value if they decide to trade him? Do you see what I am saying? You need to have better players on the mlb roster to aquire better prospects.

          • 07GreyDigger

            But free agency hasn’t worked. They threw money at their problems in 08 and 09 and they got ousted in the first round.

            Let’s look at last year’s WS champion, the Giants who have been consistently good the past few years. Why are they successful? Their player development. They drafted Cain, Lincecum, Bumgardner, Sandoval, Belt and Posey. Their MVP catcher, top three starters and two starting infielders were made in house.

            If the Cubs want to be consistent playoff contenders they have to be the same. Look at teams that are consistently good and you’ll see that across the board.

          • GaryLeeT

            Is the current FO as good a judge of talent as the Giant’s? Not seen it so far. If Cub fans have to wait for success until they have pitchers like that, get into, and go through their system, then we are looking at the 7 year plan.

          • 07GreyDigger

            You could make the argument that Sabean hasn’t been a good judge of talent as much as you could about Epstein however.

            I know the thing I’m trying to say here is that it’s been a season and a twelth. We don’t know where we’re going to end up and what’s going to happen. We don’t know yet that Esptein and Hoyer are failures. So why are we wringing are hands over something that’s totally undecided? Seems like a waste of effort to me.

          • Dorasaga

            You had the Royals drafted Hochevar first overall in 2006, while Giants picked Lincecum, and Dodgers picked Kershaw. Royals had not made that kind of mistake now. Management had become smarter throughout the league. It’s harder to steal now–not impossible, but certainly a lot tougher.

          • willie smith

            lincecum was in the bullpen.

            vogelsong was a FA.

            zito a FA

            pagan a trade

            scutaro a trade

            pence a trade
            alot of the giants was not homegrown.
            the cubs are not gonna have 25 home grown players in 2016. let’s be realistic here.

          • 07GreyDigger

            Thanks for pointing out the guys that weren’t homegrown. Whether Lincecum was in the bullpen or not, their three best players, Cain, Posey and Bumgarner are.

            I’m not saying they’re going to have 25 homegrown players in 2016, I’m just saying that’s the way it needs to be done and to have some patience people!

          • gary3411

            You only acquire those guys in trades with good prospects to spare.

    • RynoTiger

      well sure it’s east for a sports writer to say that…why?..because he’s never had to do it..duh

      • Ray Ray

        Do you not think that they could put a better product on the field and still rebuild? How would Bourn look in CF for the next 3 years compared to Sappelt and DeJesus? Would that deviate the plan? Sure the Albert PuJols signings,Josh Hamilton,Prince Fielder would have done that but not the mid priced free agents.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Sure Bourn would have looked great in CF for the next 4 years, but if they have zero starting pitching and nothing going on in the minors, what good would he be? 2 extra wins? That’s the point. You can spend all you want, but if players go down and you have nothing in your system to support them, where would you be?

          Look at the Yankees. They lost Granderson, Texeira and Rodriguez all to injury and look at their replacements. Ben Francisco? A long washed up Travis Hafner? Lyle Overbay? That’s what this team would like. Do you want that instead?

          • GaryLeeT

            What if the Cubs had gotten Darvish, kept Maholm, signed some real relievers? It’s been said on here a million times, but teams can rebuild the farm system, and the MLB team at the same time. This current mess is all about one thing, and that’s saving money, To quote the article summary of what Theo said: Epstein needs and expects the revenues to increase in order for them to be able to execute their plan.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

            Darvish had a WAR of 4 wins last season, Maholm had a WAR of 2 wins. 6 wins doesn’t make a difference. Not when you are starting Ian Stewart at 3B and DeJesus in CF, with no hitting at 2B, and no defense at SS. To go along with a terrible OBP and too many SO’s.

            The point being is that 1 or 2 players doesn’t make this team a contender. MLB players only become FA’s after 6 years from being called up. So most of them are over 30.

            I take it your plan is sign 5 position players over 30, to contracts of over 10 mil/year each, fill the bullpen with FAs as well. Win 80 games… and pick 18th in the draft every year.

            You must have really liked Jim Hendry then…

          • Ray Ray

            lol. What the hell. Sign everyone with a negative WAR.

          • GaryLeeT

            Those were only 2 examples, not the only 2 I would have added. Your other assumptions are a bit moronic.
            The Braves won their division 14 years in a row. How did they do it with all those low position picks? Your obsession with having the top pick is a bit over done.

          • SuzyS

            Prior to the 14 year run… the braves were horrible for an extended period of time. They set themselves up with high draft picks several years in a row…and developed a good farm system….then Ted Turner pumped a ton of money into them…That’s how they did it…several years of losing horribly for high picks…Big influx of money…and a great organization.
            But first…miserable losing…and a perennial laughingstock.

          • GaryLeeT

            The horrible 6 years before their run, brought about the changes in the front office, that eventually led to success. It was not the losing itself, and high draft picks. Plus, you missed my real point which was, that after the first year of winning, they were not getting high draft picks. That means the winning was sustained with smart picks, not high picks, and shrewd trades, which in the end, is what it really takes.

          • Dorasaga

            Ah, the great Ted Turner. What an interesting man. It’s a shame that he’s not as respected in his own field (media and marketing), as his contemporary peers. Well, I hope baseball recognize his feat sometime, for promoting American sports in the world, and creating new revenues (cable) and outlet for baseball.

            Hall of Fame, say?

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

            And they didn’t miss on their picks. My ‘obsession’ with the #1 pick
            isn’t really an obsession, its just better odds… As for your
            Braves… Chipper Jones was the #1 pick so they had to be terrible
            before their epic run. And when they were good, they acquired players
            like Greg Maddux and Fred McGriff. Even the Yankees built around the
            farm products (Jeter, Pettitte, Rivera, Williams, and Posada).

            This current Cubs team is starting to find it’s core, but it still needs a few years before everyone arrives. Once they do, fill the void with those 30-33 year old veterans and you have 4 or 5 years to make a solid run.
            Michael Bourn and Kyle Lohse wouldn’t be good for this current team. I honestly didn’t like the Edwin Jackson signing or some of the other big money add-ons a whole lot either. It really doesn’t make this team any better in the long run.

        • Denver Mike

          I honestly don’t think the Ricketts and the Cubs have as much money as we all think they do, and that is a big reason we see the product on the field that we do. Until the renovations/advertising are completed, and a new TV deal signed I think this is what we will get. It really sucks for us fans, even one’s like me who are a 1000 miles away, but it’s the reality of it. All of the money they saved by getting rid of the bloated veteran contracts has been reinvested int eh front office and infrastructure. Until the business side starts generating some money, the product on the field is going to suffer.

          • gary3411

            This guy’s on the money. pun intended

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

          Michael Bourn had a WAR (wins above replacement) of 6 wins last season. That was his best season in his career. His average WAR is about 3.

          So 3 wins will make a difference? Ok, lets use the 6 he had in a career year. We go from a 60 win team to a 66 win team. Awesome, sign me up for 12 mil a year for the next 4! Blocking Almora or whoever in CF when he is a 34 year old aging veteran who has lost his only asset SPEED! Give me a break.

          The way they are doing this rebuild, is the only way to re-build. Period.

          Let your talented minor league players make it or break it on their way up to the bigs. When you have a solid team built from the farm system, you then sign FA’s to fill the gaps, or trade a few of your lower level prospects to fill the needed positions. You win long term this way.

          When is the last time you saw the Cardinals sign a big name FA? Or the Giants? Those are the examples to follow. If you want to be a Yankees fan, go right ahead. We’ll welcome you back in a few years once you change your mind.

          • Ray Ray

            You are worried about a player blocking a kid out of high school in his first year of minor league ball? Do you think Almora will be ready to man CF in 1 year? 2 years? 3 years? 4 years? Yea. I don’t know either…but the chances of him being starting in CF within 3 years is extremely slim.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

            Well, I technically said “Almora or whoever in CF”

            But yeah, in 3 or 4 years it is reasonable to think that a top 6 pick has a chance to start at the MLB level. Bryce Harper is only 20, Mike Trout is only 21, Justin Upton was only 19 when called up, Andrew McCutchen was 22, Ryan Braun and Jacoby Ellsbury were both 23.

            I’m not saying Almora is on their level. But that’s not to say that he isn’t either. Time will tell.

          • Ray Ray

            Theo and company better make sure to not block many positions for the next 3 years. Soler,Almora,Baez,Pierce Johnson,Vogelbach are all coming. They cannot sign any good players to take any of those positions because we have reservations for all 5 of those players in 2016. Of course Rizzo is blocking Vogy so one of those need to be dealt. And make plane reservations for the 2018 All Star game for all 5 of those players.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

            The point, which obviously has gone over your head, is that what is an extra 6 wins on this team. Bourn was worth 6 wins last season. What is an extra 10 or 15 or 20 wins to this team?

            Just a worse draft pick. That’s all it is worth.

          • Ray Ray

            Now with the insults? OK I will not respond with another but here is the point. Bourn is worth 6 more wins. You get a better player at 3rd instead of Valbuena who is worth another 4. You get another starting pitcher instead of Feldman who wins 12 games instead of 6. You get some better pieces in the bullpen and you start winning close games like the Orioles did. This isn’t all about this computer baseball. The O’s weren’t supposed to win. The best team on paper doesn’t always win. To say lets lose 55 games because winning 75 is the same thing. The end result might not mean much…….but that 75 win team(If players overachieve) and a key trade is made at the all star game MIGHT be a playoff team and could win a WS. Do you understand????

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

            Didn’t mean it as an insult, I probably just didn’t do a good enough job at explaining my point. It’s not only about Bourne blocking a player. He can block a prospect all he wants if we are in a position to win now. But there is no reason to sign a complimentary player like Bourne, when there is no one to compliment. Bourne would make us a 70 win team instead of a 65 win team.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

            In 2 or 3 years, Vogy and Baez may turn out to be great trading chips. They are blocked at the MLB level… we could trade them together for a guy like David Price…. but only when you are in a position to win. Even a David Price wouldn’t make this current team a playoff team. So why hurry?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

      Its tough to rebuild the minor leagues with middle picks… A team that constantly wins 70 games wont ever get much better. The Nationals are doing good because they had two #1 picks in a row, and were able to get an ace and an All-star OF. I know I can wait for the plan for a few years. No one should expect anything this quick and have it sustained long-term. To me this team they have out there is better than signing 2 or 3 good FA’s and winning 80 games. They’ve tried that route before with zero results. Have some patience… And don’t go saying the same old “I’ve had patience all of my life… 40 years of losing”… because that was the old way. This new management team is bringing their plan in, you can’t blame them for the last 100 years.

      • Ray Ray

        Would you agree that Stephen Strassburg and Bryce Harper are not your normal #1 draft choice? In fact….I would say it is like winning the lottery by having those 2 players be available in back to back years. Tim Beckham was a #1 pick. Look at all the Pirates First round picks. Mike Trout was a mid to late first round pick. It is a crapshoot and to tank a season to get the #1 or #2 pick in the draft does not guarantee you will get a stud player.

        • 07GreyDigger

          No. But it does increase the odds.

          • Ray Ray

            sure it does. but what if the 2 years that the team tanks on purpose….you miss on the draft picks? it could happen. very possible.

          • 07GreyDigger

            That’s true. I was kind of being argumentative there.

  • paulcatanese

    Gee, Mr.Hoyer and Mr. Epstein are unhappy and frustrated with the results. I wonder who put this roster together?

    • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

      They are disappointed but sticking to the plan. The results cannot be judged this year Paul. They are disappointed because the bullpen is underachieving. The reality is that even though they aren’t shooting for the postseason this year, we could stull have 5 or 6 more wins easily. Whether or not you think you have what it takes to win now, losing so many winnable games will frustrate anybody. Despite the long term plan we could still be in first place this year with a few breaks. It’s frustrating and disappointing only that we could be overachieving but are not. Losing close, winnable games will frustrate even the surprised.

      • GaryLeeT

        Why can’t results be judged this year? Why shouldn’t we expect even be the slightest amount of progress? If anything, this team is worse than last years.

        • John_CC

          Don’t you think it’s a little early though to decide if progess is being made? The LAA Angels are 4-10

          TB Ray: 4-9
          Brewers: 4-9

          These teams are infinitely more talented than the Cubs! 14 games into 162 and you are ready to say that there WILL be no progress?

          I am not saying for sure that there will be, but it’s just as foolish to say that there will not.

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

          It’s good if they are worse this year than last year. That may mean we have a chance at the #1 pick. Next year’s draft is said to be loaded compared to this year’s.
          I will look for progress once some of our young talents filters up to the big league level. Until then… lose 100 games every year for all I care. What does it matter… is 75 wins really better than 55?

          • GaryLeeT

            Yes. It’s called progress. If the current FO lives up to the hype, then they will find the talent, no matter what their draft position is.

  • Bryan

    I truly get disappointed that the issue here is payroll allocation that Rickett’s is providing. As many have stated here, we now have an owner who’s operating “on the cheap” while charging the 3rd highest ticket prices, and the on-field production now shows. In the eyes of Ricketts, we are gullible fans paying for the Wrigley experience…regardless of W-L record. And now he’s hoping that the new renovations will bring in more revenue to fund more payroll. And if the renovation plan wasn’t approved, what was his Plan B? Face it, we have a cheap owner (how many times have we seen that) looking to maximize his profits, regardless of the representation and results on the field. And you have to wonder if, behind the scenes, if Theo are Hoyer are getting frustrated.

    We’re led to believe that Almora, Sczur and Soler are the future for a WS. Well, that’s assuming that this group develops (quickly)….but even if they do, who’s going to pitch the ball? April 17th, and an ugly season already.

  • Ray Ray

    Many talk about consistency. Playoffs every year. Hendry did many things wrong but what was wrong with the years from 2003 thru 2008? With a better deal here or there at the trade deadline….could they have not made a better run in the playoffs? They had 2 bad years in this run but made the playoffs times. Maybe we would have enjoyed a WS if the Bartman situation happened differently.

    2003- Won 88 games = Playoffs
    2004- Won 89 games
    2005- Won 79
    2006- Won 66
    2007-Won 85 games= Playoffs
    2008- Won 97 games= Playoffs

    I will take that 6 year run anytime.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I will agree on all your points (big shock right?) except for the Bartman thing. That wasn’t that poor guys fault. How about we blame Alex Gonzalez for botching that double play? Or Prior getting rattled over a fan catching a foul ball?

      • Ray Ray

        fair enough. 99% of the fans would have done the same thing.

      • Brp921

        I blame Moises Alou for getting the whole Crowd riled up and Dusty Baker for not calming Mark Prior down.

    • John_CC

      You can look at it a couple ways. Here is the irony. You spin the current situation in the worst way and the Hendry era of the 2000’s in a positive way. I can do the opposite.

      But shouldn’t we discuss Hendry’s entire tenure with the Cubs? 800-818. And after the wonderful 2008 team that he bet the farm to produce:
      2009: 83-78
      2010: 75-87
      2011: 71-91
      O yeah, and since so many are calling for Epstein’s and Hoyer’s heads after the 101 loss season in their first season trying to clean up the mess let’s not forget that Hendry’s first season in 2002 they were 67-95. 6 whole wins better than last year! Sure 100 sounds a lot worse than 95, but let’s be real, the only difference is a better draft pick for the “worse” season.

      So you want to back to 3 playoff berths every 10 years but you want to fire the FO that is currently in charge after 2 years?

      • Ray Ray

        I don’t want to rehash the past either….but what farm did he bet and lose? Who are these prospects that Hendry traded that are producing all star results in the major leagues?

        • John_CC

          I don’t want to either Ray. I respect your opinions and posts, you back up your arguments and aren’t obnoxious in the process. My point is not to do a bunch meaningless research on the prospect that Hendry traded away. The point is that he never worked on developing a farm system that would one day produce the stream of talent that Epstein talks about as the way to create a sustainable winning club. Thus Hendry produced a couple playoff teams with many terrible teams in between.

          It isn’t really just my opinion that says that spending big money on long term free agents is not a wise long term plan. It is easy to see with the Cubs and all the contracts they are just now getting out from under. Look at the washed up vets the Yankees are trying to fill their lineup with because the old guys that they gave huge long contracts to are not surprisingly showing their age.

          • Ray Ray

            agreed John. I totally agree the farm system was a mess under Hendry. I don’t want to go the route of signing the PuJols,Hamiltons either. Ultimately the farm system is the way to maintain success….its just how long is everyone willing to wait until that happens. I think with the money the Cubs have,they can do it quicker.

          • 07GreyDigger

            With the Edwin Jackson deal, they showed they’ll spend the money in the right deal, so I don’t think we have to worry about a full blown rebuild.

          • Ray Ray

            Unfortunately that is another debate saying the EJax deal was the “right” deal. lol

          • Brp921

            I know Jackson has not looked good so far, but we needed to add some talented pitching and when he’s on he’s just about as good as anyone. My gosh, as bad as this team is can you imagine suffering through a whole season with the pitching we finished with last year?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

      I wouldn’t. It wasn’t sustainable. Look at where we are after that 6 year run. The next 5 years are as follows:
      2009: 83
      2010: 75
      2011: 71
      2012: 61
      2013: 59 ?

      Those 6 years you cited were full of bad, long-term deals with full no trade clauses. That really set us up for these last 5. Its not the way to go.

      • Ray Ray

        And the Red Sox didn’t have any bad long term contracts under Theo under his run?

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jason-Penrod/700030874 Jason Penrod

          Maybe… But I seem to remember some World Series titles as well.

          If your 6 year stretch has included a World Series Championship. Jim Hendry would probably still have a job and we wouldn’t be where we are today. But as it happens, there is no reward for almost getting there.
          And we can blame Hendry for 2012 and 2013. Theo has had to rid the Cubs of awful contracts, and has very little talent especially pitching in the mL system.

      • willie smith

        the 2011 team hendry was not allowed to spend by ricketts.
        2012 and 2013 theo is in charge.
        can’t be blaming hendry for something he had no control over.
        remember; baez, vogelbach, maples, devoss, dunston jr, castro, smardz, cashner which lead to rizzo; all hendry picks.
        using your logic; that duqutte should be hailed the hero not theo for winning the red sox in 2003.

    • Brp921

      I’d rather have a six year run with a couple or three or four world series championships myself, but that’s just me. Lol.

  • DWalker

    Big Z is coming back! all our problems are solved, and we’ll even have a backup pitcher to boot! And he can even teach Soler anger management.

  • No Baseball In Indiana

    Theo made the Cubs the anti-A’s.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Raymond-Robert-Koenig/1295439291 Raymond Robert Koenig

    Game off.

  • Baron_S

    Underperformed! polite to a T as always Neil… :-)

    Its so great to come on and hear of the Kevin Gregg signing… there is clearly a master plan in place.