Your fearless Obstructed View Executive Chairmen got together to discuss various topics related to the 2011 Cubs season. We looked at the offseason and the new additions to the club in part one. Here’s part two, which focuses on our predictions for the 2011 season.
Ryan Theriot[mb21] : How many times will Theriot get a standing ovation when the Cardinals come to town?
[aisle 424] : Zero.
[aisle 424] : He will be roundly booed.
[berselius] : zero
[aisle 424] : That “right side of the rivalry” bit got a lot of traction.
[berselius] : The Hobbitton Gazette will make sure to bang the drum on his “right side of the rivalry” comments
[mb21] : I actually hope he doesn’t get booed. He was a player on back to back division championships. He’s an idiot, but I hope he doesn’t booed.
[aisle 424] : Prepare to be disappointed.
[berselius] : That’s the 2011 motto (dying laughing)
[aisle 424] : (dying laughing)
Who will surprise, who will disappoint?
[mb21] : I think Zambrano surprises everybody this year. Then again, I think I’ve said that every single year since 2003.
[aisle 424] : I love that you have the macro in here too.
[berselius] : That or the “Let’s see what happens” from those Ricketts/Hendry gifs MO made (dying laughing)
[AndCounting] : I was wondering about that. (dying laughing)
[mb21] : How could you not have the macro everywhere you go?
[mb21] : I think Kerry Wood most underperforms. His last two years have been average as a reliever and that’s basically replacement level.
[aisle 424] : I think Colvin falls short of the projections. He worries me anyway, and he has been hyped so much that if he starts under-performing a little there will be added pressure on him to “step up”
[berselius] : True, but I don’t think people are expecting too much.
[berselius] : Agree on Colvin falling short, big time
[berselius] : though FWIW the projections don’t like him
[aisle 424] : That’s what concerns me even more.
[AndCounting] : Aramis Ramirez.
[aisle 424] : Over or under?
[AndCounting] : I hope that’s wrong, but I’m bracing myself for serious disappointment from him.
[mb21] : I can’t believe one of you didn’t say you expected Hill to fall way short of his projections. I wish I had thought of it.
[aisle 424] : Can you have a negative OPS?
[mb21] : If Ramirez doesn’t at least live up to his projections, this team can’t even win 80 games.
[berselius] : Colvin’s my choice for the under. I’d take Ramirez for the Over
[mb21] : Koyie can.
[berselius] : If Koyie posts infinity WAR, it will be less than the infinity WAR that was projected
[aisle 424] : As far as beating projections, I think Wells takes a step forward. Again, I don’t know why I think that, but I think he will.
[mb21] : I can’t remember if I did a serious projection for Hill this year or not. Last year I posted Barry Bonds or Babe Ruth’s stats when I did his.
[berselius] : (dying laughing) , you did that this year too
[aisle 424] : One trick pony.
[mb21] : OK, maybe it was this year I was thinking of.
[mb21] : I think he came to being worth about a billion dollar contract over 27 years or something. He’s good.
[AndCounting] : Obviously I’m high on Castro, but I think Geovany Soto is going to have a ridiculous year, too. I say he beats his projections by a great deal (and from what I recall, they’re not low).
[mb21] : Surprised no one said over on Cashner. It would be pretty easy for him to beat those projections. He probably doesn’t stay in the rotation if he doesn’t.
[berselius] : Okay, I think that’s everyone
[berselius] : Me: Under on Colvin, Over on Ramirez
[berselius] : MB: Under on Wood, Over on Z
[berselius] : 424: Colvin and Wells
[berselius] : AC: Under on Ramirez, Over on Geo
NL Central and Playoffs predictions[mb21] : Brewers, Reds, Cardinals, Cubs, Astros, Pirates
[aisle 424] : 1. Brewers 2. Reds 3. Cardinals 4. Cubs 5. Pirates 6. Astros
[AndCounting] : I feel like I should stick with what I’ve said before, so despite my negativity, I’ll say, Reds, Cubs, Brewers, Cardinals, Pirates, Astros.
[berselius] : 1. Cardinals (86), 2. Brewers (84), 3. Reds (80), 4. Cubs (78) 5. Pirates (72) 6. Astros (62)
[aisle 424] : I could easily swap the Reds and Cardinals.
[mb21] : 62 wins for the Astros? They’re not that bad. Are they?
[berselius] : Yeah, they’re awful
[berselius] : They posted a sub .300 wOBA last year
[mb21] : My opinion is not wrong!
[aisle 424] : Can they trade Carlos Lee yet?
[berselius] : I don’t see any reason for them to do much better in 2011
[aisle 424] : If they do that, they definitelyhave 100 loss potential
[mb21] : Playoffs?
[aisle 424] : PLAYOFFS!!?!
[berselius] : (dying laughing)
[mb21] : Division winners: Yankees, White Sox, Rangers, Phillies, Brewers, Giants
[berselius] : NL: Phillies, Giants, Cardinals, Braves
[mb21] : Wild Card: Twins, Reds
[berselius] : (WC for Braves)
[AndCounting] : I’ll say Rays, Twins, Rangers, Phillies, Reds, Giants
[AndCounting] : WC: Braves, Yankees
[mb21] : I’ll go with a White Sox vs. Phillies world series, and Cubs fans everywhere cry when the White Sox win it.
[aisle 424] : AL east: Red Sox – AL Central: White Sox – AL West: Rangers – NL East: Braves – NL Central: Brewers – NL West: Giants
[berselius] : I don’t know anything about the AL, but I’ll take a stab at Red Sox, Rangers, some ALC patsy, Yankees
[berselius] : Sox-Phillies WS, Phillies win
[aisle 424] : WC: Phillies, Yankees
[AndCounting] : Twins, Phillies World Series. Twins win it.
[aisle 424] : WS Phillies vs. Red Sox – Red Sox in 7
[mb21] : Lot of differences here. WS winners predictions of the White Sox, Red Sox, Phillies and Twins. Interesting.
Jim Hendry’s Job Status[berselius] : Last question: Will Jim Hendry be the Cubs GM on Jan 1, 2012?
[aisle 424] : I can’t imagine he would be, but I thought he wouldn’t be on Jan 1, 2011 at this time last year.
[mb21] : No, but he’ll still be with the organization.
[aisle 424] : I saw you say that in a thread somewhere today and I have to say I agree. I hadn’t thought of that possibility before.
[AndCounting] : I think he’s out, gone, done.
[berselius] : I think he’ll be shown the door
[berselius] : He’s the scapegoat, and there’s lots of money off the books in 2012
[berselius] : I don’t think Quade goes with him
[aisle 424] : Crane and Tom seem reluctant to cut ties with Wilken, Randy Bush and Hendry all at once.
[mb21] : Yeah, 424, I just don’t see the Cubs getting rid of him entirely. I think he hires the next GM. Ricketts loves the guys.
[berselius] : I just hope Steve Stone doesn’t get his ear (shudder)
[aisle 424] : I think Stone has burned those bridges sufficiently.
[mb21] : I don’t see how Quade sticks around if Hendry is no longer with the organization. What new GM isn’t going to come in and hire his own manager?
[AndCounting] : We haven’t really had a chance to see the mean streak in Tom Ricketts. I don’t know how you get to be that rich without developing some kind of killer instinct. I think Hendry will be the first to bring it out of him.
[mb21] : That’s a really good point, AC.
[berselius] : Joe Ricketts got rich, not Tom Ricketts
[aisle 424] : Unless Papa comes in and does it a la Virginia McCaskey firing her son, I don’t think Tom has that.
[AndCounting] : Still, rich kids aren’t nice.
[aisle 424] : If the team goes around .500 or a little under, I think Hendry gets bumped up in some way with a new GM coming in under him who accepts Quade as the on-field manager.
[aisle 424] : If they go much worse than 76 wins or so, Hendry get shoved into a scouting position and Quade is gone the moment a new GM is named
[mb21] : I think if they’re around .500 they both keep their job. I don’t believe that Ricketts thinks this team is that good. For Ricketts to fire Hendry after this season it means he actually thinks the team should contend. If they win less than 70 I can see it.
[berselius] : If Quade weren’t an org guy I think he’d be gone. The new GM is more likely to keep him around because he knows the young players
[mb21] : Quade sticking around assumes he’ll be as well liked by the players after this season as he is now. Maybe I’m wrong here, but I don’t think that’s a good assumption to make.
[aisle 424] : That’s why I think they have to stick around the .500 mark.
[AndCounting] : Personally, I don’t think Ricketts would have OK’d the Garza deal unless he thought they could contend. I think he genuinely believes it. At some point, reality will hit and he’s going to get pissed. I don’t think Quade will take the blame for that.
[aisle 424] : I’d love to see at least one of the Ricketts get pissed.
[aisle 424] : The fans would eat it up too.
The 2011 Cubs: They got some guys….let’s see what happens. Enjoy the season!