Yearly Facepalm – 10/16/18

In Facepalm by myles382 Comments

  • Chili Davis is gone. It appears that like offensive coordinators for the Bears or Defense Against the Dark Arts professors, nobody can last more than a year in this position. The Cubs fired John Mallee because Chili Davis was an “all-star coordinator,” and then fired him because he led the Cubs from the all-star talent level to the dumpster in half a season. Davis will be among the more quixotic hires in the Theo-Jed era. I never understood getting rid of Mallee and don’t actually buy the “couldn’t pass up Davis” company line. I remain convinced that Mallee was fired for other reasons. Irresponsible of me to speculate why.
  • Anthony Iapoce is back. I think this is the absolute most responsible hire the Cubs could have made and am pleased they did so. He knows the team, the organization, and the philosophy that has been successful in the past. I’m curious if I should read anything into it as far as who is leaving the island and who isn’t (Ian Happ never worked with Iapoce), which means I definitely shouldn’t assume he’s gone but definitely will assume he is. Weeeee!
  • Brandon Hyde is probably gone. Hyde was probably the next Cubs manager, and I assume he figured into the Joe Maddon staying or leaving calculus, but it appears that the Cubs won’t get that opportunity. Hyde has never managed at the major league level, but he’s been groomed to do so for several years. If/when Hyde leaves, seems like Will Venable will take over his responsibilities, though I also wonder if David Ross would be interested.
  • Shiraz Rehman is leaving for the Rangers. I’m not going to pretend I know much about this guy – I’ve heard of him, but that’s about it. Good for him! The tendrils of the Theo Epstein Braintrust extend ever forward.
  • Nico Hoerner is beating the absolute shit out of the AZL. Hoerner, the Cubs 1st round (24th overall) pick in the draft this year, was on fire before he was injured and put on the DL for the season. Good to see that he’s back and (presumably) as good as before. Hoerner is going to be a quick mover through the minors, probably culminating in a 2020 cup of coffee should everything go well with his development.

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Comments

  1. dmick89

    Isn’t David Ross interviewing for a managerial opening? I think I’d go after him if Hyde leaves, but it probably means waiting to see if he isn’t hired as a manager.

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  2. Ryno

    berselius:
    Go Packers, boo Niners. I assume Ryno is also rooting for the Packers tonight.

    You assumed correctly. That was exactly the way I wanted that game to go. SF looks good, but still gets the L and a better draft pick (let’s go, Nick Bosa).

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  3. berselius

    Ryno,

    I’m looking forward to the Packers increasing Rodgers’s difficulty level by literally pulling fans out of the stands to play WR at some point this season.

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  4. Perkins

    myles: He’s having a terrible series, only batting .353/.389/.588 with a dinger.

    But he didn’t run out a ground ball one time, and he kicked Villar for standing on the middle of the base, so he’s the worst player every.

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  5. Ryno

    berselius,

    As long as Rodgers can play, GB will move the ball. It makes sense for the team to invest in the defense rather than WRs. It’s a shame, though, that he’ll be underappreciated by at least 90% of people who follow football. I mean, he’s the best QB of this millennium and quite possible of all time. Pretty sure that’s not how he’s viewed by most and it’s a shame.

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  6. Ryno

    Perkins: …he kicked Villar for standing on the middle of the base…

    I’d like to make him the 2019 Cubs infielder/manager simply for kicking Aguilar, who was doing the same thing. Fat-ass blob should keep that sack full of worthless shit he calls a leg where it belongs: on top of a special bed courtesy of the local zoo that can hold a creature of his size and underneath a bowl of butter and beef fat ice cream with extra chicharrones.

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  7. Ryno

    myles,

    Brady gets the nod from most because of the Super Bowls and the stats. Frankly, he has the Super Bowls because of one of the better defensive coaches of our era and the stats because the GM knows how to build an offense around him.

    The reason I lean Rodgers (and Steve Young) is because of more scheme independence. Every QB needs to be the right “system,” but guys like Rodgers and Young could’ve been successful in more situations than Brady.

    If Rodgers had been in Brady’s shoes, he’d have had more success, imo. If Brady had been in Rodgers, he’d have been murdered on the field several years ago.

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  8. Ryno

    Ryno:
    myles,

    If Rodgers had been in Brady’s shoes, he’d have had more success, imo.

    Tom Brady once told an NFL coach, if Aaron Rodgers had Patriots' offensive scheme & institutional knowledge on opposing defenses, "He'd throw for 7,000 yards every year. He's so much more talented than me."

    — Ian O'Connor (@Ian_OConnor) September 10, 2018

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  9. Ryno

    I also think Steve Young would be considered among the greatest (where he belongs) if he and Montana had switched places. Montana didn’t have to face those DAL teams in the early 90s without Bill Walsh like Young did. And I think Young would’ve given SF more Super Bowls in the 80s than Montana did. He definitely would’ve given those NYG teams fits that Montana couldn’t.

    One of the great tragedies in NFL history, BTW, is that Walsh’s 49ers never faced Jimmie Johnson’s Cowboys. Those battles would’ve been the best.

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  10. Perkins

    Ryno,

    I meant Aguilar. I don’t think he kicked Villar, though I guess I wouldn’t care if he kicked a few Brewers players. (dying laughing)

    Might be a bush league play by Machado, but when a 1B stands on the bag, it’s just inviting a collision and injuries.

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  11. dmick89

    Perkins: Might be a bush league play by Machado, but when a 1B stands on the bag, it’s just inviting a collision and injuries.

    I don’t have a problem with the play. I think MLB has gone a little too far in protecting players even if I understand the need to do so.

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  12. dmick89

    Perkins,

    I can see why Brewers fans would be. I’ve seen Cubs fans (even ones here) lose their shit on similar questionable choices by the baserunner. Here, though, it really seems crazy that Machado would have intentionally do that. I suspect some of the anger is due to Machado’s reaction (he didn’t seem overly concerned or try to apologize) and his postgame comments (if it’s dirty, it’s dirty).

    I’ll be honest. I don’t really care too much about base running plays at any other position than home and I hate the current rules. I think catchers needed to be protected more, but I think you could have done that without a rule change. All the umpires had to do was actually make those calls based on what the rules were. They never did and it resulted in the current rules. Maybe the only thing I’d care about other than that is going into a base with spikes up.

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  13. dmick89

    Perkins:
    EnricoPallazzo,

    I’d still prefer Harper because his OBP skills are something else. But I think both of them have a solid chance to make Alvin throw his bologna sandwich in anger.

    Yeah, I’d probably rather have Harper as well, but it’s a lot closer than I thought. Either way the Cubs go, they’re either going to have to go after another outfielder or another infielder. It would probably be easier to just re-sign Murphy and sign Harper, but I don’t want to go into next season with Almora as a starting outfielder.

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  14. BVS

    Re: BCB

    Long ago I was searching something about the Cubs and the Google result sent me to this blog called Another Cubs Blog. Whatever I was looking for, I found it there, plus some entertaining commentary. I had never read BCB. Shortly after I started reading ACB, the site announced it was merging with some other blogs. I thought, “Crap, here’s another site I just started to get into and it is going away.” Instead, it became the immensely discredited blog we all read today.

    However long ago that was, I’ve probably only read 3-4 posts from BCB, and only because they were linked here. The criticism is entertaining enough that I don’t need to click through.

    If I want another opinion, I read BN, despite Brett’s unnatural love of the 6 man rotation.

    Anyway, I guess my point is that this has always been my one-stop cubs blog, and it is also responsible for 100% of the times I’ve visited BCB. Trade-offs, I guess.

    Thanks guys.

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  15. Smokestack Lightning

    BVS:
    BVS,

    Because Brewers believe starts go for 2 innings, perhaps.

    One batter. He pitched to one batter. Apparently, it was all stratergy.

    Anyway, it went great.

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  16. BVS

    I think Machado goes to the Yankees and probably Harper goes to the Dodgers or, more likely, stays with the Nationals.

    So what happens when the Cubs miss the Big 2? AJ Pollock in CF. Probably LaMahieu returns at 2b. Zo continues to float. We’ll need him in OF for the 30 games Pollock misses while injured.

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  17. Smokestack Lightning

    BVS:
    I think Machado goes to the Yankees and probably Harper goes to the Dodgers or, more likely, stays with the Nationals.

    So what happens when the Cubs miss the Big 2? AJ Pollock in CF. Probably LaMahieu returns at 2b. Zo continues to float. We’ll need him in OF for the 30 games Pollock misses while injured.

    If those first three things happen, I don’t think I will give a shit what Zo will be doing.

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  18. Rizzo the Rat

    dmick89:
    Why did Miley leave early?

    He was a decoy. They used a lefty starter so the Dodgers would put out a right-handed lineup and then replaced him with a righty pitcher as soon as they could.

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  19. Ryno

    Harper missed 42 games in August/September 2017
    after he tripped on a wet first base on a soaked field in a game that never should have been played.

    That’s a freak injury, not “injury prone.”

    Other than that, Harper has played at least 147 games in three of the last four seasons. Sounds like he’s pretty healthy to me.

    There was another year (can’t recall which one now) when he missed substantial time due to a broken bone from a HBP.
    Posted by Al Yellon on Oct 17, 2018 | 5:42 PM

    1. Sounds like I’m on the Machado bandwagon, then.
    2. It took me 9 seconds to casually search for the information Alvin “can’t recall.” It took me five seconds to type the parenthetical. That motherfucker would rather save four seconds than know what he’s talking about.

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  20. Author
    myles

    BVS:
    I think Machado goes to the Yankees and probably Harper goes to the Dodgers or, more likely, stays with the Nationals.

    So what happens when the Cubs miss the Big 2? AJ Pollock in CF. Probably LaMahieu returns at 2b. Zo continues to float. We’ll need him in OF for the 30 games Pollock misses while injured.

    I’d be all over Pollock if I was convinced he could stay healthy for an entire year. Not sure that’ll happen so I want no part of the contract he’ll get.

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  21. Author
    myles

    I wouldn’t hate Adam Jones as a 4th OF depending on who is traded. Machado, Jones, and Jeurys Familia or something would constitute a pretty successful offseason for me.

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  22. andcounting

    Ryno,

    You don’t seem to be giving Al credit for the time he spent running the B-R play index for instances of wet first bases on soaked fields in games that never should have been played.

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  23. Rice in CA

    BVS:
    Wow, if Astros lose a close game, some fan is going to be Bartmanned.

    I don’t think so. The interviews seemed chill and nobody in the stands were doing an in-game crucifixion.

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  24. Ryno

    Most SBNation site admins seem to grasp that the site is a hub for fans to read team-related content. Alvin seems to think BCB is like his diary or something. It’s really odd to me that SBNation puts up with that.

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  25. Ryno

    Had an interesting conversation with an NFL defensive coordinator today.

    He said philosophically you can no longer build a defense to prevent yardage, the focus of your defense has to be to generate turnovers with modern NFL rules.

    — Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) October 17, 2018

    I think this is why you see so many teams in deep zone coverage and mixing pressures.

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  26. andcounting

    Ryno,

    Everyone: You’re a fucking asshole, Al.

    Al (in a more perfect world, but not so perfect as to make him no longer an asshole, just perfect enough to shorten BCB arguments by 2000%): I can’t argue with you, ever.

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  27. el Fucking ma

    BVS:
    Wow, if Astros lose a close game, some fan is going to be Bartmanned.

    Joe West should probably get the blame, from what I’ve seen.

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  28. dmick89

    Ryno: The tagline of the #1 movie at the box office the day you were born, that determines your fate from now on

    That’s unacceptable. The number 1 movies these days are nothing but superhero movies so fuck that. Kids born these days will grow up thinking they can actually save the world, which is ridiculous considering the world sucks.

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  29. JKV

    Ryno: anything since https://www.bleedcubbieblue.com/2007/5/20/193649/841.

    My favorite clairvoyant

    Carlos Marmol threw another scoreless inning today; that’s not what led to this diary mentioning that Lou might be considering moving Ryan Dempster into the rotation and installing Marmol as closer. That’s a bad idea not only because Dempster has repeatedly failed at starting, but because Marmol doesn’t have the consistency in throwing strikes that you need to be a good closer. Even today, in throwing a pretty good inning, he threw only nine strikes in nineteen pitches. You can see what might be coming if Marmol were the closer — he’s basically a younger, harder-throwing, Hispanic Dempster.

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  30. BVS

    Myles: Holy shit. This is, perhaps, the, worst, piece of, gar,bag,e, e,,v,e,r,,,, p,os,,,t,e,,,d.

    andcounting,
    et al.,

    Ok. So you made me click over the BCB for the 4th or 5th time ever.

    Good thing those scorecards were glossier in aught-seven. Go figure.

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  31. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    BVS:
    Re: BCB

    Long ago I was searching something about the Cubs and the Google result sent me to this blog called Another Cubs Blog. Whatever I was looking for, I found it there, plus some entertaining commentary. I had never read BCB. Shortly after I started reading ACB, the site announced it was merging with some other blogs. I thought, “Crap, here’s another site I just started to get into and it is going away.” Instead, it became the immensely discredited blog we all read today.

    However long ago that was, I’ve probably only read 3-4 posts from BCB, and only because they were linked here. The criticism is entertaining enough that I don’t need to click through.

    If I want another opinion, I read BN, despite Brett’s unnatural love of the 6 man rotation.

    Anyway, I guess my point is that this has always been my one-stop cubs blog, and it is also responsible for 100% of the times I’ve visited BCB. Trade-offs, I guess.

    Thanks guys.

    False. You came here by searching for Pizza Hut MILF porn, just like the rest of us.

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  32. Ryno

    JKV,

    And he called it a diary…

    Ryno:
    Most SBNation site admins seem to grasp that the site is a hub for fans to read team-related content. Alvin seems to think BCB is like his diary or something. It’s really odd to me that SBNation puts up with that.

    So I guess that makes sense.

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  33. andcounting

    Ryno,

    I’m not telling anyone what to do, but if someone would help me understand this, I’d appreciate it. Is it unexpected for Hoerner to play in the AFL because he’s better than that or because he’s not that far along?

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  34. Ryno

    andcounting,

    I wouldn’t say SO well. He’s had a few good games, but he’s still OPSing .562 with 9 Ks against 0 BBs.

    I’d say that’s about what’s expected. He’s probably not seen pitching this advanced before, so his K/BB and power numbers will look bad. But he’s known for his “hit tool,” so he’ll likely keep the BA at a respectable level.

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  35. dmick89

    Perkins,

    The only NL Central team I would ever root for in the postseason is the Cubs. Fuck the rest of them. I never quite understood why so many Cubs fans rooted for the Pirates a few years ago.

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  36. Perkins

    dmick89,

    I kind of get it for the Pirates. After 20 or so straight years of losing records, rooting for them is like rooting for the underdog fat kid to win.

    But it was still pretty satisfying to watch the Cubs slam shut their window of contention.

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  37. dmick89

    Perkins,

    I guess I did root for the 2006 Cardinals once they were in the postseason. My grandpa was in his 90s and his health was failing. He was a huge Cardinals fan and we always had fun giving each other shit so I figured it would be nice if his team won another one in his life.

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  38. dmick89

    BVS,

    Not a bad idea, but I doubt the Cubs give up on Chatwood yet. He’ll probably get about 17 starts at the beginning of the season to prove he doesn’t suck. He’ll end up sucking, but probably not as much as this season.

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  39. BVS

    dmick89,

    Agreed. But if starters are a strength for Cubs, which they would be if they keep Hamels, then they could fill an IF gap that they won’t fill when Machado signs with the Yankees.

    IF something like this happened, I’d guess it would be after most big FAs signed.

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  40. Ryno

    https://predictivefootball.com/late-and-trailing-by-14-points-always-go-for-2-after-a-touchdown/

    Stuff like this is so interesting to me and it makes so much sense. It’ll also take a while for NFL coaches to adopt it because NFL coaches coach scared. Their in-game decisions are based on not losing more than winning. And they’d MUCH rather fail conventionally than unconventionally.

    That’s what made last year’s Eagles so compelling.

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  41. Ryno

    Ryno,

    OAK has a chance to have three of the top 16 picks in the next draft. I wonder if Carr is next…

    Raiders QB Derek Carr reportedly has a "fractured relationship" with teammates, due in part to the perception that he cried after being injured https://t.co/dSvPc50wYe

    — ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) October 23, 2018

    Four first rounders?

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  42. Ryno

    Since my sobering analysis of Nico Hoerner’s AFL performance so far, the lad has gone 3-7 with a 2B (off Forrest Whitley), a 3B and a HR. He’s also added a walk.

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  43. andcounting

    Ryno,

    I love that. Shouldn’t teams pretty much always go for it on 4th down as well? That book Thinking Fast and Slow says a bit about it, something about a Richard Thaler study. #lazy

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  44. Ryno

    andcounting,

    I know there are some that say you should never punt, but I don’t think they take situation into account. College is one thing, but points are at a premium in the NFL (at least, they used to be).

    For me, punting is like sac bunting in baseball. There are times when it makes sense to sacrifice a down for field position, but it’s way overused.

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  45. berselius

    EnricoPallazzo:
    Damn you have to pay for the poscast drafts now? That’s kinda lame…

    Even if I felt like shelling out to their patreon, it’s useless to me since I listen to pods in the car whatever patreon gate I’d need to pass through would probably be useless.

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  46. Ryno

    When you guys don’t participate, you make me go to BCB where I see stuff like this:

    Joe Maddon is the right manager for the Cubs now, and going forward. Here’s why.
    Analytics are useful, but in the end, baseball is a people business, and Joe’s really, really good at that.

    That’s the headline and subhead. For real.

    Would a different manager than Joe Maddon have been able to create the culture that brought four consecutive 90+ win seasons to the Cubs franchise for the first time in more than 100 years? I’d say no.

    Yeah, the culture did all that. eyeroll.gif

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  47. Ryno

    Mucker,

    I honestly don’t know. I don’t watch many NYG games. I do know he was my top-rated CB in that draft (I rated Jalen Ramsey higher, but not as a pure CB).

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  48. EnricoPallazzo

    berselius: Even if I felt like shelling out to their patreon, it’s useless to me since I listen to pods in the car whatever patreon gate I’d need to pass through would probably be useless.

    All you need to do is pay for patreon, have someone else listen to it and transcribe the episode, and then sit shotgun while you drive and read the transcript to you. Pretty simple, really.

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  49. EnricoPallazzo

    Weather here in boston is kinda nuts right now…shitload of thunder and lightning. Radar suggests it’ll clear at some point, but hypothetically speaking, what would happen if they couldnt play tonight or tomorrow? They’d go for a double-header on the off day? I can’t imagine any other scenario being feasible…

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  50. Ryno

    And now NYG trades Snacks Harrison to DET for a 5.

    I guess the experts are saying the best time to rebuild a roster is in the middle of the season after taking a RB with the No. 2 overall pick instead of Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or Lamar Jackson.

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  51. Mucker

    Ryno,

    It’s crazy that the NYG are taking the title of more irrelevant team from the Redskins in that division. It’s going to be a long rebuild for NYG.

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  52. Ryno

    Mucker,

    That whole division is ridiculous. PHI looked like they might pull away for a while, but they’ve had some back luck this season. I think WAS is hanging around thanks to McCloughan’s influence. But between DAL wasting a rookie QB contract and NYG ignoring their shitty roster…

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  53. Mucker

    Ryno,

    Then maybe it won’t be a long rebuild for NYG. (dying laughing)

    The Cowboys gave up a 1st round pick for a WR and could’ve got a better one for a 5th (Josh Gordon). Maybe they didn’t want another Dez Bryant situation, I don’t know, but that was a serious waste of draft capital.

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  54. Ryno

    Mucker,

    I’m making an effort to realize I overvalue draft picks, but that was too much for current Cooper. I think it’s just fine for 2016 Cooper and that’s what DAL is banking on. They were fooled into thinking Dak was the kind of QB that doesn’t need weapons around him. I guess they realize that now.

    Rebuilds can be quick in the NFL, but you have to get a little lucky. NYG was lucky last year to have a top pick in a draft with multiple QB options. They blew that. They’ll have to hope to get lucky again.

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  55. andcounting

    dmick89,

    One day there will be an organization that focuses on little more than the abilities of fouling off pitches and knowing the strike zone. They’ll get no-hit almost every game but score an average of 11 runs. They’ll scoff at the idiots who say they need to hit.

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  56. andcounting

    Ryno,

    That’s among the dumbest things I’ve ever read. And that’s not to say trading Quintana is the dumbest idea I’ve ever come across, just that Al’s pathetic attempt at a reasoned argument is on a loftier level of dumb than just about any collection of characters ever assembled into intelligible order.

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  57. andcounting

    Ryno,

    Oh yes. I also read the part about his salary being really low, yet wanting to free up that money, even though the Ricketts don’t need the money anyway. And exercise the option on Hamels then tear it up. Like, totally tear it up, y’all.

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  58. JKV

    Remember when the Cubs sucked and AC had to keep requesting that t-shirt companies stop using the facepalm logo without consent? That was fun.

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  59. Ryno

    I can appreciate disagreeing opinion, but don't ever send me another e-mail threatening to burn my house down if I don't change my opinion on Brees vs Aaron Rodgers.

    That's not sane, and I will immediately turn them over to law enforcement.

    — Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) October 26, 2018

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  60. dmick89

    Chicago Cubs
    — Interesting question on MLB.com about whether the Cubs will go for a closer this winter, or assume Brandon Morrow will reclaim the job. The Cubs never liked very long deals for relievers …
    — David Kaplan, a Chicago radio personality, reported the Cubs offered Kris Bryant a $200-million or so deal that Bryant declined …
    — The Cubs will surely pick up the $20-million option on Cole Hamels rather than buy him out for $6 million. – https://fancredsports.com/articles/inside-baseball-mlb-notes-baldelli-makes-sense-a

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  61. Ryno

    Berselius is too lazy to login on his phone.,

    With as risk averse as NFL coaches are, I’m surprised no one reminded him that having the ball on the 25 with a timeout (and the two minute warning) is better than the spectrum of outcomes of trying to return a kick from the endzone. Even if he hadn’t fumbled, GB would have been at the 20 and < 2 minutes. I'd expect more from a Stanford man.

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  62. Ryno

    Hypothetical futures bet that Cubs writers, bloggers and Twitter personalities have put long odds on: Jason Heyward being traded this winter. I believe it’s much more likely than you have otherwise read about.

    — Cubs Prospects (@cubprospects) October 29, 2018

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  63. Ryno

    After watching SF lose to ARI yesterday, I’m convinced they’re somehow tanking this season.

    1. There’s no way JimmyG makes THAT much of a difference over Beathard.
    2. They’ve lost a few games under suspect circumstances since the JimmyG injury.

    I’m on board with this plan, I just don’t want to hear some bullshit about how “we’re trying to win every game.”

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  64. Mucker

    Ryno,

    I don’t understand why more teams don’t tank. I’m not saying go out and throw games. But you can theoretically tank a season by playing rookies or 2nd strings that you might think have a future but aren’t quite ready yet. Gives them valuable playing time and when you are ready to compete, you have a solid foundation of a team to build on. Take your lumps early. What’s the difference between 1-15 or 7-9? About 15-20 draft spots. If you aren’t in a position to make the playoffs, lose the games.

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  65. berselius

    Mucker,

    It’s probably a more delicate balance than it seems at face value. If a team is too terrible it could hurt said rookie’s development. For example, I don’t think the current Bills offensive roster is going to do Josh Allen any favors. Guys like David Carr or half a thousand Jags QBs also seem like candidates for guys whose development was not helped by a rebuilding team around them. We could see the same with Barkley with NYG, though maybe it doesn’t matter as much for non-QBs. This is one of the big reasons why the Browns waited so long to take a QB.

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  66. Ryno

    berselius:
    Mucker,

    It’s probably a more delicate balance than it seems at face value.

    There are a lot of different personality types that respond to losing differently, but I do think there’s something to a relatively apathetic (businesslike?) approach to the outcome of games when there’s not a “winning culture” in an organization.

    I get the idea of tanking when there’s a generational talent in the draft, but (a)I’m not sure there is one this year (Bosa, maybe?) (b)I’d want my team to have more pride than to allow any tanking…other than the type Mucker mentioned.

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  67. BVS

    Sounds like BYE had a great day in the NFL yesterday, both

    Here:

    Ryno:
    After watching SF lose to ARI yesterday…

    and proactively with some kick returner in Green Bay.

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  68. BVS

    berselius: Guys like David Carr or half a thousand Jags QBs also seem like candidates for guys whose development was not helped by a rebuilding team around them.

    But their confidence post-career has really been helped with the support groups run by Anthony Young, Mike Maroth, Chris Volstad, and Ruben Quevedo.

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  69. Mucker

    Ryno,

    berselius,

    Yeah I wouldn’t advocate for just trashing a season. And I’d be curious to know if players really believe they are a good football team (Bills? Raiders?) and believe they can compete. If we can see that a team is complete shit, don’t the players? If I was a QB of a young team with a roster of rookies and young players, I’d want to get in-game experience with them. I would absolutely be trying to win, but I would understand that might not happen often and that would be OK if I thought the future was bright. Maybe being a Bears fan for so long has warped my thinking but I know I’ve been pissed they won a game to go 6-10 rather than 5-11 that lowered their draft position. I’m more invested in seeing the Bears be good for 5-8 years instead of 1-2 years.

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  70. Ryno

    Mucker,

    I think it depends on the team. I’m sure SF’s players looked at last season like “We won 6 games and were a play or two away from winning a few more.” I would think a team like BUF is realistic and the players are just trying to play their position as well as possible. I’m sure OAK’s players see the writing on the wall as well.

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  71. Ryno

    If the Cowboys don't act quickly on Lincoln Riley, he could be in Cleveland by January. I'd love to see Riley with Mayfield in the NFL with all the talent on this roster.

    — Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) October 29, 2018

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  72. Ryno

    .@betonline_ag lists #Rams HC Sean McVay as the fav to be #Browns HC. McVay was born in Dayton, Ohio & went to Miami, Ohio

    McVay +200
    Lincoln Riley +225
    Zac Taylor +550
    John DeFilippo +650
    Dan Campbell +750
    Brian Flores +750
    Dave Toub +800
    Jim Harbaugh +1200
    Bill Belichick +2000

    — uSTADIUM (@uSTADIUM) October 29, 2018

    (dying laughing) Yeah, I’m sure McVay is champing at the bit to get away from sunny SoCal and that ridiculously talented roster to be back in Ohio (with which he is familiar).

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  73. berselius

    Ryno,

    McVay +200 is only the second most ridiculous bet on that list. That Belicheck line would have to move to something like +2,000,000,000 to be close to the actual odds.

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  74. dmick89

    Ryno:

    I wouldn’t be surprised either since I don’t think the Cubs even seriously consider Harper or Machado unless they can get rid of a large chunk of Heyward’s contract.

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  75. andcounting

    Pretty sure the nadir of the sports calendar is the point at which baseball has ended and the potential replacements on the Browns coaching staff becomes the main topic of discussion.

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  76. dmick89

    BVS,

    I’m okay with that because baseball’s format in the playoffs would make it more difficult for those averagi-ish teams to advance. The Red Sox had something like a 60% chance of winning the World Series and the Dodgers are a very good team.

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  77. BVS

    dmick89,

    Yeah. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I’d sooner give byes to higher seeded teams than have them play .500 or worse teams. 10 or 12 teams max in playoffs.

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  78. Wenningtons Gorilla Cock

    BVS:
    dmick89,

    Yeah. We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I’d sooner give byes to higher seeded teams than have them play .500 or worse teams. 10 or 12 teams max in playoffs.

    No byes, 16 teams, every round is best of 9. Games lasting past dusk are suspended.

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  79. dmick89

    When is the deadline for exercising an option? I read it the Cubs declined Hamels option and then re-signed him the Rangers would be able to file grievance. So I don’t think that’s a viable option.

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  80. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: I wouldn’t be surprised either since I don’t think the Cubs even seriously consider Harper or Machado unless they can get rid of a large chunk of Heyward’s contract.

    Interesting. What’s this based on? What I’ve read thus far and seen/heard (which is admittedly far from comprehensive, and might have zero worth to begin with), has indicated the Cubs have been gearing up to make a serious run at Machado/Harper, and it won’t require moving unmovable contracts to do so.

    This is not to say I expect the Cubs to sign one of them, as I always try to assume the field, but I have yet to hear anything about the Cubs pursuit of Machado/Harper having a roadblock like moving a Jason Heyward.

    (Although, I hope you’re right, and the Cubs do move Heyward, and then sign Harper.)

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  81. EnricoPallazzo

    Smokestack Lightning,

    if the cubs want a big money signing, they will need to dump salary to avoid going over the top tier of the luxury threshold. i guess there are like two or three tiers. so IF they want to avoid the top tier, they will need to move someone. pretty sure it’s still tbd as to whether or not they want to avoid that top tier though.

    not sure if this is what dm was talking about though.

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  82. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning: Interesting. What’s this based on?

    More of a hunch than anything, but also combined with the fact that their payroll is high and they’ve had some unusually shitty luck in free agent signings. I think it also makes sense to move Heyward if you’re going to get Harper. Heyward vs Almora/Happ is probably about even at this point. I don’t think the Cubs want to or should move Kyle Schwarber. It just feels like the Cubs need to move an outfielder and the obvious pick for that is Heyward due to his contract. Even if you could get out of half of the remaining deal you’re better off in my opinion and I think some team will take a chance on him at the reduced rate they’ll get him for.

    I’m not saying it’s a situation in which the Cubs have to move Heyward before they bid on Harper or even sign him, but I think it’s one that they could sign him and then trade Heyward. I don’t think they start the season with both of them.

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  83. Ryno

    Frank
    2:10 Any chance the Cubs try to trade for Whit Merrifield and play Baez at SS fule time?

    Keith Law
    2:11 If I’m a Cubs fan that is the last thing I want them to do (the trade part – I’m good with putting Baez at SS full time). Pick up Hamels’ option, re-sign Chavez, and go hard for Machado or Harper.

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  84. BVS

    dmick89,

    Wouldn’t it then seem like a plausible option would be to trade Zobrist? He has more value than Heyward, would probably be about the same salary savings, could net something useful, and clear up some OF logjam with Happ/Bote/laStella covering 2b. He’s gone after 2019, and at his age he may not reproduce 2018 anyway…though I wouldn’t bet against it.

    Of course, you give up leadership and trade one on your best hitters from 2018. Does he have a no trade clause?

    Not saying I’d do this…but if salary is an issue, you have to look at Zo, I think.

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  85. dmick89

    BVS,

    Zobrist is still a really good player and he’s not making all that much money. Even if they saved a third of what Heyward has left they’d be in a much better position moving forward. I think they could save half, but they may have to wait out free agency to find out.

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  86. BVS

    dmick89,

    Zo 2019 Salary $12M + $0.5M portion of original signing bonus
    JHey $20M + $2.5M.

    If $$ is the only issue, and you can only save 1/3 of Heyward’s salary, then trading 100% of Zo’s salary saves more. Heyward has partial no trade clause. Zobrist can be traded anywhere.

    Offered fwiw only. I’d rather trade Heyward too. But no one would take him w/o Cubs paying $15M, so why bother? For $7.5M you get a good defensive OF with nearly avg production at the plate last year.

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  87. Berselius is too lazy to login on his phone.

    Ryno,

    Only 9.5 more years until that Gruden contract runs out in OAK

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  88. Ryno

    David Bote is trash and a quad A player. something needs to be done differently
    by hick132 on Nov 1, 2018 | 9:25 PM reply

    I presume you have evidence to back up this claim.
    But it’s all right now, I learned my lesson well. You see, you can’t please everyone, so you got to please yourself — Rick Nelson, “Garden Party”
    by Al Yellon on Nov 2, 2018 | 6:46 AM up reply

    Other than Bote’s stats (which are public)?

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  89. Myles

    Ryno: Other than Bote’s stats (which are public)?

    I would not say that Bote’s stats indicated that he’s a quad-A player. He’s probably a bench guy, but a cost-controlled bench bat with some pop is still fairly valuable.

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  90. dmick89

    Other teams’ read on the Cubs’ situation this winter: They have very little payroll flexibility, and will have to spend very carefully to affect upgrades for the 2019 season. The days of having a cheap core of young players are over for the front office. — MLBTR (tweet from Buster Olney)

    This offseason is going to suck.

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  91. dmick89

    Myles:
    Ryno,

    Smyly was scheduled to make $7 million, so maybe they really need all the cash flexibility they can get? IDK.

    It seems odd that they’d be that worried about next year’s payroll at this point, but things aren’t looking good.

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  92. Perkins

    Myles:
    dmick89,

    There have definitely been rumblings among the Cubs cognoscenti that the days of unlimited payroll are over. Ruh roh.

    Where is all this coming from? It seems odd for a club in the middle of its competitive window and about to sign a (presumably) massive TV deal (likely for its own network) would suddenly pinch pennies.

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  93. dmick89

    Myles,

    So all those “Cubs are readying a large offer for Harper” that I read this summer should have said the Cubs were readying an offer for a mid-level starter (if they can trade away a few contracts).

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  94. Myles

    Perkins,

    I have no idea why, but it’s at least what Buster Olney says. Who knows, he could obviously be wrong.

    “Other teams’ read on the Cubs’ situation this winter: They have very little payroll flexibility, and will have to spend very carefully to affect upgrades for the 2019 season. The days of having a cheap core of young players are over for the front office.”

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  95. Perkins

    If they’re that worried about payroll, I wonder if they could offload Chatwood for literally nothing. There has to be a team out there willing to roll those dice.

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  96. EnricoPallazzo

    in the absence of the cubs doing any blockbuster deals, i may just spend this off-season fondly recalling my favorite trade in history aka the time that dan cortese traded bobby bonilla for salt & pepa in the 5th (?) inning of the mtv rock n’ jock softball classic in like 1996.

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  97. JKV

    dmick89:
    Perkins,

    If Thoyer signed Chatwood knowing this crunch was likely they should be fired.

    I think you’re overreacting a little bit. It was a tweet from Buster Olney, who heard from other teams that they won’t have much payroll flexibility.

    a) You really think Theo lets other GMs know about the Cubs financial might (or lacktherof)
    b) If Theo did do this highly uncharacteristic thing, you don’t think there’s a chance he’s doing this purposefully to make sure the top FA prizes don’t have their prices continue to be driven up?

    I mean, haven’t we already seen this last offseason with Yu and 3 years ago with Heyward?

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  98. dmick89

    JKV: I think you’re overreacting a little bit.

    No. I said “if” they signed Chatwood knowing that and I stand by what I said. If they signed a terrible pitcher like Chatwood for way too much money when they don’t have money, of course they deserve to be fired. That should go without saying.

    I went into this offseason thinking the Cubs weren’t going to go after Harper unless they figured out a way to move Heyward, so this isn’t all that surprising to me. That being said, I’ve just got a hunch about it and there’s a lot I don’t know. What does worry me though is that they had to clear space just to add Hamels.

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  99. Perkins

    dmick89,

    Conversely though, I doubt they’d retain Hamels if there’s that much of a budget crunch.

    I think we can expect Russell’s salary off the books as well. My assumption right now is that they’ll go after Harper or Machado, and shedding salary is more about reducing the amount over the luxury cap that they’ll be taxed on.

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  100. andcounting

    I want theCubs to sign Machado and/or Harper, so it’s highly unlikely they don’t sign at least one of them.

    I’m just going to take the Violet Beauregard approach.

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  101. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    Perkins,

    If Thoyer signed Chatwood knowing this crunch was likely they should be fired.

    I’d expand that to include Darvish too.

    You don’t give yet another 30+ yr old SP (and this one with an extensive injury history) all of the dollars when Bryce Harper and Manny Machado are a year away.

    Especially in this day and age when you don’t even really need great starting pitching to be a force.

    Here’s hoping Perkins is right and this about avoiding the top tier if possible. If the Cubs threw all their money at Chatwood and Darvish only to cry poor when Harper and Machado come around, then Theo checked out a long time ago.

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  102. BVS

    Perkins,

    Well, since KB’s wife has already told the FO what Harper’s wife says he will sign for, i assume Smyly and Russell’s salaries are just providing the cushion needed for the mid-season pick up of a middle infielder.

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  103. andcounting

    I’ll just throw this out there: if you’re negotiating with Scott Boras, you don’t exactly try to send a plethora of signals that you’ve got an infinite supply of money.

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  104. BVS

    andcounting,
    Agreed. And recent reporting strongly contradicts reports from all season about going after Harper. Except Hamels, what has changed? Plus Hamels less Smyly less Russell is probably only +10M AAV.

    There is a lot of $ coming off next year too. And maybe they can package Caratini and Kintzler for a veteran back up catcher to save another $4M on the margin. Or, in dreamland, they can package Caratini, Maples, and Chatwood for something marginally useful.

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  105. dmick89

    I think the Cubs should go after Robinson Chirinos to be their backup catcher. He’s a free agent after the Rangers declined his $4.5 million option. A left handed bat would be ideal, but Chirinos is also someone who could step in for Contreras if he got hurt and missed some time. My guess is they’ll just stick with Caratini since he’s cheap.

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  106. Perkins

    I wonder if last offseason’s horribly slow pace and lower payouts, rather than holding powder for Machado and Harper, was actually a long game for the owners to depress the amount those two will get.

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  107. Smokestack Lightning

    andcounting:
    I’ll just throw this out there: if you’re negotiating with Scott Boras, you don’t exactly try to send a plethora of signals that you’ve got an infinite supply of money.

    Point taken, but if the reporting prior to this last week had Harper to the Cubs all but inevitable, this past week has seen everything swing way over to the other extreme, and that’s an odd correction if the Cubs have every intention of pursuing him. If this is all about wanting to slow Boras’ roll a bit, there are plenty of other things to say that should get that impression across that don’t require lying about being broke. When I go to haggle for a specific new car, I don’t open negotiations by telling the salesman I don’t have any money to afford it. I only say that shit if I ain’t lying.

    If this unfortunate turn in the rumor mill is true, then my best guess is Theo got a very unwelcome surprise from ownership the past couple of weeks. Or maybe he already knows the sort of contract Harper is going to get is going to go so far beyond what makes sense for any team regardless of payroll that it would be foolish to get involved.

    Or maybe this is just horseshit speculation that the media is running with in lieu of anything concrete coming out of Cubs HQ at the moment.

    I guess what I’m really trying to say is: maybe.

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  108. dmick89

    Since Thoyer took over there really hasn’t been that much information that has leaked. They’ve run a tight lipped department and I don’t expect this offseason to be any different. The Olney tweet wasn’t so much about having inside information as it was about what other teams were reading about the Cubs offseason plans. In years past we’ve known the Cubs were going after Lester. We knew they were going after Heyward. We knew they were going after Zobrist. We knew they wanted Darvish. Up until this past week we were pretty sure the Cubs really wanted Harper (or Machado). I think what SL said is probably right. Either it’s bullshit or ownership told the front office after the season that there wasn’t much money. I have a hard time believing that Theo or Jed would be so aggressive in targeting someone like Chatwood if they had any idea that there wasn’t much money after last year. Or maybe they were aggressive because they knew and it didn’t matter how much they spent last year.

    I don’t know, but I don’t think we can easily dismiss this either. It would be nice if there was some reporter willing to debunk what Olney wrote, but to my knowledge that hasn’t happened.

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  109. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89,

    Agreed. Not much has gotten out of Cubs HQ that they didn’t want out there.

    Which is why I’m trying to be hopeful it’s all mistaken speculation and not something the Cubs have put out there in order to get in front of the disappointment early.

    Otoh, maybe not signing Harper won’t be the worst thing in the world if MLBTR’s projection of a 14 year contract turns out to be accurate.

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  110. andcounting

    Smokestack Lightning,

    When I go to haggle for a specific new car, I don’t open negotiations by telling the salesman I don’t have any money to afford it. I only say that shit if I ain’t lying.

    It’s funny, that’s exactly how I open negotiations. Obviously not that I have no money whatsoever, but I make it clear their options are 1) get nothing from me, or 2) give me a great deal.

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  111. dmick89

    When I buy a car I do all my research at home and then I go in with a final offer. It’s a price that I can live with and I can live with them telling me to fuck off too. I think this is more like the strategy this front office has taken. They made a huge offer to Yu Darvish last offseason and then waited a couple months for him to figure it out. I think the Cubs went in with a final offer. Maybe they were willing to talk about opt-outs and no trade clauses, but that’s probably about it. There’s not really a point getting into a bidding war for free agents. You can end up bidding against yourself like the Rangers did with A-Rod many years ago.

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  112. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning: Otoh, maybe not signing Harper won’t be the worst thing in the world if MLBTR’s projection of a 14 year contract turns out to be accurate.

    I have a difficult time believing Harper is going to get a contract that long. As good as he is, he’s been rather inconsistent in his career and that’s going to come up in discussions. I’m sure a lot of teams will spot things they think they can fix, but it’s still a matter of record. The standard these days seems to be an opt-out after two or three years and I expect that will be the case with Harper. It’s probably safe to bet that he’ll be a free agent again by the time he’s 30. My guess is that he’ll be a free agent at the age of 29. The only way that contract is going 14 years is if there are some club options later in the deal (at least after the 10th season).

    My guess is he’ll get a 10-year deal for $300 million. There will be an opt-out after the third and fifth year and incentives in the later years of the deal based on games played and where he finishes in the MVP voting. If I’m the Cubs, I come at Harper with something like $100 million over those first three seasons before the first opt-out. Then I’d pay him $28.6 million per season over the final seven years of the contract with incentives that could take the final five years up to a total of $32.5 million each season.

    I’d give him ten days to take it or leave it. Then I’d move on to Machado. I’m not sure what kind of deal I’d offer, but it would be less than what I’d be willing to pay Harper.

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  113. Smokestack Lightning

    andcounting,

    Well, I mean, if we’re going to be 100% honest here about car shopping, when I go to buy a car, I hang out by the free donuts and let the wife do all the talking. If she says we’re signing sign, I sign. If she says we’re leaving, I go with her.

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  114. dmick89

    GBtS,

    Did they announce those today? He played a lot of SS and 2B so I didn’t figure he’d get one. I also didn’t care. I didn’t even know they were announced. Who won the MVP awards?

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  115. dmick89

    JKV,

    That was fun. Steele just came back from TJS. I think he came back in time to make a few appearances in A or AA ball. I think he’s definitely someone to watch for next year. We could see him at the big league level if he stays healthy.

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  116. Ryno

    Edwin Diaz is an interesting Mariner who could be dealt. He won Rivera award but if team rebuilds a great closer is not as essential. FA market is strong in pen already: Kimbrel, Britton, Ottavino, Robertson, Kelly, Miller, Allen, Familia, Brach, Herrera, Holland, Romo, Norris

    — Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 6, 2018

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  117. dmick89

    “It’s time to produce or else there’s a chance for significant change for the group,” — Theo

    This is a strange thing to say for a team that has won 60% if its games over the last four seasons. There’s clearly some friction between Joe and the front office and maybe some of the players.

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  118. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89,

    It is strange, but then this has been a strange team for the last two of those four years. They managed all those wins in ’17 and ’18, but both of those teams were DOA once the playoffs started (I still don’t know how the Natinals managed to screw that series up; the Cubs were practically sleepwalking through most of it).

    Maybe we just expect too much, but they’ve won gobs and gobs of games, two division titles (would be three except for the dumb way MLB handles tiebreakers), and a World Series, and yet it’s hard to shake the feeling that they could’ve done a lot more so far. I don’t know why that is, because they’ve been mostly great—these are the best days we’ll probably ever know as Cubs fans—but it’s been kinda meh for a while now.

    I blame weak-ass groundballs.

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  119. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning,

    Wasn’t there a mistake by an umpire that led to the Nationals losing that series? I thought it was the right call, but MLB said it wasn’t.

    Both 2017 and 2018 have started slowly and I think that has affected how well we thought they played.

    FWIW, I’m perfectly fine with the Cubs not extending Joe. He’d probably be due about $7-8 million per year and the Cubs could instead sign a first year manager and pay him next to nothing. I’d prefer that to be honest. What about Doug Glanville?

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  120. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89: Wasn’t there a mistake by an umpire that led to the Nationals losing that series? I thought it was the right call, but MLB said it wasn’t.

    I honestly don’t remember and I refuse to look it up. What I do remember was both teams didn’t look very good the entire series, and then game 5 was cray.

    FWIW, I’m fine with Joe moving on after this year too. There’s probably something to making changes at all levels, even Theo’s, after enough years go by.

    Also in the FWIW category, Theo said there are no artificial limits on spending this offseason, whatever that means.

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  121. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning: Theo said there are no artificial limits on spending this offseason, whatever that means.

    Hopefully that’s true. Theo has generally been honest with the media so I suppose there’s no reason for me to doubt it.

    I’m just ready for this offseason to get started and see some action in the free agent market. We should get an idea early on how active the Cubs are going to be. We knew from the start they were interested in Darvish (and the other top free agents they’ve signed in recent years). We’ll probably know by within two weeks whether the Cubs are serious about Harper or Machado.

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  122. dmick89

    Well, this kind of sucks.

    Joel Sherman
    @Joelsherman1
    #Cubs unlikely to add significant $ this offseason. Best chance for substantial change would be if they move a core piece such as Schwarber to address other needs.
    3:53 PM · Nov 5, 2018

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  123. GBTS

    dmick89:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    Wasn’t there a mistake by an umpire that led to the Nationals losing that series? I thought it was the right call, but MLB said it wasn’t.

    MLB said the day after that Javy should have been called out for tipping Wieters’ mask on the passed ball strike 3. Though then Wieters threw the ball into RF like an idiot. And the only reason Javy was batting in the first place was because Max Scherzer IBB’d Jason Heyward, i.e., the worst playoff hitter in the history of baseball. I certainly didn’t lose sleep over that non-call (dying laughing)

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  124. dmick89

    GBTS,

    I barely remember the play, but do recall thinking the umpire got it right to begin with. I refuse to change my opinion on that even though I have trouble remembering the play. (dying laughing)

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  125. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    So it’s starting to look as though the Cubs don’t have much financial flexibility.

    I dunno. I tend to believe Theo over Joel Sherman. Granted, Theo’s comments don’t really say anything definitive one way or the other about whether they intend to pursue Machado or Harper, but if we are to take him at his word, then lack of funds don’t sound like an issue. If it were the problem, I think Theo would just come out and say it. There are plenty of ways to spin “we ain’t got no cash” without basically lying, which is what Theo’s doing if he’s saying “no artificial limits” when the truth is the Cubs are tapped.

    The question I have is whether Theo and co. are looking first to improve in ways that don’t require 10+ years and a 350MM commitment. If we get to the end of the offseason with a clearly improved team, I’ll be fine with the Cubs not landing Harper. Harper/Machado just represent the simplest path to getting better that I can see right now, but that can change fast.

    What I don’t want is to see a bunch of peripheral, upside-y, elite-spin-rate type BS moves, followed by Theo saying “Getting a healthy Kris Bryant back is just like adding a superstar!”

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  126. uncle dave

    Smokestack Lightning,

    I feel like they didn’t do much at all at the deadline this year, and we were told that we needed to eat sawdust to afford steak during the offseason. And here we are, with the media basically reporting that all we’re going to get out of the whole mess is Hamels’ option and a tender for Addison Russell.

    So, yeah, it definitely feels kind of meh, and for good reason.

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  127. dmick89

    uncle dave,

    I feel confident that Russell will eventually be traded this offseason. I really think it says a lot that the Cubs had to clear some salary before they retained Hamels. That felt like the kind of stupid thing the Cubs had to do under Tribune ownership.

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  128. andcounting

    dmick89,

    Is there any evidence other than timing that the Cubs dealing Smyly had anything to do with picking up Hamels’ extension, or is it possible they just didn’t think he was worth the money based on evaluating his current rehab trajectory?

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  129. Ryno

    andcounting,

    The timing, money and teams involved suggest that the first part is more than just coincidence, imo. I think we’ll see about the second part once the PTBNLs are named.

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  130. dmick89

    andcounting,

    A journalist or two reported that before the Cubs could exercise his option they had to clear a bit from the payroll. That’s kind of where all of this began. It’s a very bizarre thing to have to do in the offseason unless ownership has placed significant spending limits on the team.

    Is it accurate? I don’t know yet, but there has been several reporters now who have run with the same information. That could still be nothing, but I don’t think the Cubs gain anything by pretending to be penniless. It was after that first report about having to clear payroll that Olney wrote about how other teams believe the Cubs have nothing to spend this offseason. So there is some evidence, but it’s not conclusive. I think we’ll know for sure within the next 7 to 10 days. If we don’t hear the Cubs are going after Harper or Machado then it’s safe to assume that ownership has placed a limit on what the payroll can be next season in my opinion.

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  131. Smokestack Lightning

    According to Jesse Rogers:

    Jim Hickey —————-> buh-bye

    Shaping up to be quite the lame duck year for Maddon. Maybe just fire him too right now and get it over with.

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  132. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89,

    Although I hate siding with the Cubs dipshit beat reporters, I’ve pretty much written off Harper/Machado at this point. If I’m wrong, I’ll happily do those walkbacks and mea culpas when the time comes.

    If the reports hadn’t come out the night before that the Cubs needed to move salary before picking up Hamels’ option, and then the Cubs dealt Smyly the very next day, I’d be more inclined to try for optimism. I’ve tried to take Theo’s comments about no artificial limits on payroll as hopefully as possible, but I haven’t been able to maintain it.

    That said, it kinda rankles that the Cubs would pick up Hamels’ option if they’re having payroll issues. He’s not a sure thing at this point in his career, and there are plenty of ways the Cubs could find more pitching without the large hit to available free agent dollars.

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  133. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning: Shaping up to be quite the lame duck year for Maddon. Maybe just fire him too right now and get it over with.

    I kind of agree with this, but it would have been much smarter to do this as soon as the season ended so you could have had a better pick of who was available.

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  134. andcounting

    Ryno,

    dmick89,

    I hadn’t thought about the Rangers’ point of view in this. They had millions of reasons to motivate the Cubs to pick up Hamels’ option. So it might not have been so much about the Cubs needing to deal Smyly to clear payroll and more of the Cubs saying, what will you give us to avoid the buyout? I think beat reporters just printed the same thing that came to everyone’s mind: obviously the Cubs needed to free up money. But it does make me think the Cubs are asking more from the Rangers than I originally thought.

    One thing I’m sure the Ricketts know is how much the World Series win was worth to them in purely fiscal terms. And I’m sure they have a number in mind about what the next World Series will be worth as well. (I picture the kids essentially asking their dad for approval on how much they can spend and needing numbers to convince him expensive baseball decisions are worth the investment). I don’t think Theo or his small-potatoes decisions like Hamels one-year option will broadcast what he’s really allowed to spend on free agents. The only thing that will tell us anything meaningful is what they offer Harper and/or Machado.

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  135. andcounting

    dmick89,

    Yeah, that’s a really bad look and a very bad omen for Joe. Did he have a say at all in the hiring and firing? If yes, he looks like an idiot. If no, he looks really nonessential.

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  136. dmick89

    andcounting,

    I’m guessing he didn’t have much of a say. Several reports have made it sound as though there’s a lot of tension between Joe and Theo and considering Joe is a good friend to Jim Hickey I doubt Theo wanted his input. The curious thing is why they waited so long.

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  137. andcounting

    dmick89:
    andcounting,

    The curious thing is why they waited so long.

    My money would be on Hickey having a problem with Joe (and, presumably Hickey himself) formally not being offered an extension in the offseason.

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  138. dmick89

    andcounting,

    (dying laughing) I have no idea what happens with the Mueller investigation, but I’ve been saying it all along that he should be prepared to dump all the info he has online if he’s fired. Yeah, it’s easy for me to say because I’m not the one who would be arrested, but the public has a right to know and it is his job to make sure we that get that information. Other people have risked arrest to do the same thing so it’s something he should have been prepared to do from day one.

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  139. dmick89

    andcounting,

    From what I’ve read over the years, Joe and Jim are really good friends. I can see why Theo would want to make changes to the coaching staff, but it looks pretty bad when you did the same thing a year ago. At what point does Joe take the fall instead of the coaching staff beneath him?

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  140. andcounting

    dmick89,

    The second the clubhouse gets discontent and grumbly, or when there’s a general question of effort, Joe will be gone. But as long as the guys are relatively having fun, staying happy and motivated, they’ll blame execution on the coaches.

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  141. dmick89

    I keep reading from people who seem convinced that Mueller has banked some indictments in case something like this happened, but I don’t think government employees are all that competent. It’s also why I have little doubt the Democrats in the House will give in and work with Republicans to get stupid shit done that nobody wants. Take a page out of the Republicans playbook. Obstruct at every corner and then blame it on the Republicans. Run nasty attack ads in two years and burn that party to the fucking ground.

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  142. dmick89

    Smokestack Lightning: That said, it kinda rankles that the Cubs would pick up Hamels’ option if they’re having payroll issues. He’s not a sure thing at this point in his career, and there are plenty of ways the Cubs could find more pitching without the large hit to available free agent dollars.

    I think you mentioned it a few days ago, but great starting pitching isn’t even something that you necessarily need anymore to be a great team considering how specialized the bullpen has become. The Cubs may have been better off picking up a couple relievers for what they’re paying Hamels.

    FWIW, I still like the Cubs taking the option on Hamels. No, he’s not what he once was, but he still looks like an above average starter to me and in the Cubs rotation that may be good enough to be the best starter on the team. He’s also stayed healthy for the most part in his career and the Cubs have no idea what they’ll get from Darvish so I like the contract.

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  143. andcounting

    dmick89,

    I think their best bet is to run infomercials on Fox News introducing hyper racist personalities who gradually start adopting slightly less racist views. As long as Republicans think they’re being attacked and their white privilege is at stake they’ll keep voting for the racist assholes. It’s going take massive deceit to get the Christians to vote for someone remotely good or honest. (dying laughing)

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  144. Smokestack Lightning

    andcounting:
    Ryno,

    dmick89,

    I hadn’t thought about the Rangers’ point of view in this. They had millions of reasons to motivate the Cubs to pick up Hamels’ option. So it might not have been so much about the Cubs needing to deal Smyly to clear payroll and more of the Cubs saying, what will you give us to avoid the buyout? I think beat reporters just printed the same thing that came to everyone’s mind: obviously the Cubs needed to free up money. But it does make me think the Cubs are asking more from the Rangers than I originally thought.

    One thing I’m sure the Ricketts know is how much the World Series win was worth to them in purely fiscal terms. And I’m sure they have a number in mind about what the next World Series will be worth as well. (I picture the kids essentially asking their dad for approval on how much they can spend and needing numbers to convince him expensive baseball decisions are worth the investment). I don’t think Theo or his small-potatoes decisions like Hamels one-year option will broadcast what he’s really allowed to spend on free agents. The only thing that will tell us anything meaningful is what they offer Harper and/or Machado.

    The Rangers’ motivation was something I briefly thought about when the Smyly trade went down then promptly forgot amidst all the shrieking reports about CUBES HAVE ZERO MUNNYS!!!!!!

    It’s a good point. And maybe it’s as simple as the Cubs were thinking of not exercising the option and re-signing Hamels afterwards, with the Rangers preference being to get a little something for the buyout they were set to pay, rather than just lighting the money on fire. Cubs didn’t like what they were seeing out of Smyly, so they save a little bit, the Rangers get a little bit. Everybody’s happy.

    Cubs weren’t going to re-sign Hamels at an AAV less than 15MM per anyway, so it makes sense to do this deal, especially if they weren’t planning on using Smyly in any meaningful capacity anyway.

    I like comments that give me hope. Your comment did that. Thank you.

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  145. BVS

    dmick89,

    andcounting,

    Somewhere I saw and editorial that suggested the Dems in the house could actually attempt to do things and either get Trump to go along and expose the cretins in the Senate, or expose both of them. Such as: National Minimum wage increase, DACA, fix Voting Rights Act, fix issues with Obamacare marketplaces, enact equal pay and violence against women acts, propose some sensible gun regulations like closing gun show loophole, increasing background checks and wait periods, and regulating assault rifles, shift tax burdens back to rich, etc. (I added a few.) You know, stuff like governing for a change. Wonder if Pelosi could pull that off. Steny Hoyer cannot.

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  146. Smokestack Lightning

    Rejoice, patient motherfuckers! A baseball sports transaction hath occurred!

    Mike Zunino ——————> Rays

    Mariners <———————- Mallex Smith

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  147. dmick89

    BVS: Somewhere I saw and editorial that suggested the Dems in the house could actually attempt to do things and either get Trump to go along and expose the cretins in the Senate, or expose both of them.

    I doubt that’s what would happen. They’d spin it in 2020 with a bunch of lies and I suspect it would work. If the Democrats in the house are going to do anything they may as well go all in on popular progressive ideas like Medicare For All, free college tuition, prison reform, marijuana legalization and other things like that that have majority support. None will pass, but if the GOP is going to spread lies in 2020 about what you tried to pass then you can at least try to pass some things well to the left of the average Democratic congressman.

    The other thing is they need to be ready to spread their own lies about the GOP because fuck this playing nice bullshit. You can’t expect to win elections on a regular basis if you’re tying one arm behind your back. If the Democrats aren’t going to force Donald Trump and the GOP to play defense in 2020 they’re going to lose. Just make wild shit up. Leak story after story. Doctor photos and videos.

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  148. BVS

    dmick89: Medicare For All, free college tuition, prison reform, marijuana legalization

    Those would be excellent additions to the list.

    Except free college tuition–what does that mean? I’m at a university and we already see enough students who are not prepared to be in college and some that just aren’t capable of being in college at all. If K-12 was doing it’s job, then I might have a different view. But geez its prety aweful how theirs so many kids who can’t wright a good enough sennence nowadays.

    Also, I can’t figure out how you have free tuition and then have enough faculty to teach the many more classes that would be needed to meet demand. If you’ve seen a good study on that, send it on. My objection is mainly logistical (except for prep argument above), which is not really a great foundation for an objection.

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  149. dmick89

    BVS: My objection is mainly logistical (except for prep argument above), which is not really a great foundation for an objection.

    I’m pretty sure I read that this year’s increase to the defense department budget was enough to cover this year’s tuition costs and then some. Obviously some cuts are going to have to be made to something and defense is the obvious one in my opinion. We could cut the defense budget in half and still have the world’s largest defense budget. Increase taxes for the wealthy and that, combined with defense cuts and we can cover just about every basic service that every single person should have access to.

    How many more college students do you think there would be if there was free tuition? There would be an increase, but I don’t think it would increase by as much as a lot of people think.

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  150. Ryno

    dmick89: Democrats in the house are going to do…marijuana…and other things like that…then you can…fuck…on a regular basis if you’re tying one arm behind your back.

    wild shit

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  151. andcounting

    dmick89,

    Yeah, undergraduate education funding and secondary education standards are distinct issues, both of which could be addressed with funding and reform. If anything, the high cost of tuition and the profit to be made from student debt hamstrings any incentives to better prepare students for college. Lenders make a ton of money and universities prolong their existence regardless of how ready incoming students are or how employable graduates are. Parents and students bear the financial responsibility but they are extremely poor/biased judges of scholastic aptitude. If the government/educators/lenders /taxpayers were footing the bill and undergraduate and secondary systems worked a little bit better together, the effectiveness might change a bit.

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  152. BVS

    andcounting,

    Heh heh. Could be a vicious positive feedback.

    dmick89: How many more college students do you think there would be if there was free tuition? There would be an increase, but I don’t think it would increase by as much as a lot of people think.

    That’s the million dollar question. It depends quite a bit on what “free tuition” or “free college” means. If you keep admission standards exactly as they are, then I suspect you will increase college enrollment by about 20%. That’s just spitballing though. I think that includes two types of students. 1. Kids that are easily prepared enough to make it in college, but really can’t afford it. We should definitely be doing more for those kids. 2. Kids that are marginally prepared, but just over the line. This latter set of kids might not be going to college now because their parents can’t/won’t pay until they “get serious” and have some direction, or because they aren’t ambitious enough to figure out how to get in with loans, or know they aren’t serious about school but at least recognize that starting adult life with tons of loans is a bad deal. Free tuition then makes an easy avenue for the marginal/unmotivated to get into college. The majority of those kids drag down the system. They are the 80-82 playoff teams in the 16 team system. 🙂

    Admission standards would really influence how many more students would go to college. When I was at Ohio State, it seemed like the policy was “fairly easy to get in, but hard to stay.” So you’d flunk out if you didn’t perform, but OSU was going to give as many kids a shot as possible. Clemson is hard to get into but it takes awhile to flunk out, from what I can tell.

    But, some proponents of “free tuition” really seem to be arguing that everyone should go to college for free. That argument goes like this: to make a good living/succeed/etc. a high school education is not good enough anymore, so college is a fundamental right that everyone (meaning Everyone) should be able to attend for free just like K-12. In that case, I guess 75-80% of all kids would expect to go to college. I think we’d be far better to invest that “free tuition for all” into headstart, K-12 teacher salaries, after school programs, K-12 infrastructure, vo-tech, youth mental health programs, etc.

    I’m not the only academic here in the little OV group though, so maybe some of the others can chip in and correct me. Peer review…

    If this comes at the expense of a few less Ospreys and investment in F—g Saudi Arabia, sign me up.

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  153. BVS

    andcounting,

    This. The less money lenders make on college kids, the better. I think all college should be non-profit, including the loan/payment part. I also think all health care should be non-profit, but that’s a different topic.

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