Posted on: July 11, 2009 9:33 am

January’s Fix this Team Revisited


Tooting my Own Horn: January’s Fix this Team Revisited


In January, this writer assessed the Chicago Cubs in a Fix this Team post on a CBS Sportsline blog.  He advised the Cubs that it was time to tear down an aging team with a porous defense and build for the future with trades for young pitching and an emphasis on versatility, youth and defense.


Move over-priced old guys Ramirez, Lee, and Soriano.  Throw in Fukudome.  Pick up Wiggington and Hinske as Free Agents. Keep DeRosa.  Ignore Milton Bradley.  Jason Marquis was only available not traded. Leave Daryle Ward off the roster. Start Joey Gathright in CF.


Save some cash and build for the future.


The Cubs would have moved Ramirez and Lee to Baltimore for 3 minor leaguers and Luis Montanez, a scrub.  The minor leaguers were Tillman, Patton, and a 3B named Tyler Henson.  The Cubs would have moved Soriano and Fukudome to San Francisco for a rag armed Barry Zito and a little used outfielder named Nate Schierholtz.


They would have moved Rich Hill, Ronny Cedeno, Marquis or Reed Johnson only for the right bag of prospects.


The response was overwhelming. Here are some samples:


            This is a terrible idea to rebuild.....You cant dish off Soriano and Ramirez”


            “YOu have taken a 97 WIn team and made them .500 at best. Saying you are a Moron would be an insult to all Morons.”


            hope you are younger than 13.

Because you make my 13 yr old nephew looks like a genius..............

Perhaps  my mum is correct after all..."there's no medication to cure  stupid people"


            This has to be some of the absolute worst armchair GMing I have ever seen in my life.”


            “Are you retarded? This is the worst post I have ever seen.”


My response was:


            “As long as cub fans are willing to pay 14 million for an average LF who fails in the clutch. 13.5 million for an average 1B who fails in the clutch. 15 million for an average 3B who fails in the clutch. This team will just barely reach the playoffs.”


I credit one Orioles fan who seemed to understand that a young team on the verge should never trade away pitching for aging vets.


            It is time to revisit my fix this team. New Cub Ownership PAY ATTENTION. I’m willing to work as a consultant !


Barry Zito is 5-8 with a 4.43 earned run average- those 5 wins would place him second on the Cubs staff. His innings pitched would rank 3<sup>rd</sup>.  Not great,  but he was the guy the Cubs would have to take to equal out the salaries. The key player in that trade was Schierholtz who is hitting .294 with 3 homers in limited at bats.


Its addition by subtraction when you consider Soriano is batting ,231 and can’t play leftfield and Fukudome is hitting .260 and can’t play centerfield.


Comes trade 29.5 million for 20 million and create a position for Jake Fox get a young lefty – righty combo in place. Hustle more and win more games. Savings 10 million.


Keep DeRosa and don’t sign Bradley – a savings of 1,5 million.  Chemistry improves and the cubs win more games.


Move Ramirez and Lee ? Replace them with Wiggington and Hinske ? Crazy!  I haven’t seen a lot of Ramirez this year. Wiggington is hitting a respectable .257 with 6 homers in a reserve role. Savings 14. 15 million. Hinske is only at .261 but he’s 12 million cheaper than Lee and would probably be spotting the right-handed Fox or Hoffpair.


Gathright in CF – sadly the world will never know. I do know he’s not Ryan Freel and Joey should thank God for that.  Gathright is again getting more than 3 AB’s a game and of course he’s hitting over .320 and stealing bases in AAA. 


Then there are the minor league acquisitions. 


Chris Tillman – The 21 year old is 7 and 5 with a 2.50 ERA and a 4 to 1 strike out to walk ratio. He’s riding a 13 inning shut out stretch. You give up a Ramirez and a Lee to get someone like that.


Troy Patton – The 23 year old was 6 and 2 with a 1.99 ERA at Bowie before moving up to Norfolk. He’s only 1 and 3 at Norfolk but he’s had two excellent outings and two rough starts. Did I mention he’s 23 ?  He’s also a throw in – the big name was Tillman.


Throw in Henson is still struggling with Errors and strikeouts.


Throw in Lou Montanez got hurt before he could play much and really in Baltimore he wasn’t going to get much time. 


37.65 million dollars cheaper. Fox, Schierholtz, Hoffpair, Gathright, making the team more fun to watch. Wigginton, Hinske, DeRosa all quality, versatile guys holding spots for some of the guys in the farm system like Vitters or Henson.  And being good team mates while doing it.


Odds are Baltimore wouldn’t have bit on the Tillman for Ramirez and Lee deal.  They may have bit on a Patton, Hernandez, Riemold and Ray package. 


The Cubs aren’t a team that looks to build, especially with veteran friendly Lou Piniella doing the managing. 


Cub GM Jim Hendry has gone to the Brian Cashman, throw money at free agents school. It’s time to step away from that. It’s time to get younger. Stop throwing huge deals around and build a team in Chicago. 


In the meantime what do the Cubs have to show for one of the highest payrolls in baseball ?  A sub .500 record and 5<sup>th</sup> place in the 6 team central.  My cheaper team could not have been any worse and it would have been much, much, much more fun to watch.


So to those of you who commented so eloquently -  my response is unpostable.


New Cub Ownership – call me…well, e-mail me.






Category: MLB
Tags: Chicago Cubs
Posted on: March 4, 2009 6:27 pm

Why the Bears Stink Reason 1. Michael Turner

Now player proves the incompetence of Bear GM Jerry Angelo more completely than Michael Turner

Turner played High School ball at North Chicago. He played College ball at Northern Illinois. Both a stone's throw from Bear Headquarters in Lake Forest, Illinois. 

But Angelo proved the best place to hide talent was in Jerry's lap. 

How did Turner ever last 5 rounds and 154 picks in the NFL draft ? He played at Northern Illinois, a stone's throw from chicago. 

In the 5th round that year Angelo selected Claude Harriot from Pittsburgh and Craig Krenzel from Ohio State. 

He didn't need to scout turner he was in his back yard ! And he chose Harriot and Krenzel. Round 4 brought Nathan Vasher and Leon Joe. 

It isn't like Angelo felt comfortable with the RB situation with the Bears either. They brought in Thomas Jones that off season. Jones could have groomed Turner very nicely. 

(That 2004 draft was one of Angelo's best, bringing in Tommie Harris, Tank Johnson, Bernard Berrian and Nathan Vasher...of course only Harris remains in Chicago...and Harris, despite the love of Bear fans, was outperformed by the much maligned Tommie Kelly of the Raiders. Harris had an additional half sack, Kelly had an additional 22 tackles.)

The next season Angelo still felt compelled to fix the RB situation spending the 4th overall pick on Cedric Benson. To make sure that draft was a total loss he followed the Benson pick with WR Mark Bradley from Oklahoma. The 4th round pick stuck, Kyle Orton. In the 5th Airese Curry came on board. He got a steal in the 6th in Chris Harris ( a safety that showed such promise that he was traded for an 5th round draft pick). Round 7 yielded Rod Wilson

Compare a pre-draft Benson and a pre-draft Turner, you  see Turner was a faster back, a bigger back, a fresher back with fewer carries but he played in Angelo's back yard and Jerry couldn't see any of that. 

Out in that same back yard blocking for Michael Turner was a 4 year starter named Doug Free. Nicknamed Doug Freak. He started 2 games at TE as a Frosh, then moved to T and never left. Free started for Turner's best two college seasons. He then blocked for Garrett Wolfe while Wolfe broke Turner's records. Somehow Wolfe (5'7" 180lbs) was more valuable to Jerry Angelo than Turner or the 6'6" 311lb Free. Free would have started in Chicago last year. But instead he backed up former bear Marco Colombo in Dallas. 

Bear Fans will tell you that Benson was the missing piece that sent Chicago to the super bowl. That Angelo's shrewd drafts made that 1 and done run possible. 

I'm not buying it.  2006 was a fluke. The Bears were a good team and a lucky team in a weak division. 

I want Monsters of the Midway. Bear Fans remember Hampton, Dent, McMichael, Perry, Harris, Hartenstine, their best I'll take any one of them or any set of them over the bears current crop. Today's Linebackers are different than the Marshall, Singletary, Otis Wilson days. I do love me some Doug Buffone. I'll take the old days. I hear alot of talk about safety - but give me Plank and Fencik any day. Or Todd Bell. Or Shaun Gayle. 

And most of those guys were brought in by 1 GM.  

Today's GM couldn't hold a candle to him. 






Category: NFL
Tags: Bears, Chicago
Posted on: February 22, 2009 7:54 am

Who's in your 5 ? Offensive Tackles

I'll be the first to tell you - DO NOT BELIEVE the HYPE. Success at offensive line positions is based on two factors Hand Speed and Heart. Height, Weight, Athleticism get you to the NFL but once your there you better be the first one with your hands on some one and you better hate getting beat. Even for 1 play. 

I'm seeing more athleticism from this years crop of offensive line-man than hands and heart. At Offensive Tackle its flagrant. So here goes. 

1. Jason Smith, Baylor. Smith played TE coming in. To play tight end you have to be able to catch the ball. Catching the ball means you have to have some kind of hands. It also means you have to have some kind of feet. The other impressive thing about Smith is his attitude. Nasty. That's a good thing in the trenches. I rank him 1. 

2. William Beatty, UCONN. What does Beatty have that Eugene Monroe, Andre Smith, and Michael Oher don't ? A running back who led the nation in rushing. Not all of that can be attributed to Beatty but some of it has to be. At 6'6" 307 he has perfect size for the Left Tackle spot. He has the athleticism to pass block and apparently he can run block. 

3. Eugene Monroe, UVA. Its close between Monroe and Michael Oher. If Oher didn't take so many plays off he goes here. Monroe has all the tools. 

4. Michael Oher, Ole Miss. I don't really have anything against Oher. But watching mississippi I saw two huge OT's in Oher and John Jerry. In the running game there were times Jerry looked better. If you really have that desire to be the best - that NFL tackles need so badly- you're going to out perform everyone on your squad every day. Oher had some good talent to practice against and with. He played great at times. At times isn't enough. 

5. This one is a tie. And Niether spot goes to Andre Smith. Sorry, Andre Every time I saw alabama play I found my self thinking, "Man if that guy could play at 320lbs  he'd be amazing". So Eben Britton is a nice fit as the 5th tackle. He can play both sides. He's tough he's athletic. He really isn't a surprise. The other guy I like is a surprise though. Jason Watkins , Florida. Watkins has that TE thing going on. He played the run side for florida but it was a pretty passive run scheme which is bad, but he played the LOT spot as a Junior. Watkins is probably the most under-rated prospect in this years OT Class. 

Two surprises could be Gerald Cadogan, Penn State - the 310 lb Cadogan is being labeled as not having the requisite girth to play tackle, and his feet are being questioned. But Monroe, Oher, Beatty, Smith, Britton are all just about the same size. Cadogan blocked in both traditional and spread schemes and kept Daryl Clark clean. And Penn State had a nice running game this year. Very under-rated. The 2nd Surprise is Lydon Murtha. Athletically Murtha is a beast. Perfect Hgt., TE speed, he could use some time in the weight room. He may have believed his press clippings on his way to lincoln (like oher) but he has a chance to come in with a chip on his shoulder (like Eric Winston did in houston), learn a position with no pressure and become a very good OT.  

Andre Smith ? Sorry he looks like Leonard Davis or Mike Davis to me. Those guys both put up outrageous numbers and looked like sure fire stars. Smith is right there. But the last time I saw a lineman play at 350, and drop 15 lbs for the combine he ended up at 370 by camp. Anything over 330 and Smith becomes a RT. Anything over 345 and he becomes a G. He could be a good player. But he hasn't shown a willingness to keep that weight down and his feet light.  

Category: NFL
Tags: Draft
Posted on: February 21, 2009 2:16 pm

Who's in your 5 ? Quarterback

My top 5 at each position in will vary greatly from the experts and the draft order but here's a first installment and the reasons behind them. 

1. Nate Davis, Ball State.  Nate Davis comes in at 6'1" and 220. That's an inch shorter than Matt Stafford or Mark Sanchez. Davis has the best feet of the 3. He's also been in a position where he's been the undisputed leader of his team. Davis hasn't been surrounded by the bevies of 4 and 5 star recruits the more highly touted QB's know. But he won. He won a lot. And this year he put up outrageous numbers while his battery mate WR Dante Love was out. Strong Arm. Good Feet. Ability to Improvise. That puts Davis on top  my list of QB's. 

2. Chase Daniel, Missouri. Daniel is too small to play in the NFL. That's the league's story at least. the 6'2" twin towers of Stafford and Sanchez tower over this guy. But he always seems to get the ball where it needs to be. System QB, you say ? They said the same about Drew Brees. Can't throw deep ? How'd Jeremy Maclin end up with 1st round credentials then. The guy spreads the ball around very well. Finds his passing lanes and gets the ball where it needs to be. If a QB can do that he can be successful. 

3. Matthew Stafford, Georgia.  Its hard to argue against Stafford. He had a nice 3 year career at a high-profile school. I guess my biggest complaints are against Georgia's history and Mark Richt's quarterback record in the NFL. Stafford reminds me of David Greene. Greene had a stellar SEC career and not so much in the NFL. If you look at the records for each at UGA- Greene had 42 wins in 52 starts. Very similar to Stafford. Could any college level QB have put up the same ?  I'm gonna say maybe. (Greene was a 3rd rounder) 

4. Mark Sanchez, USC. Nothing really not to like about Sanchez. He's a nice QB. Makes good decisions. But so was John David Booty. Ever hear of Matt Lienhart ? Sanchez had so many four and five star recruits around him at USC the boosters nearly ran out of Malibu Beach houses. What's he gonna do in the NFL where the talent levels are generally pretty even ? How about level out and be say Kyle Orton. A nice game manager, who wins, puts up good stats and doesn't offend any one. (Orton a 4th rounder) 

5. Is it Josh Freeman, Kansas State ? Freeman is the physical prototype for QB's. Just like Byron Leftwich was. Just like Duante Culpepper was. Just like JaMarcus Russell was. Pat White, WVU ? the best multipurpose QB since Seneca Wallace. John Parker Wilson ? He's just a guy. Record Setter Graham Harrell ? A QB from Tech that would be a first.  If healthy it could be Stephen McGee. Go ahead laugh. McGee had a nice TD/Interception rating at A$M under franchione. Showing he makes good decisions. He hasn't had a lot of WR's to throw to. He had some coaching from a pro in Mike Sherman. McGee could surprise. 


Category: NFL
Tags: Draft
Posted on: January 31, 2009 9:46 am

A "realistic" look at the Chicago Bears season

Bear fans are generally enthused by the 9-7 record of the 2008 team. 

They almost made the playoffs. Some of their young players showed great promise, mainly Matt Forte and Greg Olsen

I'll take the other side. 

Here's why. That 9-7 record that almost made the playoffs really looked like this- 

2 wins against Detroit. 1 against St. Louis. 1 against Jacksonville. 1 against Green Bay. 5 of 9 wins against teams in the bottom 3rd of the league. You should win those games and the Bears did. Congratulations. Whoop-Tee-Do. 

The other 4 wins are impressive aren't they ?  Well, really not so much. 

Win 1 - Indianapolis- Manning had been out for the entire pre-season, Harrison played his first game since week 7 the year before, Jeff Saturday was out, mike pollack was out, Dwight Freeney hadn't practiced due to injury. These things happen. A good win for the Bears but If any of those players is at full strength maybe the win is not a win. 8-8. 

Win 2 - Philadelphia - the Eagles played without Brian Westbrook the Eagles record without Westbrook is similar to the Lions record with Calvin Johnson. These things happen. 7-9. 

Win 3- Minnesota - Gus Frerotte throws 4 INTS, you'd think that would be enough. Great Defense by the Bears Right ? Sort of How often does great Defense lead to a fumble recovered in the End Zone. In this game, twice. A block punt returned for a touchdown. That's 21 points on things you just don't see that often. Minnesota won the Time of Possession, The Passing Yards, The Rushing Yards and had 20 more plays. But lost on 3 plays. These things happen. 6-10. 

Win 4 - New Orleans - It was outside, In December. Again the Saints are very similar to the Lions when playing outside in December. Scheduling anomaly. These things happen. 5-11.  

Those 4 wins against teams not mired in the bottom 3rd of the league were by a total of 30 points, 16 of them courtesy of the indianapolis game. The Saints game was an overtime struggle. The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Saints by 10 outdoors in November by December they may have had them by 20. 

The Bears managed more net yards than their opponents 5 times on the season. 

The Defense ranked 21st in the league. The rush defense was 6th overall and allowed only 3.4 yards a rush, but they also allowed plays of over 20 yards. The pass defense gave up the 3rd most yards in the league and allowed QB's to complete nearly 62% of their passes. That defense led by Urlacher, Briggs, Harris, Ogunleye, Brown, Anderson didn't do the corners any favors by getting into the backfield either - they were in the bottom 3rd of the league in Sacks too. 

The Offense ranked 26th in the league. 24th in rushing. 21st in passing. When you rank that low in both categories there's only one constant - line play. 

What went right ? 

Special Teams. Takeaways. Turning those turnovers into scores. 

What went wrong ? 

The offensive line continues to age, there's still no number one WR, there's still no number 1 QB (hey I love Orton but the Coaching staff has never seemed to hand Kyle the reigns and say "do it" the way they did with Rex).  

The Future ? 

Let's see Rex Grossman in a Jaguars uniform, Kevin Jones out, Des Clark possibly moving out, Mike Brown looking like a big loss, and fans calling for names like Boldin, Jacobs, Leftwich, Houshmanzadeh, and Peppers. 

The real target for this team should be potential Free Agent Jordan Gross at OT. Maybe the injured Dawan Landry at S from Baltimore. Maybe a short term deal for Pete Kendall from the Skins. And Veteran Chris Simms to back up and potentially challenge Kyle Orton. I like Ryan Moats as competition for Garrett Wolfe as the change of pace back too. Big list. 

The Draft - should always be about the best player 1st and the best player for your system 2nd. The Bears haven't had a lot of luck with that in recent years.  

This year - I'd move down if I could - Because I feel Orton, Simms and Hanie are strong enough at QB, the DE rotation is decent, the CB's are ok when healthy. The key addition should be 1. OLB 2. WR 3. OL in no particular order. 

Stay away from Herman Johnson - he's the second coming of Aaron Gibson, Mike Davis, and Leonard Davis (maybe he ate one of them), Andre Smith falls into this category too. I like Jason Smith - former TE- good feet, and William Beatty but I think Gardner from Ga Tech is a solid technician who could be had later in the Draft.

I'd love to see a power blocker like Wisconsin's Keith Urbik worked into the rotation at G. 

All the talk at C is about Alex Mack but A.Q. Shipley has some fight in him and is similarly sized to Olin, Ed Williams would be a bigger body. 

I like Derrick Williams from Penn State as a WR and this draft has a lot of Big Bodied WR's that could help. 

But if the Bears are going with that Lovie Smith style defense the one thing they've been missing since Tank Johnson left is the Tackle next to Harris. Ricky Jean Francois from LSU would be a perfect fit. 

AT OLB Jonathon Casillas from Wisconsin, Anthony Heygood from Purdue, Geno Johnson from IU, and Marcus Jones seem like fits (combine and workouts not withstanding) and the Philistin kid at Maryland. 

Not a STAR among my guys. I'd rather have football players. 

But I'm sure Jerry Angelo has other plans. 

Category: NFL
Tags: Bears, Chicago, Draft
Posted on: January 24, 2009 8:27 am

For 9 million a year - the Brewers resign Fielder

That puts Fielder right in the same neighborhood as Fukudome and Lilly but not quite the neighborhood of Derek or Aramis or Milton. 

that's smart baseball ?

I'm not a Pie fan but I've seen Olsen here and haven't been impressed. That deal may have been more for young arm Henry Williamson- a big hard throwing righty closer. 

That's smart baseball ? 

Is Jim Hendry related to George Allen ? Is there anyone out there old enough to get that reference ? 

Anyone able and intelligent enough to understand the suggestion that the Cubs add Manny Ramirez in the OF is sarcasm ? 

On the subject of Brian Roberts - Why ? 

Hasn't anyone noticed how Roberts power numbers have dropped off since Tejada and Palmiero have moved on ? I believe Brian Roberts was involved in the use of vitamin B injections. There I said it. 

Roberts is a nice little player but he K'd over 100 times last year. I know in fantasy baseball an out is an out but I remember a time when you put the ball in play hit behind the runner and so on - it was crazy. there were leadoff men that hit in the low .200's. The averages were down because they took pitches so the rest of the team could see what the pitcher had. The guy hustles but is hustle worth 6 plus million a year ?

And I guess that brings me to the O's.  

I've lived all over the country - all over the world really - and Baltimore fans are unique. On one hand they are obnoxious die-hard bloviators but on the other they are also realists that abandon a team like the O's based on a february magazine forecast. In football they rallied behind Ray Lewis during his criminal trial for a murder conspiracy and bash Terrell Owens and Pac Man Jones who've never been brought to trial. They still hate indianapolis for stealing the colts they left during play-off runs but will fight at the drop of a negative word about the Ravens today.  

I wanted to learn to love the O's. You know Bumbry, Boog, Brooks, all that old school stuff. I just couldn't stomach sitting in that beautiful ball park with O's fans.  I do still enjoy the micro brews and boogs fine bar-b-cue. 

And now I have to say this...Baltimore is on the verge of contending - it won't be this year but soon. 

Greg Zaun is the perfect complement to Wieters. 

Markakis and Roberts are solid veterans. (a Lefty and a Switch hitter) Both are solid defensively as well. 

Huff  and Scott provide LH power at 1B and DH. (and the patio in RF is reachable). 

CF Adam Jones is a 5 tool former SS. 

Luis Montanez looks like a bona fide late bloomer in LF and Feliz Pie was a once and future star there - considered a 30-30 guy. 

3b is a weak spot - with Mora aging very quickly- but adding a defensive SS in Iszturis was commendable behind that young pitching staff. 

Freel and Christian look like quality depth. 

I think Baltimore native  Mark Teixeira may have made a mistake. 

Long term the bullpen looks like its potentially solid with the Lefty / Righty combo of George Sherrill and Chris Ray

The staff has tons of potential in Liz, Tillman, Hernandez and Penn (from the right side) and Matusz and Patton from the Left - and throw in contributions from cheap vets Hendrickson, Uehara,  and Burres...and who knows. 

The Bats are there. The arms are there. The team is young. The legs are there. And they have a nice defensive mix if Wieters can catch (he's awfully big for a catcher). 

I don't think they can catch the Rays or the Red Sox yet - but Toronto and the Yankees better stay awake. 

They could be a 3B or a 1B away - Or they could play like a team, keep Mora rested, and cover for Huff's defensive issues and be scary. Maybe this year. Most likely in 2 seasons. 


Category: MLB
Posted on: January 8, 2009 4:53 pm

PACMAN cut...

and we throw out names like Plaxico Burress and Michael Vick but we forget one guy whose indiscretion and age at the time of the incident was most similar to Adam Jones.

Baltimore Ravens All-World LB Ray Lewis.

Lewis may be more loved in Baltimore than Cal Ripken ever was. Even after his actions in Atlanta back in late 2000. Ray made amends. He changed his ways and most importantly he left it all on the field.

Ray even managed to keep his throat slashing gesture as the team prepared to defend its house after being charged with murder and then having the charges reduced to conspiracy. He was vindicated. Pacman, well he's never even been charged.

So there's talk of Oakland but when was the last time the Raiders had a bad boy ? They're still living off the reputation built by guys like Tatum and Alzado. They've been kind of cushy for years. There's talk of Detroit but why go to Detroit - when the Lions have no pass rush.

The perfect place for Adam Jones is Baltimore. Where Ray Lewis can mentor him and the fans have proven they'll accept you as long as you don't do it again and play the game with heart. Anyone who saw PACMAN in his 2 years with the Titans remembers he plays the game with heart. And its a good fit, Baltimore has 1 weakness on this team- CB. Where Samari Rolle is 32 and has health problems and Fabian Washington, Frankie Walker and Corey Ivy just aren't PACMAN.

It's a match made in heaven and the perfect scenario for a young man who needs to get his life in order. Jones could learn a lot from Ray Lewis.

In other news the Bears are looking at Rod Marinelli as to join the staff. Marinelli's defense in Detroit was just that awesome. He'd probably replace Linebackers coach Lloyd Lee. Funny, when I looked at Bears I didn't see a team that had a major problem at LB. But Lee and not Babich has been released even though Lee's unit outperformed the D-line or D-backs.

That struck me as strange.

Stranger still - Jerry Angelo is still calling the shots in chicago. Coaches can only do so much when they have limited talent. Lee put one guy in the PRO BOWL - had a middle linebacker come off back surgery with 93 tackles and was forced to make do with 1 guy swept off the Chargers practice squad, 1 guy released by the Packers who played MLB in college and a 3rd Linebacker who made two tackles and couldn't get on the field. I'm not saying Lloyd Lee's a great coach but the D-line has had a number of free agent upgrades, the d-backs are loaded with draft high draft picks and they under performed - more so than the Linebackers. Did Lee's Backers not have enough sacks ? The Bears don't have a LB built for sacks. They did great in coverage. They were pretty sure tacklers with no protection from a smallish stunting D-line.

If I'm firing someone - it isn't Lloyd Lee.

Bob Babich ? Pep Hamilton ? Darryl Drake ? Ron Turner ? Brick Haley ? Lovie Smith ? Jerry Angelo ?

I could make arguments for all of them going before Lloyd Lee.

Category: NFL
Tags: Bears, Ravens
Posted on: January 5, 2009 8:46 pm

Cub fans hated my fix this team...

I'm sure they're much happier with the signing of DH Milton Bradley. DH Bradley in RF will look fine paired with DH Soriano in LF.

Note to Hendry the Steroid Era IS over. Pitching and Defense win titles again. If you want to win - make that the cornerstone of your team and your scouting.

Bradley ? Really ?

DeRosa 505 ABs .285 avg 21 homeruns 87 rbi's 6 sb's 105 runs scored. Plays 6 positions.

Bradley 414 ABs .321 avg 22 homeruns 77 rbi's 5 sb's and 79 runs scored. DH and LF. Hasn't put in 100 games in the OF in 4 years.

He's been with 7 teams in 8 years so he must be a good club house guy.

10 million a year for Bradley and 4.5 million a year for DeRosa ?

Has anyone checked the Tribune companies books ?

This should guarantee a spot in CF for Joey Gathwright but it probably doesn't. Fukudome will move from RF to CF. Kosuke had a .980 fielding pct. as a RF (the place where teams hide the worst defender last year). His 12 steals suggest he doesn't have the speed for CF.

This team is going nowhere fast- luckily they play in the weakest division in baseball because that will fill the seats in Wrigley. They should lead start to finish. And bow out in the first round of the playoffs.

He does finally provide a Left Handed bat. But 10 million for a guy who played RF for 19 games ? a guy who hits .274 when asked to play the outfield ? a guy who struck out 112 times in 414 at bats (27% of the time) ? and maybe most importantly a guy who has seen the post season 3 times and the world series not at all ?

But he should play with some passion.

Bradley gives the Cubs a 32 million dollar OF. With a LF who had a fielding% of .975 and struck out 22.7% of the time. A CF with a .980 fielding% who struck out 21% of the time and a RF with a .939 fielding% who struck out 27% of the time.

(the Rays OF of Crawford, Upton and Gross who make less across the board - struck out 13.5% of the time, 18.2% of the time and 24% of the time - the 24% belongs to Gross - who pretty much slid into the 7 slot).

Hey - Phillies struck out a lot too but all the guys they had with high strike out % hit for more power than the cubs outfield - but that must be a factor of the not so friendly confines.

Other playoff teams like the Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, and Dodgers had 2 players or less with 20% plus strikeouts. Probably just a coincidence.

Then there's Aramis Ramirez at 3B - a .945 fielding %. the cubs overall of .947 was 5th lowest in the league. Worst in the league in LF. Middle of the pack at 1b, 2b, C, and RF, near the bottom in CF (and dropping) near the bottom at SS.

Pitching and defense win championships. Again. It went away for awhile but it's back now.

Did you know Bradley's slugging % and batting average have been higher against Lefties than Righties in 5 of the last 7 seasons ?

Most people would say Bradley has moved around because of his attitude and his incidents with teammates and fans - but it could be the guy doesn't have a position except DH and the Dodgers, Padres, Rangers, A's, Expos and Indians didn't think a guy who wasn't playing the field was worth 10 million.

Seems to be a lofty investment. The next move for the Cubbies is pretty obvious - Manny Ramirez !

Category: MLB
Tags: Chicago Cubs
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or