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paulrichjr
05-25-2006, 04:05 PM
OK this is what I think I would be going for. Maddux would cost much less than Willis and could give us a lethal 1-2-3 combo for a playoff run...


http://www.dailyherald.com/sports/rozner.asp?id=192832

It’s time for him to go.

No, not Dusty Baker. It’s too late for that to do any good, though you wouldn’t find many votes against it.

The season’s a lost cause and there has to be a shake-up for the sake of the few decent players who remain, especially the young ones.

More kids have to be brought up. Others need to be sent down. Useless veterans should be released. Valued ones should be traded. And the Cubs should acquire players who can help in 2007 instead of waiting, forgive me, until next year.

The guy to go first should be Greg Maddux, the first-ballot Hall of Famer who deserves better than this.

Watching him pound that water bucket with a bat in full view of the cameras and his teammates Wednesday, spraying it all over trainer Mark O’Neal, tells you all you need to know about how much fun this is for him.

Maddux rarely snaps, and if he does, you’d certainly never know about it.

But who could blame him?

Maddux ran hard on a leadoff double in the top of the fifth, but Ronny Cedeno struck out with Maddux on third and one out, and Todd Walker flied to center.

Cruising into the bottom of the fifth with a 3-1 lead, Maddux needed only 9 pitches (68 for the game) to get three easy outs.

Problem is, the third out was a routine grounder to Cedeno at short, which he threw into the dirt at first, and Walker couldn’t handle it.

It was called a hit, but all Cedeno had to do was take a couple of steps to his right, set and throw, like 25 other big-league shortstops do routinely every day. And that pretty much sums up the Cubs’ season, and their talent.

Instead of walking off the field to get a breather, the 40-year-old Maddux threw 18 more pitches, several of which were hit very hard, and by the time it was over the Marlins had 5 runs on 4 hits and an intentional walk.

Now Maddux, being a pro, will say what happened was all his fault, and it’s true that he didn’t have to get pounded after the play at short, but he doesn’t have that margin for error anymore, and the inning would have been over if the Cubs had a decent infield.

It’s not even the 5 earned runs Maddux didn’t deserve. It’s about playing like big-leaguers, which would have given him the chance to pitch 2 more innings with a lead and help the Cubs win a game.

Maddux probably would never push for a trade, and publicly he will say he wants to stay and earn his money, but his no-trade clause doesn’t mean the Cubs can’t investigate.

Former Cubs/Giants exec Ned Colletti is the GM in L.A., and he offered Maddux more money to sign with San Francisco than Maddux took to play for the Cubs. Arizona does things the right way, and San Diego would be an appealing city for several reasons.

Maddux is owed $6 million for the rest of this season, which could stall a deal, but if the Cubs have any heart at all they’ll find a way to get him out of here.

Today.

Just managing

While the Marlins are woeful when they’re not playing the Cubs, Florida manager Joe Girardi says he will not accept losing.

“I expect our guys to go out and win every day and play the game the right way, and we won’t use youth as an excuse,’’ Girardi said. “We just have so many young players that you wish there were more hours in a day for teaching and learning.

“We could have used another month of spring training because we used most of it just finding out who could do what.’’

Now that they’re getting an idea, there’s still a lot of instructing to do with a mostly Triple-A roster.

“The toughest thing is getting young players to slow the game down because they’re in such a hurry to make things happen,’’ Girardi said. “You watch a pitcher throw great on the side when he’s relaxed, and then he gets out there and he speeds everything up and loses it.’’

Except, apparently, when they’re facing the Cubs.

Memory lame

Remember the dreadful finish to 2004, when Steve Stone, Chip Caray and Sammy Sosa took the beating for the Cubs’ complete collapse?

Imagine where they might be today if the Cubs had brought in Joe Girardi to clean up this mess.

Just asking

Is the line of people waiting to say “I told you so’’ longer for Jon Garland or Juan Pierre?

The quote

Paul Pierce to Fox Sports Net on the Pistons: “I don’t think Detroit has the depth that they’ve had in the past. They have only six guys to beat Miami with. I think Miami could go all the way.”

Oliver Stone-ing

ESPN.com’s Bill Simmons: “My favorite conspiracy theory of all time (replacing David Stern freezing the Knicks envelope in 1985) is the one about (Roger) Clemens having to wait 50 days to play this season because of a super-secret steroids suspension.’’

paulrichjr
05-25-2006, 04:10 PM
http://www.suntimes.com/output/mariotti/cst-spt-jay25.html

Woeful Cubs need a butcher, not a Baker

All you need to know about Dusty Baker is that Greg Maddux, who sometimes has to be nudged to make sure he's awake, pummeled a water jug with a bat Wednesday. This startling scene came only four days after Michael Barrett cold-cocked A.J. Tomato Can in a punch now imitated in taverns throughout an angst-ridden Cubdom. Why are the players so compelled to vent anger with violent public outbursts?



Maybe because Baker, your Dead Manager Walking, continues to show all the daily emotion of a resin bag.

It's inconceivable that club bosses Andy MacPhail and Jim Hendry, men who shouldn't have their jobs themselves, still want to reward Baker with a two-year extension. If Hendry has created this 2006 folly with his foolish overreliance on Kerry Wood and Mark Prior and wild miscalculations on several everyday players, Baker has driven the Cubs into the ground by showing no ability to do what he supposedly does best -- motivate and overachieve. Hey, at least Maddux and Barrett care enough about losing 18 of 22 games, including three to the barely coherent Florida Marlins, to wig out.

''At least I did it right, if there's such a thing. ... I don't like to lose,'' Maddux said of his unprecedented tantrum.

The Rev. Johnnie B.? He keeps chewing his toothpicks, rolling up his wristbands and comparing the Cubs to the 2005 Houston Astros, who started 15-30 before staging a dramatic turnaround and reaching the World Series. That Baker would make such a ludicrous parallel as his team was being embarrassed by the Marlins, whose $14.9 million payroll is lower than the salaries of a dozen major-league players, shows just how delusional he has become. The Cubs, among other issues, don't have a certain Roger Clemens, who is available to the highest bidder right now but has made it clear he wants to play for a serious contender, which rules out a team that is 12-1/2 games behind the division-leading St. Louis Cardinals and 81/2 out of a wild-card berth.

"Our whole thing right now is to get to .500, hopefully by the break, and then we will have all our team back,'' Baker told reporters in Florida. "Then I will take my chances. ... Everybody is thinking it's over. It's a long ways from over. I remember last year, Houston had tombstones in the paper. Weren't they dead or something? You never know what's going to happen in this game.''

What I do know is the difficult look of the upcoming schedule. Much as this feels like rock bottom in Cubdom, the cranes are still digging. Even if Derrek Lee returns in a few weeks -- and please don't rush him back too soon and risk seriously reinjuring his wrist -- the Cubs have too many problems on the field and upstairs in their heads to pull off an amazing rally. Baker is so out of it, he keeps mentioning Wood and Prior as lightning rods for a second-half revival. ''It's hard to find two guys of that quality on any team,'' he said. ''You feel a lot more comfortable running those guys out there. These are guys we counted on. It's not the savior, but it's pretty close.'' Yo, Dusty? Wood experienced predictable shoulder discomfort after his Tuesday start -- and a wild one at that -- and may miss his next start. Down in the Rookie League, Prior's velocity is such a concern that some wonder if he'll return to the big leagues this season.

About time to back up the truck



So forget after miracles. And concentrate on reality: The Cubs, once again, have to start over in a year when they failed miserably to join the drought-ending triad of the White Sox and Red Sox. In a few weeks, Hendry can begin a fire sale by putting several players on the trade market, including Juan Pierre and Jacque Jones, his regrettable offseason ideas. I wouldn't be opposed to Aramis Ramirez, a major disappointment and inspirational stick in the mud, also being on that list. So sadly, I might have to trade Maddux. I'd include Wood, too, seeing how the Cubs won't be picking up his $13 million option next season, but no team will trade for him if he's not consistently healthy. And you know he won't be.

If a player dump is coming, then there's no need to perpetuate the idea that Baker is returning. It is rumored that Hendry and Baker already have a verbal agreement on the manager's extension and are simply waiting for an impressive winning streak to make an announcement. They could be waiting years. And even if the Cubs were to pick up some ground, Baker isn't the man to lead a reconstruction. Nor is Hendry, for that matter, except his contract was extended two years by MacPhail last month.

That is what bothers me most about the collapse of the Cubs -- the arrogance of the men in charge. Baker and Hendry have underperformed so woefully that it would be within the Tribune Co.'s right to dismiss both. It makes no sense to keep them when they've presided over a ghastly free-fall since Bartman Night and aren't likely to stop the bleeding anytime soon.

Brenly wouldn't even need airfare



Remember, as close as the TV booth, the Cubs have a potential manager who has won a World Series. Bob Brenly beat the Yankees as a rookie manager in 2001, then fell out of favor three years later and was replaced before the team was sold. Brenly's dugout strategies often were questioned, but the fat ring on his finger is his response. He has said repeatedly that Dusty is his friend and he doesn't want to manage, but if the Cubs and an exhausted Baker were to mutually agree on his departure in the coming weeks, why not summon Brenly for an interim run?

And with Pierre struggling to keep his on-base percentage above his playing weight, won't it soon be time for Felix Pie? We've been hearing for years about Hendry's prized prospect in a bottoming-out farm system, so let's see if the kid is the real deal or a Pie in the sky. In trading veterans, Hendry can replenish his system with talent. Then, next winter, the Cubs can spend some of their cash-cow revenues on serious free agents -- possibly Carlos Lee and Barry Zito. It figures, of course, that Nomar Garciaparra would stay healthy and have a great start for the Dodgers when he barely could walk on the North Side. And that Corey Patterson, a maddening bust here, would improve with the Orioles. And that pitcher Ricky Nolasco, who went to Florida in the dreadful Pierre deal, would blossom with the Marlins as did former Cubs farmhand Dontrelle Willis.

Keeping Johnnie B. Baker cuts against the grain of the struggles ahead. He'll have a much better team in Seattle or Arizona while Hendry finds a young guy -- go buy out Joe Girardi -- to run the rebooted Cubs. When it was suggested he might be the fall guy, Dusty deflected the notion and said it can be avoided. ''Yeah, by winning and turning it around,'' he said. ''I believe that, definitely. If I don't, then we'll see. At this point, I'm not thinking about anybody being the fall guy.''

Cubdom is thinking otherwise. And he's it.

Unassisted
05-25-2006, 04:58 PM
I suspect the Cubs FO would sooner jettison Dusty than unload Maddux to a division rival.

reds44
05-25-2006, 05:04 PM
Maddux was a below average pitcher last year, and at almost 40 he is only going to get worse. Not to mention he makes alot of cash.

I don't want him.

paulrichjr
05-25-2006, 05:26 PM
Maddux was a below average pitcher last year, and at almost 40 he is only going to get worse. Not to mention he makes alot of cash.

I don't want him.

He has pitched fairly well this year for a horrible team. I'm not talking signing him to a 3 year contract. I'm saying for this season. Willis is a dream. Maddux could be reality. As far as money goes I am sure that it would be discussed with any trade. The Reds would probably get some money back.

vaticanplum
05-25-2006, 05:31 PM
The Cubs will never get rid of him with Dusty at the helm due to "sentimental value".

KronoRed
05-25-2006, 07:39 PM
Maddux would rather retire ;)

Strikes Out Looking
05-25-2006, 07:45 PM
Not a bad idea, but it won't happen because the Cub Organization and their fans are simply delusional. Here is what they still believe.

1. The Cubs still think they are good.
2. They still think they have decent starting pitching and the Wood and Prior and Zambrano are the best staff in the NL Central.
3. Their closer is good.
4. Their bullpen is good.
5. Once Derek Lee comes back, their offense will be fixed.
6. Harry Caray is still alive and will broadcast their playoff games.
7. Tony Womack is going to play wonderful 2b for them, get on base batting leadoff and steal a ton of bases.
8. Todd Walker is the bad seed on the team.
9. Dusty knows what he is doing.

bottom_feeder
05-25-2006, 09:16 PM
Heck, if we could get Maddux at a reasonable cost, it would be a great acquision. I'd love to have Maddux talking to Claussen, Belisle, etc every day.

It would also add a lot of entertainment value to the rest of the season, even if we didn't make the playoffs.

TeamBoone
05-25-2006, 09:24 PM
When I first saw this, I misread the title as .... I want Madonna!

We need a young ace, not a veteran, especially one whose performance continues to deteriorate each season. Maddux makes too much money too. He still has decent numbers though IMHO they are not really earned... rather, because he was so good for so long, IMHO, they are no longer earned, but rather given on a silver platter by all those umpires that give the great pitchers (young and old) a bigger strike zone. No wonder their numbers are good.

And don't get me wrong, I loved Maddux in his prime. There was no pitcher I would rather watch.

KronoRed
05-25-2006, 09:25 PM
When I first saw this, I misread the title as .... I want Madonna!

Can she pitch? :D


I'd rather our guys got the Maddux strike zone ;)

WebScorpion
05-26-2006, 04:04 PM
I think Greg Maddux would be a great trading deadline pickup. I'd have to say I'd rather see Arroyo, Harang, Maddux than Arroyo, Harang, Claussen/Milton/Ramirez. The odds are he's going to pitch better for the second half of the season than anyone we can plug into our #3 rotation slot. Then there's his effect on the other pitchers... <drool>

traderumor
05-26-2006, 04:15 PM
I catch the Cubs at a weak moment and see if they are of a mind to deal Zambrano for Darth Kearns plus some pot sweeteners.

TeamBoone
05-26-2006, 04:44 PM
I would never ever trade Kearns to a division opponent... NEVER!

BrooklynRedz
05-27-2006, 09:12 AM
I would never ever trade Kearns to a division opponent... NEVER!

I would never say never if given the chance to improve the Reds...and Zambrano would be a serious upgrade.

Krusty
05-27-2006, 10:08 AM
Isn't Maddux a free agent at the end of the season? IF he is and the Cubs are out of the race, why not even if it is a division rival? Would be similar to the Guzman trade back in 99.

I do like the idea of possibly acquiring Scott Williamson for the bullpen. Right now the bullpen is more of an issue to address than the starting rotation....not to say the rotation doesn't need some upgrading too.

corkedbat
05-27-2006, 10:29 AM
I see Maddux as a fourth (or a co-3 with Bronson and Aaron) starter in our rotation. IF I could get Maddux at a very reasonable price and still have enough tradable parts to acquire someone better, I'd do it.

That said, I don't see the scrubs doing us any favors and I don't think we have the spare parts to acquire two top starters.

TeamBoone
05-27-2006, 10:44 AM
I would never say never if given the chance to improve the Reds...and Zambrano would be a serious upgrade.

You're also improving the opposition... in every game, not just every fifth day.

I stand fast.