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Reds Fanatic
10-11-2006, 02:25 PM
This is an article from the Chicago Sun Times today. Accoring to this the Cubs (Ugh!) may be Pinella's top choice for where to manage next year.

http://www.suntimes.com/sports/baseball/cubs/91562,CST-SPT-cub11.article


OAKLAND, Calif. -- If the Cubs want veteran manager Lou Piniella, the feeling appears to be mutual -- especially with the New York Yankees no longer an option for 2007.
Piniella expressed deep interest in the Cubs job during an exclusive interview Tuesday with the Sun-Times before Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.

''Yeah, I've talked to the Cubs,'' said Piniella, who is broadcasting the ALCS for Fox. ''Chicago is a wonderful city. And the Cubs are a very storied franchise. They have great fans. I had a nice conversation with their general manager, Jim Hendry. He's a real baseball guy. We just have to wait and see what happens.

''I've always enjoyed going to Chicago as a player and as a manager. It's truly one of the great cities in our country. Being a part of turning around the Cubs would be a challenge.''

Piniella made the most of his trip to the Bay Area, meeting privately with San Francisco Giants general manager Brian Sabean on Tuesday to discuss that team's managerial opening. Piniella also confirmed he met last week in Tampa, Fla., with Hendry -- becoming the first candidate to formally interview for the Cubs job.

Sources close to Piniella say the Cubs are tops on his wish list as teams zero in on one of the hottest candidates on the market.

''I had a very enjoyable time talking baseball with Lou,'' Hendry said Tuesday night, after interviewing internal candidate Mike Quade, manager at Class AAA Iowa. ''Lou has been a terrific manager for a very long time. He is certainly a strong candidate for any job in baseball.''

Even with Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly -- also a long shot for the Giants job -- interviewing this week in Arizona with Hendry, Piniella and former Florida Marlins manager Joe Girardi are believed to be the top two candidates by a wide margin to replace Dusty Baker.

Girardi interviewed with the Cubs on Monday at Wrigley Field, and Hendry described the meeting in glowing terms. The Cubs seem split on fan favorite Girardi or battle-tested Piniella.

The Cubs, Giants and Texas Rangers are each interested in Piniella. The former Yankees manager had been rumored to replace Joe Torre had there been a shake up in the Bronx. But Torre's status for 2007 apparently is safe after owner George Steinbrenner confirmed he will return for the final season of his contract.

Piniella was monitoring the Torre saga from the West Coast.

''I'm sorry he had to go through that rigamarole,'' Piniella said of Torre.

Piniella was widely believed to be the top candidate to replace Torre had the Yankees made a change.

After taking a year off from managing -- leaving his hometown Tampa Bay Devil Rays in mid-contract at the end of the 2005 season -- Piniella, 63, appears ready to return to the dugout with a new outlook on the job.

''I've had fun all summer with the broadcasting,'' said Piniella, who has managed the Yankees, Cincinnati Red (including a World Series championship in 1990), the Seattle Mariners and Devil Rays. ''It has given me a reprieve for a year from the dugout and the clubhouse. And it has been good in a way because it has given me a little different perspective. More of the entertainment aspect of the game. More of a light-hearted approach, and it's good.

''Listen, winning is important, obviously. But I've gotten an opportunity to see the other side of it. It's a fun side.''

Mention Chicago and Wrigley Field, though, and Piniella immediately lights up. He has told close friends that reaching the Hall of Fame as a manager is one of his goals. A nice run in Chicago -- with the national limelight that constantly shines on the Cubs -- would enhance those chances.

''You know the Cubs, basically, outside of the Yankees, they are, prestige-wise in baseball, second or third,'' Piniella said. ''Basically, I've had a nice managerial career and I would hate for it to end with three losing seasons in Tampa Bay. Yeah, we'll see what happens.''

Piniella is also well aware of the Cubs' need to win now -- they haven't won a World Series in 98 years.

''With the White Sox winning just a short year ago, it was great for the city,'' Piniella said. ''So it would be great if that could be duplicated on the North Side -- and quickly.''

Unlike their relatively public courtship with Girardi, the Cubs have been tight-lipped in their dealings involving Piniella -- mainly out of respect for the veteran's wishes.

''I wanted it kept a pretty good secret,'' Piniella said with a smile. ''Whatever happens is going to happen, and as quiet as possible the better -- for everybody involved.''

As for the open market elsewhere for managers, sources confirmed that White Sox third-base coach Joey Cora interviewed with the Nationals on Monday. Cora, 41, has never managed in the majors, but has three years of experience managing in the minor leagues.

The Nationals also reportedly interviewed Houston Astros bench coach Cecil Cooper. Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker and Atlanta Braves third-base coach Terry Pendleton -- considered the favorite -- are also on their list of candidates.

At the top of Nats' list, however, sits Girardi. The Nationals and the Cubs each immediately contacted Girardi when he was fired by the Florida Marlins on Oct. 3 after his first year on the job. Sources say the Nationals plan to have another meeting this week or next with Girardi.

Hendry and new Cubs interim president John McDonough met with Girardi in what sources say was a long and detailed discussion of the organization and personnel Monday.

''They covered everything and spent a lot of time together,'' one source said

harangatang
10-11-2006, 02:29 PM
Yuck

Matt700wlw
10-11-2006, 02:51 PM
I hope not. I don't want to have to dislike Lou Pinella...

Chip R
10-11-2006, 02:56 PM
I heard Girardi had a great interview with the Cubs the other day.

I've seen that besides Piniella and Girardi. the Cubs are also interested in Bob Brenly and Bruce Bochy. Unless you count Lou, I don't see a minority in the bunch. Won't they get in trouble with Uncle Bud if they don't at least look at a minority candidate?

Redsland
10-11-2006, 03:56 PM
Won't they get in trouble with Uncle Bud if they don't at least look at a minority candidate?
After forcing them to interview Dusty last time? Look how that turned out. :)

WMR
10-11-2006, 04:23 PM
If he'll go to Chicago then he'd come to Cincinnati.

Outshined_One
10-11-2006, 04:45 PM
I've seen that besides Piniella and Girardi. the Cubs are also interested in Bob Brenly and Bruce Bochy. Unless you count Lou, I don't see a minority in the bunch. Won't they get in trouble with Uncle Bud if they don't at least look at a minority candidate?

They're interviewing one of their minor league managers (Pat Listach) at some point.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/pics/pat_listach_autograph.jpg

Highlifeman21
10-11-2006, 07:21 PM
Sweet Lou will end up as the Cubs manager as much as I'll end up the new hitting coach....

Reds4Life
10-11-2006, 07:41 PM
If he'll go to Chicago then he'd come to Cincinnati.

Look at the clubs with openings, none of them are great. If we could get rid of Narron I have no doubt he'd take the Reds job if offered.

vaticanplum
10-11-2006, 08:59 PM
Look at the clubs with openings, none of them are great.

:laugh:

It's the irony of vacant managerial positions isn't it: unless the previous manager has retired, none of the teams are in great shape.

That I think is the fun challenge of a manager. Who wants to take over a team that somebody else has just taken to the top?

M2
10-11-2006, 09:02 PM
They're interviewing one of their minor league managers (Pat Listach) at some point.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/pics/pat_listach_autograph.jpg

He was Rookie of the Year and that movie is the best thing that's happened to the Cubs since the Homer in the Gloamin'.

RedFanAlways1966
10-11-2006, 09:09 PM
''Yeah, I've talked to the Cubs,'' said Piniella, who is broadcasting the ALCS for Fox. ''Chicago is a wonderful city. And the Cubs are a very storied franchise...."

Sammy says they are also a very steroid franchise! :evil:

redsfan4445
10-11-2006, 11:00 PM
PLEASEEEEEEEEEEE BOB!!! Call Lou and get him here...:thumbup:

Chip R
10-12-2006, 12:57 AM
:laugh:

It's the irony of vacant managerial positions isn't it: unless the previous manager has retired, none of the teams are in great shape.


Other than the owner being a stupe, having a low payroll, no real fan base, playing in a football stadium, and possibly moving to another city, the Marlins gig doesn't look too shabby. Lot of young talent there in a division that could be ripe for the taking.

GAC
10-12-2006, 10:06 AM
Wasn't Lou's yearly salary around the 3 Mil range? Would he still ask that since he is in such "high demand"?

And would he be worth it? ;)

Unless there is an upgrade in talent on this roster, I don't see Lou squeezing that many more wins out of this team.

He had "headaches" in TB. I think he would have the same here in Cincy, regardless of how well he may get along with Castellini. I think that relationship would become strained if changes weren't made to Lou's liking. ;)

KoryMac5
10-12-2006, 02:55 PM
I was listening to Mike and Mike this morning and Tim Kurjan said this was all but a done deal. That Pinella was indeed heading to the Cubs. The Cubs don't even look close to winning anytime soon so why he would is beyond me.

GAC
10-12-2006, 03:16 PM
I was listening to Mike and Mike this morning and Tim Kurjan said this was all but a done deal. That Pinella was indeed heading to the Cubs. The Cubs don't even look close to winning anytime soon so why he would is beyond me.

filthy lucre. What they will pay him, and what he may be able to get them to spend on payroll. ;)

Chip R
10-12-2006, 03:31 PM
I was listening to Mike and Mike this morning and Tim Kurjan said this was all but a done deal. That Pinella was indeed heading to the Cubs. The Cubs don't even look close to winning anytime soon so why he would is beyond me.

That's funny cause I was listening too and he said that's where he thought he would end up but he was just speculating.

savafan
10-13-2006, 02:22 PM
Lou would be embraced with much love and praise if he were to return to Cincinnati. He led this team to a championship once when no one thought it was possible, could he do it again?

RFS62
10-13-2006, 03:35 PM
Lou would be embraced with much love and praise if he were to return to Cincinnati. He led this team to a championship once when no one thought it was possible, could he do it again?



He led a different breed of team to the championship. The current Reds team couldn't hold a candle to the talent on the 1990 team.

RANDY IN INDY
10-14-2006, 08:56 AM
He led a different breed of team to the championship. The current Reds team couldn't hold a candle to the talent on the 1990 team.

Nor the will to win.

GAC
10-14-2006, 09:17 AM
He led a different breed of team to the championship. The current Reds team couldn't hold a candle to the talent on the 1990 team.

And I think that is where Lou MIGHT butt heads with even this current management. I think Cast/Kriv have a desire to win, and also a plan. But looking at Lou as a manager, I think their approach would be different from Lou's.

That is just speculation on my part, but I don't think Lou is the type of manager that would fit into their building plans. Not a team that still is going to work with a limited budget and is trying to build/develop their farm system as a means of improving and providing the talent supply.

I just don't think Pinella is the type of manager that knows how to build a team - i.e. develop young talent from within, and show the patience required.

He left Seattle because he said that management, with a 90+ Mil payroll, didn't have the desire to win. And he defined that "desire" as spending more money to acquire talented players.

He then makes a stupid move and accepts the TB job, with it's vastly limited payroll. They thought Lou might be able to get them on the right track at rebuilding. Did he in those 3 years? And yes, some of it was management's fault. But it also boiled down to SPENDING. Lou didn't realize this when he took the job - that the TB FO wasn't going to open up the bank books?

But that is why I think Lou would have a hard time here in Cincy.

I was watching ESPN Baseball Tonight last night, and they were talking about Lou. Yes, he is in high demand; but he seems to have the stipualtion that he wants to play close to home (Florida). That just is not gonna happen with the Marlins naming their new manager and him already burning the bridge in TB. Atlanta is obviously out also.

He's turned down the Nats job, the Giants, and it's still up in the air with the Cubs. IMHO, he seems to be holding out some sort of hope that he will be offered a managerial job where HE will have the greater chance of success.

And it seems that SD's Bochy might be in the running for the Cubs job also....

Padres' Bruce Bochy Looking To Change Coaching Jobs

http://www.allheadlinenews.com/articles/7005165478

San Diego, CA (AHN) - After guiding his team into the playoffs this year, San Diego Padres manager Bruce Bochy might be looking for a new challenge. According to FOXSPORTS.COM, the Padres organization gave the 51-year old the okay to interview with other clubs for their open managerial positions.

The two teams considered to have the most interest in Bochy are the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants. Lou Pinella and Joe Girardi were most recently the front runners for the Cubs job but that might all change with Bochy's becoming available.

Despite Bochy's overall coaching record of 951-974 being rather average, he is highly regarded in the coaching ranks. This is mostly due to his recent success with the Padres the past couple of years.

He led his team to division titles the past two years, only to be eliminated by the St. Louis Cardinals in the playoffs each year. Bochy has proven he can win in the post-season though. He coached the Padres to the World Series in 1998 by beating the Astros and the Braves. Unfortunately for Bochy, his team ran into the much more talented Yankees that year and got swept in four games.

Bochy still has one more season left on his contract with the Padres. However, the fact the Padres have not gotten past the Cardinals the past two seasons has left the Padres' organization willing to let him go.

Reds Fanatic
10-14-2006, 02:23 PM
A source has told Peter Gammons that Pinella may have the Cubs job before the World Series.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2625334



Lou Piniella could be the manager of the Chicago Cubs before the World Series begins, a source told ESPN.com's Peter Gammons.

The Chicago Sun-Times first reported Saturday that negotiations between the Cubs and Piniella could begin Monday.

On Friday, Piniella took himself out of the running for the Giants' opening. He has also spoken to the Nationals and Rangers, although he said the Washington job is not an ideal fit.

The 63-year-old Piniella has been working in television since parting ways with the Devil Rays after the 2005 season following three difficult years as manager. Before that he managed the Mariners for 10 seasons, won the 1990 World Series as Reds manager and also managed the Yankees.

The Cubs chose not to bring back manager Dusty Baker when his contract expired after going 66-96 this season.

KronoRed
10-14-2006, 04:16 PM
Don't do it Lou.

Joseph
10-15-2006, 12:36 PM
It won't be 'Lous' raining down on him when he comes to Cincinnati on Opening Day [capitalized intentionally because its a holiday] instead it will be boos.

Except from the stinkin' Cubs fans in attendence.

cincinnati chili
10-15-2006, 08:42 PM
Speaking objectively, doesn't it seem like taking the Cubs job would be a great way for Lou to destroy his legacy?

That team seems multiple players away from winning, but Lou's going to want to win immediately. If Lou comes in with guns a blazin', I can see this ending much like it did in Tampa Bay.

I know he's old. But I'd sit out another year.

Reds4Life
10-16-2006, 12:10 AM
I know he's old. But I'd sit out another year.

You know Torre will retire after next season, it's the end of his contract, and he'd be the perfect fit for the Yankees. I don't get why he's interested in the Cubs at all, it goes against everything he said he was looking for.

Wheelhouse
10-16-2006, 03:32 AM
You know Torre will retire after next season, it's the end of his contract, and he'd be the perfect fit for the Yankees. I don't get why he's interested in the Cubs at all, it goes against everything he said he was looking for.

Big market. Big budget. Big stage. Not that tough to get to Tampa. Who wouldn't want the Cubs job? He has an advantage in that there are some really good players there, and Dusty was so bad (not Bob Boone bad, but pretty darn bad) that just a little bit of light on that team would do it wonders. I'm worried about the Cubs if Lou manages there.

Reds4Life
10-16-2006, 10:12 AM
Big market. Big budget. Big stage. Not that tough to get to Tampa. Who wouldn't want the Cubs job? He has an advantage in that there are some really good players there, and Dusty was so bad (not Bob Boone bad, but pretty darn bad) that just a little bit of light on that team would do it wonders. I'm worried about the Cubs if Lou manages there.

He wants to win, and win now. The Cubs haven't won anything and don't look like they'll be doing so anytime soon.

Reds Fanatic
10-16-2006, 02:07 PM
According to a Chicago Radio station Lou has taken the Cubs job for 3 years at $3 million a year.


Lou Piniella agreed to a three-year contract to take over as manager of the Chicago Cubs, Chicago radio station ESPN Radio 1000 reported Monday.

Piniella will receive approximately $3 million per season, ESPN Radio reported. The team is expected to officially announce the hiring Tuesday, the radio station reported.

The Cubs recently decided against renewing the contract of manager Dusty Baker after the team's 66-96 season.

Chip R
10-16-2006, 02:13 PM
According to a Chicago Radio station Lou has taken the Cubs job for 3 years at $3 million a year.


Sweet Lou will end up as the Cubs manager as much as I'll end up the new hitting coach....

So, how much are you getting, Highlifeman? ;)

oregonred
10-16-2006, 03:18 PM
Lou for $3M in 2007 or Larue for $5M in 2007... Or Cormier for $2M or Milton for $9M or Junior for $12M...

I'm feeling a bit sick

klw
10-16-2006, 03:25 PM
Fos Sports says announcement tomorrow.
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6068622?FSO1&ATT=HMA

3 years with a 4th year option

OldRightHander
10-16-2006, 03:41 PM
That means we still might get to hear him calling post season games on Fox.

WMR
10-16-2006, 03:43 PM
Lou for $3M in 2007 or Larue for $5M in 2007... Or Cormier for $2M or Milton for $9M or Junior for $12M...

I'm feeling a bit sick

Ugh. This sucks. Could have had Narron off the books and brought in Sweet Lou. Great way to infuse the fan base with some much needed excitement and enthusiasm.

Lou would have come. Not to mention his relationship with Bob C., if he'd go to the Scrubs, he'd have come to the Reds. :(

Instead we get Naroon. Damn. :thumbdown

Reds4Life
10-16-2006, 04:26 PM
Ugh. This sucks. Could have had Narron off the books and brought in Sweet Lou. Great way to infuse the fan base with some much needed excitement and enthusiasm.

Lou would have come. Not to mention his relationship with Bob C., if he'd go to the Scrubs, he'd have come to the Reds. :(

Instead we get Naroon. Damn. :thumbdown

There is no doubt in my mind if Narron was fired that Lou would have come here in a heartbeat. The flight from FL to Cincy isn't very long, and the fans here would have loved to have him back. I think it would have gone a long way to help fire up casual fans in this city again. Wayne is going to have to make some major moves to get people interested.

I'm sure next year, when Narron is probably fired at the break, that we'll once again fill the position with the lowest bidder. That seems to be the Reds standard operating procedure for hiring a manager. Bucky Dent will probably end up being the manager, oh joy.

Jpup
10-17-2006, 05:00 AM
I know the situation wouldn't have been ideal, but Lou would have had a much better chance of winning in Texas or Oakland.

I hate the stinkin' scrubs.

GAC
10-17-2006, 05:27 AM
What is the difference in approaches between Lou and Dusty that wil make the Cubs a winner? Just asking.

GAC
10-17-2006, 06:20 AM
According to a Chicago Radio station Lou has taken the Cubs job for 3 years at $3 million a year.

I nailed that one. ;)


Wasn't Lou's yearly salary around the 3 Mil range? Would he still ask that since he is in such "high demand"?

Are there really any managers out there worth that kind of money?

Spring~Fields
10-17-2006, 01:44 PM
What is the difference in approaches between Lou and Dusty that wil make the Cubs a winner? Just asking.


Remember Lou has that knack for playing the right players at the right time, some call it luck, but I prefer to think he has the ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in his given players and positions them for optimum benefit. Whereas a guy like Narron admits to going by his heart, which in my opinion often needs a pacemaker just to reach a .500 record.

I don't know about Dust, nobody wins in Tampa, Lou has won in Cincy and Seattle had some fine seasons even though they might have been short on pitching compared to the A's and Yankees during those times.

GAC
10-18-2006, 05:28 AM
Here is why I think Piniella would not fit in with the Reds. I really don't know if he would have taken the job if offered it.

Sources: Piniella expects Cubs to go hard after A-Rod

Sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.com that Piniella, who is extremely close to Rodriguez, expects the Cubs to pursue the 10-time All-Star aggressively.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2628823

First order of business? Tell management to pursue the highest paid ballplayer in the game.

This is Pinella's approach top building a winning team (why he left Seattle).... spend money (and lots of it).

Lou Piniella is not the type of manager IMHO who has the "knack" (or the patience) to build a team from the ground up, implement a long term plan/system (drafting, development of the farm system, development of youth), and then run it.

IMHO, it's also why he would never be considered for the job in such places as Oakland and Minnesota.

He believes in spending money, and heavily utilizing free agency. His "philosophy" (approach) would only be successful in cities like NY, Boston, Chicago, LA. Teams that will spend.

Some would say.... what about his stint with the Reds?

When he was the manager of the Reds, the Reds had one of the highest payrolls in MLB at the time. And I think at one point, the highest. Before the economics of the game began exploding in the 90's. I'm not saying that was because of Lou (it was Marge); but it sure helped matters.

GAC
10-18-2006, 05:31 AM
Remember Lou has that knack for playing the right players at the right time, some call it luck, but I prefer to think he has the ability to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in his given players and positions them for optimum benefit. Whereas a guy like Narron admits to going by his heart, which in my opinion often needs a pacemaker just to reach a .500 record.

I've sent Narron a copy of this then....

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/5/5c/200px-Get_the_Knack.jpg

Jr's Boy
10-18-2006, 10:26 AM
Yes he does'nt seem to have what it takes to build from the ground up.Case in point all the talented youth in Tampa Bay.

Spring~Fields
10-18-2006, 11:14 AM
I've sent Narron a copy of this then....

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/5/5c/200px-Get_the_Knack.jpg

Good thing!! he needs pictures, because I am not sure that he can read, especially names when making out a lineup or bringing in a relief pitcher, then again maybe they all look alike to him. You need to send Narron pictures of championship teams, so Narron will know what one looks like. ;)

Krivsky and Mr C. better get on their bikes and peddle fast to buy Narron plenty of guys "that know how to play the game right" or Lou will be smoking Narron.

Chip R
10-18-2006, 11:14 AM
I heard a little bit of the press conference on the radio this mnorning and they asked him if there was a curse. I had to laugh cause his answer sounded sarcastic. I'm sure he was being serious but he sounded like he wasn't.

Spring~Fields
10-18-2006, 11:20 AM
Lou Piniella is not the type of manager IMHO who has the "knack" (or the patience) to build a team from the ground up, implement a long term plan/system (drafting, development of the farm system, development of youth), and then run it.



I agree with you, Lou will be a better fit, more effective in a market like Chicago where he will not be building from the ground up.

GAC
10-18-2006, 12:48 PM
I agree with you, Lou will be a better fit, more effective in a market like Chicago where he will not be building from the ground up.

They were talking on ESPN this morning about this hiring and what made the job appealing to Lou.

Answer?....

The Tribune Co. and their vast resources, which could push the Cubs payroll well over the 100 Mil mark.

You throw that into a division like the NL Central with a group of teams that....

#1 - don't have those resources

And they could turn the Cubs around quite fast, and make them a very dominant force within the division.

But can Lou do it?

Another interesting note brought up on Lou was that he too has a propensity to misuse/abuse pitchers.

Chip R
10-18-2006, 01:53 PM
They were talking on ESPN this morning about this hiring and what made the job appealing to Lou.

Answer?....

The Tribune Co. and their vast resources, which could push the Cubs payroll well over the 100 Mil mark.

You throw that into a division like the NL Central with a group of teams that....

#1 - don't have those resources

And they could turn the Cubs around quite fast, and make them a very dominant force within the division.

But can Lou do it?

Another interesting note brought up on Lou was that he too has a propensity to misuse/abuse pitchers.


The Trib does have resources at hand to spend as much as anyone on the Cubs. But they have not been eager to do so all the time. That happens when a sports team is bought by a big corporation. Fans start believing that they will have unlimited resources to soend on payroll but what usually happens is just the opposite. Look what happened in ATL when Time-Warner took over from Ted Turner. Their payroll actually went down over time and now they are looking to sell. When Fox bought the Dodgers their payroll went down as well over time and they eventually sold out. The Cubs have money but in the end, they are still the Cubs.

Reds4Life
10-18-2006, 02:35 PM
Carl Lindner was the richest owner in baseball in terms of personal wealth during his tenure, we all saw how that worked out.

vaticanplum
10-18-2006, 02:49 PM
The Cubs have money but in the end, they are still the Cubs.

That pretty much says it all, I think.

GAC
10-18-2006, 03:01 PM
The Trib does have resources at hand to spend as much as anyone on the Cubs. But they have not been eager to do so all the time. That happens when a sports team is bought by a big corporation. Fans start believing that they will have unlimited resources to soend on payroll but what usually happens is just the opposite. Look what happened in ATL when Time-Warner took over from Ted Turner. Their payroll actually went down over time and now they are looking to sell. When Fox bought the Dodgers their payroll went down as well over time and they eventually sold out. The Cubs have money but in the end, they are still the Cubs.

That's all very true. But I doubt very much that Lou would take the job if they didn't give him indications that they would spend.

Now if they basically, and in a roundabout way, weren't completely honest with Lou, in order to get him to take the job, then it could be Seattle all over again for Lou. ;)

GAC
10-18-2006, 03:04 PM
Carl Lindner was the richest owner in baseball in terms of personal wealth during his tenure, we all saw how that worked out.

When they talk resources, they are talking personal wealth so much as they are market resources/strengths that bring in revenue to spend on the team.

Yes, the Red's market, as with any baseball market, is gonna bring in revenue. But a market such as Chicago brings in far greater revenue.

Believe me, the payroll of the Cubs is not primarily coming from the investors in the Tribune Co. dipping into their own personal pockets.

Chip R
10-18-2006, 03:44 PM
That's all very true. But I doubt very much that Lou would take the job if they didn't give him indications that they would spend.

Now if they basically, and in a roundabout way, weren't completely honest with Lou, in order to get him to take the job, then it could be Seattle all over again for Lou. ;)


A big corporation like the Trib lie? Say it ain't so, GAC. Say it ain't so. :eek:

Remember what George Costanza said, "It's not a lie, if you believe it." :laugh:

They may have been totally up front and honest with Lou but things change. I posted something last week about how the Trib is thinking about selling off companies they control. One of those could be the Cubs. Or something could happen that would affect the Trib directly and they would be forced to make budget cuts across the board and payroll would have to be cut some. Of course, knowing Lou, he'd probably quit.

GAC
10-18-2006, 03:46 PM
A big corporation like the Trib lie? Say it ain't so, GAC. Say it ain't so. :eek:

Remember what George Costanza said, "It's not a lie, if you believe it." :laugh:

They may have been totally up front and honest with Lou but things change. I posted something last week about how the Trib is thinking about selling off companies they control. One of those could be the Cubs. Or something could happen that would affect the Trib directly and they would be forced to make budget cuts across the board and payroll would have to be cut some. Of course, knowing Lou, he'd probably quit.

Why do I feel like breaking into Steve Miller's "Take The Money And Run"? :lol:

Ltlabner
10-18-2006, 06:59 PM
This is the petty part of me, but I really like that Lou turned down the Nats job because they are "rebuilding" and then he turns around and signs on with the Cubs. The Cubs aren't exactly a step away from competing.

It's a bit of a shot at them. Or at least that's how I choose to interpretate it. :)

Spring~Fields
10-18-2006, 07:59 PM
The Tribune Co. and their vast resources, which could push the Cubs payroll well over the 100 Mil mark.

You throw that into a division like the NL Central with a group of teams that....

#1 - don't have those resources

And they could turn the Cubs around quite fast, and make them a very dominant force within the division.



They had several injuries to key people, they have the resources as you have stated, they hire a manager with a winning history when given the talent indicating that they want to win. I think Lou can find success in Chicago.

I expect Chicago, St. Louis and Houston to attempt to reload during the off season as I am sure you do. Can Cincinnati keep up? Can Narron do it?

Matt700wlw
10-18-2006, 08:05 PM
If leads them to a Championship, the world as we know it will no longer exist.

Spring~Fields
10-18-2006, 08:09 PM
If leads them to a Championship, the world as we know it will no longer exist.

Cubs fans are too hard to live with now, god forbid they really win anything or you will be right. :help:

GAC
10-19-2006, 07:13 AM
They had several injuries to key people, they have the resources as you have stated, they hire a manager with a winning history when given the talent indicating that they want to win. I think Lou can find success in Chicago.

I expect Chicago, St. Louis and Houston to attempt to reload during the off season as I am sure you do. Can Cincinnati keep up? Can Narron do it?

Teams like the Reds, which have limited resources, or at least don't possess the resources that a market like the Cubs do, are gonna have to be smart and do their homework.

It is all about a philosophical approach. And if teams like the Cubs don't follow the right philosophy, but think that throwing money at the problem will help.... and obviously spending will help to a degree (if spent right)... then they could be in for a rude awakening IMO. Just another Baltimore Orioles as far as I'm concerned.

We all saw the economic disparity explode in the 90's. And it made it harder on teams like the Reds (and others).

But teams like the A's, Twins, and Marlins, have shown that one can consistently compete with the right program that minimizes mistakes.

Teams like the Yanks, Sox, Cubs, Mets, Dodgers, have a greater room for error and to make mistakes. Teams like the Reds do not.

And IMHO, they got hurt real bad with some terrible contracts over the last 6 years that we are still saddled under.

Spring~Fields
10-19-2006, 11:10 AM
Teams like the Reds, which have limited resources, or at least don't possess the resources that a market like the Cubs do, are gonna have to be smart and do their homework.

It is all about a philosophical approach. And if teams like the Cubs don't follow the right philosophy, but think that throwing money at the problem will help.... and obviously spending will help to a degree (if spent right)... then they could be in for a rude awakening IMO. Just another Baltimore Orioles as far as I'm concerned.


As an organization makes adjustments and adapts by bringing in the right people who can achieve organizational goals and objectives, the philosophy will be influenced by those people.

The input that Lou and his staff can bring to assist the GM of the Cubs in making those organizational decisions could have a profound effect down the road in the organizationís realization of those goals. Assuming that their goal is to make a return on investment dollars and to simultaneously win baseball games, the questions remaining are can they achieve a solid and healthy pitching staff, the time table that it will take them, can they hang on to their potential free agents and build around those players that they already possess, will they spend or trade wisely is yet to be seen and are variables that will be answered. Their human and financial resources will go a long way in allowing the Cubs organization to make good choices.

I think that Lou can have a very positive influence on the continued building of that 25 man roster and will achieve the optimum from that group. The Cubs in my opinion are attempting to move in the right direction by obtaining what they believe are the right people.

I just can't see Lou being a part of a brain trust and think tank that involves a philosophy of Hancock debacles, a factor of continued poor assessment of talent as with Hammond, White, Majewski, Womack, Clayton, McCracken, Michalak, Mays, Wise, et al., an aging injured center fielder and an infield of errors waiting to happen and, of course, we know that Lou knows how to make out a lineup card.

Outshined_One
10-19-2006, 05:30 PM
They were talking on ESPN this morning about this hiring and what made the job appealing to Lou.

Answer?....

The Tribune Co. and their vast resources, which could push the Cubs payroll well over the 100 Mil mark.

Word around Chicago is that the Cubs might end up with a payroll somewhere around $115m by the end of the offseason.

I think the Tribune Company desperately wants to keep this team from reaching the 100 year mark of not winning a World Series, especially considering they are most likely looking to sell the team. If the Cubs win a WS, they will be worth a fortuneand would definitely merit a very high selling price. Whether or not they actually accomplish that is anyone's guess, but it seems like they are going to go all in this offseason.

Matt700wlw
10-20-2006, 11:36 AM
Trust me...

I can't go into detail, but Castellini did everything he could to get him.

Lou chose Chicago - we'll see if it works out.

Ltlabner
10-20-2006, 11:39 AM
Trust me...

I can't go into detail, but Castellini did everything he could to get him.

Lou chose Chicago - we'll see if it works out.

Do you mean that he tried to get him just reciently?

If that is true, it doesn't say much for Bob's confidence in Narron.

IslandRed
10-20-2006, 12:25 PM
I just can't see Lou being a part of a brain trust and think tank that involves a philosophy of Hancock debacles

I had just the opposite opinion: Piniella strikes me as totally the type of guy who would orchestrate a football-style whacking of someone just to get everyone's attention.

I'm also not sure where you're deriving your opinion that he's some sort of savant when it comes to evaluating ballplayers. I think he's generally been pretty good in the dugout but except for a brief stint with the Yankees a long time ago, he's never had control of player personnel. I mean, are we expecting Hendry to let Piniella call the shots? Are we expecting all the sorry ballplayers the Cubs have to magically disappear?

Spring~Fields
10-20-2006, 12:38 PM
I had just the opposite opinion: Piniella strikes me as totally the type of guy who would orchestrate a football-style whacking of someone just to get everyone's attention.

I'm also not sure where you're deriving your opinion that he's some sort of savant when it comes to evaluating ballplayers. I think he's generally been pretty good in the dugout but except for a brief stint with the Yankees a long time ago, he's never had control of player personnel. I mean, are we expecting Hendry to let Piniella call the shots? Are we expecting all the sorry ballplayers the Cubs have to magically disappear?

I respect your views. I just believe that Lou will have constructive input and will be able to achieve winning teams with Chicago as he did in Cincinnati and Seattle. We will just have to wait and see what the seasons bring.

vaticanplum
10-20-2006, 02:33 PM
Word around Chicago is that the Cubs might end up with a payroll somewhere around $115m by the end of the offseason.

I am almost always the one screaming about how money is overrated in baseball because money can't buy a good team and many good teams have no money, but that would make me angry. What a waste. The Cubs actually have some good talent which has already started to be nurtured by sheer necessity. This is not a team to build up just with money. At least when the Yankees and Red Sox spend absurd amounts of money they become respectable teams. The Cubs are just a horrible organization: all window dressing, some talent, zero substance. I really don't understand how their fans put up with it (the real ones, and they do exist).

Chip R
10-20-2006, 02:50 PM
I am almost always the one screaming about how money is overrated in baseball because money can't buy a good team and many good teams have no money, but that would make me angry. What a waste. The Cubs actually have some good talent which has already started to be nurtured by sheer necessity. This is not a team to build up just with money. At least when the Yankees and Red Sox spend absurd amounts of money they become respectable teams. The Cubs are just a horrible organization: all window dressing, some talent, zero substance. I really don't understand how their fans put up with it (the real ones, and they do exist).


I'm not sure I understand. Are you looking at this from an aesthetic standpoint or from a viewpoint of a fan? As a Cub hater I would be slap-happy if they spent $115M and still were lousy. As a baseball fan, I'm not wild about teams outspending the competition by a significant amount but I realize that some markets have more of an advantage than others. If free agent player A wants endorsements and national exposure, he's not going to sign with Cincinnati, Pittsburgh or Kansas City. He's going to sign with NY, or LA or maybe BOS no matter how much money the former teams throw at him.

vaticanplum
10-20-2006, 02:59 PM
I'm not sure I understand. Are you looking at this from an aesthetic standpoint or from a viewpoint of a fan? As a Cub hater I would be slap-happy if they spent $115M and still were lousy. As a baseball fan, I'm not wild about teams outspending the competition by a significant amount but I realize that some markets have more of an advantage than others. If free agent player A wants endorsements and national exposure, he's not going to sign with Cincinnati, Pittsburgh or Kansas City. He's going to sign with NY, or LA or maybe BOS no matter how much money the former teams throw at him.

Exactly, which is why I think that in this particular case money is not the way to fix this organization. The cities you mention can entice big-money players because they're good teams. The Cubs are a really bad team right now; they're not going to get the same kinds of players, though I'm sure they intend to spend money. This organization, in the state it's in now, has some young talent and should start building that way, not use money as a band-aid. They want to win by 2008? If there's any possibility of doing that by spending money, it's by basically buying an entirely new team. Would that be worth it? If I were a Cub fan, I wouldn't think so.

Don't get me wrong, I'm always happy to see the Cubs lose. but as a baseball fan it does pain me to see such a stupid organization. And as a Yankees fan I'm always tetchy about the money thing. The Yankees are a good team because they spend a lot of money, but they are a good team because of a lot of other things too. The Cubs spend huge amounts of money and are a god-awful team, yet they somehow get away with the "lovable losers" label. If they were to spend even more money than they already do, getting rid of all their homegrown talent in the process, and bring in a team of mercenaries and actually win a title, it would be played up as the best-ever heart-warming story of baseball (in contrast to the evil empire of the Yankees). Well, now I'm just ranting. They're just such a poorly-run, corporate organization now that it actually offends me.

Chip R
10-20-2006, 03:27 PM
Exactly, which is why I think that in this particular case money is not the way to fix this organization. The cities you mention can entice big-money players because they're good teams. The Cubs are a really bad team right now; they're not going to get the same kinds of players, though I'm sure they intend to spend money. This organization, in the state it's in now, has some young talent and should start building that way, not use money as a band-aid. They want to win by 2008? If there's any possibility of doing that by spending money, it's by basically buying an entirely new team. Would that be worth it? If I were a Cub fan, I wouldn't think so.

Don't get me wrong, I'm always happy to see the Cubs lose. but as a baseball fan it does pain me to see such a stupid organization. And as a Yankees fan I'm always tetchy about the money thing. The Yankees are a good team because they spend a lot of money, but they are a good team because of a lot of other things too. The Cubs spend huge amounts of money and are a god-awful team, yet they somehow get away with the "lovable losers" label. If they were to spend even more money than they already do, getting rid of all their homegrown talent in the process, and bring in a team of mercenaries and actually win a title, it would be played up as the best-ever heart-warming story of baseball (in contrast to the evil empire of the Yankees). Well, now I'm just ranting. They're just such a poorly-run, corporate organization now that it actually offends me.


I think I understand your banter. :) I guess we look at it two different ways. When the Cubs - or any other team for that matter - spend obscene amounts of money and fall on their face(s), it amuses me.

Just keep remembering what you said in your first post. Money is overrated. A-Rod is a first-rate example. He wanted to go to NY or BOS to win a championship. That hasn't happened yet and people are blaming him. I'm sure there are times he wishes he was anywhere else but NY. You know as well as I do that getting an all star team rarely, if ever, makes the difference in winning a World Championship. If a player wants to play in NY or BOS or even CHI because they can afford to pay them more or they want more exposure, I say let the baby have their bottle. Money - and publicity cannot buy happiness. Again, look at A-Rod. Since he's supposed to be the best player, he's getting the brunt of the criticism since they haven't won it all since he's been there. I don't think he's happy and I don't think he's having fun. But he got what he wanted and so did the Yankees. No one guaranteed them a world championship. My advice to you is to relax. The Cubs are still going to be the Cubs whether they have a $50M or a $150M payroll. They will find a way to screw it up.

I'm not sure how many years this has gone on but it has been several years since the team with the highest payroll has won a world championship. It'll be like that again this year since the Yankees were eliminated.

vaticanplum
10-20-2006, 03:33 PM
I'm not sure how many years this has gone on but it has been several years since the team with the highest payroll has won a world championship. It'll be like that again this year since the Yankees were eliminated.

Off the top of my head, I do believe that the Yankees have been the highest-paid team since the mid-90s, probably at least 1998 (though "highest-paid" meant something very different even then than it does now). So my guess is 2000.

I agree with most of the rest of what you said.

IslandRed
10-20-2006, 04:35 PM
This organization, in the state it's in now, has some young talent and should start building that way, not use money as a band-aid.

I dunno. From my recollection, the Cubs have a few decent young players but its stock of farm-system talent that will be hitting the beach the next few years is nothing special. "Play the kids" sounds like a good strategy but it only pays off if your kids are actually good.

Their situation strikes me as similar to the recent-vintage Mets, a team that floundered for several years, paying too much money for too little production. But when a higher degree of the Mets' money started finding the right pockets, the team took a huge leap forward in a short period of time. It always comes down to picking the right ballplayers, regardless of how they're obtained.

mth123
10-20-2006, 08:14 PM
"Play the kids" sounds like a good strategy but it only pays off if your kids are actually good.


I wish I would have said that. Great Line!

:clap: :clap: :clap:

redsmetz
10-20-2006, 09:50 PM
I was reading the satirical webnews The Onion tonight and came across this little tidbit about the Cubbies.


CHICAGO—During his formal introduction as Cubs manager Tuesday, Lou Piniella announced that his first and only managerial decision will be to step down immediately and permanently from his new position—a bold, unexpected move that he successfully carried out just moments later. "My time in Chicago has been great, and it feels like it was just yesterday that I started this job, but I truly believe that this move will give me a better opportunity to win," Piniella said at the press conference while ceremoniously removing a Cubs hat and jersey. "I'm very excited about leaving this team." After the announcement, Cubs GM Jim Hendry praised Piniella's sound judgment and pure baseball instinct, saying that "his ability to make quick, smart decisions like this one is exactly why we hired him."

Reds4Life
10-20-2006, 09:59 PM
Trust me...

I can't go into detail, but Castellini did everything he could to get him.

Lou chose Chicago - we'll see if it works out.

You'll need to expand on this a bit more.

Matt700wlw
10-20-2006, 10:33 PM
Let's just say, I don't think he has anything against Jerry Narron, he did extend his contract, and Castellini isn't the type to get rid of somebody without a replacement basically in the wings....but as we know, Lou was his target from day one.

If Lou wanted to come here, he would be here. Lou chose Chicago. Bigger market, perhaps....larger payroll (to some degree) may have also been a factor...however, payrolls are flexible...even in Cincinnati.

That's all you're getting :) :) :)

Reds4Life
10-20-2006, 10:36 PM
Let's just say, I don't think he has anything against Jerry Narron, he did extend his contract, and Castellini isn't the type to get rid of somebody without a replacement basically in the wings....but as we know, Lou was his target from day one.

If Lou wanted to come here, he would be here. Lou chose Chicago. Bigger market, perhaps....larger payroll (to some degree) may have also been a factor...

That's all you're getting :)

Not enough info, time for a ban. ;)

Matt700wlw
10-20-2006, 10:38 PM
Not enough info, time for a ban. ;)

Some things I cannot say...sorry :)

Outshined_One
10-21-2006, 01:41 AM
Exactly, which is why I think that in this particular case money is not the way to fix this organization. The cities you mention can entice big-money players because they're good teams. The Cubs are a really bad team right now; they're not going to get the same kinds of players, though I'm sure they intend to spend money. This organization, in the state it's in now, has some young talent and should start building that way, not use money as a band-aid. They want to win by 2008? If there's any possibility of doing that by spending money, it's by basically buying an entirely new team. Would that be worth it? If I were a Cub fan, I wouldn't think so.

Coming from a Cubs' fan's perspective, here's the problem with that approach.

While big money free agency acquisitions and trades for salary dump players do tend to backfire (especially in really notorious examples), they are a proven way of building up championship-caliber teams. Yes, teams with a cheap homegrown core do tend to have a better ability to be good for a long period of time. It's pretty rare to see extraordinarily talented players become free agents during their primes; usually teams will lock those guys up to long term deals so that they never hit the market in the first place. It's good business.

Here's the current problem for the Cubs. Their farm system is arguably average at this point in time. They don't have a can't miss prospect waiting in the wings to come in and take Wrigley by storm. Felix Pie has plate discipline issues. Donald Veal has control problems. Sean Gallagher doesn't have the stuff of an ace. A lot of their potentially really good players (Mark Pawelek, Jose Ceda, potentially Tyler Colvin) are a long ways away. They have some good talent to build around for the near future (Matt Murton, Rich Hill), so trying to build this team from within is a problematic answer.

This team generates a ton of profit for the Tribune Company. Their payroll over the past few years has been above $90m and usually got them among the top spenders in the NL. If this team were to suddenly cut payroll down to, say, $50m, people would get really angry. That would be seen as the Tribune Company screwing over the fans by not spending enough on the team. Given the amount of money the Cubs make every year and the size of their market, it stands to reason that they should be among the top spenders in baseball.

What's more, the Cubs are slowly approaching the 100 year mark of going without a championship. With the Tribune Company looking to sell the team, I think they realize that the team's value would absolutely skyrocket if they were ever to win a World Series. Hitting that 100 year mark would be completely humiliating for just about every member of the organization and every Cubs fan. Despite that whole loveable losers image, people will not stand for futility. The ratings took a nosedive this year and attendance was noticeably down at Wrigley in August and September. With the White Sox winning a Championship and being competitive, all the Chicago bandwagon fans seem happy to head to the south side. If the Cubs continue to flounder like they have been, people will stop watching, buying merchandise, and going to games. That would absolutely kill the team's value.

If the Cubs go out this offseason and acquire say...Soriano, Carlos Lee, Matsuzaka, and another mid-level starting pitcher, I don't think the fans will care about the fact that these guys are mercenaries or whatever. It'll be seen as a sign that the organization actually wants to win and will go out to spend the money to do so. Heck, the Cubs have sucked for so long at developing players, another approach might not be the worst of ideas.

If it wins them a World Series next year, it would not bother me one bit whatsoever. I have no problem saying that it'd be one of the best moments of my life, whether or not the team was won by mercenaries or homegrown talent (or some combination of the two).

Cedric
10-21-2006, 01:47 AM
Coming from a Cubs' fan's perspective, here's the problem with that approach.

While big money free agency acquisitions and trades for salary dump players do tend to backfire (especially in really notorious examples), they are a proven way of building up championship-caliber teams. Yes, teams with a cheap homegrown core do tend to have a better ability to be good for a long period of time. It's pretty rare to see extraordinarily talented players become free agents during their primes; usually teams will lock those guys up to long term deals so that they never hit the market in the first place. It's good business.

Here's the current problem for the Cubs. Their farm system is arguably average at this point in time. They don't have a can't miss prospect waiting in the wings to come in and take Wrigley by storm. Felix Pie has plate discipline issues. Donald Veal has control problems. Sean Gallagher doesn't have the stuff of an ace. A lot of their potentially really good players (Mark Pawelek, Jose Ceda, potentially Tyler Colvin) are a long ways away. They have some good talent to build around for the near future (Matt Murton, Rich Hill), so trying to build this team from within is a problematic answer.

This team generates a ton of profit for the Tribune Company. Their payroll over the past few years has been above $90m and usually got them among the top spenders in the NL. If this team were to suddenly cut payroll down to, say, $50m, people would get really angry. That would be seen as the Tribune Company screwing over the fans by not spending enough on the team. Given the amount of money the Cubs make every year and the size of their market, it stands to reason that they should be among the top spenders in baseball.

What's more, the Cubs are slowly approaching the 100 year mark of going without a championship. With the Tribune Company looking to sell the team, I think they realize that the team's value would absolutely skyrocket if they were ever to win a World Series. Hitting that 100 year mark would be completely humiliating for just about every member of the organization and every Cubs fan. Despite that whole loveable losers image, people will not stand for futility. The ratings took a nosedive this year and attendance was noticeably down at Wrigley in August and September. With the White Sox winning a Championship and being competitive, all the Chicago bandwagon fans seem happy to head to the south side. If the Cubs continue to flounder like they have been, people will stop watching, buying merchandise, and going to games. That would absolutely kill the team's value.

If the Cubs go out this offseason and acquire say...Soriano, Carlos Lee, Matsuzaka, and another mid-level starting pitcher, I don't think the fans will care about the fact that these guys are mercenaries or whatever. It'll be seen as a sign that the organization actually wants to win and will go out to spend the money to do so. Heck, the Cubs have sucked for so long at developing players, another approach might not be the worst of ideas.

If it wins them a World Series next year, it would not bother me one bit whatsoever. I have no problem saying that it'd be one of the best moments of my life, whether or not the team was won by mercenaries or homegrown talent (or some combination of the two).

I wouldn't hold my breath for that great moment. :)

Outshined_One
10-21-2006, 02:58 AM
I wouldn't hold my breath for that great moment. :)

The fact that my grandparents have all died without seeing a World Championship in their lifetimes hasn't exactly inspired great hope in me.

But hey, a man can dream.

mth123
10-21-2006, 09:02 AM
Unlike most of you, I think the Cubs have the potential to rise quickly in the standings. Cedeno, Izturis, Theriot and Pie will provide a good up the middle defense and will contribute some on offense. Theriot and Pie could be assets on offense but if not, they will be ok if the Cubs have offense on the corners. Ramirez and Lee certainly qualify and power hitting corner OF are usually available (and Murton may turn into one). They need to upgrade from Jones IMO, but Jones is a useful player in the right situation and the Cubs will get something decent for him or may still be ok with him if Murton steps up. Barrett is a good hitting catcher making it easier to carry the gloves up the middle.

Zambrano is a #1 and Hill looks to be ok. If Prior is healthy (big if I know), they have enough young arms (Marmol, Marshall, Ryu, Novoa, Guzman, Mateo) to fill a rotation that can compete. They can sign an inning eater if they have to. The Pen is pretty good with Eyre and Howry in front of Dempster or whoever they bring in to close (or maybe Wuertz). The $ give them the flexability to add missing peices.

The real issue, is that also unlike many of you, I do not think that Lou is capable of the "Leyand effect." Lou never made it to the series in Seattle when he had the best outfielder, best infielder, best DH and best pitcher in the game. The year he made it in cincy was largely due to the strike that spring. His talented bullpen made his pitching moves look smart, even when some times his moves were not. I don't think that adding Lou will elevate a team that much. He is a run of the mill manager who's best moves are usually his on field tantrums that get the crowd and his players going. He's not a great strategist IIRC and as a teacher, he certainly had Paul O'Niell screwed-up until O'Niell got away from him. (It will be interesting to see what he does with Murton.) He didn't work any miracles in Tampa and the Reds regressed after his first year in Cincy.

I'm glad the Reds didn't pay big bucks for him when they need to put that money into the talent pool.

IslandRed
10-21-2006, 10:37 AM
Coming from a Cubs' fan's perspective, here's the problem with that approach... Despite that whole loveable losers image, people will not stand for futility. The ratings took a nosedive this year and attendance was noticeably down at Wrigley in August and September. With the White Sox winning a Championship and being competitive, all the Chicago bandwagon fans seem happy to head to the south side. If the Cubs continue to flounder like they have been, people will stop watching, buying merchandise, and going to games. That would absolutely kill the team's value.

That was a terrific post.

While the Cubs have always had a lot of fans, for awhile -- especially in the superstation era, with WGN going nationwide to show people how cool it was to hang out at Wrigley -- it was hip to be a Cubs fan. But like all things trendy, it doesn't last forever. Between the fans' increased expectations -- the post-2003 fallout mostly served to remind Cubs fans that losing isn't lovable, it sucks -- and the emergence of the White Sox, the Cubs are suddenly in a dogfight for the current casual fan and the next generation of lifelong ones. And, to their credit, they seem to know it.

vaticanplum
10-21-2006, 12:27 PM
Coming from a Cubs' fan's perspective, here's the problem with that approach.

While big money free agency acquisitions and trades for salary dump players do tend to backfire (especially in really notorious examples), they are a proven way of building up championship-caliber teams. Yes, teams with a cheap homegrown core do tend to have a better ability to be good for a long period of time. It's pretty rare to see extraordinarily talented players become free agents during their primes; usually teams will lock those guys up to long term deals so that they never hit the market in the first place. It's good business.

Here's the current problem for the Cubs. Their farm system is arguably average at this point in time. They don't have a can't miss prospect waiting in the wings to come in and take Wrigley by storm. Felix Pie has plate discipline issues. Donald Veal has control problems. Sean Gallagher doesn't have the stuff of an ace. A lot of their potentially really good players (Mark Pawelek, Jose Ceda, potentially Tyler Colvin) are a long ways away. They have some good talent to build around for the near future (Matt Murton, Rich Hill), so trying to build this team from within is a problematic answer.

This team generates a ton of profit for the Tribune Company. Their payroll over the past few years has been above $90m and usually got them among the top spenders in the NL. If this team were to suddenly cut payroll down to, say, $50m, people would get really angry. That would be seen as the Tribune Company screwing over the fans by not spending enough on the team. Given the amount of money the Cubs make every year and the size of their market, it stands to reason that they should be among the top spenders in baseball.

What's more, the Cubs are slowly approaching the 100 year mark of going without a championship. With the Tribune Company looking to sell the team, I think they realize that the team's value would absolutely skyrocket if they were ever to win a World Series. Hitting that 100 year mark would be completely humiliating for just about every member of the organization and every Cubs fan. Despite that whole loveable losers image, people will not stand for futility. The ratings took a nosedive this year and attendance was noticeably down at Wrigley in August and September. With the White Sox winning a Championship and being competitive, all the Chicago bandwagon fans seem happy to head to the south side. If the Cubs continue to flounder like they have been, people will stop watching, buying merchandise, and going to games. That would absolutely kill the team's value.

If the Cubs go out this offseason and acquire say...Soriano, Carlos Lee, Matsuzaka, and another mid-level starting pitcher, I don't think the fans will care about the fact that these guys are mercenaries or whatever. It'll be seen as a sign that the organization actually wants to win and will go out to spend the money to do so. Heck, the Cubs have sucked for so long at developing players, another approach might not be the worst of ideas.

If it wins them a World Series next year, it would not bother me one bit whatsoever. I have no problem saying that it'd be one of the best moments of my life, whether or not the team was won by mercenaries or homegrown talent (or some combination of the two).

That's a great post and it's very interesting to hear from someone coming from your perspective.

I would argue that there's a happy (or at least temporarily content) medium between the two extremes you mentioned -- the team being so bad this year that attendance fell off notably and the team winning the World Series. The Cubs were so bad this year, unexpectedly bad. But it almost takes that for Cubs' attendance to drop off as it did. Had they been even a fair-to-midding team, I think they would have been fine.

Winning the World Series is a lofty goal. In one sense I think that every team should shoot for it; on the other hand, I think it's important to be realistic. About ten very good teams don't win the World Series every single year. What the Cubs need to shoot for right now, in my opinion, is getting a good team together. And I was a little harsh (and didn't make myself very clear) on how I think they should go about that. No team in the present-day system can build a team from its farm system alone. It's not possible, and it shouldn't be; that's the purpose Curt Flood served. A good mix of farm system talent and acquired talent is ideal and, in my opinion, the mark of a smart GM. But even that's not always possible, and if the farm kids don't pan out for this reason or that one, I don't begrudge a team trying to make up for that by spending money (as long as it continues to also make efforts to improve its farm system as well).

The World Series title hangs as much above the Cubs' heads as it does the Yankees', in my opinion. My feelings where the Cubs are concerned (and to a degree this extends to the Yankees as well): stop talking about the World Series. Build your good team and concentrate on winning. It may not sound like there's a difference in these two statements, but to me there is a crucial difference in the day-to-day attitudes that go with them. I watched the Cubs this year. Once it became clear, fairly early, that they were not going to contend this year, they more or less gave up. You could see it in the way they went after freaking fly balls. And this was an attitude very heavily influenced by Baker, I think. That team could have had a better year; they could have been a better team. But they could not have won the World Series. So they gave up.

I know that a title for the Cubs would be amazing for their fans, and it would be a ginormous story, particularly if they did manage to pull it off before their 2008 "deadline". But if it is true that the goal would be to do that because of pressure from the Tribune to "sell high" by building the team at any cost, that's just sad to me. And once again, this is severely influenced by my position as a Yankees fan and my resentment over how they are portrayed in the press. The Yankees spend millions, they are good, people hate them. The Cubs spend millions, they are bad, people love them. The owners of the Cubs want them to win then, what, for money? George Steinbrenner spends his personal fortune because he wants the Yankees to win because he's a maniac. Somehow, I find this more forgiveable. Maybe because I myself am a maniac about the team winning and don't stand to gain financially if it does.

IF the Cubs were to win a World Series, the entire process would be shrouded in history, in old black-and-white footage, in stories of Mordecai Brown and Tinker-Evers-Chance and Phil Cavaretta and Ernie Banks and what-have-you. It would be the last of the old-school teams to win in a completely different age than it did last time. And to me, anyway, it would be a shame if it were done so with a frantic corporate purpose, with a team hastily assembled and presented as a team for public consumption for a single purpose. There may not appear to be much of a difference for you as a fan, and that's totally understandable. A World Series title is a World Series title, after all. But from the outside looking in, I just (and it pains me to say this) really do believe that the Cubs' true long-term fans deserve better.