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Clarification and Rebuttal: Dubois

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Hot diggity! Did I blaspheme?

First, I went back and carefully reread what I wrote about Dubois because the comments in part seemed to disagree with me, while agreeing with the point I wanted to make. I REALLY REALLY REALLY like the rumored Huff trade. I want the Huff trade.

Secondly, of course I want to win this year. The reason I want to keep Dubois is I think he can help us win this year... and the next five. I am high on Dubois because I believe (blindly or stupidly maybe) that Dubois can translate his impressive minor league performances into a solid Major League outfielder. The real theme of my last post should have been: I would rather have Huff starting over Dubois, I would rather have Dubois starting over Hairston, and I think an outfield with only Hairston, Hollandsworth, Patterson, and Dubois will not be enough to win this year.

If I were 'Dusty Hendry', I would try to have my opening day outfield include Dubois, Patterson, and Huff. Give me this outfield, and I'll show you a Central Division Championship Banner.

OK, time for some rebuttal: The knock against Dusty Baker is that he is too loyal to his precious veterans... yet I suggest we try to give a starting spot to a deserving rookie and I get lombasted in the comments and on other folk's blogs.

People complain that the Cubs organization doesn't pay enough attention to OBP. I mention that a guy could easily put up a higher OBP than two other guys and I get run through by a long shiny spike.

We quibble about a million too much for Corey Patterson, overpaying Blanco, Perez, half the bullpen, etc... and yet I point out a three to four year cost advantage of using a young prospect and I get accused of being cheap.

Finally, there is the issue of patience and our 'window of good pitching.' I'll start my mentioning that I have been a die-hard Cubs fan since I moved to the Chicagoland area in 1989. I have 15 years invested in this team and I have seen the whole range of finishes. Two division championships, a wild-card bid, a few late season pushes that fell short, a few late season collapses, several midseason collapses, and some truly horrible teams. I also know that impatience gets your team a Matt Karchner, not a championship.

As for the pitching window, it is at least two years wide at this point. With the depth of pitching in our minor league system, I don't worry about the mound as much of the rest of the field. Furthermore, except in the context of defense, the success of the pitching staff is largely independent of the outfield situation.

My choice of the Marlins as a team I didn't want to resemble was a poor choice. Yes, they have won two championships and thats great for them. But, What I want is a run like the Braves, the Yankees, or even the late '90s Indians. The Cubs are developing a core of young talent to enable this. However, if we are too afraid to use our homegrown talent, we won't be able to afford the big free-agent when we need one.

The 1990's Yankees are an excellent example of a team which was able to field a team with a good mix of free agents and youth. The 2005 Yankees are an excellent example of a team with no youth. The $200 million price tag is probably just a bit out of the realistic range for the Cubs.

Building from within is the only way we will be able to afford Prior, Zambrano, Wood, Ramirez, Garciaparra, and Patterson when they come back up for contract renewals.

Blast Away

Posted by Byron at January 30, 2005 5:33 PM | Bookmark and Share | BallHype: hype it up!
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8 Comments

I'm in the minority as well. I'd like to see the Cubs give DuBois a shot. Contrary to popular belief in the army, teams have won World Series with rookies playing everyday.

Once again, my point is......

I'd love to see Dubois play, but Hollandsworth is GOING TO PLAY! And I'm ok with that too.

Breaking it down:

:::So Dubois is two years younger and six times cheaper than JHJ... and he is 15.8 times cheaper than Huff:::

With no ML experience worth talking about. As such the salary and age is irrelevant.

:::While Dubois' numbers are from minor league action, I think he...:::

"Think"? But you want to win now? If you want to win now, and you are only 1 or two positions away, you don't risk it on a guess. You go get a sure thing.

:::As for the pitching window, it is at least two years wide at this point:::

OK. I'll give you three years. Let's chance 1/3 of that time by hoping that Dubois can play. Dumb.

:::What I want is a run like the Braves, the Yankees, or even the late '90s Indians.:::

1 title, 3 titles (none since ignoring a budget), no titles. Let's be like them and not like the Marlins. Right.

:::Building from within is the only way we will be able to afford Prior, Zambrano, Wood, Ramirez, Garciaparra, and Patterson when they come back up for contract renewals:::

First, there's no "we." Second, outside of Garciaparra, all those guys are or will be within weeks, locked to the Cubs through 2007. And who knows if Nomar will be worth retaining if he keeps being injured? All these guys are already afforeded. And with Sosa gone and Maddux's $9mm going away if he pitches under 190 innings, this argument also fails.

Please remember championships aren't won in January. The Angels title was helped by a late call up, Francisco Rodriguez and the balance of the bullpen that filled in exceptionally for an injured Troy Percival. The Marlins recent title was helped by a mid year call up, Miguel Cabrera, and a rookie phemon pitcher, Dontrelle Willis, from the Cubs minor league system. The Cubs 2003 division title was cemented by the mid-season additions of Aramis and Lofton that balanced the line-up and the surprising performance of the Sweaty Pole, Joe Borowski. I know we are all anxious and we love to "argue" about all things Cubs, but we'll need to get atleast to Spring Training to see how things start to pan out. Like many of you I do not believe this is the last move Hendry will make this offseason (the Huff move would be a masterstroke). I also believe he will be active during the summer no matter where the Cubs are in the standings.

Huff is no "masterstroke." Juan Pierre or Miguel Cabrerra would be a masterstroke. Huff is a capable fill in.

OK, maybe "masterstroke" is overstating it. But compared to the FA OFs that were available, I'd take Huff over all of them but Beltran (his price tag was outrageous and Drew is a large health risk). Cabrera would be awesome, but the big advantage he carries over Huff is youth (their numbers are fairly similar). Pierre is an excellent ball player, but would not address the issue that most bloggers are bringing up, i.e. lack of run production without Alou and Sosa.

I posted my rebuttal at my Wrigley Blues site.

---
Comment edited to add link. BC

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