"At the end of the day, boys, you don't tell me how rough the water is, you bring in the ship." – Steve Stone
A Goat Riders Affiliate
Go Cubs!

Wrigley Rooftop Directory
Ryne Sandberg Fan Page
The Cubdom Photo Gallery
The Cubs Prayer
Cubs Calendar
Jim Hendry Page
Cubs Ownership History
Baseball Business Essays
TheCubdom Hall of Cubs

Recent Blog Updates

Editor's Pick:

Goat Riders of the Apocalypse
Bleed Cubbie Blue
Desipio Media Ventures
Hire Jim Essian!
Cub Reporter
Ivy Chat
Cub Town
Ghost of Paul Noce
The Cubdom
Thunder Matt's Saloon
View From the Bleachers
WGN-TV Baseball Blog

Honorable Mention:

A Hundred Next Years
A League of Her Own
Agony and Ivy
Bad News Cubs
Baseball Diamond News
Boys of Spring
Bush League Times
Chicago Cubs Baseball
Chicago Cubs Blog
Chicago Cubs Online
Church of Baseball
Clark & Addison blog
College of Idiots
Cubs f/x
Cubs Hot Stove
Cubs Hub
Cubs Obsession
Five Outs to go
Gonfalon Cubs
Kosuke Fukodome
Out of Right Field
The Cubs Brickyard
The Other Fifteen
The Ted Lilly Fan Club
Temporary Bleachers


Cubbie Nation
Holy Cow Bell
Ivy Envy
Towel Drills
Turning Two
Wasting away in Wrigleyville

Soldiering On:

Die-hard Cubs Fun
Fire Dusty Baker
Northside Lounge
Peoria Northsider Report
Yarbage Cub Review

Cubs Sites:

Desipio Boards
North Side Baseball
Inside the Ivy
The Heckler
My Wrigleyville

Just Read 'em!

Baseball Analysts
Baseball Musings
Baseball Prospectus
Baseball Think Factory
Hardball Times


Baseball Toaster
Most Valuable Network
SportsBlog Nation

NL Central

Brew Crew Ball MIL
Bucs Dugout PIT
Crawfish Boxes HOU
Get Up Baby STL
Honest Wagner PIT
Red Hot Mama CIN
Red Reporter CIN
Viva El Birdos STL

NL East

Amazin Avenue NYM
Citizens Blog PHI
Federal Baseball WAS
Fish Stripes FLA
The Good Phight PHI
Sabernomics ATL

NL West

6-4-2 LAD, LAA
AZ Snake Pit AZ
Dodger Thoughts LAD
Ducksnorts SD
Gas Lamp Ball SD
McCovey Chronicles SF
Only Baseball Matters SF
Purple Row COL

AL East

Batters Box TOR
Bronx Banter NYY
Camden Chat BAL
DRays Bay TB
Futility Infielder NYY
Joy of Sox BOS
Over the Monster BOS
Pinstripe Alley NYY
Replacement Level Yankees Weblog NYY

AL Central

Aaron's Baseball Blog MIN
Bless You Boys DET
Let's Go Tribe CLE
Royals Review KC
South Side Sox CHW
Sox Machine CHW
Tiger Blog DET
Twins Geek MIN

AL West

Athletics Nation OAK
Halo's Heaven LAA
Lone Star Ball TEX
Lookout Landing SEA
USS Mariner SEA


Beyond the Boxscore
Minor League Ball

Chicago Sports

Section 8 Fire
Windy City Gridiron Bears

News Sources

Sun-Times Cubs
Daily Herald Sports
Daily Southtown Sports

Cubs Batting Order Analysis - Part II

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

This is part II or a II part series on the Cubs line-up construction. Part I is either directly below this post on the page... or here.

Before we resume, lets review the color code key.

Color Code Key
 Prime batting spot
 Acceptable batting spot
 Shouldn't be hitting here

Todd Walker

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Todd Walker would be a starting second basemen on most clubs. Unfortunately for Walker, the Cubs off-loaded a future Hall of Famer for a super-utility player who has two redeeming characteristics:

He is a true leadoff hitter
He is an excellent second baseman

So, in Byron Land... and I suspect in Cub Land, Todd Walker is going to be riding the bench a few more times than he planned when he re-signed with the Cubs this winter.

Fortunately for Walker he also has two redeeming qualities

He bats left-handed
He can actually hit well. Both for power and OBP

In fact, Walker's high OBP would make him a prime candidate to lead off if JHJ isn't playing. However, his footspeed makes him a better candidate to hit as a traditional #2 batter.

If JHJ is also playing, Walker is better suited to hit down in the order in to allow the team's best hitters to get a few more at-bats. As a result, I see Walker hitting anywhere from 5-8. His best spots are probably 6 or 7, followed by the five hole and then the eight hole. I've got Walker in the five spot because I like his high OBP and decent speed. This would come in handy since he'd be hitting in front of Corey Patterson.

Todd Hollandsworth

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Despite his stellar performance in an injury shortened 2004, Todd Hollandsworth is a .279/.336/.447 hitter (AVG/OBP/SLG). As such, I can't see hitting him any higher than sixth in the order.

As a hitter, Holly is pretty good at making contact, and is thus an effective hitter in small-ball situations. My gut tells me he would be best in the seven spot, but valid arguments can be made for having him sixth or eighth. If he continues hitting like he did last year, maybe #2, but probably not.

Finally, it should be mentioned that Hollandsworth is also a lefty. So in any lineup configuration, you'll want to make sure that he doesn't bat next to Corey Patterson or Todd Walker... a maxim which should be ignored from time to time.

Henry Blanco

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

I can't say I've ever seen him hit except for a handful of at-bats this spring. So, at the risk of stereotyping... he should never hit anywhere but #8. He's a catcher, and he has a career .216/.288/.356 line. So, really, he shouldn't be batting at all... but since Michael Barrett can't be expected to catch 162 games... when he bats, its #8.

Jose Macias & Neifi Perez

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

No, I did not forget to color in the boxes... they are all black, indicating neither of these men should ever bat... in any situation. Here is why:

Jose Macias career: .257/.301/.378, 39 sb, 18 cs, 1469 AB
Neifi Perez career: .269/.301/.380, 48 sb, 40 cs, 4190 AB

These lines are scary bad. I don't think either belongs on the club... but if we're voting, I'm voting Neifi off the island. Macias brings more defensive flexibility, a stronger arm, and a better stolen base percentage indicating either more speed or better base running judgement. At one point this season, one of these guys will be called upon to pinch run, and that could mean an extra win. So Neifi loses out when the Cubs keep Dave Hansen.

Dave Kelton

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

If he makes the club, he should only bat eighth. He is a rookie and he doesn't have speed... or a track record of being a top of the order guy. I have a feeling the question will be moot as I can't imagine he'll be on the big-league roster after tax day.

Dave Hansen

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

If Hansen makes the club, he could potentially transform this team from a good team to a great team? Why? Well, he is one of those veteran professional hitters who can hit off the bench and spell Aramis Ramirez at third... without letting Jose Macias bat. (That alone could be worth 3-5 wins.)

Hansen's career line is a respectable .264/.365/.374. Oh, Did I mention he bats left handed?

As for lineup placement? Bottom half. Doesn't really matter where. I'd say because he is no speed burner, it might make sense to bat him seventh in front of a guy like Jason Dubois who can take a shot at the bleachers in front of the pitcher's slot in the lineup.

Look for Hansen to be placed on the active roster when he recovers from his appendectomy. I've got my money on Neifi Perez getting the axe, but it could just as easily be Jose Macias.

March 30, 2005 Record: 14-15, Box HoHoKam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#29 Chicago Cubs 5
Colorado Rockies 4

March 29, 2005 Record: 13-15, Box, Phoenix AZ
ST#28 Chicago Cubs 13
Milwaukee Brewers 6

March 28, 2005 Record: 12-15, Box, HoHoKam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#27 Chicago Cubs 7
Seattle Mariners 11

March 27, 2005 Record: 12-14, Box, HoHoKam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#26 Chicago Cubs 5
San Diego Padres 9

March 26, 2005 Record: 12-13, Box, Tucson AZ
ST#25 Chicago Cubs 6
Colorado Rockies 7

March 25, 2005 Record: 12-12, Box, HoHoKam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#24 Chicago Cubs 4
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6

Finally, at the end of this interminal post. I wanted to thank David Pinto of Baseball Musings for linking to my post yesterday in his post. If by some chance you don't already regularly read Baseball Musings, I strongly encourage that you do.

Posted by Byron at 8:22 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Cubs Batting Order Analysis - Part I

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Lets go on a trip to Byron Land...

Dusty has been fired.
Byron has been hired.

There will be four general types of games this year:

  • #1: Days when Jerry Hairston Jr. (JHJ) starts at second.
  • #2: Days when JHJ starts elsewhere (LF, RF, CF, SS, 3B)
  • #3: Days when JHJ doesn't start, and Michael Barrett catches
  • #4: Days when JHJ doesn't start, and Henry Blanco catches

Lineup for situation #1: ~ 80 games
1. Jerry Hairston Jr.
2. Nomar Garciaparra
3. Aramis Ramirez
4. Derrek Lee
5. Michael Barrett
6. Jeromy Burnitz
7. Corey Patterson
8. Dubois/Hollandsworth
9. Pitcher

Lineup for situation #2: ~ 30 games
1. Jerry Hairston Jr.
2. Nomar Garciaparra
3. Aramis Ramirez
4. Derrek Lee
5. Todd Walker
6. Corey Patterson
7. Michael Barrett
8. Dubois/Hollandsworth
9. Pitcher

Lineup for situation #3: ~ 40 games
1. Todd Walker
2. Nomar Garciaparra
3. Aramis Ramirez
4. Derrek Lee
5. Jeromy Burnitz
6. Michael Barrett
7. Corey Patterson
8. Dubois/Hollandsworth
9. Pitcher

Lineup for situation #4: ~ 12 games
1. Todd Walker
2. Nomar Garciaparra
3. Aramis Ramirez
4. Derrek Lee
5. Jeromy Burnitz
6. Corey Patterson
7. Dubois/Hollandsworth
8. Henry Blanco
9. Pitcher

Here is why:

Color Code Key
 Prime batting spot
 Acceptable batting spot
 Shouldn't be hitting here

Jerry Hairston Jr.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

I can't think of a valid reason to have Hairston hit anywhere but as a leadoff man. Hairston should start 110 games this year, 80 at second base, and 30 at the other positions. He is the only prototypical leadoff man on the team, and his defense at second ought to be a consideration.

If for some reason JHJ isn't leading off, he would make a pretty good #2 hitter... but his gifts make him an excellent leadoff hitter.

Nomar Garciaparra

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Nomar's bat is probably the most versatile on the team. With his hitting ability, one can make a solid case to have him hit anywhere at the top of the order. His OBP would qualify him to hit at the top of the order, but he has too much power, and doesn't see enough pitches to make him an ideal leadoff man.

Nomar's best fit is in the two or three holes. His high batting average makes him an ideal candidate to bat #2, while his power could certainly justify hitting him #3. In Byronland, he hits #2 to get Aramis Ramirez more at-bats.

Nomar's skills would also work well as a clean-up hitter, but his OBP is too valuable to have him hitting in back of the other sluggers in the lineup.

Aramis Ramirez

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

A fantastic hitter and an emerging slugger, Aramis Ramirez is the best bat in the lineup. However, he doesn't have the speed to hit #1 or #2, and the GIDP is a significant concern when he steps into the batter's box. Still, his power combined with the rare ability to not strike out makes him an ideal #3 hitter.

Obviously, he makes an excellent clean-up hitter, but he is such a good hitter, I want him hitting as high in the order as possible sensible.

Finally, because he's a bit slow (running), it could be understandable if he hit behind Derrek Lee in the #5 spot. Understandable yes, good idea? No.

Derrek Lee

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Lee is an interesting hitter. He is incredibly enjoyable to watch. He's huge and his swing is very smooth. The ball flies off his bat, and when he hits line drives he is terrific. In addition to his batting, he has speed... although the current Cubs management hasn't asked him to use it much.

The combination of his speed, decent OBP (.356 last year), and power make him a good bet in the #2 spot. However, in this line-up, Lee fits better slotted behind Aramis Ramirez in the #4 spot. You may notice that I have said that Lee is better suited as a #2 and #5 hitter. However on this team, I like the versatility of Nomar and so have essentially removed the traditional #2 hitter. So, while Lee isn't what you think about when you think of a clean-up hitter... I think he fits into the Cubs lineup here.

Michael Barrett

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Most people wouldn't think of Michael Barrett as a #5 hitter... but I think he would flourish in the role. Barrett has some power, 16 homers in 456 AB last year, but more importantly he shares a characteristic with JHJ, Nomar, and Todd Walker. He does not share this characteristic with Derrek Lee, Corey Patterson, or Jeromy Burnitz.

This trait is of course this: Michael Barrett doesn't strike out... or at least not to excess. I can't really see hitting Burnitz ahead of Barrett because of how many innings would end on Burnitz strikeouts.

As a hitter, Barrett is getting better and hopefully he'll get his OBP up to about .350 this year. Still, he makes contact more often than not, and so would work as a traditional #2 hitter, or in the latter half of the order.

Jeromy Burnitz

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Burnitz is what the movies tell me a clean-up hitter should be. I'll have to find out if he chews tobacco, but he's a little ugly (sorry JB), looks scary, strikes out a lot, and hits homeruns. Think about the goon in Rookie of the Year.

Anyhow, despite his prodigous power, Burnitz strikes out too much to hit all that high in this order. I like him in the #6 spot, although he might also do very well hitting behind Corey Patterson... or more accurately, not clogging up the bases in front of C-Pat. Still, I'd like to see him hit ahead of Patterson because C-Pat does better (in my opinion) hitting in the bottom third of the order.

Corey Patterson

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Patterson is still a young hitter, and I think he tries to do too much when he bats at the front of the order. His power is developing nicely, but he still strikes out way too much. Hitting Patterson in the seventh spot gives him the ability to try and clear the bases if he gets to bat with men on. However, hitting behind Burnitz and in the seventh spot, he's likely to lead off a number of innings.

With his speed, Corey can be the focal point of the bottom of the order as they try to manufacture a run. Let's face it. When the Cubs leadoff an inning with their #7 hitter, unless he goes deep, the #8 and #9 hitters will likely be asked to play a little small-ball and move the runner over. Hitting in the seven spot, I'm hoping to see a lot of second and third situations with one man out and the leadoff hitter up.

Jason Dubois

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

I'll say it again. Jason Dubois should be the everyday left fielder. He should break camp with the big league club. He should start at least 120 games in left... and he should hit in the #8 spot.

Dubois has talent, a lot of talent. He is the best looking Cubs prospect since Corey Patterson made his debut. I think he'll probably develop into a Jeromy Burnitz type of player. A decent, but not spectacular outfielder with 30+ home run power... and a few too many strikeouts.

As a rookie, he should be sheltered, but allowed to play most everyday. I like hitting young hitters down in the order, and Dubois is no exception. I also think hitting in the #8 spot will give him some good opportunities to swing away during the season.

Dubois is the real deal, we just can't expect a polished major leaguer this year. To those who would comment that its all fine and dandy to develop youngsters, just not in a pennant push... I would argue that the Cubs should be in pennant pushes for the next five or six years (at minimum) and now is as good of a time as any to get Dubois into the lineup.

That is it for today. Later, I'll tackle the bench.

Posted by Byron at 2:14 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Late Night Surfing

Saturday, March 26, 2005

I don't have a clue what I'm doing up right now... or why I'm on a computer but I am. So, if you're reading this, I want to encourage you to head over to 'Only Baseball Matters.' The fine proprietor of that site, John Pericone has an excellent rant up about sports writers who are both beholden to their subjects, and a little too altruistic. Beware, its long... but its good.

I also was watching the Orioles Nationals game this afternoon. Here's hoping the Orioles don't get any pitching:

1. Dave Brian Roberts
2. Melvin Mora
3. Miguel Tejada
4. Sammy Sosa
5. Rafael Palmeiro
6. Javy Lopez

Posted by Byron at 2:17 AM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Revisiting the Commissioner's Blue Ribbon Panel

Thursday, March 24, 2005

For Christmas, I was given a book written by former American League President, Gene Budig: "The Inside Pitch ... and More: Baseball's Business and the Public Trust." However, at the time I was busy re-reading books 3-5 of the Harry Potter series, so I didn't get to it over winter break. In January, school ensued and the book was assigned to collect dust on my shelf.

Well, last week was Spring break for me, and I finally finished "The Smartest Guys in the Room" a book about Enron I had been laboring through for an accounting class. So, to celebrate, I picked up Budig's book.

Right now, I'm only about half way through, but the book is decent. Unfortunately, it doesn't go into a lot of detail in the subjects it covers. This is disappointing because Budig is certainly in a position to provide that detail.

Half way through the book, Budig covers the economic difficulties baseball faced in the late 90's. Where I left off, Budig is informing his reader how the Commissioner's Blue Ribbon Panel on Baseball Economics was instrumental in the eventual solution to some of baseball's economic woes.

The report (.pdf 638K) had several conclusions, but the most striking was this: From 1995 - 1999 no team with a payroll in the lower half of baseball won a playoff game. Furthermore, teams in the upper quartile of payrolls won every single World Series game.


The panel's report was issued mid-summer in 2000 and caused quite a stir. Of course, a quick peak at the history books shows that in 2000 - 2004, teams in the lowest quartile won 11 LDS games, and 1 LCS game. (Athletics & Twins)

Now, with the 2005 season dawning, I figure its time to revisit the Blue Ribbon Report. Over the coming weeks, I'll be examining some of the findings from 2000 to see how they would have changed after another five years. As I complete my review, some of my work will be posted on the front page as daily posts, but the master plan is to put together a comprehensive write-up as one of the business of baseball papers you can find off to the left.

In the meantime, I am assigning a little homework. Download The report (.pdf 638K), and (re-)read it.

March 24, 2005 Record: 12-11, Box, HoHoKam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#23 Chicago Cubs 5
Oakland Athletics 2

March 23, 2005 Record: 11-11, Box, Tucson AZ
ST#22 Chicago Cubs 11
Arizona Diamondbacks 6

March 22, 2005 Record: 10-11, Box, HoHoKam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#21 Chicago Cubs 5
Milwaukee Brewers 4

March 21, 2005 Record: 9-11, Box, Suprise AZ
ST#20 Chicago Cubs 5
Kansas City Royals 12
Posted by Byron at 11:15 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

A reason to celebrate

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Ever tried finding salary info? Its a pain in the backend. Well, the latest attempt to track the ever elusive baseball salary is here.

Hardball Dollars

Posted by Byron at 11:50 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Joe Borowski and the 2005 Chicago Cubs

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

JoeBo... No!

What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. {10} Is there anything of which one can say, "Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
Ecclesiastes 1: 9-10



Posted by Byron at 7:11 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Jason Dubois Encore

Monday, March 21, 2005

Jason Dubois this Spring
15 games
28 at-bats
7 runs
10 hits
4 home runs
22 total bases
.786 SLG
.357 AVG

Statistics from Cubs.com as of Sunday, March 20 @ 8:00 a.m. Yesterday's boxscore (3/20/05) indicates he did not play in the afternoon game against the Padres.

One of those hits may actually belong to Jeromy Burnitz (scorer's error), but impressive numbers nonetheless.

I have already made my case with regard to Dubois, and then rebutted some of the comments. However, a new comment was posted on the thread that I wanted to bump to the front page.

Comment by: Jason Roberts

I had the opportunity to play with Jason in High School ball and it was apparent back then that he had the talent and wherewithal to make it to the bigs as he has proven. He has the physical attributes to be a very powerful force in the Cubs lineup, and perhaps a diamond in the rough. He does not possess the speed of a Sammy Sosa, nor the fielding abilities of a great defensive player, however two key characteristics you should keep an eye on with Jason are:

1) His Arm - Uncontrolled but very very powerful.
2) His Bat - He is a monster when he wants to be, and also disciplined.

He is worth a starting position, perhaps not what the Cubs are looking for right now, but it would be shortsighted to overlook an opportunity. He can and will produce. The problem with getting a cheap player is that you have to take the risk, if not, that player is no longer cheap, because they have proven themselves and will command a much higher salary.

What is there to lose in giving him a chance? A pennant is not won or lost by a single individual, but rather a team. If Jason provides at his position, money or experience should not be the primary driving factors.

March 20, 2005 Record: 9-10, Box, Peoria AZ
ST#19 Chicago Cubs 5
San Diego Padres 9


March 19, 2005 Record: 9-9, Box, Phoenix AZ
ST#18 Chicago Cubs 4
Oakland Athletics 11


March 19, 2005 Record: 9-8, Box, Hohokam Park Mesa AZ
ST#17 Chicago Cubs 4
Milwaukee Brewers 2


March 18, 2005 Record: 8-8, Box,Tucson Electric Park, Tucson AZ
ST#16 Chicago Cubs 9
Chicago White Sox 11
Posted by Byron at 12:07 AM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Know Thy Owner

Thursday, March 17, 2005

As you may know, the Cubs are owned by the Tribune Company, and the Tribune Company is a publicly traded company. As such, the TribCo must file a form 10-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission each year.

Furthermore, the Cubs are one of three MLB teams currently owned by a public company. The Braves are owned by AOL/Time Warner and the Blue Jays are owned by Rogers Communications. Therefore, the Tribune Company's 10-k filing is one of the few financial documents where the general public can see audited financial information regarding a baseball team. Of course, the TribCo and the other publicly traded owners of Baseball franchises have been especially adept at obscuring the financial information about their teams. That said, I read through the Tribune's 10-K to see what it has to say about the Cubs.

  • "The Chicago Cubs were acquired in 1981. Cubs games are broadcast on WGN-TV and WGN-AM." (14)

  • One of the TribCo's 'equity investments' (minority ownership) is Comcase Sports Network. "Comcast Sports Network is a 24-hour cable/satellite television network formed in 2003, which began programming in the fall of 2004, focusing on Chicago sports teams." (15)

  • "The Company also owns Wrigley Field, the 39,600-seat stadium used by the Chicago Cubs baseball team. The Company considers its various properties to be in good condition and suitable for the purposes for which they are used." The last sentence is referring to all Tribune properties in general, not necessarily Wrigley Field alone. However, the statement does include Wrigley Field. (18)

  • The TribCo as a whole declared $5.73 billion in revenues and $1.22 billion in profit for 2004. While revenues increased 2% from 2003, profit fell 11%. Most of this decline is blamed on a scandal at the TribCo's Newsday and Hoy newspapers which were over reporting their circulation. When the scandal was discovered, the Tribune took a $90 million loss. (37)

  • The Tribune reports the Cubs financials in its Broadcasting and Entertainment division (26). This is subdivided into Television and Radio/Entertainment (R/E). The Cubs are a part of R/E. This entire segment declared revenues of $243 million in 2004, up 3% from 2003. This simply means that the Trib is claiming no more than $243 million in Cubs revenues (which it isn't.) (44)

  • The R/E subdivision reported earnings of $18 million in 2004, down 13% from 2003. (44)

  • "Radio and entertainment revenues increased 6%, or $13 million, in 2003 due to a playoff related rise in revenue for the Chicago Cubs" ... "The 2004 decline in radio and entertainment operating profit primarily reflects the absence of post-season revenues reported by the Chicago Cubs in 2003." (44)

  • "On a comparable basis, compensation costs [within Broadcasting and Entertainment] rose 5%, or $17 million, due to higher player compensation for the Chicago Cubs, higher commissions and other salary increases." (45) (There is a similar sentence on page 39, but it refers to the overall TribCo).

  • "In February 2005, subsequent to the Company's fiscal year end, the Company's Chicago Cubs subsidiary traded Sammy Sosa to the Baltimore Orioles. As a result of this trade, the Company will record a $13.5 million pretax charge in the first quarter of 2005." (49)

  • "Deferred income arises in the normal course of business from advance subscription payments for newspapers, interactive advertising sales and prepaid ticket revenue related to the Chicago Cubs." (68)

  • The Chicago National League Ball Club, Inc. is incorporated in Delaware and owns the Chicago Cubs and cubs.com (Exhibit 21, Tribune Company List of Subsidiaries)

  • Wrigley Field Premium Ticket Services, Inc. is a separate subsidiary, also incorporated in Delaware. (Exhibit 21, Tribune Company List of Subsidiaries)

This post's title was inspired by the writings of Derek Smart.

March 17, 2005 Record: 8-7, Box,Phoenix AZ
ST#15 Chicago Cubs 6
Oakland Athletics 4


March 15, 2005 Record: 7-7, Box,Hohokam Park Mesa AZ
ST#14 Chicago Cubs 6
Kansas City Royals 1


March 14, 2005 Record: 6-7, Box,Hohokam Park Mesa AZ
ST#13 Chicago Cubs 5
Chicago White Sox 9
Posted by Byron at 5:54 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

MLB Salary Distributions by age

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

To begin, I want to credit the Baseball Data-bank for all of the data that went into today's post. If you know anything about database manipulation, and you wanted to come up with some incredibly interesting information... that is the place to go.

So, I was thinking last night about baseball's salary structure, and I wanted to see these two graphs. The first graph is just a barchart showing the total amount of money** paid by baseball teams to players by age. The second chart is another bar chart. However, it shows the average salary paid by player age. The red line on the second chart is the average player salary of the sample**, which was $2.501 million.

MLB Total Salary by Age in 2004

The chart above represents payroll data for 813 MLB contracts in 2004. The total of these contracts was $2.033 billion.


The chart above represents average player salary by age for the 813 MLB contracts. The average of all these contracts is $2.501 million.

** Now the disclaimers. First, the Baseball Data-bank salary information is incomplete. With 30 major league teams, each having 40 man rosters, there are 1,200 MLB contracts at any point in time. However, since active rosters are only 25 men, there are only about 750 active contracts at any one point in time (not including injured players).

The data-bank table represents the large majority of these contracts, and most of the contracts that are not included are league minimums ($300,000 for 2004). While the data is not comprehensive, it is definitely a good start. Thus on average, you can expect the total numbers to be understated, and the averages to be overstated.

Posted by Byron at 5:17 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Vine Line Tid-bits, March 2005

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

This month's Vine Line came in the mail a while back. So, having had an opportunity to sit down and read it, it is time to extract the tid-bits.

The cover this month has a picture of Sammy Sosa in the shadows, holding a bat by his leg while looking down. Its a terrific picture, intended to convey the sense of Sosa as a Gladiator. The title reads

Farewell Sammy
After 13 seasons as a Cub,
Sammy Sosa is traded


I really like the cover, and I think its done tastefully, despite the circumstances of the trade. I believe its a fitting send-off, even if he was sent off for the sake of getting rid of him.

Inside the magazine...

The Roster Tracker on page 4 reflects some fairly significant changes, so here it is.

Signed (thru date)
C Michael Barrett 2007
C Henry Blanco 2006
RHP Joe Borowski 2005
OF Jeromy Burnitz 2005# (mutual option for '06)
RHP Ryan Dempster 2005
SS Nomar Garciaparra 2005
IF-OF Jerry Hairston Jr. 2005
RHP LaTroy Hawkins 2005^ (club option for '06)
OF Todd Hollandsworth 2005
1B Derrek Lee 2006
IF-OF Jose Macias 2005
RHP Greg Maddux 2005+ (contract for '06 vests after 187.1 IP)
OF Corey Patterson 2005
IF Neifi Perez 2005
RHP Mark Prior 2006
3B Aramis Ramirez 2005
LHP Mike Remlinger 2005
LHP Glendon Rusch 2005 (player option '06)
2B Todd Walker 2005 (mutual options for '06 vests based on PA)
RHP Kerry Wood 2006 (mutual option for '07)
RHP Carlos Zambrano 2005

0-3 Men
Ronnie Cedeno, Jason Dubois, Angel Guzman, Jon Koronka, Richard Lewis, Roberto Novoa, Renyel Pinto, Russ Rohlicek, Carlos Vazquez, Todd Wellemeyer, David Crouthers, Mike Fontenot, David Kelton, Jon Leicester, Sergio Mitre, Will Ohman, Steven Randolph, Geovany Soto, Michael Wuertz

Also on page 4, there is a smiling picture of Ryne Sandberg wearing a 'BELIEVE' bracelet. It is a blue rubberband bracelet in the tradition of the Lance Armstrong 'Livestrong' bracelet. The paragraph says the Cubs sold 50,000 of them at the Cubs convention, and another 50,000 (so far) afterwards. They are produced by Forever Collectibles out of New York. You can purchase them from Cubs.com, at Chicagoland Walgreens, and at Wrigley Field. Proceeds benefit Cubs Care.

On page 5, there is a short paragraph addressing the Cubs plans to retire Sandberg's #23. The Cubs announced they planned to retire his jersey at the Cubs convention in January. The date has been set for August 28. I also learned something new here, Sandberg wore #37 with the Phillies. "I forget what number he asked for," said longtime Cubs equipment manager Yosh Kawano, "but [No. 23] was the only one available. He wasn't one to make waves, so he took it."

Page 5 also mentions Cubs fan Bill Holden who is walking from Arizona to Chicago in order to raise money to fight Juvenile Diabetes. He was inspired by the film, "This Old Cub" about Ron Santo's fight against diabetes. I did some digging around and found this site which has links to donate to JDRF in Bill Holden's name, or buy "This Old Cub" the DVD.

The Letters to the Editor section has two interesting tid-bits this month. First, the Cubs did not start wearing uniform numbers until 1932. I'm interested to know how they told the players apart before '32? Also, I learned that "in his 1967 and '68 seasons, [Ken] Holtzman pitched for the Cubs on weekends and then reported to Fort Sam Houston in Texas during the week for National Guard duty.

On page 19, there is a list of Spring training instructors.
12 Shawon Dunston, "Spring Training Instructor"
20 Bobby Dernier, "Spring Training Instructor"
23 Ryne Sandberg, "Spring Training Instructor"
26 Billy Williams, "Special assistant to the president"
31 Fergie Jenkins, "Spring Training Instructor"
73 Lester Strode, "Minor League Pitching Coordinator"
75 Pat Listach, "Hitting Coach, Iowa (AAA)"
77 Dave Bialas, "Minor League Fielding Coordinator"
78 Vince Coleman, "Minor League roving outfield/baserunning instructor"
80 Julio Garcia, "Manager, Peoria"
81 Mike Quade, "Manager, Iowa (AAA)"
82 Rick Kranitz, "Pitching Coach, Iowa (AAA)"
83 Jeff Huson, "Minor League roving infield instructor"
85 Alan Dunn, "Pitching Coach, West Tenn (AA)"
87 Dave Keller, "Minor League roving hitting instructor"
90 Bob Didier, "Major League advance scout"
__ Greg Keuter, "Minor League medical coordinator"

This raises an interesting point for me: I have always been disappointed that Dusty Baker got to wear #12 because it was Shawon Dunston's number, and Shawon was one of my favorite Cubs. So, now both guys are in camp, and they are both wearing #12. Hmmm.

Corey Patterson Power Hitter: On page 39, we learn that Corey Patterson is the Cubs all-time March home run hitter! He has two from opening day 2003. Other Cubs to hit March dingers? Henry Rodriguez in 1998, Shane Andrews 2000, and Mark Grace 2000. Now thats company!

On page 41 there is an advertisement for Cubs seats. You can buy an actual authentic Cubs Box seat. Head on over to The Stadium Seat Store.

More Vine-Line Tid-bits Please!

Posted by Byron at 6:25 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

What about the Hoosiers?

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Hot Diggity!

The entire State of Indiana seems to have been left out of the dance this year. So trust me, you're gonna hear from the Hoosier State, as well as the Hoosiers.

Is it time to Fire Mike Davis? No. One more year... you hear that Coach. One Year.

This bites. Time for baseball.

March 13, 2005 Record: 6-6, Box,Tempe AZ
ST#12 Chicago 2
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3
Posted by Byron at 7:20 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Tell me when it hurts

Saturday, March 12, 2005

The Sky is falling!
The Sky is falling!

Over the last week, Cubdom has been staring the boogy man face to face. It started with Nomar's wrist taking a spring opening hit-by-pitch. Then there were reports that Prior was only going to throw in a simulated game, Corey took one off the knee, and then Wood left a game early, flew back to Chicago, and was diagnosed with bursitis.

All-in-all, the first week of games have provided some headlines with a bit more substance than Dave Hansen's bid to make the roster. Which got me to thinking. Who can the Cubs least afford to lose?

First, I'll mention that this post was originally inspired by CT's post on Death, Taxes and Fifth Place, where he states:

"The Cubs have taken somewhat of a gamble in that Nomar has a history of injuries, and right now he's the one player on this team that the Cubs cannot afford to lose for an extended period of time."

I disagreed. My answer is Aramis Ramirez. And I'll tell you why.

Starting by process of elimination, we have enough high quality pitching arms that an injury to any individual pitcher would not be a death knell. At catcher, provided Barrett was incapacitated, we could run out Henry Blanco who was in a similar situation last year. He played well enough that his team still won their division.

An injury to Derrek Lee would hurt, but considering that Hollandsworth, Dubois, or Kelton could probably all play first, we'd be replacing Rodan with a pretty good bat, even though the defense would take a hit. At second, if Walker went down, we have Jerry Hairston Jr. (JHJ) who could possibly be even better than Walker.

In right or left field, an injury to Hollandsworth or Burnitz would be greeted with disappointment, but the Cubs could certainly plug in Jason Dubois, JHJ, or Dave Kelton. Similarly, an injury to Corey Patterson would really hurt the team in speed, but JHJ could do a decent job filling in.

Which brings us to the left side of the infield. Clearly one of the strengths of this team, both Nomar and Aramis are essentially irreplaceable. I won't feel real optimistic if either of these guys gets injured this year, but I frankly think that losing Nomar would hurt less than Ramirez.

If Nomar goes down, he would be replaced by a combination of Neifi Perez and Jose Macias, with possibly a little JHJ. If Aramis went down, I'm pretty sure it would be Macias and Hansen (if he makes the team.)

So, I'd be more concerned if A-Ram went down. Not only because of his replaceabilty, but also because (I think) he's more indispensable to this line-up then Nomar. But hey, we're arguing over whether it hurts worse to lose your #3 or #4 hitter. Either way, that is a tough loss.

Comments are open (though still delayed) if you want to chime in with your thoughts.

March 12, 2005 Record: 6-5, Box,Ho Ho Kam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#11 Chicago 3
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 8


March 11, 2005 Record: 6-4, Box,Ho Ho Kam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#10 Chicago 6
Arizona 4


March 10, 2005 Record: 6-3, Box,Peoria AZ
ST#9 Chicago 5
Seattle 3

This was Prior's first start of the spring

March 9, 2005 Record: 5-3, Box,Ho Ho Kam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#8 Chicago 5
Texas 6


March 8, 2005 Record: 5-2, Box,Suprise AZ
ST#7 Chicago 4
Kansas City 0


March 8, 2005 Record: 4-2, Box,Ho Ho Kam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#6 Chicago 4
Oakland 6


March 7, 2005 Record: 4-1, Box,Suprise AZ
ST#5 Chicago 9
Texas 4


March 6, 2005 Record: 3-1, Box,Scottsdale AZ
ST#4 Chicago 1
San Francisco 10


March 5, 2005 Record: 3-0, Box,Ho Ho Kam Park, Mesa AZ
ST#3 Chicago 8
San Francisco 2
Posted by Byron at 9:32 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Spring, the perfect time for pessimism

Friday, March 4, 2005

2004 was to 1985 as 2005 will be to?

A. 1993
B. 1986
C. 1907
D. 1969
E. None of the Above

The similarities between the 1985 Cubs and the 2004 team are a little scary. The 1984 team nearly went to the World Series and so did the 2003 team. With excellent finishes the year prior, both the '85 and '04 squads entered the seasons as favorites to win. However, both teams performed disappointingly after several key injuries. Both years featured several injured starting pitchers.

So now, with spring training upon us, we have to answer the above SAT style question. What follows are a few thoughts on each of the multiple choice answers:

A. 1993: Both seasons ('93 & '05) started with a middle infielder being injured by a pitch in the first game of the Spring. In the first spring training game of 1993, San Francisco's Mike Jackson threw an inside pitch which pinned Ryne Sandberg's left hand against his bat and broke his hand, causing him to miss all of spring training and the first month of the season. In yesterday's game, the first of the year, Nomar Garciappara got hit on the wrist by a pitched ball. However, Nomar's injury doesn't appear to be a broken hand as he is back the next day after being hit. Still a bad omen is a bad omen. Of note, the Cubs 1993 season was the beginning of the end for the Cubs. They wouldn't be respectable again until 1998, although a late season push by the '95 club (to two games above .500) could be considered respectable.

The 1993 team finished 84 - 78, 13.0 games behind the NL East champion Philadelphia Phillies, led by Lenny Dykstra.

B. 1986: The '86 and '05 version of the Cubs were both two years removed from a playoff berth. Fans entered each year optimistic that the previous year's squads ('85 and '04) had simply been unlucky. Both teams were expected to stay healthy and re-gain the glory of two years prior. However, the '86 Cubs proved to have too many old veterans who weren't able to perform up to playoff standards.

The 1986 Cubs finished 70-90, 37.0 games behind the NL East Champion New York Mets. Although he had taken his team to the playoffs in his first year as the manager, Jim Frey was fired mid-way through the season as the team underperformed.

C. 1907: After coming close in previous years, this Cubs team won the World Series. They finished the season 102-50, 17.0 games in front of the second place Pittsburgh Pirates. The 1907 offense was a somewhat weaker offense than the year before. The 1906 team had an OPS .040 points higher and hit significantly more home runs. Still, led by a starting staff which featured a future hall of famer, the Cubs starters notched 23, 20, 18, 17, and 14 wins. The 1907 Cubs led the major leagues in ERA.

D. 1969: This team was loaded with fan-favorites. It performed well throughout the season and was led by a controversial manager. Despite its nucleus of future Hall of Famers, the team was overtaken at the end of the season by the Miracle Mets.

The 1969 team finished 92-70, 8.0 games behind the hated Mets. 1969 was also the third straight season the Cubs finished over .500. They would do so three more times in 1970, '71, and '72. However, the team never made the World Series. When its nucleus was broken up, the Cubs went through more than a decade of losing before its next playoff season.

E. None of the Above: The comments are open.

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

The Cubs opened Cactus league play with a win yesterday over the Athletics. The final score was 2-1 and featured a two run shot from Aramis Ramirez, and two scoreless innings from Carlos 'Cy' Zambrano. LINK

Update 6:22 p.m.

Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Cubs Win! Holy Cow!

The Cubs won the second game of the spring 8-3 over the Giants. It included a home run by Nomar and a win for Kerry Wood. LINK

Posted by Byron at 5:58 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

Cubbie Koolaid - The Movie

Wednesday, March 2, 2005

I needed a break today, and its absolutely freezing... so I made an epic motion picture! Presenting, "I drank the Cubbie Kool-aid!"

Starring: Byron Clarke
Directed by: Byron Clarke
Screen play by: Byron Clarke


Click to View in New Window. (105K)

Disclaimer: By following this link, you are consenting to me wasting your time.

Posted by Byron at 5:02 PM | Bookmark and Share | | BallHype: hype it up!

AddThis Feed Button

Get The Cubdom email updates



eXTReMe Tracker
Since Mar 18, 2004

Recent Entries

Monthly Archives

Cubs Sale Articles

© 2004 – 2015 Byron Clarke
legal - about thecubdom.com - site index