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I’m not sure you could have scripted a more appropriate 100th loss for the 2012 Chicago Cubs – shut out by the worst team in baseball, at home in front of a few thousand fans.

The loss, itself, was unremarkable. No hitting. Modestly OK pitching, but they still allowed three runs to a terrible lineup.

Cheers. At least Russell and Camp got their work in …

  • CubFan Paul

    Are we there yet?

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

    I believe this clinches the Number Two overall pick in the 2013 draft, along with the correspondingly higher allowances for both the amateur draft and the international free agent market.

    I cannot help but be a little bit happy about that. Under the new CBA, those extra dollars are huge. It sucks to lose 100 games, but I kind of feel like the Cubs won tonight anyway.

    • Sircub

      Tonight, the real winners were the fans.

      • The Show

        I was there!

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Agreed Luke. In a lost season we couldn’t ask for more. We will have an advantage in the international market that others won’t. We will have an advantage in the draft with more money. Most will see the losses and think this season was a horrible mess. They don’t understand how much money we have coming off of the books. They don’t understand how much we have truly upgraded our farm and started a foundation. They don’t see the changes in the front office and understand how important a great staff is. Next year will be one of the most exciting and important years we have had in a very long time. We should improve somewhat at the Major League level. We may not. But, we should have enough talent in the minors after next year that if we need to make a trade for talent it won’t take our whole system.

      • J. Edwards

        It’s true. And when you live in the basement of the portajohn you come to appreciate optimism about the skylight.

  • The Dude Abides

    You not what they say, “you can’t learn how to win until you learn how to lose,” wait, that’s not what they say? Shit…

    • MightyBear

      It’s “You’ve got to lose to know how to win.” – Aerosmith

      Dream on Cubs. Dream until your dreams come true.

  • mudge

    100 losses. Will the season be over soon?

  • BluBlud

    Nobody loses 100 like us, but let’s look at the bigger objective. Congrats to all Cubs fans on the #2 pick.

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      Not only that, we will have the 2nd most to spend on the international market. That is huge.

      • gutshot5820

        Hahaha Cub fans, congratulating each other for stinking bad enough to get the 2nd pick in the draft.

        • Stinky Pete

          Always look on the bright side of life…

          • Cubbie Blues

            For life is quite absurd
            And death’s the final word
            You must always face the curtain with a bow.

  • cubsin

    Well, at least da Bears are puttin’ a lickin’ on the Cowboys.

  • Dustin S

    In 2-3 years when (hopefully) the rebuild efforts start paying off and the bandwagon fans come, we’ll look back at this year and appreciate at it that much more. This season is going to make for some great future Cubs trivia questions too.

  • Carew

    At least the black sux are out of it!

    • fortyonenorth

      Sox put a really good team on the field this year and played a lot of exciting baseball. Despite being a Cubs fan first and foremost, I was really hoping they’d make it to the post season.

      • Carew

        I wouldnt call the sux exciting..

  • Matt3

    I’d rather have that pick than avoid a 100 loss season. Especially if it’s a losing season anyway.

    In fact, i’d rather have this than a .500 season to be honest. .500 doesn’t get you into the playoffs, so whats the point?

  • Robert

    What’s more disappointing? Losing 100 games or being in 1st place the whole year and blowing it the last 10 games of the season, & not making playoffs?
    Or….. Derrick rose tearing his ACL in playoffs? (Choose A or B)

  • Brick Thompson

    I’d rather watch a team win half their games and get a #15 pick than watch a team get gutted and lose 100 games…

    • Jim L

      And your team may never be a consistent playoff participant. I’ll take my chances with gutting the team with a front office that has a plan instead of band-aids each season.

      I’ve seen enough “trying to catch lightning in a bottle” Cub teams over the last 40+ seasons.

      • Kyle

        And I’ve seen plenty of “we’ll just tank and rebuild and promise a bright future down the raod” teams never get to the bright future.

        • http://casualcubsfan.blogger.com hansman1982

          Those “Tank and Rebuild” teams that fail consist of:

          Pittsburg, Kansas City, Seattle, Minnesota

          All teams with small markets/small payrolls who can’t afford to hold on to their good players.

          You have other teams who have built strong farm systems and supplemented that with free agents:

          Nationals, Rangers, Braves, Angels, Phillies, Cardinals, Orioles

          All teams who are presently/recently successful and still have good farm systems.

          Then you have the big money teams:

          Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, Cubs, Dodgers

          Here is the interesting thing, 2 teams have been on a 20 year stretch of amazing baseball, all the while having a strong farm system. 2 of the others haven’t had a strong farm system for a while and the final one is going all in on big-time contracts.

          The Cubs and Dodgers will be an interesting case study in 10 years to see where each stands and what happens when a big market club takes one way or the other. The common theme with successful big league clubs is a strong farm system. When you look at the franchise and the next 10 years you suddenly see that, sure, we could scrape together a good MLB club and hope to make the playoffs 3 times and basically be in the same boat 10 years from now (middle-of-the-pack farm system) or hope to make the playoffs 3 times and have one of the best farm systems in baseball with something to look forward to.

          • Kyle

            “The Cubs and Dodgers will be an interesting case study in 10 years to see where each stands and what happens when a big market club takes one way or the other. ”

            I don’t like either of those ways.

            “The common theme with successful big league clubs is a strong farm system. When you look at the franchise and the next 10 years you suddenly see that, sure, we could scrape together a good MLB club and hope to make the playoffs 3 times and basically be in the same boat 10 years from now (middle-of-the-pack farm system) or hope to make the playoffs 3 times and have one of the best farm systems in baseball with something to look forward to.”

            We didn’t have to tank to build a strong farm system. We hired a guy whose expertise is specifically building a strong farm system while having good major-league teams.

            A team you didn’t list was the Mets. A couple of years ago, they started on their rebuilding process and fans were excited that they could start seeing the fruits by 2012. Now the fans are beginning to realize it’s going to take longer than they hoped. But they had much bigger financial problems to deal with than the Cubs.

            • hansman1982

              I still am not sure where the Cubs selling at the deadline is going to put us that far behind the 8-ball. At most we lost out on an additional year of Maholm.

              Sure we could have signed an aging Ramirez to a three-year deal, sure we could have extended Dempster.

              Realisitcally, with the players that were available to the Cubs at the start of the season you would hope for 81-81 this year but then what? It’s not like we shed multiple peak year players. We traded away a combined 3 years of team control between 4 players and acquired 30 years of combined team control.

              As I showed below, had you gone with a “we are going to conted this year” theme, that would have placed you at .500 with 8 more games to make up while losing multiple prospects. Theo didn’t build the farm system he did while contending by being really good at scouting, they also played the system and acquired as many draft picks as possible by letting type-A and B free agents walk, by trading off assets. That is what he is doing here just we don’t have the farm system to replace those assets, yet.

              You are convinced that they threw the entire season, when in reality they only did what fans have been asking for years – they sold at the deadline on players who are not in the long-term plans.

              • Kyle

                “I still am not sure where the Cubs selling at the deadline is going to put us that far behind the 8-ball. At most we lost out on an additional year of Maholm.”

                Did I bring up the deadline? I lose track, but in general I don’t have a problem with the deadline specifically. Given the direction the Cubs had chosen, dumping made a ton of sense. They did a decent job of it, outside of botching the Garza situation. I just don’t like the direction they’ve been taking more or less since Epstein took over.

                “Sure we could have signed an aging Ramirez to a three-year deal, sure we could have extended Dempster.”

                I definitely wouldn’t want to extend Dempster, unless it’s on a very short-term deal. Ramirez wasn’t particularly my first choice at 3b this offseason. But when it got to be spring and you looked at the contract he got (much less than many were predicting) and the terrible player the Cubs had settled for, I certainly would have preferred him to what we got.

                “Realisitcally, with the players that were available to the Cubs at the start of the season you would hope for 81-81 this year but then what? It’s not like we shed multiple peak year players. We traded away a combined 3 years of team control between 4 players and acquired 30 years of combined team control.”

                We’re a long way from seeing that those 30 years of control are worth anything.

                “As I showed below, had you gone with a “we are going to conted this year” theme, that would have placed you at .500 with 8 more games to make up while losing multiple prospects. Theo didn’t build the farm system he did while contending by being really good at scouting, they also played the system and acquired as many draft picks as possible by letting type-A and B free agents walk, by trading off assets. That is what he is doing here just we don’t have the farm system to replace those assets, yet.”

                Well, that’s not true. The extra picks helped, but he hit at a rate much higher than most teams. It’s hard to say, but my guess is that it was more developing than scouting, but it all amounts to the same thing.

                “You are convinced that they threw the entire season, when in reality they only did what fans have been asking for years – they sold at the deadline on players who are not in the long-term plans.”

                Nope, they threw the season. In fact, I was arguing this back on that April 4th thread someone linked earlier.

                • hansman1982

                  Which, from reading your posts, means that you are upset that they:

                  1. Acquired Stewart
                  2. Sold Marshall and Cashner without acquiring like talent
                  3. Putting Shark in the rotation
                  4. Didn’t predict the early season flops of Soto and Byrd
                  5. Went with LaHair

                  • Kyle

                    Throw in Clevenger over Castillo, Mather over Sappelt, Volstad over Wood (though that was rectified quickly).

                    But yes, basically. These were problems that could have been rectified with minimal investment and not too much drag on the long-term assets, but weren’t. Which leads me to the conclusion: they wanted to be bad this year.

        • Jim L.

          I’d reply to you but hansman makes points that I agree with and frankly your rants are very tiring at this point. Just sit back let Theo & Co. do their thing and if they fail, you can strut around and crow about how you knew it was going to happen.

          • Kyle

            1) You *did* reply to me.

            2) That just shows that depsite how tired of them you may be, you haven’t actually read them. Nowhere did I say I expect Epstein and Co. to fail.

            • OlderStyle

              Keep ranting, Kyle. Some healthy dissent is healthy on this site.

            • Cubbie Blues

              He (we) hasn’t read them because he (we) is tired of them.

              • Kyle

                *shrug* I’m not here for his (your) amusement.

                But if you are going to reply, at least be polite enough to know what I’ve said and what I haven’t.

            • Jim L.

              I read enough to recognize it’s the same “smarter than everyone else in the room” that pervades NSBB.

              • Kyle

                You’ve read enough to use your cognitive dissonance to give you an excuse to label it, and therefore dismiss it, because it makes you uncomfortable. Duly noted.

      • gutshot5820

        And this is where you may be wrong. A .500 ballclub is much closer to getting to the playoffs with a few good moves than a number two pick club.

  • Cubs1967

    congrats to team theo and the ricketts family; goal accomplished; 100 losses; one of the worst seasons in 125 plus yrs of cubs history; all for the #2 pick and becuz team theo CANNOT make a team contend while rebuilding……….shameful and quite the disgrace to cubs nation.

    and next year will be………….SOS…..90m plus losses as they aren’t gonna try.

    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Bill

      And a lot of Cub fans are toasting their champagne glasses to Theo. I understand what Theo is doing, but I couldn’t be more against this plan. Seems to be needless pain. You can win now and build up the farm system. Theo believes you can do the latter, but only at the expense of the former. I want the Theo that was the Bos GM, not this guy he’s morphed into.

      • mudge

        Same guy, Bill, one who takes a sober look at a situation and plays his best hand for long term success.

      • Ari Gold

        He’s basically doing the same thing that Ted Thompson in Green Bay started in 2005? Tear it down and rebuild it. You know the team that kicks the Bears ass every year. Seems to be working out pretty well. Give it a few years and trust the process.

        • Kyle

          1) Baseball is not football
          2) He’s also doing the same thing that the Pittsburgh Pirates have been doing for 20 consecutive losing seasons.

          • Chris

            The difference is the Cubs won’t have to repeat it everytime one of their players becomes expensive. The gut part is similar to every other small market team that has ever rebuilt. The period after the gutting is what is different, as this team has the means to spend the money needed to retain talent and add on. Comparisons to small market teams not having success with youthful rebuilds are apples to oranges in this case.

            • Kyle

              People keep saying that, but the only team that really applies to is the Royals.

              Many of these small-market teams simply never produced enough talent from their rebuild. Rebuilding doesn’t mean you are promised a batch of awesome young talent four years down the road.

              Given the Cubs’ resources, I don’t expect that to happen to them. But I don’t think people are overestimating the “long-term gains.” I could easily see something like tank next year, bad the year after, missing the playoffs the year after that, and then 3 playoff appearances in 6 years.

              That’s not an acceptable result for this market.

              • Featherstone

                Because getting swept in the NLDS in back-to-back years is?

                • Kyle

                  1) Of course not. Believe it or not, it’s possible to have plans for a baseball team that are neither 2000s Hendry or 2012 Epstein. You don’t have to choose between those two.

                  2) You can’t judge a baseball season on the postseason result, there’s too many variables. Hendry’s legacy is getting to the playoffs 3 times in 9 seasons, no more or less.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    “Hendry’s legacy is getting to the playoffs 3 times in 9 seasons, two of which were purchased by the Tribune Co.”

                    Helped you on that one.

                    • Kyle

                      True. None of this is intended to be a defense of Hendry, who more than deserved his dismissal.

              • Chris

                First off, the Rays, Padres, A’s, Twins, and the Indians have all had to dump player because of cost in recent years. It’s not just the Royals, although they’ve been stuck in this mode the longest of all the teams listed. I’m not advocating ONLY build by obtaining prospects, and that’s it. It’s not a black and white prospects vs. free agents argument. Sure, there are free agent moves that they could have made in 2012 that would have made this team better. Not all the moves they’ve made were smart. You keep hammering on the Stewart thing, but that’s an obvious one. We also agree they overplayed their hand on Garza, and I would argue the Dempster thing was a good percentage of their fault as well. Where you and I disagree is on the draft pick compensation thing. Yes, 2nd round picks have historically been non-factors. But things are different in this organization and in the league right now. Draft picks are inherently worth more. There are less of them, and less chance of overpaying a late round pick with signability issues, thus helping to cushion the blow of a bad 2nd round choice. This FO prides themselves on being able to scout better than the other teams. Whether you agree with it or not, this FO will not sign a free agent in 2013 if it costs them a pick. Having said that, there still should be plenty of free agents out there that won’t cost a pick. The 2014 team should be better. Let’s face it… it can’t get much worse. If B.J. Upton wants a 2-3 year deal at a decent salary, and he won’t cost a draft pick, sign him. If they must have Greinke, and he’ll sign a 3 year deal, sign him. Otherwise, I just don’t see any other attractive free agents to offer more than a 1 year deal with an option. Let’s call that a Maholm. If they make these efforts and still are not competing for a playoff spot come the deadline, can you live with a similar gutting in 2013? I know you disagree with the draft pick thing, but I really don’t believe that’s going to come into play this offseason regardless. There aren’t that many good players that will get qualifying offers, and of those, I don’t think the Cubs should even bother with any of them. Since they are going to be stuck with Garza to start the season anyway, why not try to fill out the roster with a few veterans, on favorable deals, and see what happens. I’d love for them to be competing at the deadline and would relish the chance for them to actually consider making moves to acquire talent rather than trade away talent. I don’t think it will happen in 2013, but weirder things have happened. And if I’m right and they don’t contend, I hope they gut this team and restock for 2014. Worst case they add prospects that can be traded later for major league talent. Best case, they add a core player that will help the team compete in 2014 and beyond.

                • Kyle

                  “First off, the Rays, Padres, A’s, Twins, and the Indians have all had to dump player because of cost in recent years. It’s not just the Royals, although they’ve been stuck in this mode the longest of all the teams listed”

                  The issue wasn’t “which teams have lost players.” It was “which teams have used tank and rebuild to develop enough players to build a competitive team.” I don’t see that in the Padres, A’s or Twins. Rays, *maybe* Indians are good additions.

                  ” I’m not advocating ONLY build by obtaining prospects, and that’s it. It’s not a black and white prospects vs. free agents argument.”

                  Agreed. Everyone wants to build a good farm system. This is about the usefulness of tanking seasons.

                  “Sure, there are free agent moves that they could have made in 2012 that would have made this team better. Not all the moves they’ve made were smart. You keep hammering on the Stewart thing, but that’s an obvious one. We also agree they overplayed their hand on Garza, and I would argue the Dempster thing was a good percentage of their fault as well.”

                  Those are the two big ones, definitely.

                  I think I’ve said that within the confines of their plan, they’d get a B for the season. It would have been an easy A if they hadn’t gotten burned on the Garza situation. It sure looked to me like last offseason was the ultimate sell-high opportunity.

                  ” Where you and I disagree is on the draft pick compensation thing. Yes, 2nd round picks have historically been non-factors. But things are different in this organization and in the league right now. Draft picks are inherently worth more. There are less of them, and less chance of overpaying a late round pick with signability issues, thus helping to cushion the blow of a bad 2nd round choice. This FO prides themselves on being able to scout better than the other teams. Whether you agree with it or not, this FO will not sign a free agent in 2013 if it costs them a pick. Having said that, there still should be plenty of free agents out there that won’t cost a pick.”

                  Agreed. The pick thing is a bit of a sideline. I don’t think it will come up. How many FAs will even require pick compensation? Not more than a handful. Probably only Grienke of the ones the Cubs should be interested in, and he’s probably going to be priced out of Chicago fairly easily.

                  ” The 2014 team should be better. Let’s face it… it can’t get much worse. If B.J. Upton wants a 2-3 year deal at a decent salary, and he won’t cost a draft pick, sign him. If they must have Greinke, and he’ll sign a 3 year deal, sign him. Otherwise, I just don’t see any other attractive free agents to offer more than a 1 year deal with an option. Let’s call that a Maholm. If they make these efforts and still are not competing for a playoff spot come the deadline, can you live with a similar gutting in 2013?”

                  Absolutely. But I want to actually Maholm all the available holes, and not just Stewart them.

                  ” I know you disagree with the draft pick thing, but I really don’t believe that’s going to come into play this offseason regardless.”

                  Okay, yeah, we agree on that.

                  ” There aren’t that many good players that will get qualifying offers, and of those, I don’t think the Cubs should even bother with any of them. Since they are going to be stuck with Garza to start the season anyway, why not try to fill out the roster with a few veterans, on favorable deals, and see what happens. I’d love for them to be competing at the deadline and would relish the chance for them to actually consider making moves to acquire talent rather than trade away talent. I don’t think it will happen in 2013, but weirder things have happened. And if I’m right and they don’t contend, I hope they gut this team and restock for 2014. Worst case they add prospects that can be traded later for major league talent. Best case, they add a core player that will help the team compete in 2014 and beyond.”

                  Yep, we’re pretty much on the same page.

                  I still think that last offseason the Cubs had a chance to push much harder than this offseason. The rebuilding has become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The MLB team is in worse shape heading into this offseason than last.

                  • Chris

                    After all the back and forth, I don’t think you and I are too far off. I agree they could have done more in 2012, and there are examples of players that would have been good signings, in hindsight. And I don’t think they perpetrated an all out tanking job until the trade deadline. Otherwise why even bother signing Maholm or DeJesus, or trading for Stewart? Maholm=good, DeJesus=ok, Stewart=bad. I also believe what you perceive to be inaction in 2012 was the FO evaluating the bigger plan going forward. I agree, obviously the ML team is in worse shape heading into the offseason. But I think the organization is in much better shape from top to bottom than it was heading into 2012, therefore I see progress and can accept the dreadful 2012 season for what it was. And while I don’t think 2013 will be much different, I hope they make moves with intentions for it to be better, and see where things end up at the trade deadline.

                    • Kyle

                      I waffle on the “much better” issue.

                      Better:
                      1b has gone from gaping organizational hole to long-term strength
                      We added Soler, Vizcaino, Villanueva and a couple of interesting guys that we might not have added otherwise.
                      We had a top-10 pick and a couple of comp picks.
                      Samardzija emerged as a potential star.
                      Most of the Class of 2011 (Hendry’s last hurrah) and the other teenagers that we were excited about seems to have taken solid steps forward at Arizona and Boise.
                      We have a bit more financial flexibility (though we had a ton last year).

                      Worse:
                      Garza’s value has cratered
                      Brett Jackson has completely fallen apart, and neither McNutt not Vitters has taken the kind of step forward we might have hoped.
                      We have absolutely no pitching in place in the majors or high minors beyond Garza (sore-armed and FA after this year), Samardzija (one good season so far), Wood (not really all that good, but serviceable) and maybe Russell. Or even the mid-minors. It’s truly stunning how awful the organization’s pitching is top to almost-bottom.
                      We used up a key year of pre-FA service time on Castro.

                      Yeah, we’re probably better off, but I’m not convinced we’re a lot better off. The key is if the organizational infrastructure Epstein has put in place, the “Cubs Way” and coaching emphasis and such, will make a real difference in development in the long run. It’s too early to tell, but that would be more important than a lot of the individual risers and fallers each year.

                • ssckelley

                  The 2nd overall pick has not been a non factor. I expect the Cubs to get a pitcher, hopefully Appel. Had Appel signed with the Pirates it is safe to say he would be a top 15 prospect. Other recent 2nd overall picks (pitchers) Hultzen (2011) and Taillon (2010) I would take in a heartbeat. Other #2 overall pitchers Verlander, Mulder, Prior, and Beckett were all good. The last 10 pitchers selected #2 overall only 2 of them were big swing and misses so at 80% success rate I like the Cubs chances. Where the huge drop off occurs is between #2 and #3 where only 4 of the last 10 succeeded and I am counting Looper, Hermanson, and Brian Anderson who are borderline at best. Number 4 overall is even worse.

                  But hey, if the Cubs want to look at a third baseman with the #2 overall I would be ok with a Pedro Alvarez or Alex Gordon. Or heck you could even get a BJ Upton, who Kyle has been pining for.

                  Damn the Cubs dismantled the team at the trade deadline, gave away players that were not going to help them in 2013, and got themselves a chance to draft #2. We don’t need no stinkin Reggie Jackson or Joe Carter!!!!

                  • Kyle

                    I’m far more excited about the No. 2 overall pick than anything non-Rizzo we picked up in the last year, and probably tied with Rizzo.

                    The guy over at PSD with some inside connections said the Cubs specifically and the industry in general were not as impressed with Appel as the outside media and that he’s not seriously being considered with the top picks.

                    He also said that the Cubs are definitely focused on a college arm, and that while it’s still very early in the process, their favorite right now might be this guy:

                    http://bigleaguefutures.net/1/2012/08/13/2013-mlb-draft-profile-sean-manaea/

                    • ssckelley

                      Well the nice thing about him going back to Stanford is the scouts will get another college season to see him pitch without making that kind of commitment. My point was whoever the Cubs do get there is a very good chance of getting a good player.

              • hansman1982

                You take these rough years now hoping that once you get to that point of making the playoffs every other year you stay there because you now have an organization that is built for that.

                Sure beats 4 playoffs in 15 years under Hendry/MacPhail. Do you have to do it black/white, rebuild/win now? No, however, I think the best way to build this franchise is to hit the reset button and start from the ground up.

                Is there going to be a lot of pain, is there going to be seasons that you can argue that were thrown? Sure, but the end result should be (and I believe will be) a strong farm system to back up SMART free agency spending with a stretch of 10 years of +.500 ball.

                • Kyle

                  That’s a possible result. But I don’t see why just starting the 10+ years right away wasn’t possible. Didn’t need to waste a few “sacred opportunities.”

                  • hansman1982

                    Therein we come back to the definition of what truly is an opportunity to win and get to the playoffs.

                    Is it an opportunity when you think you could scrape together a .500 team and hope for some magic or is it an opportunity when you can consistently build 90-win teams?

                    • Kyle

                      Both are opportunities. There’s no reason to throw away the former to minimally improve your chances of the latter.

                  • Mick

                    No, you’re wrong, the Cubs wouldn’t have made the playoffs in 2012 no matter what moves they made. So, if you were the GM, we’d still have missed the playoffs, acquired no prospects via trades, wouldn’t have netted a protected 1st round pick, and lost draft picks as compensation to the players you would have signed.

                    If you come back and say I’m wrong, you better show me a 40-man roster otherwise, I’m calling B.S. It’s time for you to actually walk the walk. Can you create a 25-man roster staying within the $135 mllion budget, starting with the contracts that Theo started w/last summer, that could win 90 games?

                    • Kyle

                      “If you come back and say I’m wrong, you better show me a 40-man roster otherwise, I’m calling B.S. It’s time for you to actually walk the walk. Can you create a 25-man roster staying within the $135 mllion budget, starting with the contracts that Theo started w/last summer, that could win 90 games?”

                      I’ve put together more rosters at this point than Conny Mack. You can peruse the archives at your leisure and decide if you agree or disagree with me.

                  • Mick

                    Kyle, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

                    • beerhelps

                      still classic

  • Brick Thompson

    somehow the rays contend every year, with a miniscule payroll and low low draft pick. Magic?

    • Melrosepad

      Yes, they have been surprise contenders recently, but you also have to remember the most wins they ever had prior to ’08 was 70. So they had a lot of early picks. If I remember correctly the lowest 1st round pick they had prior to ’08 was the 8th overall pick. Having that many high picks helps one contend for a while.

  • MikeL

    Does anyone else feel really weird about being a fan of a 100 loss team? I mean I will never leave the Cubs and will always be a Cubs fan….but this just feels weird. I remember last year when Hughes was talking about the Astros losing 100 games and what a shame that was and how bad it was for baseball for a team to lose 100 games….thanks a lot Pat (kidding of course, I love Pat, but really…)

  • MikeL

    BTW….lost in this horrible season…..look at Marmol….seriously!!! Good for him! He has really turned it around and really has been a great come back story! Great job, Carlos!

  • Josh

    48 more hours….

  • Weedymcchronic

    What were people expecting? If you’re gonna suck, might as well suck. Who cares if the team finishes .500 that doesn’t do shit for them. In Theo I trust, no reason not too. Draft well, good international signings and the Cubs will compete on a few years. 100 years of sucking, what’s a couple more?

  • Jason “Thundermug”

    Since the Rockies won and Cubs Lost the Cubs have clinched the all so precious 2nd pick in the 2013 draft and now thats over with I can say for the final 2 games let kick the Astros buttsky and shove them out of the National League door.

    • Featherstone

      We actually only needed one or the other, but yeah let’s win a couple now.

  • Curt

    Ty Jim hendry, Sam Zell, and all other cubs fo, for making this necessary to do, I do hope that being this bad pays off later on and just think if they don’t make significant pitching upgrades hey we might be able to set a record for losses next year, I hope that we’re at least competitive next year.

  • Mush

    2 starters, 3rd baseman, 2 relief arms that throw strikes back to 75-87, rebuilding

  • die hard

    In spring training, my prediction was 120 losses..so with lowered expectations the Cubs surprised and thus like a beaten down stock in the market, stock should go up for next year.

  • Stevie B

    Well, we found out what we had, which was a SS, 2nd baseman, 1st baseman, and an average but young catcher.
    We have 2 solid starters and a solid lefty BP guy.

    That is it.

  • Kyle

    Okay, a simple “wrong” would’ve done just fine.

  • ssckelley

    “I’ve put together more rosters at this point than Conny Mack. You can peruse the archives at your leisure and decide if you agree or disagree with me.”

    Kyle, the only one I have seen from you is where you had the Cubs come within 2 games of the playoffs using free agents available and WAR calculations. But some of those moves would have tied the FO hands and they would not have gotten the prospects they ended up receiving nor the 2nd overall pick in next years draft. The worst thing that could have happened for the Cubs long term success is for them to have gone into the trade deadline being buyers instead of sellers.

    Now going into this off season I do not want to see the Cubs sitting on their hands either. I want them to find a couple of players either through trade or free agency that can help next years team, 2014, and beyond. If in 2013 it is obvious the Cubs are not going to make the playoffs then I want them to get whatever prospects they can get their hands on without hurting the team long term. The Cubs have had very good drafts back to back, and if they do it right they should have 3 good drafts in a row. So next year I will not care if the Cubs come close but do not make the playoffs but my patience will start to wear really thin with this FO if in 2014 we are having the same arguments.

    • Kyle

      “Kyle, the only one I have seen from you is where you had the Cubs come within 2 games of the playoffs using free agents available and WAR calculations.”

      We’ve been having this same dance around here since before last offseason even started. You are new, so you may not have seen them all.

      ” But some of those moves would have tied the FO hands and they would not have gotten the prospects they ended up receiving nor the 2nd overall pick in next years draft. The worst thing that could have happened for the Cubs long term success is for them to have gone into the trade deadline being buyers instead of sellers.”

      The prospect fetish gets tiresome, to be honest. Prospects are valuable. But so are MLB players and MLB wins.

      The Cubs did add some some nice additional prospects this season, who may (or may not) have an impact on their long-term success. The Cubs’ long-term success is also being severely hampered by the lack of quality MLB players at several positions right now.

      “Now going into this off season I do not want to see the Cubs sitting on their hands either. I want them to find a couple of players either through trade or free agency that can help next years team, 2014, and beyond.”

      Agreed.

      ” If in 2013 it is obvious the Cubs are not going to make the playoffs then I want them to get whatever prospects they can get their hands on without hurting the team long term.”

      Also agreed. But that’s a deadline decision, not a November decision, for a large-market team.

      “The Cubs have had very good drafts back to back, and if they do it right they should have 3 good drafts in a row.”

      I’d be more inclined to call them “promising” than “good” just yet.

      “So next year I will not care if the Cubs come close but do not make the playoffs but my patience will start to wear really thin with this FO if in 2014 we are having the same arguments.”

      I’ll welcome you on board the Bandwagon of Hate with open arms :)

      • ssckelley

        You seem to put very little value in a strong farm system. The teams that have long term success have strong farm systems. Obviously not all the prospects will pan out, very few do actually. But a strong farm system allows you to fill holes either with players that have come up through the system or trade for players you need. It is no coincidence that the Cubs minor league system experienced much success except at the lower levels. This is why I will argue with you until my fingers wear out that this season was necessary 2 fold, 1 to trade for upper level prospects they so desperately need and 2 to shed some bad contracts freeing up money to be spent in the upcoming off seasons. The Cubs did spend money but they spent it on international players to help long term instead of short term free agents. Now with the 2nd worst record in baseball they set themselves up to have yet another productive draft and through having the 2nd biggest budget to spend on international players.

        • Kyle

          “You seem to put very little value in a strong farm system.”

          That’s absolutely not true. I place a ton of importance on the farm system. One of my biggest disagreements with most of the people who post on BN is that I assert that the Hendry Cubs ultimately failed because Hendry failed to properly develop the farm system, not because of his management of the team’s MLB salary and handing out large, long-term contracts.

          It only seems like I don’t place value on it because 80% of Cubs fandom has gone completely nuts and decided that the farm system is the only thing that matters, and that the MLB roster must be neglected and abused in order to promote that farm system.

          “The teams that have long term success have strong farm systems. Obviously not all the prospects will pan out, very few do actually. But a strong farm system allows you to fill holes either with players that have come up through the system or trade for players you need.”

          I completely agree with all of this. The question isn’t “Is a good farm system important?” It’s “Do you need to abuse your MLB team to get a good farm system?” And the answer to that is unequivocally no. Good teams are able to consistently develop good farm systems while simultaneously winning MLB games. The guy we hired to run the organization built his entire reputation on his ability to win games and develop prospects simultaneously.

          ” 2 to shed some bad contracts freeing up money to be spent in the upcoming off seasons.”

          What bad contracts did they shed?

          The “bad” contracts (which mostly weren’t that bad, honestly) were already shed. Ramirez, Pena and Fukudome came off the books without them having to do a thing. Dempster re-upped his one-year option. Soriano is still here. Zambrano was sent away, but the Cubs picked up all the salary. Marmol is still here.

          “The Cubs did spend money but they spent it on international players to help long term instead of short term free agents.”

          They didn’t spend very much on them, to be honest. They committed a bunch, but the actual expenditures this year were pretty tiny. A pretty big chunk of the baseball operations budget was just left unspent this year, AFAICT.

          “Now with the 2nd worst record in baseball they set themselves up to have yet another productive draft and through having the 2nd biggest budget to spend on international players. ”

          And they’ve set themselves up for at least one more year of being awful, and possibly more, because the MLB roster is getting worse by the year.

  • Roland Perrelli

    Kyle I totally agree there is no reason that we cannot accomplish both. There were/are people to get on the free agent market this year that will add wins to this team. To go another year with low end talent hoping for bounce back so they have value at the trading deadline is not the way to go into a “Every Season is Sacred”. There is nothing wrong with getting one to add to depth and if they have a bounce back you either trade them or sign them ie. Dempster. But to go thru another year of 100 plus losses is unacceptable to 3 Million paying fans.

    • Chris

      Did they get 3 million fans this year? I think they should, and will, sign free agents for the improvement of the 2013 team. The free agent class doesn’t match up well with the needs of the team, but they should be able to sign two starting pitchers, at minimum. And while I don’t agree that they went into the season with the sole purpose of completely taking, having the 2nd highest draft and international free agent budget is not a bad thing to continue with the rebuilding plan.

    • Mick

      Okay, you two agree, that’s great. Now how would you spend $60 million for 2013’s payroll that would make this team compete for the title next season? For starters, this is a terrible offseason to sign FAs. Second, we’d be competing with every other team for the few talents that are available. Finally, the depth of our organization is in the lower minors.

      I’m not calling you two idiots or anything, but without a plan it’s just a wish. Here’s my plan for example.

      Sign Jeff Keppinger, Melky Cabrera, Shane Victorino, Francisco Liriano, Shaun Marcum, Ryan Madson, and Darren Oliver.

      Trade Soriano and Vitters this offseason for more prospect fodder.

      We’d have a plausible lineup that’d look like:

      CF Victorino
      RF DeJesus
      LF Cabrera
      1B Rizzo
      SS Castro
      3B Keppinger
      C Castillo
      2B Barney

      with a rotation like this:

      SP Garza
      SP Marcum
      SP Shark
      SP Liriano
      SP Wood

      We’d actually be able to afford all of these players, could sign them to shorter-term deals without including a no-trade clause and if all things fell apart could trade them at the deadline for beacoup prospects.

      • Kyle

        60 million to spend?

        Okay, first, we start with a baseline of 66 wins (we have 65 pythagorean wins right now, which are more predictive than actual wins, and assuming we’ll split the next two with the Astros).

        The first key is to take all the free wins that won’t even cost any money.

        Rizzo (1.8 fWAR in half a season) all year instead of LaHair (0.8 in about 3/4ths of a season), 1 win
        Castillo (1.3 fWAR in 1/3rd of a season) over Clevenger (-0.6 fWAR in 1/2 a season), +1 win
        Sappelt (0.8 fWAR in 1/8th of a season) instead of Mather (-1.6 fWAR in 1/3rd of a season), +1 win

        The number of sub-replacement players we fielded this year over competent counterparts really annoyed me. Rizzo over LaHair makes sense for service time reasons, but the others never did to me. Just those three and I’ve picked up three wins without spending a dime. We’re up to 69.

        We have four majors positions of need:

        CF, -1.5 WAR this season
        3b, -.5 WAR
        SP, 64 starts worth about 0 WAR in total between the various terrible pitchers we’ve fielded
        RP, -6.5 WPA vs. average (I’ve outlined in other posts why I think this is the right way to measure the bullpen, and not WAR, because of leverage issues).

        I’l take Grienke for 8/$200 and forfeit my second-round pick. I know that’s crazy, but it’s my $60 million and I’ll do what I wish. He’s been a 5.0 win pretty consistently. He should get about $20 million in the first year of the deal.

        For the second pitcher, I’ll take Marcum at 3/36, or $12 million a year, but I’ll backload it slightly so that he only gets $10 this year. He’s been worth about 2.5 Wins per full season the last 3 years. So in total, I’ve filled my two starting pitching spots and gained 7.5 wins. We’re up to 76.5 and I have $30million left to play with.

        For 3b, in a surprise move, I’m giving the job to Valbuena. He’s been worth 0.9 WAR in less than half a season, and I love his peripherals. I think he can be a 2.0 WAR 3b with his defense and batting eye, for basically free. That’s a 2.5 WAR improvement, so I’m up to 79 with $30 million left to play with.

        For CF, I’m going to go nuts again and sign Michael Born to a 6/$120 deal. He’s averaged five wins over the last four years, so that’s a 6.5 win improvement over our CF this season. I’m up to 85.5 wins and have $10 million left to play with.

        That just leaves me with the daunting task of improving the bullpen from -6.5 wins to -2.0 wins below average, with $10 million to play with. That’s not an incredibly easy task, but it should be a doable one, and I’ll get to 90 wins. It will take some trolling the free agent market to see who can be gotten for cheap (but not free). Betancourt and Myers look like good, mid-priced guys. Maybe I’ll go really nuts and trade Jackson, Vitters or another prospect for a cheap, useful reliever. :)

        • SirCub

          Its kind of contradictory to take the team’s Pythag record, and then add wins from improving the relievers WPA. The whole point of WPA is that runs allowed in high leverage situations are worth more than others, so you would expect a team with low WPA’s from their high-leverage relievers (ie- the Cubs) to have fewer wins than expected from their run differential.

          • Kyle

            I’d like to see that proven before I accept it at face value. Bad relief pitchers in high leverage situations can have lots of effects, and I’m not convinced the net effect is toward bad relief-pitching teams underperforming their pythagorean record significantly.

  • TakingWrigleyToSaoPaulo

    Kyle,

    Like the analysis but one question: Do you really think a players past WAR is necessarily indicative of their WAR in future years? Specifically for a lead off guy like Bourn (reminds me of a soriano type contract- a lot of value based on his legs) and Grienke who will be 29 at the end of the month and that contact takes him to 37.

    This might get you to the playoffs one or two of the coming years but then you’re stuck with guys you really can’t move and you’re mediocre again.

    • Kyle

      Nothing’s a perfect indicator of future performance, but past performance is the best indicator of future performance.

      As to whether we’d be medicore at the end of those contracts, the answer is *only if we fail to draft and develop talent in the meantime*. I’ve argued all along that the problem with the 2009-11 Cubs wasn’t the veteran players at the end of large contracts. It was the lack of developing young players to complement them.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I can answer that in part. WAR is a composite statistic that essentially is based on estimated runs created/prevented from different performance aspects. Some of these (K’s, walks) show very strong correlations from one year to the next for individual batters and starting pitchers. They show weaker correlations for relievers because the sample sizes are so small and likely because so many move from team to team from one year to the next and get used in different situations.

      Flyballs and groundballs are not a part of WAR for hitters, and they are not in all calculations of WAR for pitchers. That’s critical because flyball and groundball rates are correlated for both pitchers and batters from one year to the next. Moreover, things like HR:flyball rates are correlated for batters: but really not for pitchers. Now, for batters, it’s important because HR:FB ratios are correlated, and FB:GB ratios are correlated, but that means that the number of HR is two steps removed from performance: it’s ƒ[HR|FB] x ƒ[FB |AB] x AB. So, random shifts in two rates can have a sizable effect on the total output. Nevertheless, we always know going into a season who the probable home run leaders are, so a batter with high WAR due to a generally high HR:FB ratio in 2012 will probably have a high WAR for the same reason in 2013. Similarly, a pitcher who has a high WAR due to few HR given a low FB:GB ratio in 2012 probably will have a high WAR for the same reason in 2013.

      Where it gets most dodgy is in singles rates. A big reason why BABiP fluctuates so much for individual batters from month to month (and season to season) is that its driven largely by the frequency at which grounders, soft liners, etc., get through for singles. (Singles being the most common hit for the vast majority of hitters.) So, a guy with a high WAR driven by a really high rate of singles in 2012 is unlikely to repeat that in 2013.

      A similar issue is that a pitcher who has a high WAR because he had a low HR:FB ratio but a high FB:GB ratio in 2012 has a low probability of repeating that in 2013. (That’s why xFIP is superior to FIP, which is superior to ERA for the reasons given in the last paragraph!)

      So, what you really want to do is basically what the DiamondMind people do, and estimate the expected numbers of outcomes based on the correlations of their constituent components for appropriate aged players (youngsters improve some things, oldsters decline in some things), and estimate WAR that way. What you would find is that the error bars on expected WAR will be a lot less than for others.

      • ReiCow

        Doc,

        What is your profession?

        Moo.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Short answer: paleontologist. Medium answer: likelihood blah blah phylogenetics blah blah molluscs. (That’s my wife’s description, anyway….) Long answer: um, it’s kind of long……

          • ReiCow

            Just curious, as you clearly know your stats. Astrophysicist here.

            Moo.

            • DocPeterWimsey

              Cool! Your math skills probably top mine, then! (And I do not say that out of this “false modesty” thing about which I once read….)

  • Roland Perrelli

    With Grienke’s struggles this year do you really think he will get 8/200? I was thinking somewhere around 6/150. But I do think that Bourne and Grienke is the way to start. From there I would be okay with the team as is with another middle of the road starter and some bullpen help. I do not trade Garza I lock him up. Now you go from a weakness to a strength Grienke/Garza/Samardzija/Wood/Free agent. Now we might not get to the playoffs next year but the following year but we will be competitive most of the year and who knows. Then the following year you have Solar coming up and potentially Lake/Watkins/Villanueva with Almora and Baez waiting in the wings.

    • Kyle

      I definitely wouldn’t be shocked to see Grienke get 8/200, but I was mostly just trying to estimate high.

      There is a massive ton of money flowing into MLB in the form of TV deals. The salaries have already begun to shoot up, and it’s going to keep going up.

      • Kyle

        Honestly, that’s not the one you should be concerned with. I might have doubled the market for Bourn.

  • Bill

    Kyle,

    You made me spit up my drink because I was laughing at your 2nd line:
    “I’l take Grienke for 8/$200 and forfeit my second-round pick. I know that’s crazy, but it’s my $60 million and I’ll do what I wish.

    I know I’ve said it before, but I LOVE this site. I learn so much from you guys.

  • http://facebook.com/anotherspacesong Bret Epic

    I’d say more like a 4/300 million with full no trade rights. I’d give him full trade rights and give up all of my draft picks for the next 2 years. I’d also be sure to buy him a hyperbaric chamber to sleep in and when he’s not playing, training or sleeping, be sure he’s kept safe by being kept in a protective bubble.

    • Kyle

      I’d pay 4/300 and give up all my draft picks for your mom.

      • http://facebook.com/anotherspacesong Bret Epic

        I guess this further proves your douche baggery. If you’re willing to make her this offer though, I’m sure she’d happily accept. She’s obese, lonely and doesn’t shave her legs.

      • KyleNovak

        Hey, leave the mothers out of it!

        Dorothy Mantooth is a saint.

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