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I’ll have more thoughts on last evening’s roster moves, as well as the newest Cubs pitching prospect, later this morning. Also, there’s a fresh BN Podcast on the way today. Until then, Bullets …

  • Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs took a very long look at Brandon McCarthy’s unique free agent situation, which is of note to the Cubs for obvious reasons. Specifically, Sullivan would like to be able to know what kind of impact McCarthy’s concussion/brain surgery thing will have on his contract, if any: “We probably won’t be able to learn much from the contract that McCarthy ends up signing, because he represents a sample size of one. This is a thought experiment because it’s not something we’ll ever be able to observe in real life. Say there are 100 Brandon McCarthys. Of those, 50 are clones of the current Brandon McCarthy. The other 50 are clones of the current Brandon McCarthy, but without the head injury. The line drive just missed, and McCarthy kept on pitching through the end of the season. We’ll refer to the first group as Group A, and to the second group as Group B. On average, Group B signs a free-agent contract worth $X million. On average, Group A signs a free-agent contract worth $Y million. Is $Y million equal to $X million? If not, what is the difference? How much lower is Y than X?”
  • It’s a tricky question that Sullivan asks, and one I’ve wrestled with as well. When discussing this injury, specifically, how do you figure a guy’s value? It’s not like it’s an elbow injury or a shoulder injury, for which there would be an obvious discount on the market. But, at the same time, it’s not your run-of-the-mill concussion (if there is such a thing). It takes only one team to give McCarthy his “full” market value for the discussion to be entirely moot, and Cameron’s right: because of that, we’ll never really know the impact. My question for you: are you expecting that the Cubs would get a discount on McCarthy because of the head injury, specifically? He was already going to sign for less than you might expect, because of his other injury history. But should that number come down even more? I’m still firmly in the pro-McCarthy camp, but that’s because I believe he’ll be signing for something in the two-year, $20 million range, at the top. If it’s more than that, then the “winning” team, to me, clearly isn’t concerned about the head injury (or maybe even the rest of the injury history, either). Obviously this whole discussion feels a little untoward, but it’s a necessary evil.
  • The MLBullets at BCB look at one of the more notable roster moves from yesterday: the Mariners dumping Chone Figgins. And, no, I don’t think he’s worth anything more than a Spring Training invite (and, even then, I’m dubious).
  • A comments reminder: for your own good, and the good of the community, learn to spot trolls and then ignore them. They tend to post incessantly for short bursts of time. They tend to try and bait you into arguments that make no sense. They tend to spell poorly and use a kind of “grammar” that few would recognize as communication. Their sole purpose for commenting is to get a rise out of folks, and not to genuinely discuss the Cubs. When you see someone doing this, please ignore them. When you engage, you’re giving them exactly what they want: your attention. Also remember that just because you disagree with someone doesn’t make them a troll. This Bullet refers to a very specific subset of folks who get their jollies not from actually discussing the Cubs, but instead from baiting stupid fights.
  • But to put the community back in a positive light, here’s something awesome from BN’er TWC:

  • Fishin Phil

    Famous hippie.

  • FFP

    Legoland! I was wondering where TWC had wandered off to.

    • Cubbie Blues

      That’s just the way he likes to explain the way he sees the world.

  • Spriggs

    I would think that because of the significant amount of uncertainty that McCarthy’s head injury carries with it, he would get significantly less money in your larger sample size scenario. How much is anyone’s guess, but I think it would be significant. He has something to prove.

  • http://www.cwsnaturally.com Evolution

    My brain damage is the key to my secret superpowers…

    Which will never be truly appreciated.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not in this lifetime, anyway.

  • Brian

    No matter how much he receives, it’s always to much, but, not my money and the Cubs need big league capable talent, so sign them all and put the best on the field.

  • MaxM1908

    Brett, I can spot a troll just fine, but if you’re not around to block them, and I’m bored, I will have fun with them. This site is about having fun, right? If it’s 2 in the morning and no one else is around, I don’t feel bad about playing with them. And, it’s not just trolls who tend to have bad grammar–they’re just the only ones I will engage about it. And, as you know, I LOVE engaging on grammar. I’m particularly proud of my comment last night likening his desire to add a “big time player” with his inability to construct a complete sentence. Baseball and grammar, together, is a thing of a beauty.

    • Spriggs

      I, for one, don’t enjoy the inane banter or wading through the trash. They are playing with you as much as you are playing with them. Makes me sort of seasick.

      • MaxM1908

        No one is forcing you wade through comments that take place between midnight and four in the morning. Trust me, I would not engage in it if it were during normal business hours. But, I don’t think it’s a personal travesty for you that “inane banter” took place while you were sleeping.

        • hansman1982

          the only bad part is regardless of when they are posted you have to wade through them…

        • Spriggs

          I might have been sleeping while you playing with your trolls, but the next day or so, I might want to look back to see if there were any continuations of actual Cubs related conversations I might have been interested in. In order to do that, I would have to wade through your trash. It stinks.

          • MaxM1908

            Readers have to wade through trash comments all the time–whether they be Cubs-related or not. I will admit that I don’t feel that bad about not considering those of you who go back to posts that are 24 hours old to see if there are any new comments. I read posts all the time that I would call “trash” comments. Many of them go on for pages–and that’s on current discussion threads. You can have your opinion about what is “trash,” and I will have mine. Community!

            • Spriggs

              OK. We’re Cubs brothers… but just remember, next time your busy outwitting the trolls, you are giving them exactly what they want.

              • MaxM1908

                Agreed on being Cubs brothers. I will say, though, that he was giving me what I wanted too. Not that this excuses my behavior last night, but I’ve been having a bit of insomnia as a result of quitting smoking. It was nice to have a jerk on whom to focus my exhausted irritation. And, given that I’ve been around since the BetterNews drama first started, it made it particularly sweet that it was him.

                • Spriggs

                  Got ya!

                • Spriggs

                  I mean, I get it!

        • Internet Random

          But, I don’t think it’s a personal travesty for you that “inane banter” took place while you were sleeping.

          Since you like grammar and usage, you might like to know that “travesty” does not mean “tragedy”. It means something more like “mockery”.

          • MaxM1908

            You are absolutely correct, IR. Thanks for pointing that out.

      • Boogens

        I agree and would also like to add that it’s troubling when the trolling morphs into personal attacks like the ones posted by BetterNews/Cubs1967/DidIMissSomething against Michigan Goat in a recent article. It’s beyond lame and completely uncalled for. I quit reading the Cubs forum section on Pro Sports Daily a couple of years ago for that reason.

        I like all of the divergent opinions on BN because it helps me to refine my opinions and perspectives on the Cubs constantly. Plus is helps keep me dialed into what’s going on with them. I feel that Brett does an outstanding job providing insights and topics for debate while keeping the trolling to a minimum. I don’t see a way that Brett can completely eliminate the trolling since the banned person can always just create a new identity. That being said then it seems the most logical approach is to follow Brett’s (and Goat’s) advice re: trolling (even if it’s 2:00a in the morning): ignore, ignore, ignore. The racoons will always come back when there’s a food source.

        • Boogens

          I’m not sure that it was readily obvious but I was agreeing with the comments posted by Spriggs.

    • MaxM1908

      Awesome.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I understand that, Max, and it’s not like I’m going to boot you for having some fun. But, my concern is, that by “playing,” you encourage it further. I’d just say: use your best judgment.

      And my comment wasn’t directed solely at you, by the way. Last night’s escapades just reminded me that it was time for a reminder for everyone.

      • md8232

        Is there a way to block specific individuals? That is a big help on other boards.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Yes. And I do. Vigilantly. But, as with anything on the Internet (and in life), if someone is determined enough to be a sad, pathetic person, and willing to put in the work, they can eventually get around such things.

          • Cubbie Blues

            I think he meant the ability for us as end users to not have comments show up from certain individuals. I believe the answer to his question is not on the main site here, but I think we can do it on the message board.

            • MaxM1908

              That would be helpful because one issue that happens late at night when BetterNews emerges is that he disrupts regular conversations that are going on. He has multiple usernames he uses and starts to dominate conversations to the point that regular users can no longer have discussions. Being able to personally block him when he rears his ugly head would help in that department.

              • md8232

                Yes, this is what I mean. As an individual, you can block me if I’m offensive. This is a great plus for any board.

                • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

                  Damn, I missed the fun apparently. If the IU game wasn’t on at 10…

                • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                  Ah. That is not possible unless/until I require everyone to register to comment. For a number of reasons, I’ve preferred to avoid taking that step. It can really depress the conversation. Instead, I prefer that we all just do our part, act like big boys and girls, and keep on keeping things civil and intelligent. And I’m pretty good about taking out the rabble quickly.

                  So far, for the most part, so good.

      • Joker

        More importantly, I think most of us come here to get away from the trolls. One of the first things I dug about BN was the community of intelligent and well-spoken fans that support the site.

        I guess it’s one of the unfortunate by-products of Bleacher Nation’s sucess, Ace. The bigger you get, the more attention you draw from possibly unsavory crowds.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Indeed. The best we can do is just try to keep the conversation high-minded, and hope it rubs off.

          Obviously I’ll continue to do my best to remove true trouble-makers.

          • Myles

            Haven’t you only banned one guy ever?

            • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

              No. A small handful of folks for a variety of offenses (I have a pretty high bar – incessant and repeated trolling, repeated racism/sexism/homophobia/etc., or threat-type-stuff is pretty much all that would do it).

              But, I understand why you ask about one. I have had to ban one person about 50 times.

              • hansman1982

                I remember the first time the banhammer was wielded…oh the good old’ days when 50 comments was a HUGE day…

    • Joker

      Hansy, you are my hero.

      • Joker

        See Brett, you go removing comments and now MaxM and I are left dangling in the wind, with our comments on the original comment now appearing that we have lost our minds and commenting randomly at imaginary posts. (Provided we had minds in the first place, but that’s for another discussion)

        See people – when Ace has to wield the hammer of reason around here, things get messy. No one wants a MORE disorganized comments section. These things are hard enough to read as it is.

        • MaxM1908

          I fully admit my mind has gone. As for the dangling comment, though, I’ll just call it a general approval of this site and its community. Yours could also just be a general thumbs up for Hansman.

  • Holden

    I think because of the way Guthrie got paid that McCarthy is going to be significantly more expensive that we think. He is a much much much better pitcher than Guthrie. I just wonder how much the line drive to the head is going to get in to his head if that makes sense. Will he have the ability to throw the same pitches? We will have the confidence to reach back and throw one on the outside of the plate? I think these are important questions. Even if his medicals come back clear you still got to think about the psychological issues involved with that scary of a situation.

    • wilbur

      I agree with both your assessment of what he will get paid and the reasons that payment will be a risk.

      I also understand Brett’s mental exercise on the average value of 100 McCarthy’s and it is a fun concept to roll around in the brain.

      However, to me the third point to consider, which others have made before, is that FA player’s are not signed on the perceived average value of the 30 GMs. They are signed on the perceived value of that players high side performance by the least risk averse GM. It is a purchasing system that will generally drive actual price of those players with a projected high “high side” projection well over the perceived average value.

    • DarthHater

      Based on McCarthy’s humorous Twitter exchanges with his wife regarding his injury, I would be cautiously optimistic that he’s the kind of guy who won’t be psychologically impacted on the field. But you never know. I’m no expert, but I suspect that an injury that severe is a trauma that could lead to reflexive reactions that have little or no connection with one’s normal personality.

  • Brian

    I know it wouldn’t be typical, but could you give him a private work out, against live batting just to see the reactions?

    • Joker

      Heck of an idea from the front office’s perspective, but I cannot fathom an agent allowing this to happen unless there are just no offers on the table.

      I liken this scenario to star college athletes not holding individual workouts or going to the NFL combine. If you are already wanted, why take a chance you might ruin it by showing the brass something they might not like?

      • Brian

        But, it could also clear any doubts and drive the price up.

  • Spoda17

    I don’t think the head injury is going to have any impact on his contract… maybe a small one, but it will be insignificant. We see all the time players get contracts that make us scratch our heads (pun intended), and I would not be surprised if he gets full value. I also really don’t have a problem if he does get full value… football players have had some pretty significant head injuries/concussions and have been able to perform after the injury (at least until they get hit again, and don’t use Vick as an example, he sucks anyway).

    I also don’t think the Cubs are in the market for McCarthy.

    • Cubbie Blues

      You have to also wonder about the mental side of it (not concussion based). Is he going to be fearing a line drive with every pitch he makes? Some would and some wouldn’t. I guess we will know if he starts using Mitch Williams delivery.
      [img]http://cdn.bleacherreport.net/images_root/slides/photos/000/901/854/mitch-williams_display_image.jpg?1304103500[/img]

      • Stinky Pete

        I recall Mitch getting beaned by a line drive.

        • Cubbie Blues

          Link
          At three rivers stadium of a Jeff King line drive.

  • RoughRiider

    I don’t expect much to be going on for the next couple of days and it’s going to be busy for me so I’ll just say it now. To all and especially Brett & Luke and your families have a God Blessed Thanksgiving Holiday.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, RR. To you as well.

  • JR

    Considering McCarthy is coming off a serious injury I don’t think there is anyway that the Cubs don’t sign him. That’s their #1 criteria when looking at Free Agents…

  • Ron

    With Mcarthy there is the NL AL designated hitter also. I wonder if it would take more money to get him to play in the NL.

  • Fastball

    If the Cubs want to sign this guy they are going to have to offer him a stronger contract than anyone else for the most part. It’s been discussed on here that it will take a little extra to get the good players to come during this rebuild. I give him a contract that with incentives would allow him to make market value. If it’s a 2 year or 3 year deal then do it for all 3 years. I don’t punish a guy because he was injured in an accident vs a break down of his arm or shoulder. He came back from those issues and was at top form before the freak accident. I would develop a helmet for the guy that looks like a hat but is made of light weight super strong material as added protection. He wouldn’t object to something like that which could save his life if he got hit in the head again. I think all pitchers should wear something like this at all levels of baseball. If they started this at the Major League level it should go all the way down to Little League IMO. The pitchers mound is the most unsafe place on the diamond.

    • fortyonenorth

      “I would develop a helmet for the guy that looks like a hat but is made of light weight super strong material as added protection.”

      Late in the season (I think after Fister got beaned in the post season) I read that MLB was “fast tracking” research into what it would take to better protect pitchers. A solution can’t come soon enough, IMO.

      • FFP

        George Scott played first base with an earless batting helmet; I believe he was protecting himself from potential thrown objects from the stands rather than game balls.

  • Fastball

    No Risk No Gain. He is worth the risk and the return can be great. I like the kid and I think we need to be aggressive and win this time. I make sure he feels valued and is happy as hell when he gets to Chicago. He could and would be the staple in our rotation IMO. Shark and Garza are not as good as he is in IMO and I know a lot about pitchers.

  • Fastball

    McCarthy wants to play baseball so he has to assume the risk. I am sure he can’t get any insurance from Lloyds or anyone else. His group plan will have to suffice. Like I said I hire the guy and make sure he is financially happy and Chicago is his new home. We want this guy.

  • fortyonenorth

    I was going to post about the Fangraphs article because I’ve been thinking lately about McCarthy vs. someone like Garza. The general “chatter” seems to indicate that teams aren’t too put-off by the McCarthy injury which, to my way of thinking, raises a huge, but undefined question mark. By comparison, Garza’s arm problem–which is seemingly pretty minor–raises all kinds of red flags.

    If, as you said, it only takes one team willing to pay full value to render the point moot. Shouldn’t the same be said for Garza?

    • JR

      I hear ya. But injuries to pitchers elbows are pretty scary. And his elbow injuries have been very weird the last couple yrs.

  • kranzman54

    I’m not sure about McCarthy. The upside is there absolutely but our plan has been very clearly to grab flippable pieces that can surprise you. I admit I liked the Baker signing (maybe because it was just one year), but it feels like there is a 50/50 shot whether McCarthy is even helathy come the trade deadline.

  • Carne Harris

    I think we should clone McCarthy to answer that question and maybe as storm troopers.

    And yeah – good policy: DON’T FEED THE TROLLS. Like a big sign posted at the zoo. Every time you respond it only encourages them and clutters up the site.

    • MaxM1908

      I understand the sentiment about not feeding trolls, but if you’ve ever encountered BetterNews when he’s on, it makes the site unusable. So, I guess if engaging him is not an option, the only other option is to stop using the site until he leaves (which, if you’ve ever paid attention to his past escapades can stretch on for hours even if no one is engaging him). I guess I feel compelled to not tuck my tail between my legs and walk away, waiting for him to exit.

      • Carne Harris

        It’s less tucking your tail and walking away than just not jumping into the debate the crazy homeless guy’s having with himself.

      • Stinky Pete

        I have to disagree that trolls make the site unusable. Not really sure why you can’t just see “…….” and chose not to read it.

  • hcs

    ‘Tis the season, and all. I just wanted to say that I am thankful to Brett, Luke, and all of you in the BN community who have such interesting, funny, and insightful things to say on a daily basis. I only end up commenting occasionally, and half the time it’s just snark on my part, but I check the site probably fifteen times a day, even on weekends, It’s a welcome respite from the day-to-day BS of life. So , thanks to all of you (even the trolls, who bring some levity on occasion.) for being your awesome selves, and for having me around.

    Keep it up, Brett!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, hcs.

  • Cubbie Blues

    Conspiracy theory time. Just looked at the clearance bin on MLB and Garza’s Cool Base jersey (started at $209.00 now $134.97) is going for $25 less that Zambrano’s Authentic jersey (started at $199.99 now $159.97). Any implications of a move?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I wouldn’t read anything more into than supply and demand. Probably overstocked.

  • Mike

    Long time reader, rare contributor. I’d like to echo what hcs said about the BN community. Until coming here, I reflexively cringed every time I would scroll past the author’s tag to the comment string, which inevitably began with, “your so stuped” or “the cubs r dum.” I love that the BN community actually has something to contribute that enhances the discussion, not to mention a firm understanding and appreciation of grammar, punctuation, the difference between your/you’re and the fact that it is NEVER acceptable to use numbers or single letters to represent words. I offer a sincere “thank you” to everyone who contributes (unless you’re a troll or a Cardinals fan, which, to be sure, are pretty much indistinguishable).

    Somewhat unrelated to that, while I may not agree with MaxM1908 on the subject of trolls, I do love that his opinion led to Carne Harris’s analogy about “jumping into the debate the homeless guy is having with himself.” That’s a bit of fried gold.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, Mike.

    • hcs

      The trolls are the ones without the mullets and confused looks in their eyes.

      • Mike

        Probably wearing an Ed Hardy shirt and Jersey Shore playing in the background.

  • thejackal

    and brett just cause people dont use correct grammar and puncuation doesntmean there a troll ive never put anyone down nor say things just to get a rise however i dont use perfect grammar

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      That isn’t what I said, though I do have a strong preference for the use of punctuation and correct spelling/grammar. Those things exist for a reason: namely, they make the writer’s message more clear.

      As I said above, having poor grammar does not make someone a troll.

  • DarthHater

    Goodbye, its bad impressive source of spam.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Wonder how that one got through …

  • MichiganGoat

    Ah missed some silliness

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    Nah. Just a solitary spammer.

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