Let’s Talk About Extensions: Homer Bailey, Jeff Samardzija, FA Starters, Atlanta Braves

jeff samardzija gatorade shower

You get an extension and YOU get an extension and YOU GET AN EXTENSION! EXTENSIONS FOR EVERYONE!!! … oh, except you in the back with the long hair …

  • When I survey the landscape that is the near-term future for the Chicago Cubs, I see a combination of things that suggest a .500 or better team in 2015 is a strong possibility: (1) a core of young positional talent that could be producing well by then; (2) hoped-for financial flexibility after this season; (3) a need for impact starting pitching to pair with the young positional talent; and (4) an exceptional free agent market for starting pitching after 2014. Against that backdrop, whenever I see things like reports that the Reds and Homer Bailey are nearing an extension, I grabz a sad. Comments from Bailey today, who would have been a free agent after this season, make it sound like an extension is going to happen. The deal figures to be in the six-year, $100+ million range, and it’s a real kick in the nuts. Bailey figured to be among the most likely of the to-be free agent starting pitchers to reach free agency. Jon Lester is a near-lock to be extended, the Tigers have made moves that imply they really want to extend Max Scherzer, and if the Reds can lock up Bailey, then maybe the Indians can lock up Justin Masterson. Only James Shields looks to be a certain future free agent. At least there’s still interesting guys like Chad Billingsley and Kenta Maeda, but if Bailey goes off the market, and if the Cubs were planning to binge in the pitching market next year, things could start to look grim quickly. No. More. Extensions.
  • Well, maybe not no more extensions: Bruce Levine was on with Dave Kaplan discussing the possibility of an extension for Jeff Samardzija, and he said that he believes if a deal isn’t done by Opening Day, then Samardzija is firmly on the trade market from that point on, and would ultimately be traded.
  • Interestingly, Levine suggested that Samardzija might be willing to take less money in an extension if he were getting a no-trade clause. The problem there, obviously, is that the front office has a policy against no-trade clauses, and if you make an exception for Samardzija, that probably pisses off guys like Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro, and sets a bad precedent going forward. As much as you’d like to lock Samardzija up, and as much as you might feel like the Cubs won’t want to trade him, the no no-trade clause policy is ultimately a good one. As we’ve seen in recent years, not having the flexibility to make the best move at the best time can be a real noose.
  • And, in case you’re wondering: yes, I do think a Homer Bailey extension would impact negotiations with Samardzija – the two are generally in the same range of ability, and the market moves along with these kinds of extensions. That said, Samardzija isn’t eligible for free agency after this season, Bailey’s advanced and traditional stats outpace Samardzija’s, and Bailey is almost a year and a half younger than Samardzija. This will not be an apples-to-apples kind of translation.
  • Speaking of Bailey’s extension and the outwardly extending influence, Paul Hoynes – who broke the Bailey news – writes about whether such an extension would impact the Indians’ efforts to retain Justin Masterson beyond this year.
  • Speaking of extensions, generally, the Braves locked up Craig Kimbrel to a long-term deal this weekend, capping off a run of extensions (Freddie Freeman, Julio Teheran, Jason Heyward (just arb years), and Kimbrel) that guaranteed more than $220 million. That these extensions came soon after the announcement that Cobb County would be building a publicly-funded stadium for the Braves is probably not a coincidence. Must be nice.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

210 responses to “Let’s Talk About Extensions: Homer Bailey, Jeff Samardzija, FA Starters, Atlanta Braves”

  1. Jon

    I knew Masahiro Tanaka. Masahiro Tanaka was a friend of mine. Kenta Maeda, you’re no Masahiro Tanaka.

  2. D-Rock

    Maybe if Shark cut his hair, he could get an “extension” too!

  3. Blackhawks1963

    I for the life of me do not understand the hope and promise some Cub fans attach to next year’s free agency class. It’s the same pretzel logic every year…there will be big name free agents that hit the market and our salvation shall be that the Cubs are favorites to land them. Good grief. Is it REALLY a national day of mourning that Homer Bailey is staying in Cincinnati? Or that Clayton Kershaw stayed in LA (surprise, surprise)?

    The salvation of the Cubs shall live and die with the building strategy of Theo/Jed paying off. Free agency can only be the complementary approach.

    And have people not learned their lesson on how the Tanaka thing went? What on God’s green earth makes some of you presume the Chicago Cubs are the favorited destination of key free agents is beyond me.

    Perspective. A beautiful thing.

    1. Jon

      (Stealing this..but) You are totally Drew Barrymore in 50 first dates.

      1. Ivy Eater


        1. Wilburthefirst

          … oh so allowed!

    2. mjhurdle

      I guess we can just add “hope and promise attached to next year’s free agency class” to the list with all the other things that you do not understand.

    3. MichiganGoat

      Ummm who is saying that it is the preferred destination? Nobody- but you are confusing the Cubs have a good sales pitch as equaling a preferred location. Yes I believe the Cubs had a good sales pitch for Tanaka but ultimately it came down to money (as I said over and over but I’m not here constantly asking for a pat on the back like you). So continue with your storyline because it’s pure fiction.

    4. Tommy

      negativity and repetitiveness. A beautiful thing(s).

  4. Patrick W.

    Brett, I really enjoy your writing. It’s (obviously) a highlight of any individual day when I get to read something you’ve written. I feel like we’re incredibly lucky to have virtual one-stop shopping of all things Cubs, and the comments and discussions we have are entertaining, thought provoking, anger provoking, laughter provoking and generally just fun.

    If that seems like a set-up for a but, it is. BUT (and far be it for me to tell you how to live your life) you have to recognize that you are a father now, a grown ass man. You have to consider losing the “I grabz a sad” form of writing. Your children will look back at these some day, looking for a sense of what their father was like when he was a young writer, extending his influence on sports fandom, and I just have to ask, is this what you want them to roll their eyes at? :)

  5. Edwin

    I wonder what happens if the Cubs get to next offseason and only 1 or 2 pitchers from that upper tier are available. Will they be willing to get into bidding wars with teams like the Mariners, Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Rangers, or others?

    The Cubs need at least 1 more upper tier starter, 2 if they can’t sign Samardzija to an extention. Hopefully they can pick someone up on the trade market.

    1. Kyle

      We’ll be said to be “interested” but our interest will max out way below the actual signing price.

      1. Jon

        But we will be promised that money will be “rolled over” for the magical FA in 2016.

      2. drben

        This is the sad but pivotal truth.

    2. mdavis

      Yea still need that front line guy. Just hard to see where he’s coming from right now. Scherzer? Masterson? Shields?

      does he come from a trade (A. Sanchez, Stroman)? the draft (Hoffman, Beede?) or maybe some from last year take a big leap (Skulina, Zastryny, Frazier?)


      1. When The Musics Over

        One thing to remember is that drafting someone like Beede or Hoffman in 2014, means this pitcher probably doesn’t sniff the MLB until the very end of 2016, and probably doesn’t have most things ironed out until 2017 or beyond. And this is of course ignoring health concerns and assuming a very quick ascension through the system.

        People really shouldn’t count on a high level arm from the 2014 draft being able to contribute for a few years. Are their exceptions? Of course. But they don’t carry a high probability or occurring.

        1. When The Musics Over

          Sorry, doesn’t sniff the MLB until the very end of 2015. Then a year to acclimate in 2016. Then perhaps 2017 that guy is ready to roll. And that’s still being sorta generous.

          1. Edwin

            I wonder if teams might start to be more aggressive with pitcher promotion to try and capitalize on their “peak” velocity sooner, at least with certain college pitcher prospects. But yeah, those types of prospects are probably outliers.

            1. When The Musics Over

              They could, though unlike hitting, inning limits are a concern. It takes time to build innings. Say a very durable workhorse college pitcher throws 110 innings the year he’s drafted, and another 10-15 show me innings after being drafted. Common belief is that a yearly inningsincrease shouldn’t exceed about 30-40 IP per year.

              That means that in the first full year after draft, the max this person will throw is about 160 innings, with the second full year max at about 200 innings. These are both pretty aggressive jumps, but it still shows a guy isn’t ready for a full work horse type year until the second full season after being drafted. Assuming playoff innings past that is yet another stretch.

              This relationship limits how fast you can push pitchers.

  6. mdavis

    I actually think this might lessen the chances Cleveland has to extend Masterson. Are they going to go into the $100 million range for him? I’m not convinced.

    1. Edwin

      If they have the money, why not?

      1. mdavis

        Just would be going against their usual stance I suppose…but they certainly could, you’re right.

  7. When The Musics Over

    I feel as if an expected/goal of 75 wins in 2015 will soon enough be the new 2015 success story baseline.

    Whether right or wrong, years ago, 2015 appeared to be the year playoff contention was expected. More recently it has changed to the year .500 was a very distinct and likely possibility. Soon enough, 75 wins will be the new success expectation.

    1. Kyle

      It’s obviously a moving target with a wide error bar, but if I had to guess where we’d be projecting the 2015 team a year from now, I’d say 78-80 wins.

      1. Big City Mick

        78-80 wins, .500 record, I think is extremely optimistic. Say everything does break the Cubs way this season and all of our organization’s top prospects excel, our 2015 winning % could still be worse. Schierholtz, Veras, Russell, Samardzija, Castro, E-Jackson, Villanueva, Barney, etc., basically anyone who could potentially provide a positive WAR will probably be gone before the 2015 season. It’s hard to believe that roster will be projected to win any more games then we’re projected to win this season.

        I’m counting on 2017 as our first real opportunity to achieve a .500 record because it’s becoming more and more apparent that this front office is completely unwilling to spend un-wise money, if there isn’t value to be had, they’re not willing to invest. So, the 2017 roster will be completely made up of internal resources which will require more time to fully develop. It’s bitter sweet in a way.

        1. Brandon

          If they could start hitting with runners in scoring position, who knows how many wins they can finish with. Starting pitching not that bad, improved bullpen, now just need to get the rbi’s that they haven’t been able to knock in. I could actually see this team being a. 500 team this year…they need to knock the damn runs in though. Fingers crossed and hoping, like the draft picks, f—ing tired of the losing or the way their losing.

    2. Jon

      A .500 record, the 4th year into their tenure. I can’t think of a FO, ever, held to such low standards.

      1. When The Musics Over

        If it gets pushed back yet again (to 2016), that’s only true if you give them a free pass the first year (2012).

        I really hope this isn’t the case.

        1. brickhouse

          Isn’t 2016 the proclaimed year they will be ready to compete

      2. Patrick W.

        Bobby Cox was GM in Atlanta from 1986 – 1989 and never broke .500. He fired the manager mid season ’90 (his 5th year) and took over in the clubhouse. John Schuerholz took over as GM and in ’91 (Cox’s 6th year in his second stint with ATL) and they went from 65 wins to 94 wins and a World Series Loss.

        Right now in Seattle Jack Zduriencik teams have gone 61-101 in 2010, 67-95 in 2011, 75-87 in 2012, and 71-91 in 2013 and he was given the reigns for another season here in 2014. (He did win 85 games in his first season though).

        1. Patrick W.

          How about Dave Littlefield and his 7 losing seasons in Pittsburgh?

        2. Patrick W.

          Frank Cashen with the Mets first four years win totals: 67, 41 (out of 103), 65, 68. Then 90, 98, 108 and a World Series title.

          1. DarthHater

            Gee, Patrick, with so many examples, it’s almost as if anyone who can’t think of a FO, ever, held to such low standards simply can’t think.

            1. Patrick W.

              Those are just the ones off the top of my head (though I had to look up the records). I just think some people should be a little more self-reflective when they accuse people of telling tales to fit a narrative.

          2. Napercal

            I think the Cubs are more likely to stumble along in the 68 – 75 win area for a couple of years and then turn it around and contend very quickly. The 1991 Braves, the 1987 Twins and 1995 Yankees are my historical reference point. All three of those teams basically revamped their entire organization from the bottom up. They endured a number of really bad seasons as their young players developed and matured and then it all gelled in one season. You could argue that the 1989 Cubs followed that model under the Dallas green regime, but then the Tribune pissed Dallas off and we had Jim Frey and Larry Himes dismantle everything that Green built.

        3. Patrick W.

          Holy Cripes, how did I forget about Randy Smith with Detroit?

          1996 53 Wins
          1997 79 W
          1998 65 W
          1999 69 W
          2000 79 W
          2001 66 W
          2002 55 W

  8. TWC

    “except you in the back with the long hair …”


  9. JC Martin

    Have there been any reports if there is a dollar figure that would convince Samardzija to sign an extension right now?
    If yes….how much does he want to sign the extension?
    With every week/month that passes, the price of mlb pitching seems to go higher. I would give him what he wants right now. In 6-12 months, it will look like a bargain.

  10. Mike Taylor

    There are some under-the-radar guys still available. Jeff Niemann (31), Jeff Karstens (31, who was reported to be throwing pain-free before Christmas), and Cuban defector Odrisamer Despaigne (27), could be all diamond-in-the-rough signings.

  11. woody

    Shark strikes me as a super durable work horse that can dial it up to ace status at times. I can’t remember who we played (cardinals maybe) and he pitched a two hit shut out complete game. For petes sake what are they offering him to stay? Last figure I heard was 5/55 million. A.J. Burnett gets 15 million at his age! Bailey is set to make close to 20 million a year. And the way things are going in FA we are probably going to have to pay 20 million a year to snag any of the top tier free agents, if not more. Six years at 15 million would be 90 million dollars. But I think that is about where Samardzija’s value is on the open market. When a guy can come here from Japan and command 25 million a year without ever having thrown a pitch in MLB then getting Shark for 15 million seems like a bargain.

  12. Noah_I

    I love the Bailey deal for the Reds, but hate it for us. He’s a guy who is approaching top of the rotation status, and may have even reached it last year, but isn’t QUITE viewed in that tier yet. As such, they get a bit of a discount. Latos will be more expensive because he is viewed as a TOR arm, and will be more expensive. They’ll let Latos walk and hang their hat on Bailey. Smart decision, in my opinion.

    1. Jon

      My bet, they extend both.

      1. When The Musics Over

        Contrary to common belief, it does appear they’ll have the money to extend one of Latos, Cueto or Leake if they choose. I’d bet on Latos. A 2014 rotation of Latos, Leake, Bailey and Stephenson is tough and a long term rotation (post 2015) of Latos, Bailey and Stephenson is a real nice group to build around on the pitching side.

      2. Mike Taylor

        Mat Latos is too much of a health question mark going forward to extend, especially when they can sell high for top prospects while they have the newly-acquired LHSP David Holmberg set to break the rotation and RHSP Robert Stephenson (the #17 prospect in all of baseball) getting moved up their farm system at a quick pace. I wouldn’t be surprised if they traded Phillps this year as well or as part of a package.

        1. Jon

          Latos has been pretty durable. Cueto is the one I’d worry about and the one I’d let walk.

          1. Mike Taylor

            Cueto has a $10M club option next year, I believe they’re inclined to see how his body holds up with that “Dempster twist” wind up action that produced amazing results for him. Some have attributed that action to his injury last year, so the Reds have 2 years to see how it plays out.

  13. Cubsin

    I’m as opposed as anyone to blanket no-trade clauses, but I see little downside in offering limited no-trade clauses, like give us a list of six or eight teams you wouldn’t want to play for. Not that I’d ever be in that position, but I’d never want to play for the Cardinals, and I’d never want to have to live in New York City during the baseball season.

  14. Jon

    In regards to Samardzija, if they did an extension, wouldn’t he have his 10/5 rights by the 2018 season regardless?

  15. BlameHendry

    Here’s the difference: All these players are signing extensions because they are dealing with a winning team that has a bright future. Samardzija is not signing because he’s dealing with a cellar-dweller team that has a theoretical future based on Theo’s power point slides.

    I hate to say I told you so, but I told y’all so. Anybody worth having will be locked up (Kershaw, Scherzer, Bailey, Lester). I have absolutely no interest in Masterson or Shields. Shields is a decent pitcher but he will be 33 when he inks a deal. Masterson, I don’t even know why people even put him in the same category as these other pitchers. He’s quite underwhelming.

    1. BT

      I think I remember you were the only one suggesting that really good pitchers might re-sign with their teams. I remember tons of people telling you how crazy that sounded.

    2. TWC

      “I hate to say I told you so…”

      No, you don’t.

      “… but I told y’all so.”

      It really takes a special kind of insecure jagload to plaster the ‘net with “I told you so”s.

      1. Edwin

        I hate to be that guy that agrees with you, but I agree with you.

      2. MichiganGoat

        Well I said a bunch if jagloads would do exactly this…. Soooo nah nah nah

    3. brainiac

      it’s definitely bleak! we love bleak here.

      look, in 5-7 more years things will be different. once our children have graduated grade school, high school, and college, and once theo is working for the yankees, we’ll start to see the fruits of his drafts from the stands in rosemont.

      1. Fishin Phil

        “it’s definitely bleak! I love bleak here.”

        Fixed that for you.

  16. DarthHater

    Wait a minute, I thought Kaplan already determined there was a 99% chance that Samardzija would be trade by opening day.

  17. Edwin

    Castro and Rizzo both signed extentions with the Cubs.

    1. Edwin

      Supposed to be a reply to BlameHendry.

  18. brainiac

    the important thing is that the owners are saving lots of money, and that we have good scapegoats with our neighbors on the rooftops, past front offices who have been gone a long time, the players on the team who are clearly useless and not deserving of any fan loyalty, and a religious vision that we will achieve baseball salvation by losing on purpose for a number of years.

    1. baldtaxguy

      “…past front offices who have been gone a long time, the players on the team who are clearly useless and not deserving of any fan loyalty…”


  19. When The Musics Over

    There sure have been a lot of excuses / finger pointing by this ownership / front office.

    1) Poor revenue generating capabilities within the stadium
    2) Poor player facilities
    3) Bad TV contract
    4) Bad business partners that ruin everything
    5) Poor coaching / development
    6) Cheap draft strategies
    7) Changing rules
    8) Little MLB talent
    9) Little MiLB talent
    10) Disloyal fans
    11) Debt covenants
    12) The state of baseball salaries

    It’s as if the owners agreed to buy the team sight unseen and the front office members agreed to the job without an interview / due diligence and weren’t already heavily involved in MLB baseball. The issues (whether you agree with them or not) being leaned on as excuses should all have been known issues or are issues facing every team. At some point you have to put on the big boy pants and figure out how to make shit work without bitching about the things that are tough to make it work the exact way you wanted to do so in the first place.

    1. miggy80

      Boy you just barking at a knot aint ya

      1. MichiganGoat

        Sometimes if you scream at the wall long enough it just might crack or an earthquake could happen and you could take credit.

        1. When The Musics Over

          Ok, let’s say you’re right. How would you, in you’re world, want people to discuss the Cubs?

          1. MichiganGoat

            You know the answer to that and I like you second posting.

          2. YourResidentJag

            In a way that fits his absolutist thinking, c’mon man. :)

            1. MichiganGoat

              Please elaborate… I’m bored and would love to see this explained .

              1. YourResidentJag

                We can only respond in a way the fits your parameters….this is news? You ALWAYS have to get in the last word….it fits your prerogative. I got nothing to do tonight as well….love to see how many times you’ll respond back to change my thought process to coordinate with yours. Go ahead, feel free to respond.

                1. MichiganGoat

                  You need a hug bro?

                  1. YourResidentJag

                    I gave you your explaination. How would you explain it, then?

                    1. MichiganGoat

                      Okay let me make sure I’m understanding you. So because I prefer (and wish everyone else would do the same) to discuss baseball and the Cubs in a positive direction and expect people to use facts and logic VS regularly posting pessimistic bile to further a narrative of why I am mad at the Cubs and will post the same rabble over and over- I have “absolutist thinking” and annoy you? Gotcha good night and thanks for playing.

                    2. YourResidentJag

                      Pessimistic bile or realistic perspective. Objectivity isn’t always optimistic, Goat. Thank you for allowing me to play.

                    3. mjhurdle

                      it is hard to believe that anyone who knows so little about what is actually happening can claim to be “objective”.
                      No one here knows more than 10% of the actual situations involved, which means we are all guessing/picking a perspective that reflects our desires.
                      Some people are optimistic and choose to have faith that the people who do know the situation are doing what is right. Some people choose to question and find the downside in most moves.
                      both have a right to their opinions, but one seems to need to repeat themselves way more than the other, and it does get old at times.

                    4. MichiganGoat

                      Well said mjhurdle, I never talked about being objective. All I expect is am attempt for people to use facts and logic instead of their emotions when discussing all this. It’s fine if they do want let emotions dictate their responses but expect that I will call them out for it whenever I see it.

                    5. When The Musics Over

                      First time anyone has ever called what I write bile. Illogical, definitely, bile, no. That hurts man.

                      And for the record, what I wrote above wasn’t made up. I could have added more. There’s been talk by the front office and others about the shifts in the free agent market hurting the rebuild as well. It was an exercise in organizing what I’ve read concerning the speed of the rebuild. Some see those same very things and think about how hard the challenge must be and how hard the front office and ownership must have it. I see those things and see them more as excuses rather than reasons. Sure, some of them are harsh realities that can’t be avoided. Others should be catalysts for change, finding new optimal courses of action, or motivation to be more creative.

                      Overall, sure, I can be more positive. Almost everyone can. I could say a similar line about people needing to be more realistic, less homerish and more educated. I’d rather have harsh truths jammed down my throat than sugar coated dreams. Very much a product of my up bringing, but that’s who I am.

                    6. YourResidentJag

                      Who said anything about knowing the inner workings of the Cubs FO? I think it has to more with crux of Goat’s statement with respect to just the scope of the responses on here: It’s fine if they do want let emotions dictate their responses but expect that I will call them out for it whenever I see it.

                      What does that actually mean? Ok, so it not ok have emotions dictate response but it’s fine to let emotions dictate response. Very convoluted response.

                      I’ve actually seen people people on here use emotions, facts, and logic and it wasn’t at all meant in a necessarily positive manner. I’ve done it, @Musics done it, @Kyle’s done it, and @JasonPowers has done it? So, is that ok or will you call them out, Goat, because they weren’t positive, right?

                    7. mjhurdle

                      “It’s fine if they do want let emotions dictate their responses but expect that I will call them out for it whenever I see it.
                      What does that actually mean?”

                      Well, it seems to be pretty obvious to me, unless i am missing Goat’s point.
                      What it means is that, when you attempt to masquerade emotional responses driven from disappointment as fact, there is a chance someone will call you out on it.

                      For instance, from the post that started this:
                      ” The issues (whether you agree with them or not) being leaned on as excuses should all have been known issues or are issues facing every team. ”
                      That is fine for an opinion, but it isn’t being offered as an opinionated interpretation of events; but rather as the actuality, with the inference that it is not just true, but so obviously true that every people that disagree are forced to concede that point.
                      Aside from the fact that half of the list was just plain wrong (in regards to being used by the Front Office as an excuse) the other half is pure speculation.
                      Just imagine for one second the multitude of posts that would ring down if someone had written a post that universally absolved the Front Office from any responsibility and lauded every single move they made or didn’t make. people would be falling all over themselves in a rush to be ‘critically objective’ and show that koolaid drinker the truth. But because this post was from the ‘critical’ angle, than it isn’t kool-aid, it is now objectivity, even though it possess the same lack of any factual basis.
                      You can’t have it both ways, and just because there are more people riding the complaining band-wagon at the moment does not give that viewpoint any more credence than any other.

                    8. When The Musics Over

                      If you want to haphazardly divide everyone into two polar opposite groups, the cynics and the optimists, the batter back and forth banter is pretty even on both sides, with the optimists being fat greater in nunber and the cynics being fat more active.

                      There are other websites with different personalities. It’s quite interesting to see. I like it here because I get a wide range of opinions which I learn quite a bit from. I find the actual material on some other blogs to be just as impressive as what Brett churns out here, but the message boards contain very consistent and uniform opinions across all posters, so I avoid them for the most part.

                      As for what you think of the poor quality of my material. If you don’t like it that much or it bothers you that bad, you can skip what I write. No, I’m jot telling you to go away or be a fan of another team. What I wrote here is such a small sliver of the overall content this website churns out, that it will be very easy to gloss over my posts. We all do it already to certain people in certain instances just add me to your list. I won’t even know.

                    9. mjhurdle

                      I would invite you to read my post again.
                      I didn’t “haphazardly divide everyone into two polar opposite groups”.
                      You yourself placed yourself into one extreme with your post. I used the opposite extreme to illustrate a point. Obviously there is a great area between both viewpoints where people may fall.
                      However, people that fall in between the extremes usually hedge their opinions somewhat. Which was the point of my post.
                      It is one thing to have the opinion that the Front Office might be doing a bad job. It is another thing to act like that is obvious happening to anyone capable of seeing it “objectively’.
                      First, none of us can be objective about this. We are all Cub fans (i think), which by definition lends bias one way or another on our views of events.
                      Second, even if we freed ourselves of bias, we would be unable to say anything with any certainty, because we lack so much information. It is interesting because, it we were all truly objective, it would be very hard to have any opinion of what was happening because we would be looking for only facts to base that on, and we just don’t know much.
                      Again, if you read my post, i say that proclaiming any extreme viewpoint, good or bad about the Cubs, is worthy of derision. It isn’t a “stop saying mean things about the Cubs’ it is a ‘stop acting like you have any clue what the situation is, because we don’t’.

                      oh, and I don’t have a list.

                    10. YourResidentJag

                      So, let me get this straight @mjhurdle, are you saying this about people projections of the FO or actions they make and people reactions to those actions. Because, I for one, have found some very on-point, objective things that people have reacted to. Funny, you act as though all of this is shrouded in mystery and I’ve see posters tell others that Theo and Jed have told them since day one what they were going to do for the organization. In fact, to me, it seems very clear. Apparently to you, though, it is a big mystery that deserves waiting time.

                    11. mjhurdle

                      well, as long as it “seems” clear to you i guess that is good enough.

                      I tend to wait until i have more information, but I admire your ability to go forward with so little.

                    12. YourResidentJag

                      I find your snark humorous. As do I your belief that the Cubs could play for the wild card.

                      “Maybe no World Series, but im definitely seeing a WIld Card this year.”

                      Weren’t you the one who said you shouldn’t make opinions based on interpretation that have no basis in actuality? You realize this is wildcard conjecture is the same kind of statement you’ve lectured others on tonight that shouldn’t be made, but you’re making for the same effect.

                      “I admire your ability to go forward with so little.” As do I.

                      If we truly can’t know what’s going in the FO (because we’re all waiting and know SO LITTLE), how can you know exactly how the Cubs could possibly compete for a wildcard this year. That would portend you knew the plans for Shark, knew when Baez comes up (because really if the Cubs could compete for Wildcard, Baez would have to be integral part of that), and knew that Castro and Rizzo will enhance their performance. And I’m sure I’m missing something that I truly don’t know, right??

                      An awfully bold and extreme statement coming from someone so disappointed when others make them on here with no basis in fact. I find this sort of thing…well…annoying. Good night and hope you get your facts straight.

                    13. Jason Powers

                      @YourResidentJag: I appreciate that “I’ve actually seen people people on here use emotions, facts, and logic and it wasn’t at all meant in a necessarily positive manner. I’ve done it, @Musics done it, @Kyle’s done it, and @JasonPowers has done it?”
                      You put the question mark after me…ha ha. (I would too.)

                      I can’t be Pollyanna…maybe 3 Faces of Eve, but no Pollyanna.

                      The Cubs Elephant is a difficult animal to ascertain. But we “know” only 10%…so we must muddle forward daily for another 1,000 or so days, until the results of “the plan” come to fruition.

    2. MichiganGoat

      Or Ricketts didn’t care about the short term pains he wanted to be a owner and Theo wanted to run an organization his way without anyone else limiting him and he liked the challenge the Cubs offered. Remember if he wins a WS with the Cubs he will become legendary in baseball ending both the BoSox and the Cubs curse. The better question is how long did they both expect to be bad before they turned the corner.

      1. When The Musics Over

        That list of excuses are from things I’ve heard discussed directly by the front office / ownership and or discussed in feature articles. I made up nothing on that list perhaps outside of disloyal fans which should have been labeled waning fan interest (for the Cubs and baseball in general). No one ever said running a baseball team is easy, however, because it’s very commonly known it isn’t easy, why are all these things being used as excuses in one form or another? Saddle up.

        1. Patrick W.

          Here’s the thing… you are labeling some very legitimate challenges as “excuses” because you don’t care that running a baseball team isn’t easy, you just want it to be easy, because you want things right now. Some of us label the things actual things on your list as “obstacles” that a forthright FO is willing to share, to try to drown out the people who think they know more about everything than the experts. Now, that’s not meant to stifle debate or questioning or whatever, it’s just if you keep shouting “Why aren’t they winning right goddam now?” they can either just tune that shit out or they can respond with their answers. Go ahead and debate their strategy all you want, but don’t punish them for giving rational explanations as to why the plan is taking as long as it is. Or do you just want everybody to say what you want them to say? Is it just easier to say “clearly they are incompetent” because one metric (albeit the most important, wins) isn’t where we want it to be? Wins are the outputs. All of the obstacles that need to be overcome are the inputs. They are focusing on fixing those inputs so that the output can be positive and repeatable. They are never going to say exactly what you want them to say, but don’t pretend they aren’t saying anything legitimate.

          1. When The Musics Over

            I don’t want to or need to be continually be reminded how hard it is to run a baseball team. Same way my mom didn’t want me to continually remind her how hard I found studying to be when I was 16/17/18.

            As for the winning now. I understand they aren’t going to win now. I actually embrace it at this point. I’m just sick and tired of excuses, many of them of the inaccurate variety, made by the team and the fans. If this front office really is the best or near best, my expectations should be through the roof. Right? Significant progress, in spite of obstacles should have been made, right?

            1. Patrick W.

              Significant progress has been made. The inputs are getting better and better. The output will always be the last to rise. Theo Epstein has been in the job 849 days.

              If you don’t want to be reminded as to how hard it is to run a baseball team then stop asking why they haven’t had more wins in the last 849 days.

          2. YourResidentJag

            So, that has to apply to Dallas Green, Larry Hines, Andy McPhail, and all the way up to Jim Hendry as well, right?

        2. miggy80

          I think when people rush to judge to Cubs and the current rebuild they are not looking at the Cubs specific situation. So when I hear claims such as “could the Yankees get away with this?” That answer is no. The Cubs and the Cubs situation with previous owners and it’s ball park are unique to the Cubs and only the Cubs. There for when basing your judgement on the Cubs rebuild vs. the Yankees situation is comparing apples to oranges. If you want to judge the Cubs rebuild judge it on what the Cubs organization needed to improve on and where the Cubs currently are, and not on theoretical what if’s.

          1. When The Musics Over

            What if’s is a funny game. The Cubs entire plan is predicated on minor league talent panning on, which is one massive game of what ifs. You don’t have to remind me about what if’s.

            1. bbmoney

              I think most team’s long term plans are predicated on their minor league talent panning out. Panning out either in their system or panning out in the minors at least to the point where they can be traded for MLB assets.

              The Yankees and Dodgers perhaps being the exceptions.

        3. DarthHater

          I’ll admit that discussing the issues you list is equivalent to making excuses and finger pointing, when you admit that characterizing the discussion of those issues in that way is petulant whining.

          1. When The Musics Over

            Yep, you got me with petulant.

    3. When The Musics Over

      And instead, what should have be going on is focusing on the positives owning / running this franchise offer.

      1) A top 5 market in baseball – it can’t be overstated how important this is form a resource standpoint. You get so many more mulligans that other teams can only dream about.
      2) Extremely loyal fans – perhaps the best in the sport
      3) Changing rules that should actually offer new ways (if you’re smart enough and creative enough) to find market inefficiencies to leverage as the rest of the league was catching onto the old ones
      4) Actually quite a bit of MLB talent to really help restart the rebuild
      5) A better farm system than you actually thought
      6) A new ownership and front office at virtually the same time where just about everything can be synced (this is somewhat a rarity in sports).
      7) From what I’ve read, a mostly hands-off ownership that believes in just everything you do
      8) 4+ years of just about free passes for sucking. So few major market teams are afforded this luxury. It’s quite incredible how lenient / patient people have been. Could you imagine if this was done with the Yankees the past 5 years.

      1. miggy80

        I’m not sure I’m following this but as to your “Could you imagine if this was done with the Yankees the past 5 years.” Have you checked into what the Yankees were doing from 89′-92′? And why didn’t you bring up the Mets or the White Sox? They are also in these major markets that you speak of.

        1. When The Musics Over

          Did the Yankees try to lose on purpose for 4 straight years during that era, and average 95+ losses over those years? I’m not sure about the first question, but the answer to the second question is no, and in the span of time you quoted, they won 70+ games 3/4 years. Is this the best comparison you could pull? Just curious. I’m not a baseball almanac. I just used the Yankees as a comparison because it felt right given they are a fanbase with sky high expectations. If this type of extreme rebuild was tried there, I can’t imagine people would be quite as patient.

          As for the White Sox, they have been a model franchise, even in spite of playing second fiddle in this town. I don’t get that example.

          As for the Mets, yeah, sure, they’ve had a rough run via some idiotic ownership/management, though I can’t say they’ve tanked on purpose. Their fan base should be asking similar questions.

          1. MichiganGoat

            If this rebuild works for the Cubs and Astros you might just see the Yankees having to do this very soon. Eventually they can’t buy the players they need. It’s one of other things I’ll be watching over the next few years. How will the Yankees handle the next few years

            1. When The Musics Over

              The Yankees have a boatload of money coming off the books in a few years. They can float at mediocrity until that time if the choose, while also pouring resources into their minor leagues. They don’t have to go to 4-5+ years of 95+ losses to rebuild.


              1. Mike

                The problem isn’t necessarily the amount of money the Yankees have to spend but rather there are the right free agents available for them to fill in the gaps.

                1. MichiganGoat

                  They also have no Jeter or Mo coming up to fill in and anchor those positions. They can’t buy great players at all the positions but like I said going to very interested to see how they proceed from here.

                  1. When The Musics Over

                    If they spend 3-4 years trying to seriously develop their farm system, as they’ve recently said they are going to, then they won’t have to. They can try to compete until then with the aging, expensive veteran laden squad they have right now. Will it mean championships until that time, very likely not. Will it mean 95+ loss seasons, very likely not.

                    1. Mike

                      You’re assuming that they will get players that will pan out. There is so much that can go wrong with prospects to derail them. Assuming you are a Cubs fan, I shouldn’t have to explain that part.

                    2. When The Musics Over

                      These conversations are circular references, through mazes, up and down hills, around bends, with fog, against the wind, in mud etc. I’m spent.

                2. hawkinright

                  Yes, and you can’t be President until your 35. That has nothing to do with the fact that THUS FAR this ownership has been disappointing to say the least. It would be hard not to have a top minor league organization sacrificing what they have at the mlb level.

                  1. Patrick W.

                    It would be hard, and since they have accomplished that, the sacrifice has worked. Excellent endorsement of the plan.

                    1. brainiac

                      i appreciate the optimism, and share it on some levels. but “the plan” doesn’t exist. losing as a strategy for winning isn’t a plan, it’s cynicism. and every team tries to draft well. the difference is the cubs are trying to lose well when other teams aren’t.

                    2. hawkinright

                      It would hard? Explain that. If you are willing to trade mlb talent for prospects and pick in the top ten yearly because your mlb team is awful, why would that be an accomplishment to build a strong farm system. Also what exactly is “the plan”? I’m curious on what the plan is? Is it running a bad, cheap MLB team and making lots of profits while promising the fan base a brighter future on the off chance that the prospect really are enough to win a World Series because so far that what it has been.

                    3. Patrick W.

                      I don’t think you’re really curious. I, in fact, think curiosity might not have a lot of room in that statement. Nor perhaps in your thinking. :)

                    4. hawkinright

                      No, No, I really am curious. The plan is referenced so much by fans on the board but so few specifics have been outlined by management I want to be brought up to speed.

                    5. Patrick W.

                      No, I’m not convinced. I don’t believe you enough to go through it all. Don’t take it personally it’s not you I find disingenuous just your words. I’m not your guy.

              2. DocPeterWimsey

                Actually, they might. You cannot buy what is not for sale, and the Yankees are going to have many needs that won’t be on the market any time soon.

                This actually has come up in regards to whether Jeter has been “selfish” to remain at SS. Many Yankee fans have grumbled that if Jeter had been willing to move positions, then the Yankees could have acquired one of the good-hitting young SS and thus been able to maintain offensive strength at SS after Jeter retired. This brings back the question: which good-hitting young SS have been available over the last 3-4 seasons? It’s such a short list that it actually isn’t a list at all!

                (There was talk of them pursuing Reyes a couple of years ago: but Reyes turns 31 this year, and thus he’s already at the age where we can expect him to fall off of the table any year now.)

                The Yanks also had an incredible string of Knoblauch/Sori/Cano at 2B. Getting the relative OPS from that position that they’ve gotten before is going to be really hard: not many obvious names come up.

                And, of course, they now have a hole at 3rd. The Yanks supposedly asked after Headley: but the Pads have lowered their price only to your two best prospects (down from three!). If Headley hits the market, then the Yanks will go in heavily after him: but west-coast factors might nip that in the bud. After Headley, there are not many obvious possibility.

                So, the Yanks might well be the millionaire in the empty store over the next few off-seasons while their team rots further and further.

                1. Brocktoon

                  Stephen Drew is still out there for ss

                  1. DocPeterWimsey

                    The Jeter hitch seems to be a problem there: Drew wants to sign to play SS, and the Yanks aren’t going to push Jeter over on his farewell tour. Drew also wants an opt-out after one year, so he can cash in if he plays well this year: he almost certainly is aware that he can be in for a huge payday if he just replicates 2013.

                    Also, Drew is 30 and he’s had injury problems. This came up the other day when we were discussing Jeter, but the freakish thing about him was how long he was able to stay a MIer. The difference between Jeter and Alan Trammel is that Alan Trammel fell off of a cliff when he hit 30, whereas Jeter declined only very gradually. Ryno, Alomar, Baerga, (probably) Utley, etc., are all fairly recent examples of good-hitting MIers who either suddenly weren’t, or who were relegated to “good when healthy.”

                    And that means that Drew probably is going to be a short-term solution for whomever winds up with him.

                    1. Brocktoon

                      Wasn’t aware drew was looking for that opt out. I figured they could throw him at 2b for a year to appease captain intangibles and then slide him over after.

                    2. Patrick W.

                      I’ll go on record now as saying I don’t think Jeter makes it through the season. He’ll be a bench coach by August.

          2. miggy80

            In the 3 years you speak of they had an average of 91 loses for those seasons. I chose this comparison because you claim that the Yankees wouldn’t get away with a rebuild. Well I know you’re not an almanac but I’m sure you know how well they did after the 89′-92′ seasons. The other half of the equation that you are failing to take in consideration is the Cubs are not the Yankees. Just because the Yankees and Cubs are “big market teams” doesn’t make them the same. The Yankees had all around better facilities, better staffed, used technology better. The Cubs were in the stone age when the Ricketts bought them.

            Let me ask you have you taken in consideration the new spring training facility, the new Dominican Republic academy opening in May? Did the Yankees have to rebuild their organization on that level?

            1. hawkinright

              Yeah, the thought that the fan are is being to hard on the cubs ownership/front office is insane. Anybody referring to this tenure as anything but a total disaster up until this point is really being unobjective. Now could they turn this around? Yes. But up until now if up you think a new facility in the DR and a good farm system (largely from picking in the top 10 and trading most of your MLB talent) is success then your standards of success are way to low. As of now this has not been a success at all.

              1. mjhurdle

                “Anybody referring to this tenure as either a total disaster or a total success up to this point is really being unobjective.”

                Fixed that for you

                1. hawkinright

                  No, up until this point we’ve been one of the worst franchises in the mlb that’s a fact. Now if the “plan” takes hold and we start to be respectable then we can reevaluate but as of know we see no jumbotron in Wrigley and the mlb temp am has been god awful. That’s a disaster.

              2. BT

                If they were trying to win the pennant the last 3 years, then you would be correct. They weren’t. So you aren’t.

                1. hawkinright

                  Winning a pennant and not being horrible are not the same. I guess I should qualify disaster as it’s has not been a disaster for ownership as by most accounts the team has been very profitable, so at least their gaining net worth.

                2. Brocktoon

                  So the pirates near 20 year run of incompetence wasn’t a disaster because they weren’t trying. Glad to know we can add that to the excuses. Well we didn’t want to win games anyway so Nyah

              3. brainiac

                they will turn it around eventually, they have to. i just don’t like being shoveled a bunch of bullshit in the meantime. they should come out and say:

                “the rickets got ripped off by sam zell”. or “the ricketts just dont feel like investing more in this organization right now. daddy needs a new porsche”. or “theo has decided that he’s so good that he doesn’t have to try anymore. he just needs to draft well and let the magic do the work”. or “you all are a bunch of loser suckers who will believe anything, so we’re going on vacation”.

                eventually something will happen. like year 7 or something.

                1. hansman

                  When were you shoveled bullshit? In Theo’s opening press conference he said “Long term>short term, EVERY SINGLE TIME”

                  One of these days I may have to change my copy and paste responses. Maybe.

                  1. hawkinright

                    He also said every year is sacred. You don’t have to be an embarrassment and be a bottom 8 team in payroll to be good in the long term,

                    1. Xruben31

                      They’ve proved every year is sacred, every season since taking over has been about acquiring long term assets. I think you’re undervaluing how much better the entire organization looks compared to when they took over.

                    2. hansman

                      So far they have constructed a 72-win and a .500 team before mid-season dismantling.

                      If they truly were trying to lose, they’d have gone the Astors route and built a 100-loss team out of the gate.

                    3. hawkinright

                      I think your overvaluing the loss of years for the acquisition of “assets”. I really think that even if the prospects all are as we hope, which is highly unlikely, the cubs are still so far off because of there refusal to “overpay” for other players. So far the only thing that is a fact is management has not put as much $ as their size/market suggests they should. Everything else is speculation.

                    4. hansman

                      And he said that as part of a response to a question. The theme of his presser was “buckle in, this is gonna suck ballz for a while”

                    5. Brocktoon

                      Erm. Did I miss this .500 team they built?

                    6. hawkinright

                      So then he shouldn’t have said that because he lied. Listen, I really didn’t expect the cubs to be winning a World Series at this point. The frustrating part for me is THUS FAR, I will again stress, THUS FAR, the commitment to spend in an attempt to bring the Cubs closers simply isn’t there. This is very concerning to me as it shows me that winning isn’t the top priority. What makes good business owners and what makes good sports franchise owners are different IMHO.

                    7. Jason P

                      One 30 second line in 1 press conference over a period of 3 years hardly qualifies as shoveling you bullshit.

                  2. brainiac

                    yeah these guys are losing on purpose hansman, i know you don’t like that part of it. you’ve said as much. it might be good business for them right now, but it’s bad baseball. frankly it tarnishes epstein’s name.

                    1. BT

                      Major league executives have a much better grasp of what Epstein is doing than the posters on this board do. My guess is that his reputation is doing just fine.

                    2. brainiac

                      for now he can bounce back. but he’s staking a lot on the future based upon bad sportsmanship.

                    3. hansman

                      I don’t believe they “lose games on purpose” (by which I am assuming you mean fielding a team that isn’t as competitive as they could) until contention is clearly out the window.

                      In that case I whole heartedly support that.

                  3. Kyle

                    Apparently. Last year’s team had a lot of the statistical indicators of a .500 true talent team, before being dismantled.

                    1. Patrick W.

                      They also played 82 consecutive games of .500 baseball last year. Starting April 25.

                    2. Brocktoon

                      Through what 3rd order?

            2. hawkinright

              Ok, so then Epstein is the reason we’ve decreased payroll so dramatically?

        2. Brocktoon

          Saying “hey our ownership is no worse than the guy who lost a ton of money with mad off and needs mlb loans to meet payroll” is pretty much the definition of damning with faint praise

          1. Patrick W.

            It’s no worse than saying “Hey our ownership is in a big city so they have every single advantage the Yankees have.”

            1. When The Musics Over

              Who said that?

              1. Patrick W.

                When you said: “Could you imagine if this was done with the Yankees the past 5 years?” the implication is the Yankees situation and the Cubs situation is exactly analogous.

                1. When The Musics Over

                  Just because I asked if what fan sentiment would be if the Yankees are doing what the Cubs are doing in no way means I think the Cubs can afford a $220M payroll. That’s a massive leap. That you know.

                  1. Patrick W.

                    No, I think it’s not that big of a leap … because it seems to me that we should expect Yankee fans reactions to be much harsher based on the significant advantages they have over the Cubs, no? Doesn’t that concede the point that the Cubs have significant disadvantages? If not, what point does it make to bring up the Yankees?

                    1. Brocktoon

                      Every team has significant disadvantages compared to the Yankees. I feel comfortable saying revenue wise the cubs are better off than 2/3 of the teams in mlb. Whining about not having maxed out tv deals and rooftop garbage is just hiding the fact that tom ricketts has been a miserable failure as an owner

                    2. miggy80

                      How many owners would be labeled as “miserable failures” after completing a deal to build a new spring training facility and a new Dominican academy? Oh and don’t forget that $500 they plan to spend on Wrigley once that legal mess gets settled.

                    3. Brocktoon

                      How many owners would: 1) see the team have the 29th best record in the majors in their first 4 years on the job 2) oversee a 60m drop in mlb payroll to go 3) show a stunning inability to get anything accomplished on your renovation plans because you can’t afford to do a thing until you have advertising up to pay for it

                      and be called siting but a miserable failure? Loria got taxpayers to build him an actual big league stadium. you must think he’s a regular Walter o Malley.

                    4. hansman

                      How many owners also had 2 of their franchise’s highest three payrolls in their first two years? Hell, I’ve seen some folks try to say that Ricketts was in charge in 2009. That’d give him all three of the highest payrolls.

                      (I’m guessing this is where you point out the Dodgers who got a ridiculous TV contract in the ownership’s first year)

                    5. miggy80

                      Brought the farm system to one of the top three from obscurity. Has assembled some of the most desired staff in the front office and scouting.

                      You can judge the Ricketts solely by what has happened at Wrigley Field. I’m looking beyond that and the foundation is being laid for a quality run organization.

                    6. Patrick W.

                      Miserable failure of an owner, 4 years in. Jesus it takes 7 years just to become a lawyer.

                    7. Brocktoon

                      So is time it takes to become a lawyer the new standard for judging the job somebody did? Man dale sveum got royally screwed

                    8. Patrick W.

                      Yes, exactly. This is exactly now the standard. Since we agree on that we should be all good now. The new standard is how long it takes to become a lawyer. The old standard, how long it takes to kill a dead horse has been replaced by this, more reasonable, standard.

      2. baldtaxguy

        I think I follow your two posts on this – you are attributing the first list as 100% what you have heard and read from the ownership and FO and the 2nd list is what you believe should be the rhetoric from the ownership and FO. Assuming I have this right, I have heard a bit from both lists from the ownership and FO, so I don’t see either as the reality. I don’t see ownership or the front office as 100% bitching, naive and the constant needing of big boy pants, but I also don’t see them as splitting the success atom of baseball team management. They’ve both had opportunities to succeed where they have failed and hit on a few moves that they’ve made. They’re not #1 just as they’re not #32.

        1. Napercal

          There is no way to quickly rebuild an organization. Successful teams build from the bottom up. I would much rather go through this once than rebuild every other year. The White Sox seem to be in that mode. The Cubs have finally escaped from all the horrendous contracts that Hendry saddled them with. Having said that, there is really no reason for the garbage that has been put on the field at the major league level. I still think the Cubs could have signed 2 or 3 decent veterans, like Granderson, to make the on-field product more enjoyable to watch. These kind of guys would not interfere with the development of the core since the core will likely need another 2 to 3 years to be fully able to take over and would provide leadership and depth to help ease the growing pains. IN addition, the young guys will be cheap for the first few years. I guess that is a two headed way of saying that on the baseball side, the Cubs are headed in the right direction. However, on the business side, there is no excuse for ownership not to allow moderate spending on a couple of good veterans.

      3. Patrick W.

        Who should be focusing on these things? It seems to me that your suggestion is really contradictory and doesn’t reflect what you think it reflects. You say they should be focusing on the positives and there is no evidence that they aren’t. Plus your one list of “excuses” is not mutually exclusive of this list of “benefits”.

        You can say “We have some MLB talent and more MiLB talent than we thought, but there isn’t enough of it to compete.”

        You can say “We have the resources of a top 5 market, but we don’t have a TV contract the way the other top 5 market teams have (-WhiteSox) which constrains revenue.”

        You can say “The new rules on free agency is tying our hands a little bit from doing things the old way, which was quicker but we this does open up new ways of doing things like, for example, blowing away the International Free Agent Market.”

        Also, 2) and 8) go hand in hand, that is your loyal fans give you the so called free passes and you call 8) an advantage and yet it’s not one you give them, so I’m going to go ahead and call bullshit on those two.

        1. When The Musics Over

          You can call bs on what you want, including my loyalty, which is really funny, as would I really be spending as much time as I do ont he Cubs and as educated as I am about them if I wasn’t loyal? But that is fine, you probably know me better than I know myself. That is fine.

          I don’t see the front office listing any of the positives as reasons they should be doing better or why they’ve done well at the things they’ve done well at so far. It’s simply we aren’t better because of these impediments.

          1. Patrick W.

            I didn’t question your loyalty at all. Where on earth did you get that?

            1. When The Musics Over

              You said how can loyal fans give free passes but I’m not. Maybe I was intrepreting that incorrectly.

              1. Patrick W.

                No, I was saying the exact opposite, actually. I was saying that because you are a loyal fan, and loyal fans are a positive things, and because you do not give them free passes, the notion that they are getting free passes from their loyal fans is BS, as proven by you.

                1. When The Musics Over

                  Ok, I understood that wrong.

                  The Cubs have a loyal fan base. It may be an extremely critical one, but it’s as loyal as it gets.

        2. When The Musics Over

          Oh, and loyalty doesn’t mean blind loyalty. Only dictators, kings, tyrants, etc expect blind loyalty from their subjects

          1. Patrick W.

            But nobody said anything about you being a loyal fan.

          2. Stinky Pete

            I have blind loyalty to the Cubs because it really doesn’t matter what I think. I may not care for the way the team is run and I can stomp my feet all day, but nobody really cares. I root for the team and hope they do well. That’s about all I can do.
            It’s really not like being oppressed by your government.

        3. bnile1

          To piggy back on Patrick’s point.

          The new rules actually make it detrimental to spend for incremental wins. In the past if you spent money to go from 65 to 75 wins it would cost you draft position and that was all. Which if spendig is not limited was not usually a bid deal as you could sign guys over slot later on to make up for it. Now going from 65 to 75 costs you draft position, AND pool money,AND international pool money,AND potentially puts you outside the bottom 10 so that you don’t had a protected pick. To put it bluntly there is considerable disincentive for the kind of “cosmetic” signings that have been a halmark of the cubs over the last few decades.

          That said I don’t think it’s fair to say the cubs have been “intentionaly losing” If they wanted to take they could have made a series of trades etc that would have achieved that puropse. From what I have seen they have spent the last 2 years trying to get value out of their declining vets and “flip” players, which they have done rather well IMHO. Now they are in the transition phase where they are trying to generate value in the “fill ins”, while they develop the more impact prospects. The next phase will be the development phase where they get the impact prospects experience, and that’s arounsd the time the FA money will flow as that’s when the team will natually start winning.

          I don’t know if this plan will work, but from a CUbs perspective it does have the novelty of never being tried.

    4. brainiac

      the important point here is that these are all dodges because they’re not keeping their end of the deal. most of us would immediately be placated by the most basic evidence of professionalism, by way of effort to improve the team in palpable meaningful ways. some of us have seen enough to know when a business is putting on a PR front, and when there’s behind the scenes problems getting in the way of getting the job done.

      clearly something’s gone a muck, and we do spend some time speculating about it, but that’s part of the fun. the important point is that “the plan” isn’t actually a plan, and something has gone terribly wrong with the organization, for which they’re moving from scapegoat to scapegoat.

  20. Patrick W.

    But who accused you of not being a loyal fan?

    1. Patrick W.

      Darn it, wrong reply button.

  21. Orioles Reportedly Agree to Terms with Ubaldo Jimenez – Jeff Samardzija Impact? | Bleacher Nation | Chicago Cubs News, Rumors, and Commentary

    […] is that the deal will take the Orioles out of the market for Jeff Samardzija for the time being. Although a Samardzija extension is still not off the table, if he does become a trade piece – either now or at the deadline – it was nice to have […]

  22. Blackhawks1963

    Baez takes flight, Castro rebounds and Castro becomes the chip to build a trade around for a frontline starting pitcher. My guess for TheoJed’s playbook.

    1. woody

      I think that is a possibility. Jed saying Castro is our guy may just be a smoke screen to take some pressure off of Castro. Olt factors into that too. If he pans out and looks like he belongs there long term then Castro will be gone IMO. That way Baez stays at SS.

    2. hansman

      If Castro rebounds and becomes a top-5 MLB SS…at the age of 24.


      1. blewett

        1) Because we have Javy Baez.
        2) Because trading him might be the only way we get a TOR arm.

  23. Patrick W.

    New flow chart (less fancy)

    Did the Cubs win the World Series today? —-no— This organization is miserable.

    1. Brocktoon

      The cubs are projected to be the worst team in baseball by PECOTA.

      1. Patrick W.

        Has any other Chicago baseball team ever been projected by PECOTA to be worse than they performed? Like projected to win 80 games but actually won 99?

        1. Brocktoon

          So how do you expect this years team to finish?

          1. Patrick W.

            I don’t know. Somewhere around 70 wins. 65 – 75 are equally probable in my mind. I’m not hopeful they will win a World Series this year but that’s not my expectation.

            1. mjhurdle

              Maybe no World Series, but im definitely seeing a WIld Card this year.

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