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45 YEARS SINCE A CUBS' PLAYER HAD A YEAR AS BAD AS BARNEYS


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#1 Oswego Chris

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:41 AM

With the Barney arbitration talk the last couple of days...I did a bit of preliminary research into the depth of the badness that was Darwin Barney at the plate in 2013.  Barney had an OPS of .569...with over 500 at bats...something no Cubs' player has done since Don Kessinger in 1968(and, ah...he was an All-Star that year). Kessinger's .245 BA, makes his season look a bit better...and he would eventually win a Gold Glove the next year.  Kessinger was also in a line-up with Banks, Santo, Williams and Hundley...thus the slick-fielding, light-hitting SS was well protected.  So I pose these queries?

 

Would we mind Barney a lot less if we had a respectable offense?

 

In Kessinger's day, it was perfectly acceptable for a middle infielder to play good defense and any offense was just a bonus...today, not so much.  In 2014, should a player like Barney even be a regular...on any team?

 

Is this too much time discussing Darwin Barney?

 

@BBCG105Reasons



#2 Mike Taylor (no relation)

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 08:55 AM

It would be perfectly acceptable/reasonable if he: 1) came into games late for defense with a lead; 2) hit only vs. LHP as a starter or off the bench; 3) hit only in the 8-hole; and 4) kept a salary under $2.5M. 



#3 5412

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 06:53 PM

Hi,

 

I think you pose a great question about Barney.  I go back to the days of a rookie named Kenny Hubbs setting a fielding record.....and unfortunately dying at much too young an age in a plane crash.  Then they moved Glen Beckert from shortstop to 2B.  

 

Here is the difference I see.  While a second baseman may be light hitting, the good ones seem to hit above their averages in the clutch when the game is on the line.  They move the runner over, find a way to get a runner in,things like that.  They do the gritty things and scrap and fight like hell.

 

How do you know when that happens?  When they come to the plate with the game on the line, you don't cringe and go get your car keys to get ready to go out for dinner.

 

Unfortunately that is not the case with Barney.  The dilemma we had last year is how much defense were we willing to give up to get a more productive hitter at 2B?.  My guess is Barney knows this is his make it or break it year.  With the 2B prospects in the minors, plus Olt, Bryant and Baez moving along......one may force Valbuena to 2B, Barney may be a cheap stopgap until the system sorts itself out.  If he can hit .245 he might still be traded.

 

Ask yourself this question.  If we had Fontenot in his prime, who would be playing 2B?  Didn't Santo call him Little Babe Ruth or something?

 

regards,

5412






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