Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Blinded by the Blue

When exactly did fans of a team, and any team not just the cubs, lose a sense of reality because of loyalty to players.  Correct me if I am wrong but don't we cheer for a team and not the players.  This has been going on since the beginning of time most likely but our players are almost always better than anyone else.

For starters, Cubs fans all over the place have decided that our weak, injured farm hands are enough to pull in almost any trade target.  The day when we can trade Ronny Cedeno for Brian Roberts straight up will be the day that Satan and Suddam have that long awaited snowball fight.

This year has been the worst in recent history, as far as fans crying over lost players.

For starters, I love Kerry Wood, always have and always will.  But...  losing him does not make the cubs the cellar dweller of the NL Central.  He has never been healthy. Even this season, his "Healthy" one, he missed a month with a blister.

Mark Derosa is next up.  Sure DeRo played great in the two years he was in Chicago, but at what point exactly did he become Mickey Mantle.  I mean we are crying over this guy like the drunk redneck next door just ran over our dog with his monster truck.  DeRo is a utility player.  He has averaged around 12 HR and 60 RBI throughout his career.  We probably have scrubs in AAA that if given 500 at bats could produce those numbers.  Yes, I know he was great this year.  But, does anyone seriously think he will replicate the numbers he put up in 08?  If so the rude awakenings would have been brutal and it would have been DeRo's and not Fukudome's head we were calling for next year.

Multiply Mike Fontenot's stats from last year over a full season and what do you have?  a player that is very comparable to Mark Derosa, but at a fraction of the price.

The final point in my 15 year old girl, bitchy tantrum is Henry Blanco.  SERIOUSLY!  We are talking about a freaking back up catcher.  The guy gets 120 at bats a year.  Will he really be that missed?

And I don't want to hear any whining about how he is needed to tutor Geovany Soto.  Paul Bako is a veteran catcher, who is as good in the field and will not kill us at the plate.  He has caught Hall of Fame caliber pitchers.  Lets see, how about, oh I don't know, Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, and John Smoltz.  Not to mention Carlos Zambrano.

When are we going to look past our loyalty to players and start seeing the team realistically.

Stiff comments

A piece of advice ... don't stretch your opinions.

Telling us that people are unreasonably in favor of their favorite Cubs while simultaneously telling us how Jake Peavy will "win 20" and Aaron Miles will "produce as much as DeRo in 09" kind of kills your credibility a bit. I see what you're trying to say, which is the opposite of what the cubbie blue koolaiders are trying to say, but you go too far in the opposite direction.

- I am on your side when it

- I am on your side when it comes to silly trade proposals. Certainly many people enjoy fantasizing about ridiculous deals that bring great players to their team, but almost always, their proposals have the needs of only one team in mind, as opposed to both.

- Kerry Wood does not make the Cubs cellar dwellers, you're right. But God, was he awesome in 2008. Without looking, I think it was 84K to 16BB. (Now I'm going to look. OK, 18 walks, I was off by two.) That's... that's just silly. He's incredibly talented. He was perhaps the one Cub on the roster (aside from Big Z, maybe) who had the balls to just throw strikes (get it? balls, strikes? testicles?), and let the defense do the work.

Not having him wont' make the Cubs awful, I agree. But let's be honest, he will be sorely, sorely missed. In a time when players rarely stay with a team for more than a few years, he was with us for what, 14 seasons? Too bad things didn't work out.

-To be honest, most metrics say DeRosa will be better than Fontenot, and WAY better than Miles, next year. Check out fangraphs.com to start with. Over the last several years, DeRosa has consistently won more games than he's been paid for (check the Value section of his player page). While on the one hand, he probably won't have another 2008 in '09, it seems likely that he'll earn his $5.5MM salary and then some.

There's a theme to your post that I think bears mentioning explicitly. In this league, you've got to give something up to get something back. So far, we've given up a huge piece of our 2008 bullpen, a reliable (albeit totally overpaid) starting pitcher, and a utility infielder with solid offense and average defense. Let's hope we end up getting something back for all these sacrifices.

let me address some

things here.

i never said that aaron miles would replicate dero stats. that is ridiculous. however, miles and fontenot will. multiply out fontenot's number to 505 at bats last year. he would have hit 20 HR and had 87 RBI. numbers look familiar? now that is assuming he would play at the same level given 505 at bats.

secondly, i said peavy could win 20 in Chicago. could. no problem there. anyone could win 20 jon freaking lieber won 20 in Chicago. i said that in an SB message because someone insinuated that dero's value was greater to a team than that of jake peavy. wow.

as for kerry wood. " i mean, i said with all due respect" no seriously, ricky bobby jokes aside. the guy was phenomenal. i agree. if he hadn't missed a month with a blister on his finger he would have been even better. however, to act like he is going to single handed ruin our team is absurd. i mean what are even the odds that for 10.5 million dollars that the guy stays healthy next season. not to mention he is making more over the next two seasons than brian fuentes, who was considered by many to be a better closer. he said he would have came to Chicago on the cheap. i dont buy it. that is what you say after you played somewhere ten years then get let go. that one statement turned more people against cubs management than the juan pierre trade. i will miss woody for sure. but i will not cry myself to sleep at night over it.

Well, actually you said

Well, actually you said "miles and fontenot will produce as much as dero in 09." Maybe you meant in a tandem, but the implication is that you feel that Miles will produce as much as DeRo in 09. Just scratch Miles from the sentence if you think Fontenot will match DeRosa's production in aught nine - and there are a lot of resources out there that think he'll come awfully close.

As for saying Peavy could win 20 in Chicago ... sure, hey Samardzija could win 20 as a starter next year, so could Marshall, hell Kevin Tapani won 19 one year while having a TERRIBLE ERA. I'm not disagreeing that a pitcher like Peavy should be more valuable than DeRosa, I just think that if you're going to say out of the blue that DeRo will drive in "65 RBI" and Peavy will have "20 wins", then it seems like you're distorting the probability of their actual production in order to make your point - but it's hard to take your point seriously when you do that, even though I agree with you.

Anyway, I'm sure I've missed some comments here and there, but at least on GROTA I don't think anybody is forcasting doom and gloom because there's no Kerry Wood in a uniform in '09, but it still sucks and the pen will be worse without him. As for not buying whether or not Wood would've come to Chicago for less than 10 million a year ... you've got no grounds to base that on and there's plenty of evidence that Wood has accepted sweetheart deals in the past to be a Cub. He said BEFORE he signed anywhere else that he would've liked to work something out, but the implication is that the Cubs never made him a solitary offer.

sorry for any confusion

i most definitely meant a tandem of miles and fontenot. i suggest the tandem knowing that fontenot's has thrived against right handed pitcher but has limited experience against the lefties.

as for kerry wood. i dont know the reasoning for the cubs not making an offer, and if in fact he was willing to give them a major discount then i would be saddened. however, we will really never know exactly how that thing played out. i just believe those are the words that you say when a team has turned their back on you but their fans still love you. i know he said it before he signed elsewhere. he had given us two discounts. but... this was, and could be the only given his injury history, chance at one last big contract. he is a great pitcher, and he produced some of my fondest memories. he will be missed, but fans all over the internet are calling for jim hendry's head over kerry wood. i am fairly new to GROTA so i do not know how things have happened on this site. but if we are going to rip into jim hendry lets do it for the way he has failed in our farm system, not the moves he as made at the major league level. because those moves have paid off so far.

and on a lighter note, if i had a short list of guys i would like least to meet in a dark alley. hank white is in the top 3.

I was with you

Until you brought up Hank White.

Nothing can replace his badass-ery. NOTHING.

Wait, so you are saying the

Wait, so you are saying the numbers Dero HAS put up, you know Fontenot WILL put up? The reality is Dero has put up the numbers, and you HOPE Fontenot can put them up over an entire season. The reality is Fontenot is an utility player, as is Miles. We may be stuck with having to start one of the other (or platoon) if nothing else comes up. But to try and Kreskin Fontenot's totals is more blind than anything Dero related.

The question you really need to ask is when are you going to look past anyone in blue being a sucess because they are in blue. All the moves we have made this season has to this point made us a weaker team than last year. Hopefully, this isn't the end of the moves to be made before that first pitch.

Dero > Miles
Blanco > Bako
Wood > Nothing
Edmonds > The speedy role player...

in reality

derosa will never again match last years numbers

he should not be compared to miles since miles is not a starter.

kerry wood was replaced with carlos marmol, who i think will be better. marmol was replaced by kevin gregg who is a solid late inning pitcher. everyone hates on gregg for blowing 9 saves. he was not completely healthy last season. if healthy he is good. dont forget that wood blew six saves last year himself.

henry blanco is a freaking back up catcher, why are we having a conversation about a back up catcher?

look at the team on paper. add in milton bradley and we are better than last year. That's not seeing blue. that is looking at our problem from the post season (no left handed hitters) and realizing that we are adding at bats to several lefties. mike fontenot gets more, micah hoffpauir gets more, and milton bradley come in to play right and bat in the middle.

DeRosa will never match those

DeRosa will never match those numbers again, yet Fontenot will? Is that becuase Derosa is not a Cub and Fontenot is a Cub?

Let me go out of my way and say you were a Matt Murton/Corey Patterson fan? You are comparing numbers of actual players and what you think a role player can achieve if he is the starter. I will go out of my way and agree with you on Fontenot being a lefty, with the caveat that if he was that good in the eyes of Lou, the Fuko fiasco would have been squashed a lot earliler than it was. Fontenot would have been the everyday 2b, and Dero would have been the RF. But it didn't happen like that more often than not. Fontenot doesn't have a lot of range up the middle, he is not quick to either side, and he is not consistant at the plate. When he is hot, we ride him. When he is not, he really is not, so he doesn't see the filed. His bat doesn't make up for his fielding. I will kreskin his stats to be .260 ave, 330obp, 15 HRs, 48 rbi's with 450 at-bats. Not horrible, but not an upgrade.,,,and that is if he plays that much. Now won't we all have egg (and by all, I mean you all) if 2b goes to Miles, since he has the ability to be a leadoff hitter?? remember, that was the other glaring hole that needed mending...

As far as Wood, I totally disagee with all of that. Do I think Marmol will be a better closer? Sure, with a little more maturity. But with him as the setup, and Wood as the closer, that was a situation we should have kept. I don't think Gregg is anywhere near the setup man Marmol is/was.

I have never argued getting rid of Dero for the salary space, as I am a Cub fan...players come and go. If this gets us Bradley, then w00t.. But this so far is NOT addition by subtraction. I, in no way, see the Miles/Fotenot connection as any sort of upgrade, or equal value of what we gave away, which makes us weaker.

LOL... I totally agree on the Bako/Blanco issue. I just replied becuase you mentioned it in your blog...

this only becomes

an addition when we sign a lefty hitting right fielder. odds are that will be milton bradley. once that move is made then i think this team is ready to go.

the lead off situation is only a hole in the eyes of us fans. it has been made fairly obvious that lou wants alfonso soriano leading off. i dont think miles and his career .300 obp from the lead off spot will take the job from him. i have a feeling that miles fills into a super sub role, much like the one he has been playing for some time.

as for fontenot miles combination reaching this year's dero numbers. i was meaning more of reaching dero's career averages. that is more realistic of what dero would have given us. this year was an exception. he is career 13HR and 64RBI over a 162 game avg. i think that fontenot can do that. and your own projection was not far off those numbers.

as for wood and marmol and gregg. i think what you lose in the set up role, you gain in the closer role. overall i dont see too much of a difference in the combination. the difference though is easily made up by the 10.5 million over two years that KWood got from the indians. if we were going to spend that much i would have still let wood go and signed brian fuentes because he is a lefty.

Arggg... Soriano will never

Arggg... Soriano will never have the paitience to be a good leadoff hitter. Yea, Lou wants him there, and will probably leave him there. Exactly, Miles is just not good, and Fontenot is still unproven. You can't compare what has been achieved in a small part-time roll, and try to stretch it out. Best we can hope is the numbers he has can stay consistant if he plays a full season. But it is less of a stretch to think Dero can maintain his output last year, simply for the fact that he did it; that is what he has done for you lately...LATELY... If we went by past numbers, there should be no issue with Fukko...OK, sorry...now I am just being sarcastic. But you can oly go with what has he done for us lately.

Only comment I have about this is Howry... yes, a good setup man can and does make a difference. Wood was a lot cheaper for us to keep (coming from the horses mouth) than what he evetually signed for. You don't want to walk away from what this team is on the verge of doing, and I am sure after 14 injury filled years, I am sure he wanted to see it through...

Well, we need to get this Bradley thing done...

i think

i think that hendry is waiting for the marquis trade to be finalized and then he will introduce bradley at the cubs convention so he can land some publicity. it will be like a big cubs convention present. at least to some people. to me i just want a regular left handed hitting right fielder.

I didn't realize that being a

I didn't realize that being a Cubs fan meant that cold hard facts had to govern our senses. I've been a Cubs fan my entire life and never have I questioned my loyalty to the team because of statistics and numbers. Maybe I'm just a silly fan, but baseball is an emotional sport and the Cubs are even more so. When you are that invested in one group of people, it's hard not to care about players beyond their batting and earned run averages.

Nothing in the post was incorrect. Yes, Kerry Wood has never really had a healthy year. Yes, DeRosa has played well but his numbers aren't jaw-dropping. Yes, Fontenot could be a comparable replacement for him. Yes, Henry Blanco is a back-up catcher who gets 120 at bats a year and isn't necessarily any better a tutor for Soto.

People are fans for different reasons. People are fans because of an organization's tradition, they grew up a fan, they know fans, they appreciate the team's talent, etc. That includes feeling connected to particular players. And even if parting ways with a guy is what's best for the team and we are acutely aware of it, some of us still feel a little cheated and betrayed. I've been a New York Mets fan for years now because my beloved Brian McRae played there for a short time. Not much else could make me root for a New York team.

The Cubs tend to have an old timey boy-next-door vibe to their players and I think a lot of fans tap into that. They are what baseball what meant to feel like. And when you part ways with Wood and DeRosa, two of the biggest faces and names on the teams, probably the the team's two biggest boys-next-door, people are going to get a little upset. We'll get over it, find new favorite players, see the genius in the plan..eventually. We just want to be upset for a little bit.

Fans want to like their players. Yes, we want the Cubs to win so desperately. But we also want to like our guys. I don't want to watch of bunch of guys I don't like win a World Series. We understand we need to give up to get. So many things have changed this off-season in a short amount of time. We're just a little taken aback. We just want to be angry for a while.

Agreed...

You through Wrigley Field into the mix and you get a total sense of romanticism of the total franchise. Is it wrong? I don't think so.

I guess some of teared up at the end of 'Field of Dreams' - and some didn't.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award