Goatriders of the Apocalypse

Mark DeRosa

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Reader Blog: Trade Winds

Jim Hendry has been the Cubs GM since mid 2002, so we’ve got a lot of trades to look at. I’m going to highlight one or two from each season that strike me as particularly important or illuminating.

2002: Cubs trade Todd Hundley&Chad Hermansen for Mark Grudzeilanek&Eric Karros.

Hundley is my least favorite Cub of all time. He was shitty.  He was overpaid. And he was a mean son of a bitch. The Cubs handed him a 4 year, $23.5 million contract before the 2001 season. In his two years as a Cub, Hundley totaled 579 plate appearances and posted an OPS below 700. For those who prefer batting average, Todd hit .187 and .211 in 2001 and ’02. He’s most famous in Chicago for flipping off the home fans while rounding the bases after a home run. He was like Fukudome without the production, pleasant demeanor or sobriety.

Somehow, Jimbo convinced the Dodgers to take this sad sack off our hands, and send us something useful in return. Both Grudzeilanek and Karros contributed to the division winning squad in 2003. Grudz became our starting 2B, and he could inside out the ball to the opposite field as well as any hitter I’ve ever seen. I’ll never forget watching Karros videotaping the playoffs from the Cubs dugout during the NLCS. It really felt like he was one of us. He wasn’t a bad platoon first baseman either.

Oh, and Hundley was pumped full of steroids for much of his career. So there’s that.

2003: Cubs trade Jose Hernandez, Matt Bruback&a PTBNL for Aramis Ramirez, Kenny Lofton&Cash.

Cubs trade Ray Sadler for Randall Simon.

2003 was Hendry’s finest season. The Cubs would not have won their division that season were it not for Ramirez, Lofton and Simon. Lofton and Simon are long gone, while Aramis remains as the greatest Cubs 3B since Ron Santo. And Hendry gave up practically nothing to get them. Thanks, Pittsburgh!

2004: Cubs trade Hee Seop Choi for Derrek Lee.

Cubs trade Brendan Harris, Alex Gonzalez&Francis Beltran for Nomar Garciappara & Matt Murton.

The Choi for Lee deal rivals the Aramis Ramirez trade for the best of Hendry’s career. Clearly, Jim was on his game in the early nineties. Choi never realized his potential, and is probably best remembered for being carted off the field after an in game collision with Kerry Wood.  Derrek’s achievements speak for themselves. He is my favorite Cub, and I will be sad to see him go if this is truly his last season here.

As much as the Nomar trade did not work out, I believe now as I believed then that is was the right move to make. The Cubs SHOULD have won their division that season and were trying to add the missing piece for a postseason run. Obviously things didn’t work out. Mercker bitched, LaTroy imploded, Sammy stepped out, and the Cubs massively underachieved and missed the postseason altogether. The following April, Nomar suffered the most excruciating injury imaginable, and that was that. He was on the DL until August, and by that time the only interesting question left was whether DLee would win the 2005 NL MVP. The Cubs finished 21 games behind the Ratbirds, who won 100 times that year.

2005: Cubs trade Sammy Sosa & Cash for Jerry Hairston Jr., Mike Fontenot and David Crouthers.

Cubs trade Ricky Nolaso, Sergio Mitre & Renyel Pinto for Juan Pierre.

2005 was the first year that Hendry really pissed me off.  These two trades, which neatly wrap around a lost season, signal a real change in Jim’s ability to maximize value on the trade market. Let’s tackle the Sosa deal first. Sosa was a diva who didn’t mesh well with his teammates. He was getting older and was obviously on the decline. He still hit 35 HR in 2004. He should have brought more in return than he did. I believe he would have, if not for the systematic way the Cubs undermined any leverage they might have had in trading him. As you all undoubtedly remember, Sammy left the ballpark 15 minutes into the final game of the 2004 season. This became public, and it shortly became obvious that Sosa would never be welcomed back into the Cubs clubhouse. When 29 teams know you have to trade a guy, 29 teams will not give you good value in return. Fontenot was the only piece worth mentioning here, and he’s a platoon 2B who was nearly DFA’d by the club this past offseason.

Then there’s Juan Pierre. Hendry’s worst trade as the Cubs’GM. Full disclosure. I despised him then and I still do. Maybe it’s because, along with Josh Beckett and Pudge Rodriguez, I still associate him with the 2003 Marlins. Maybe it’s because he posted a crappy OBP with zero power. Or his limp dick outfield arm. Or maybe it’s because we lost 96 games and I needed a scapegoat. Here’s why this trade still pisses me off to this day: Ricky Nolasco is awesome. He’s exactly the kind of player the Cubs need to keep if they are going to be successful. And Jimbo traded him for one subpar year of a crappy player on a terrible team. GAHHHHHHHHHH.

2006: Cubs trade Greg Maddux for Cesar Izturis.

This one is more emotional than anything else. Hendry traded Maddux to the Dodgers to give him a shot at winning a championship. Respect.

2007: Cubs trade Rocky Cherry and Scott Moore for Steve Trachsel.

WTF? Cherry and Moore were no great shakes, but I can’t begin to fathom what Hendry was hoping to accomplish here. Trachsel was old and finished. Trachsel made a few starts, didn’t pitch well, and was left off the postseason roster.

2008: Cubs trade Sean Gallagher, Matt Murton, Eric Patterson & Josh Donaldson for Rich Harden & Chad Gaudin.

Cubs trade Jose Ceda for Kevin Gregg.

Like the Nomar trade, the Harden deal was a well meaning, but ultimately failed attempt to improve the team for a deep postseason run. I saw Harden’s first Wrigley Field start in person. He was DOMINANT. If memory serves, he went 7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 10 K. I was convinced he was the missing piece.  Two years later, the Cubs have no rings, and Harden struggles to get out of the third inning with fewer than 100 pitches thrown. At least it doesn’t look like those prospects amount to much.

Kevin Gregg was a disaster and I'm glad he's gone.

2009: Cubs trade Mark DeRosa for Jeff Stevens, John Gaub and Christopher Archer.

And the Trixies wept.

2010: Cubs trade Milton Bradley for Carlos Silva & cash.

Cubs trade Aaron Miles, Jake Fox & cash for Jeff Gray, Ronny Morla and Matt Spencer.

Two things are obvious to me about these most recent trades: First, it is far too early to say anything definitive about these deals.  Second, they were all about Hendry fixing his free agency mistakes from the previous offseason. That’s never a good thing for a GM. I was furious with Hendry for suspending Bradley for the last 15 games of the 2009 season, as it robbed him of any leverage he might have had in trade talks. I was furious all over again when the Cubs traded for Silva, who has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball for the last several years. Now I’m just sort of numb. I know Silva isn’t an ace, and his sub – 1.00 ERA is the product of small sample size. I’d be thrilled if he finished the year with an ERA under 4.50, and right now that looks like a possibility. As for Gray, at least he got AAron Miles out of here. Meh.

Conclusions:
Hendry made a number of brilliant trades early in his GM career. Since 2004, he’s been significantly less productive in the trade market. It’s not clear whether other teams simply got smarter, Jim lost his touch, or something else altogether, but Hendry hasn’t had an obvious win since the trade that brought Derrek Lee to Chicago. Hendry’s trades aren’t getting it done anymore. He should be fired.

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Reader Blog: Hendry's Free Agent Signings

Lets start with the positives. Hendry signed two of our three best starting pitchers through free agency, and both have wildly exceeded our expectations. Terrible Ted Lilly has been worth 10 WAR since he began his Cubs career in 2007. For comparison's sake, Yovani Gallardo has only been worth 5.5 WAR over the same period of time. Ted has been very, very good.

Ryan Dempster has been even better. In the two seasons since he returned to the rotation, Dempster has been an ace. He's put up 8.7 WAR in that time period, and was able to accumulate 3.6 WAR last season even though he missed a month of the season with a broken toe. Since he joined the rotation, Ryan Dempster has been the Cubs best pitcher.

That's about the extent of the positives. Here are the negatives, in lazy list form: Alfonso Soriano @ 8 years, $136 million with a no trade clause. Kosuke Fukudome @ 4 years, $48 million with a no trade clause. Milton Bradley @ 3 years, $30 million. Jacque Jones @ 3 years, $15 million. Jason Marquis @ 3 years, $21 million. Bob Howry @ 3 years, $12 million. Aaron Miles @ 2 years, $5 million. John Grabow @ 2 years, $7 million. Etc.... These players have a ton in common. Most were coming off a career year. (Jones is a notable exception.) Most did not contribute enough WAR to justify their salaries. All were seemingly signed for too many years. The Cubs roster has been an elephant's graveyard of declining players being paid a ton of money for their past contributions to other teams.

This shouldn't come as much of a surprise. Most MLB team's have gotten smarter about keeping their young, high WAR players away from free agency. The majority of players who reach free agency are players that their original teams didn't deem worth extending, because their likely salaries would exceed their likely contributions. In short, free agency isn't a smart way to try and build a ballclub. Jim Hendry has spent a lot of money in free agency and usually hasn't gotten his money worth. The bad, long term contracts on this Cubs squad have hamstrung him in his efforts to improve the team going forward. The Cubs are older, maddeningly mediocre, and expensive. This team won't contend in 2010, and it won't contend in 2011 either. Because of his nasty habit of making it rain on every flavor of the week free agent who comes a knockin, Hendry should be fired.

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GROTA, drop us a line and let us know!  If you do a bang-up job, we'll
even promote your article to the front page of the site!

A late season post about middle infielders

What?  We have no tags for Jeff Baker&Andres Blanco?  We need to rectify that, because they are here for the long haul.


A very popular topic of conversation amongst Cub bloggers is the Mark DeRosa trade.  Over the months of this abortion of a season, two camps have sprung up - the "Mark DeRosa is not God" camp espoused by Desipio Andy, and, um, everyone else who tends to track the entire spiralsuck of 2009 on the New Years Eve trade.  Naturally, I tend to think the truth falls somewhere in the middle.


Mark DeRosa can be counted on to hit close to 20 homers, drive in close to 70 runs, hit around .260 and get on base 34% of the time.  He is not a great fielder, but not a liability, either.  His two main talents in life are that he is friendly, and that he leaves his ego in check well enough to allow himself to go play a corner outfield spot, third base, second base or first base.


The latter talent is vitally important to Lou Piniella, who if he had his way would expect every member of his 25-main to be able to play more than one position.  Except Z, he would pull his lazy fat core muscles playing in the field.  Lou loves DeRosa.  Which begs the question: where is all the Lou love for Jeff Baker?  Baker is essentially DeRosa, only younger, covers a tad more ground, hits for a better average (albeit less power), and can and will play all the positions Mark does?  Of course, I don't recall seeing Baker in a cute YouTube skit, or in the paper much commenting on the cartoon-watching proclivities of a Bobby Scales, or something cutesy like that.


My take on Mark DeRosa, on this 25th day of September, 2009?  I do not blame the entire fall of the 2009 Cubs on the loss of Mark.  I do think losing him took away one of Lou Piniella's safety blankets, and it would have been better having him around than giving 400 at bats to Mike Fontenot.  If you believe that DeRosa was traded, so that his salary could be leveraged to pay Milton Bradley, then you have every right in the world to be pissed off.  On the other hand, he was traded at the peak of his value (for once in Hendry's tenure), and although a popular meme in the papers these days is for Hendry to right the wrongs of 2009 by re-signing DeRosa this winter, it seems pointless to have a roster with DeRosa AND Baker AND Andres Blanco AND Ryan Theriot AND Mike Fontenot AND Aaron Miles.


Unless, of course, you do the following:

  • install Andres Blanco as the starting shortstop
  • sign DeRosa, and let him and Baker rotate between second base, spelling Ramirez at third, spelling Alfonso Soriano in left, and spelling whomever in right.
  • this leaves very little room for Fontenot.  Get rid of him.
  • But!  But!  What about The Riot?  He's our shortstop!  He's our starter!  He hits .300.  If you don't like his fielding at short, can't he play second?  Won't he be mad if we got rid of Fontenot?

Yeah, probably.  In my humble opinion, I am through with Ryan Theriot at shortstop.  I like his .300 batting average, but I don't like his baserunning and I don't like his lack of playmaking ability.  I forgot what a real shortstop looked like until Blanco came up from the minors.  Compared to him, The Riot looks really bad.  So could Theriot play second?  Sure. 


And here's where it gets complicated.  Who starts then?  Theriot or Baker?  And then, if you re-sign DeRosa, things really get jammed up at second.  Therefore, it makes no sense to me to bring back Marky Mark unless you get rid of Theriot, because then you have three starter-caliber guys wanting to play one position, and occassionally spell guys in a couple other positions.


Besides, if you got rid of Theriot, then who backs up Blanco at short?  We'd be forced to keep Aaron Miles.  Ew.  I just threw up a tad.


So, in my world, I start Blanco at short, with Theriot at second primarily, and against lefties, Theriot plays short, and Baker plays second, spelling Theriot once a week.  Baker also plays third for Ramirez once a week, plays left for Soriano once a week, plays right once a week, and second 2-3 times a week.  Theriot gets about 550 PA, Baker about 500.  Soriano and Ramirez get more rest in 2010.  The defense improves dramatically.  If you sign DeRosa, it would have to be based on the terms I just outlined for Baker.  Then you trade Baker, while HIS value his high.


Aaron Miles is allowed to start selling insurance, and Mike Fontenot can go back to Baton Rouge to run a combination batting cage/bar/laundromat.

Wood & DeRo - Where are they now?

Jim Hendry has deservedly received a lot of flack for his off season moves this year.  He rolled the dice on Bradley -- so far coming up a loser, although time may tell a different story -- he took a risk on Fontenot -- also a loser move -- and he dealt for Kevin Gregg after declaring that Wood had no home in Chicago.

The loss of Wood and Mark DeRosa in particular upset a lot of Cub fans.  How many times have we heard or read this year that "da Cubs would be doin' betta with Da-Rosa!"  How many of us lamented that Kerry Wood -- a certifiable "big game pitcher" -- was to be replaced by Kevin Gregg and his hipster-doofus glasses? 

While the fan in me still misses Wood considerably, at this point Hendry's decisions look less decisively poor and more ambiguously positive than they did back in May. 

Wood presently has 14 saves and 4 blown, while posting an ERA of 4.93 through 34.2 innings of work.  Not exactly elite.  Compare that with Gregg, who has 21 saves to 3 blown with an ERA of 3.42 in 47.1 innings of work.

DeRosa, meanwhile, is still hitting the crap out of the ball -- he's batting .266 with 18 homeruns so far this year.  Although, since coming to St. Louis, DeRo is hitting a Fontenesque .244.

Speaking of Fontenot, at this point he has me longing for the days of Mickey Morandini.  Font is batting .229 and should never, ever face another left handed pitcher in a game that matters.

As for Milton Bradley, he is doing better but not great.  He's certainly not earning his contract this season.  He was chosen by the Cubs over guys like Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, and Raul Ibanez, all of whom are either lacking power, defense, or a legitimate "I'm doing it clean" argument. 

Nevertheless, the Cubs are now leading the NL Central.  They'd undoubtably be better off with a guy like DeRosa on the team, but Gregg at least is looking very good.  And Bradley?  Meh.  Let's talk about him again in a year.

Introducing Jeff Stevens

To keep the 'pen fresh as we approach the All-Star Break, the Cubs have sent Kevin Hart back to Iowa, and will put Jeff Stevens on the major league roster in his place.

Jeff Stevens is one of the three pitchers the Cubs received in the DeRosa deal, and by the looks of how he's been pitching lately, it seems like he should see at least moderate success in the majors. In his last 14.1 innings pitched in Triple A, he's struck out 21 batters, and allowed just four walks. Cool!

From what I can gather from across the interwebs, he primarily uses his low-to-mid nineties fastball, a decent change-up, and a curveball with a lot of break. As a complete sucker for K/9 rates and K/BB ratios, I'm interested in seeing what this kid has to offer for the major league club.

News Flash: DeRosa To Cardinals

Apparently, Mark DeRosa has been traded to the Cardinals.

This past offseason, many Cub fans were disappointed to hear that Mark would not be a part of the Cubs' roster in 2009. Perhaps you were one of those fans.

Of course, not everyone was all that upset. Several "DeRosa skeptics" (myself included) tried to argue that Mike Fontenot's overwhelming success in limited at-bats in 2007 and 2008 would carry over into this season. Our younger, cheaper, defensively superior, left-handed option (those advantages remain true) would hit (that hasn't happened), and the Cubs would be fine.

Fast forward to the end of June 2009, and Mark is now the enemy. Let's take a look at what might have been had the Cubs retained Mark DeRosa for 2009, in comparison to the rest of the team:

DeRosa's Current Batting Average: .270

That would rank 3rd among Cub starters that have played in more than 20 games.

DeRosa's Home Run Count: 13

Mark would be 2nd on the team in home runs.

DeRosa's On Base Percentage: .342
DeRosa's Slugging: .457

Mark would be 5th in OBP (Fuk, Lee, Theriot and MB are 1-4), and 2nd in slugging (behind Lee, assuming you don't count Fox, Hoff, or Scales as a regular).

Given those ranks, I could easily see DeRosa making the Cub offense significantly better had he been retained for this season. Of course, it's nearly impossible to suggest that DeRosa would have precisely the same numbers if he played for an entirely different team, in an entirely different league.

But those of us that thought last year was a fluke? Not only were we wrong; now, we have to be reminded of our mistake every time the Cardinals come to town.

This should be fun.

In Which We Man Up and Admit When We're Wrong

The wonderful thing about blogging -- all your words are as immortal as your domain registration and hosting contract.  That means that in the years GROTA has been around, we've said plenty of really stupid things that time proved us to be totally wrong about.

For example - I was wrong about Mark DeRosa.

When the Cubs let DeRosa go for some young pitching that very well prove me right in the end about the DeRo deal, I said it was no big thang.  After all, the Cubs had a tremendous hitter in Mike Fontenot who could bat lefty and would probably put up numbers equal-to or better-than the '09 DeRosa.

I said DeRo would revert.  He'd had a career year in 2008 and, at his age, career years don't get duplicated. 

I said that Fontenot was a better defensive second baseman.  (Actually, this one still might be true, he hasn't gotten to play there a whole lot.)  And with the addition of the versatile backup Aaron Miles, DeRosa's ability to play multiple positions would not be missed.

Hell, it's June 22nd.  We're well on our way through the 2009 season.  And the evidence to the contrary about my bold opinions is staggering.

Mike Fontenot is not cutting it as a starter.  Actually, the amount of doubles and homers he's on pace to hit are fine and dandy.  The problem is his .230 AVG.  Strike that, the problem is his .121 AVG against lefties. At the very least, Fontenot needs somebody to spell him against south-paws.  Even Aaron Miles would be acceptable -- BAM! is batting .259 against lefty pitching, which is better than the next-to-nothing that Lil' Mike is delivering.

Then again, DeRosa is a near-.280 hitter so far this year, on pace to hit 31 homers, drive in 118 RBI, and post an OPS of .819.  And he is killing lefties. 

On a team starving for offense there is no denying that the Cubs would've been better off with DeRosa on the roster.  So, big-time screw-up for Hendry, and admission of being wrong from me.  But before you get on my case too much about it, be honest about how fast you gave up on Derrek Lee -- many were sticking forks in him back in October 2008.

Now, lately one of our writers has taken a significant amount of flack -- even from some of our other writers -- for being harsh on the players on this team.  He said Lee was toast about a month ago, he's called Soto fat and lacking ambition, he's declared to be embarrassed for ever having advocated Fukudome, and so-on.  Well, Rob, I'm callin' you out.

At one point this season, Lee was batting .194 with 3 homeruns and 15 RBI.  (That was on May 13th, by the way).  In just over a month since then, Lee has been batting .374 with 8 homeruns and 20 RBI.  The point being that, in baseball, nobody's done until after they've taken their last at bat.

As for Soto, this has been a strong point of disagreement between Rob and the rest of us.  He thinks Geo grew fat on his laurels.  I don't know for sure that he gained weight over the winter, but I do know that he started the year with a sore shoulder and a screwed-up swing.  At his low point, April 30th, Soto was batting .109 with 0 homers and only 2 RBI.  Since then, he's hitting .264 but more importantly with 5 homers and 17 RBI.  Geo's not out of the woods but he is definitely, undeniably hitting the ball better.

Fukudome, on the other hand ... eh, it's hard to say.  After starting the year with a .338 AVG in April, Kosuke batted .277 in May with only 1 homer and 5 RBI and is batting .180 in June, even after Saturday's 4-hit assault.  I'm prepared to give this one to Rob, but not until we see where Fukudome is by mid July.

Oh -- and Milton Bradley.  I don't recall that Rob has given Bradley too much flack for his crappy 2009 season, but I just wanted to note to everybody that Don't Wake was batting .097 on April 29th.  Since then, he batted .268 with 3 homers and 12 RBI in May and is batting .286 but with only 2 extra base hits in all of June.  Still -- he's improving. 

The point is that nobody really knows.  We can guess, we can trust our gut, we can follow projections and detailed statistics, but until the games are played we're just rolling dice and making bold declarations that we hope nobody will bother to remember.

What I will say is that the difference between a good team and a bad one appears to occur in inches.  The Cubs team we've followed through the start of June was indescribably awful.  They failed to get big hits, they couldn't win close games, they surrendered late leads, and on a whole they were just painful to watch. 

Probably they are still that team, at least a little.  But with the Questionable Quartet coming around, we suddenly have a team getting huge hits late in games, often coming from behind to win on their last at bat, with a bullpen that still appears to be shaking off the cobwebs but has been able to hold down small leads.  It's the same team, the same personnel, and suddenly they don't look like they're going to lose 90 -- instead they appear as if they just might win that many games.

All I can say then, to Rob and many others, is that this to me is proof that nothing can be assumed or taken for granted.  We live in a Cubbie Bubble where we see the worst and assume it doesn't happen to any other team -- or maybe we assume it means more because these are the Cubs, for gawd's sake.  But I wrote a while back about the Superlative Season in which if we aren't rewarded with a perfect year of baseball we think the team has no chance at all of winning imperfectly

On the contrary, I still think the Cubs are playoff bound.  I still think it will happen in spite of the managing.  I still think this team is immensely talented.  And I absolutely believe that in October, this team -- already so beset by adversity -- will be prepared to shrug off at least some of the pressure they will feel to win it all.  At this point their talent will almost certainly be bigger than their wins total, and in October talent wins out.

Of that I am certainly not wrong.

Beating a Dead Horse (because after last night what else is there to talk about)

With the return of Colin (can I call it a return?) comes the return of Mark DeRosa talk in Chicago.

As is was poined out in our Shout Box, the Brewers might be one of the teams interested in Mr. DeRosa's services. I'm not sure where Xblack_jeepX heard it from, but I first read this rumor on today's Sun-Times Web site in a Chris De Luca column.

In said column, De Luca stirs the shat pot (again) by suggesting that DeRosa would be the perfect replacement for the recently injured Rickie Weeks, who had his season ended with a wrist boo boo.

Well I say let the Brewers (or anyone else) have him.

Don't get me wrong, I like DeRosa and would welcome him back to Chicago with open arms assuming the Cubs wouldn't have to give up more than a few baseball bats for him (Hey, it's happened before), but I think we're starting to see why Mark was given a one-way ticket to Cleveland in the offseason.

While DeRosa has a respectable 25 RBI and 6 homers, the rest of his stat line is telling a different story (and I'm not talking about that .242 batting average). Currently DeRosa is hitting with a .312 OBP, .412 SLG and thus a .724 OPS. All of these numbers are below his personal average.

I think we can agree that his stats last season were inflated due to the level of talent and production around him in the high-powered Cubs offense, so maybe the fault isn't with DeRosa, but his crappy Cleveland teammates. Alas, this is not the case.

The Indians offense has been surprisingly strong. The are second in the AL in team OBP (.354), sixth in walks (161) and third in hits (375). They are putting men on base, and as such, DeRosa has responded with his 25 RBI. But his strongest statisical category is more complimentary to his teammates than himself. Being able to collect a large number of RBI is, in essence, based on luck. There needs to be people on base in order to drive them in. DeRosa has no control over the ability of teammates to reach base. So again, his RBI total in comparison to his weak offensive statistics everywhere else just shows you how good of a job the Indians are doing at giving him several opportunities to produce despite his repeated failures at the plate so far.

Outs and the ability to not make them is the most important thing in baseball...and DeRosa is making a lot of them.

Granted the season is still young and DeRosa could turn it around any day now, but I think we're starting to see that last season for D-Hero was an exception to the rule.

So I say let the Brewers have DeRosa. They have the fourth-ranked team OBP in the NL right now, so DeRosa on the Crew might actually help the Cubs.

Guess who's on the trading block?

Hey look, everybody! We could get DeRosa back! Isn't that exciting?

Where have you gone, Mark DeRosa?

Guest: How big does it look right now to not have DeRosa on the roster?

This was a question asked by somebody wishing to remain anonymous.  Well, GROTA is nothing if not fair, and we are going to take a look at two things ... the first is How DeRosa is Doing, the second is How DeRosa Would Do.  It will all be self-explanatory.  Read on.

How DeRosa is Doing
Between trips to the capital to help successfully manage the bailout Mark DeRosa is a man pulled between two loves - baseball and science.  Miraculously, he's found time to both.

You see, a recent brain study - done by known PhD holder Mark DeRosa - confirmed something many had suspected for years: Mark DeRosa is a superman genius.  His brain functions are so dramatically excelerated that he has the ability to perceive the world so quickly that he effectively has lightning fast reflexes.  Consequently, he enjoys inventing new, revolutionary scientific devices between the moments of when the pitcher releases the ball and it connects with his bat.  DeRo is that awesome.

However, he has been suffering from distractions of late as he has struggled to find an answer to the riddle of the African drought that has plagued Niger for the past 4 years.  Consequently, he is only batting .997 while leading the undefeated Indians to what some pundits believe to be a likely perfect season.

So to answer Guest's question, how big does it look right now to not have DeRosa on the roster?  It's huge.  It's horrible.  After all, while DeRo is busy redefining "leadership" for the 6-11 Indians, the Cubs are learning how to live without his .208 AVG.

How DeRosa Would Do
But imagine if DeRo were here?  Wouldn't it be great!?  The Cubs!  They'd be rock stars!  Like tonight - the Cubs were losing already to St. Louis when David Patton came in.  Problem was that he turned it into a route by allowing 5 earned runs and probably cementing the end to his experimental status on the Cubs roster.  If DeRosa was here, he could have stepped in for Patton and struck out Albert Pujols.  Then, he could have led off the next inning with a homerun. 

BAM!  Just like that.  Game changed, Cubs win.

Or, he could just be another Cub batting 100 points below his career average producing insufficiently, driving us nuts.

Anyway, I've got a rule I try to stick by.  That rule is to never make it personal.  So Guest, when I say that your comment about DeRosa is perhaps the most idiotic thing said by anybody so far this year, please understand it's your opinion that I think is ridiculously stupid, not you. 

For a point of reference, I have long held the opinion that I should be able to wear my baseball jerseys into my place of work, a government office here in Toronto.  But my opinion about the dress code at work is stupid and it's wrong.  I just need to learn how to live with it.

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