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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Friday, June 08, 2007

Bench Jacque Jones

(AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Just asking, which of these guys would you want playing right field for you?

Player A: .306/.364/.423, 4 doubles, 3 HR, 23 RBI, 9/19 BB/K in 111 AB
Player B: .236/.298/.333, 9 doubles, 2 HR, 18 RBI, 14/26 BB/K in 174 AB

Add the fact that Player B throws like my grandpa after a few glasses of Beefeater, and you understand the title of this post. Why the hell is Lou Pinella playing Jacque Jones over Cliff Floyd? They're both lefties, one with power, one who sucks eggs, and only one has a chance in hell to hit a lefty, who, coincidentally, the Cubs are only 5-10 against.

Here's the numbers on that little stat: In JJ's nine years in the Bigs, he's only hitting .227/.275/.348 against the southpaws. For the mathematically challenged, that's about as good as Shaq's free-throw percentage. OK, his career free-throw percentage is actually .525. Whatever. As Matt told me the day the Cubs greatly overpaid for that hack, Jock looks plain stupid vs. da lefties. Ugh.

In comparison, Cliff's numbers against left-handers are .273/.331/.465. Hmmm... Wonder who'd I'd rather be playing on a regular basis. Please look back up at this year's stats for further discouragement. Isn't Sweet Lou's philosophy that if you hit, you play? Jock must be quite the personality then, because his stats don't scream out playing time to me. Neither does his -2.7 VORP. I know, I know, the Cubs are actually trying to trade Jones, and Cliffy has some cartilage problems in his ribcage, but I'm just pissed the team is at this position to begin with. Matt Murton is a better alternative than the Jockster. Would you rather have a threat hitting after Lee and Ramirez? Or Barrett's .239 or JJ's woe-is-me? Seems simple enough. At least when the baseball mind is actually kickin'.

(Did I just say that? What a dork.)

Speaking of Michael "Nobody Loves Me" Barrett, this is a terrible time to go through his worst plate discipline of his career. To say he's pressing is like saying Paris Hilton has had a few boyfriends. If he doesn't get his head out of his ass, his days at the Friendly Confines are certainly numbered. This season (.239/.293/.400) is so far below his career numbers (.266/.324/.430) you'd think he'd turn it on, but with the extenuating circumstances, he could be going to another squad by Aug 1st. Wait, no they're not. He's done. Especially when you add in Carlos Zambrano would rather have Koyie Hill (.083/.214/.083) in there than Barrett. Maybe Big Z figures he's hitting better than them both (.296/.296/.444), so what the hell. Think the Indians would part with Shoppach? Too young for the Cubs to go after. Or for the Indians to give up. The Northside Brass is much better at wasting $5.33 mil per like they are on JJ. Or the $4 mil per they are on Barrett. Michael's contract is up after this year, so I hope they at least get something for him in lieu of the ol' Cub Fave of letting the man walk for nothing.

On the positive side, how about Rich Hill's last start? Dig it. Matt was probably torn between watching him school the Braves for eight innings and being glad his fantasy team was on it. Knowing Matt "John Galt" Resell, I'd put money on the fantasy team. Gotta love that nine pitch (eight for strikes) ninth inning by Ryan Dempster as well. Someone buy those guys a cold one.

As a Cub fan, I'm happy as a pig in shit that the Cubs won the series with the Brew Crew and then started off the four game trek through Hotlanta with a W. Oh yeah. They might even sniff .500 again sometime soon.

Or, maybe not.

Let's just start by putting that Cub flag over the frickin' Redbirds.

Weee're Waaiiting!

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