Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Goodbye and good riddance...

Everything the Cubs do seems to go wrong, but even if we don't go to the playoffs this year, I at least expect to see better baseball than last season (which isn't saying much). I am particularly relieved to see the back of Corey "He's a five tool player!" Patterson, since he's caused me much angina over the last several years.

Basically, my two major problems with Patterson is a) that he sucks, and b) that he's a lazy bum. That's a bad combination.

Last year when the Cubs dumped Sammy Sosa, the Worry Wart Brigade warned that we'd rue the day after he went on to hit 40-50 home runs and knock in 100 rbis in 2005. I wasn't that concerned, and it turned out I was right not to do so.

Now we keep hearing the same stuff about Patterson, which amazes me, because he's been so awful the last couple of years. Last season he hit .215, which for someone with over 425 at bats was the worst batting average in team history. And we're talking about the Cubs, not the Marlins. The team's been around for over a hundred and twenty-five years. And after he got sent down to the minors for a month, which is about as humiliating a thing as can happen to a major leaguer, he came back and hit under .190 for the rest of the season.

Then this morning I saw this on a Cubs blog:

"I perused the Baseball Prospectus stats archive to see if I could dig up anything interesting from last year. You can sort by RBI per Runner which is basically the number of runners a batter has driven in not including himself. I suppose as good as measure of “clutch” as there is in the game, at least as far as a single season goes. I set the cutoff at 400 PA’s [plate appearances] and it yielded 223 major leaguers.

Take a guess who was the worst hitter in baseball in this regards for 2005. Go ahead, come on, he really sucked last year…..Yep, Corey Patterson (0.0753). We’ll miss you so."

Sosa was the 16th worst, by the way.

Believe me, if Corey can get his head out of his ass, good for him. I honestly wish him well and hope he does wake up and plays up to his potential.* But I'm not exactly haunted by the possibility. And I'd rather see him playing well for somebody else than stinking up Wrigley for another year, in any case.

[*I will note that despite his amazingly stubbern local supporters, no team was willing to give the Cubs *anything* at all of value for him, even a little, so obviously other organizations no longer see him as a very viable reclaimation project.]


At 1:07 PM, Anonymous jurb said...

Call me a bit disgruntled on the Patterson front. My biggest beef is that the Cubs traded him when his value was at its lowest. For a guy who was once top prospect and still pretty valuable coming off of a 24 homerun season at the age of 24, the Cubs ended up getting very little for him. Plus, as horriffic as Corey was last year, who was the guy who kept on playing him and batting him lead-off? Somewhere, Dusty Baker has to take some accountability. Only an idiot bats notoriously low on-base guys, Patterson and Neifi, one and two in the line-up for most of the year.

That said, Juan Pierre should be a huge upgrade in center and when it comes to trading young players, they did get Derrek Lee for Hee Seop Choi. So it ain't all bad.

Love your site, BTW.

At 1:41 PM, Blogger baby copernicus said...

C-Pat was done wrong!

They never told him to shorten his swing!


At 1:45 PM, Blogger Ken Begg said...

Believe me, I have little good to say about Dusty Baker, and Patterson would not be the only player he's widely misused. (*cough, Hawkins, cough*) I almost fear a very good but not great season for the Cubs this year, because then he'll probably get his contract extended. (If they go to the playoffs, then he'll have earned it, even if I do have a lot of gripes with him.)

On the other hand, I can't stand a kid who doesn't even run out grounders. Two years ago I went up to Milwaukee for a Cubs/Brewers game. Patterson hit a squibber a few feet in front of the plate. He just turned around and walked back to the dugout. I'm still pissed off about that.

As for not trading him earlier, that's a point, although I really don't think anyone expected him to play as badly as he did last year. ESPN still has the player info up from the period before the 2005 season, and they were comparatively upbeat about Patterson, talking about how he was improving in several offensive catagories.

I expect his new description to be sharply more downbeat, whenever they get around to redoing them.
Patterson now seems to have established a pattern of getting worse every year. Frankly, I assume he'll now have to *gasp* compete for an outfield spot, and am in no way sure he'll be a starter.

In any case, Hendry only got screwed if there was some actual interest in Patterson that he didn't take advantage of. Given when we got for him--and everyone basically knew he was on the block--I'm not convinced that was the case.

Glad you like the site! Good to have a Cubs fan around, since I'll probably be blogging about them this year.

At 1:52 PM, Blogger baby copernicus said...

Plus, it would've helped if those stupid opposing pitchers would've been a little more considerate and sent their first pitches right down the middle.

At 2:50 PM, Anonymous jurb said...

I have no allusions to Patterson's abilility...he is too hacktastic to ever be a major league star. Yet somehow, I can't help but think that the Cubs served him ill. They wanted to turn him into something he wasn't -- other than a free-swinging, power hitting speedster, they wanted a contact hitting, lead-off hitter. In other words, they kept on shoe-horning him into a role that he wasn't suited for. They did the same thing in the 80's with Shawon Dunston...repeatedly. If only they could accept their players for what they were.

I might be wrong of course (your anecdote of C-Patt's lack of hustle is well taken), but Corey's departure for a pair of minor league nobodies still leaves a sour taste in my mouth.


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