Not a Good Night For Management

Geez, where to start? For all the blame we’ve heaped on guys like Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, Manny Ramirez, and Jonathan Broxton – much of it deserved, some of it less so - last night was the culimination of about twenty different poor management decisions.

Perhaps we’ll go with the obvious, and that’s that the Octavio Dotel deal looks more horrific with every terrible Dotel appearance and every quality James McDonald start for the Pirates. I hated this deal from the moment it was made, but that was because I thought the pricetag was far too high. I’ll admit that I thought that Dotel would be a decent addition to the pen, yet he’s been horrendous; last night’s meltdown was painful to watch, made bearable only by the knowledge that the playoff hunt is over and one more brutal loss doesn’t make much of a difference at this point.

FanGraphs sums up my frustrations:

Ned Coletti and Joe Torre are living in a world where James McDonald (20 K, 4 BB, 0 HR in 17.2 IP with Pittsburgh) and Andrew Lambo are an acceptable price to add a middling reliever to a team six games out of the playoffs and then turn him into the relief ace over two superior pitchers. The Dodgers are now 12 games out of the NL West lead and 8 games out of the Wild Card. I don’t know what the Dodgers’ endgame was with Octavio Dotel, but there’s no doubt that Coletti and the Los Angeles front office missed big on this one.

Basically, yes. I still can’t believe there were people who liked that deal at the time. In fact, let’s take a quick comparison at the performance of the veterans the Dodgers acquired at the deadline as compared to those who were shipped out. Yes, I know that three weeks is hardly a fair sample size, but this will be a useful comparison tool when I repeat this exercise in the months and years to come.

Coming to LA:
Scott Podsednik – .724 OPS, and surprisingly lousy defense.
Ryan Theriot – .663 OPS, which doesn’t make up for surprisingly good D.
Octavio Dotel – 1.765 WHIP, 7 BB in 5 IP, 2 blown games.
Ted Lilly – 4 ER in 19 IP. No argument that he’s been excellent, but it hasn’t mattered.

Leaving LA:
Blake DeWitt – .783 OPS, 120 points higher than Theriot, and who could have predicted that?
James McDonald – 20/4 K/BB in three Pirate starts.
Andrew Lambo – .904 OPS in 61 PA for AA Altoona.
Brett Wallach – 13/9 K/BB in 3 games for A Peoria.
Kyle Smit – 9/3 K/BB in 8.1 IP for AA Tennessee.
Lucas May – .848 OPS and 4 HR in 62 PA for AAA Omaha.
Elisaul Pimentel – 2.053 WHIP in 4 games for A Burlington.

So the only Dodger who’s really done well is Lilly, but he was added to the part of the team that needed a boost less than anywhere else, and the only prospects who haven’t gotten off to a good start are the two still in Low-A ball. That’s without even considering the implications in salary (Theriot, for example, costs far more than DeWitt) or team control (about 40 years out the window).

This team would have been so much better off making zero of those three trades that it’s scary.

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Front office issue #2: not having a backup catcher should Martin get hurt, which he did. A.J. Ellis had another oh-fer last night (including looking horrible on a suicide squeeze, and more on that in a second). Ellis is down to a .440 OPS on the season, which is laughable only in that it’s somehow better than Ausmus’ .433. To put that in perspective, Garret Anderson was at least at .475. Chad at MOKM did a good job recently of pointing out just how good these two are making Martin look, but I don’t consider this a new issue.

Really, how was going into the season with a guy we all knew couldn’t hit (Ellis) and a guy we knew couldn’t hit and was over 40 (Ausmus) a smart idea? Back on March 7, when Martin was injured in camp and Ellis looked like he’d be the Opening Day catcher, I looked at Ellis and said that his total lack of offense meant I had no hopes for him as a major leaguer. In December, I said the idea of getting into a bidding war over Ausmus was ludicrous.

In fact, this goes all the way back to last October, and my 2010 plan, where I was resigned to the fact that you had to stick with Martin (look for a repeat of that in the 2011 plan), but that you had to sign a better backup. I suggested Ramon Hernandez. All he ended up doing this year is hit  .303/.367/.437/.804 for the Reds.

This shouldn’t have come as a surprise to anyone, and now the team is paying for it.

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Speaking of the Ellis bunt, I never thought he’d figure out a way to look worse at the plate than he usually does, but he sure did it. I actually didn’t hate the idea of bunting in that situation, because Ellis isn’t any better of a hitter than your average pitcher; but why did Torre need to wait until there were two strikes to make the call?

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I’ve said this before, and I’ll keep saying it: there is no rational reason that Ryan Theriot should be hitting higher in the lineup than Jamey Carroll. Carroll gets on base more often, and even hits for a bit more power. I said it before last night’s game, and look what happened: Carroll got on twice, Theriot just once. There’s no question that this offense needs a shake-up; isn’t this an easy and obvious way to do it?

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Finally, we have the game-ending play where Reed Johnson tried to score from first on a bloop single. Yes, read that again, because it actually happened. What in the world Larry Bowa was thinking was beyond me, but for someone who’s not shy about talking about Kemp in the paper, we need to realize that he played a pretty large role in this loss as well. I can’t even accurately express to you in words how much Johnson was out by, so I’ll let Chad from MOKM‘s animated .gif do it for me:

I mean, that’s not even close to being close. I realize with a punchless offense you try to take chances where you can, but good lord, give the runner a chance there, Larry.

The worst part? Torre was completely on board:

Torre, on Bowa sending Reed Johnson: “That’s certainly what I would have done”

Of course it is. I have a lot of respect for the years Torre, Bowa, & Bob Schaefer have spent in the game, but I hardly think I’m alone when I say I can’t wait for a new regime. And I’m not…

ESPN’s Rob Neyer:

Maybe the solution here is to keep Kemp and find a new coaching staff. Because the old staff doesn’t seem to have accomplished much this summer.

LA Times’ Bill Shaikin:

But, by keeping Kemp out of the lineup until he begged forgiveness, the old-school manager and his old-school coaching staff played by old-school rules that no longer fly. If Kemp had sinned for the Angels, Mike Scioscia would have summoned him to the office, immediately after the game or before the next one, read him the riot act and moved on.

Scioscia also checks in with his players during batting practice. On the day Kemp snapped, Torre never set foot on the field during batting practice. He held court with the media, then visited with some Hollywood friends.

Torre says he won’t make his decision on 2011 until the team is eliminated from playoff contention. That ought to be any day now; I know which choice I’m hoping for.

Vicente Padilla Keeps On Rolling

If you didn’t watch the game, and you’re just seeing that the Dodgers won 9-0, you probably think it was a laugher. Not quite; it was 4-0 until the 8th inning, and while seeing Andre Ethier break out with two doubles (off a lefty!) and a homer among the six extra-base hits by the Dodgers was sure fun, it’s obvious that Vicente Padilla is the story here.

Padilla took a no-hitter into the 7th in throwing his fourth career shutout (and first as a Dodger), baffling the Padres with painfully slow “soap bubbles” scattered among 90+ mph heaters, with James Loney just inches away from snaring a liner that may have kept the no-no going.

That, amazingly, is Padilla’s eighth straight start without having allowed more than two earned runs. No, really: look at his game log since his return from the DL:

As I mentioned on Twitter earlier, I can’t wait to see what the free agent market does for him. He missed two months with arm trouble, accidentally shot himself in the offseason, has a long reputatation as a jerk… and is pitching like an absolute ace.

To top it off, he even contributed two hits, which means that every time I make the joke that “Torre shouldn’t have pinch-hit Garret Anderson for the pitcher, because Anderson’s not any more likely to get a hit than the pitcher is,” it’s all too true.

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TOOTBLAN alert! We have a TOOTBLAN alert! It took Ryan Theriot only four games as a Dodger to do it, but we saw a real live TOOTBLAN tonight. In the bottom of the 7th, he reached second on an error by Chase Headley, and advanced to third on an Andre Ethier groundout. With one out, Matt Kemp hit a hard grounder to the shortstop. Theriot, for some reason, broke home and was out by approximately the distance between Chicago and Los Angeles. Now that’s a TOOTBLAN.

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I would love to go one game, just one, without dropping some negativity about Joe Torre. I don’t really enjoy it as much as it probably seems I do. It’s just, we all know about Hong-Chih Kuo‘s injury history. When you have a guy like that, you know that his arm could go at any second, and you use the bullets he has on high-value innings. So after needlessly using him last night (Ted Lilly had only set down twenty Padres in a row), Torre had Kuo (and Jonathan Broxton, for that matter) warming up in the 8th inning in what was at the time a four-run game.

Kuo, of course, was never needed, but since he had to throw two days in a row, it’s fair to question his availability for tomorrow’s game. Every pitch rolls on that odometer, so for the one millionth time this season, leave Kuo alone unless you need him.

Will This Team Ever Hit Again?

We can make jokes about how Ryan Theriot looked gritty in his punchless 0-4, 2K Dodger debut, wonder how Scott Podsednik‘s scrappiness is more important than the 3 meager hits he’s contributed in 15 at-bats, and mourn that Blake DeWitt got only one fewer hit (3) in his Cubs debut than the entire Dodger team did today (okay, especially that last one), but this problem is the same as it ever was. Just like I’ve been saying for weeks, the new acquisitions are basically meaningless if the guys who’ve been here all season don’t start to hit.

Let’s quickly stop to exempt literally the only man who’s not part of the problem, Rafael Furcal, who despite going hitless tonight still has a July OPS over .900 with a team-leading five homers. Furcal’s been arguably the best shortstop in baseball this year. Well done, Rafael.

As far as everyone else… well, look at it this way. The Dodgers are unquestionably below-average on offense right now at catcher, second base, third base, and left field (without Manny). With Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier hardly contributing at all over the last two months, center field and right field aren’t strengths right now, either. At first base, while I think a lot more of James Loney than most people do, I also can’t argue that he’s a first baseman in the class of guys like Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Joey Votto, and Adrian Gonzalez – he’s just not.

You could really make the case that the Dodgers are below-average at seven of the eight lineup spots right now, and that’s before you consider that the bench is utterly worthless aside from Jamey Carroll‘s powerless OBP skills.

And that makes it hard to point the finger at anyone in particular, because they’re all terrible right now. Other than Furcal, not one Dodger has an OPS over .770 in July. Not a one. If anyone really stands out, it’s Casey Blake, who’s hitting under .170 for the month and making that guaranteed 2011 in his contract look even worse than I feared it’d be when they signed him nearly two years ago, but it’s hard to pretend he’s the only problem when Matt Kemp has an OBP below .300 for the month.

If you really want to see something terrifying, look at the image to the right. It’s part of the boxscore from tonight’s game, and I’ve highlighted the OBP column. That’s for the season (except for Podsednik, who switched leagues)  and it’s pretty terrifying up and down. Once again, Furcal stands out amongst the mediocre and downright terrible.

So what can you do? Well, two things come to mind immediately, and they both involve second base. First and foremost, you just cannot bat Theriot that high in the lineup. I understand that when Andre Ethier returns that will probably bump Furcal up to 2nd and Theriot down lower, but Theriot has proven that he is just not the kind of guy who can get on base all that often. Setting aside the perfectly reasonable question of why the hell you acquired him in the first place, he needs to be hitting no higher than 7th tomorrow, regardless of Ethier’s status.

Secondly – and believe me, I never ever thought I’d type these words – you have to play Jamey Carroll more. I know, I know. But there’s just no argument you can make that Theriot is a more dangerous hitter than Carroll is, and Carroll does the one thing that few other Dodgers seem to be able to do right now – get on base.

Otherwise… well, there’s not much you really can do other than hope that Manny comes back healthy and motivated, and that Kemp and Ethier figure out what the hell is causing their slumps. I’d also put forth that a team who’s ostensibly trying to win shouldn’t be wasting space on Garret Anderson this late in the season, but he’s also not really playing enough to say he’s the main cause of the problem here.

But no, finding a power bat off the bench wasn’t part of the trade haul. Finding a third baseman who can actually hit wasn’t on the menu. It was of course the starting pitching which was the problem, because it’s not like Clayton Kershaw just tossed out something like the team’s 10th excellent start in a row today. And didn’t Octavio Dotel just exude creamy veteran goodness in entering a game in which the Dodgers were losing in walking a tightrope to get out of it? No way James McDonald or Travis Schlichting could have pulled that off, but I’m sure glad McDonald and Andrew Lambo were spent to find out.

Was it really just a few months ago where we thought this was going to be a team with historic offensive highs that would be held back by its pitching? My, how times have changed.

Three Trades: The Other Side

Now that everyone’s had a night to sleep on it… well, yesterday was still pretty bad, and I’m not even just talking about the painful loss to the Giants (yes, I’m getting a bit worried about Jonathan Broxton, though it’d be nice if the offense would score more than one run every once in a while too.) Really, my main problem with the deals yesterday was not just that I think the price was too high for improvements which are minimal at best, but that it’s just too late to bother. This isn’t a team that only needed a few rough edges smoothed out, so trading prospects for veterans who aren’t likely to make a difference seems like a mistake, especially when the biggest problem (the offense) was not only not upgraded, but arguably made worse. On top of that, for the number and quality of players who were traded, it would have been far better to get one impact player rather than four decent-ish guys.

Still, thousands of words were written about that yesterday, and SOSG did a great job of showing how the “mainstream” writers all liked the Dodger moves while Dodger bloggers almost uniformly hated them. What I’m interested in right now is how the other side felt. If we all hated the deals, how did fans of the Royals, Pirates, & Cubs see them?

This, ah, is probably not going to make you feel any better.

On the Octavio Dotel deal….

Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?:

McDonald is the great get here; he’s 25 and though he’s had trouble cracking the Dodgers rotation the last two years, he’s got great minor league numbers. Before the Dodgers used him in the bullpen through most of 2009, he was Baseball America’s 56th best prospect. He’s in Triple-A right now, but presumably could be called up and put in the Pirates’ rotation right away.

Lambo’s a decent prospect with a PED suspension drug of abuse suspension in the past, but he’s 21 and putting up decent numbers in Double-A, which is encouraging. The numbers aren’t great for a four-corners type player (which is what Lambo is), but to get him and McDonald in return for a 36-year old closer who could have been a free agent next year, well, it’s really hard not to be pleased with this trade.

Where Have You Gone, Andy Van Slyke?, part 2:

James McDonald is a solid upper-middle rotation prospect who at the very least should be a very useful bullpen player. Andrew Lambo is a very young, raw player who’s had some struggles but who is still a good prospect. To pull those two in for a 36-year old reliever is a pretty impressive haul and it’s the sort of trade I’m still smarting from being on the other end of so many times in the past.

Bucs Dugout:

The players the Pirates got are mostly help-now types, but McDonald, in particular, used to be a very well-regarded prospect, and his performance actually hasn’t faded all that much since that was the case. His upside is probably something like a #3 starter, which isn’t usually the sort of thing you can say about a 25-year-old Class AAA pitcher.

Lambo is the wild card here. Like McDonald, he was once among the Dodgers‘ top prospects, but unlike McDonald, he probably won’t be with the Pirates anytime soon. He’ll probably be at Class AA, where he’s been for the past two seasons. He’s struggled to master the level, but then he hasn’t been overwhelmed either, despite skipping Class A+ and being somewhat young for the league. It would be hard for me to argue that a couple of random Class A arms, which is about the return I would have expected for Dotel, have more upside than Lambo does. He isn’t a surefire prospect by any stretch, but he’s a nice addition.

Raise the Jolly Roger:

I thought McDonald was plenty to get in return for Dotel, someone that wasn’t going to be of much use for the Bucs going forward. Who know’s what’ll happen with Lambo, but we’ll gladly take him in and give him a shot. He only makes the deal better, with the potential to make it a lot better.

RTJR also posted what I believe was Dotel’s entrance video and… well, I can’t not post this here.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klcFJ-knID0&feature=player_embedded]

On the Ted Lilly/Ryan Theriot deal…

Bleed Cubbie Blue:

About Blake DeWitt, people who call him “a Theriot clone” or “another Fontenot” miss the point. DeWitt is only 24 years old. His OPS this year is almost 100 points higher than Theriot’s, and two years ago at age 22, he hit nine home runs. I am not expecting him to be a power hitter; just hit for a decent average, play good defense and don’t make dumb baserunning plays! He did hit for some power in the minor leagues; it’s possible that might develop more as he gets older. Remember, he is two years younger than Theriot was when Theriot got a fulltime starting job in the major leagues.

Another Cubs Blog comments on the deal, then shows us exactly what a TOOTBLAN is:

I like Wallach, FWIW. Here are his numbers at Great Lakes (MWL):

17 GS, 84.2 IP, 73 H, 39 R, 7 HR, 43 BB, 92 K

And Smit’s numbers between Inland Empire (A+) and Chattanooga (AA):

37 G (1GS), 53.2 IP, 52 H, 17 R, 10 BB, 47 K

Not too shabby of a return for an expiring deal and a nontender candidate.

On the Scott Podsednik deal…

Royals Review
:

Pimentel is a 21 year old pitcher who has been in A-ball. (B-R page) Pimentel has a 3.49 ERA this year, with good strikeout numbers. A definite interesting live arm. He is the second Pimentel from the Dodger organization to be acquired by Dayton Moore. He has a 3.68 career minor league ERA. (I had earlier written the Dodgers had been using him as a reliever, I must have went cross-eyed when I looked at his stats. He hasn’t been. He’s been a starter.)

Lucas May / Luke May is a 25 year old catcher with an .848 this season in AAA. (B-R page) May also hit decently last season in AA. I’m sure Albuquerque is a good hitters park, but for a catcher in his first AAA season, those are interesting numbers. I would have taken one of these guys for Pods.

Well done to the GM on this one.

Kings of Kauffman:

Moriyama and other Dodgers bloggers had Pimentel jumping into their in-seasno top 30 prospects lists, so to get both minor leaguers is a steal for Dayton Moore.  I believe I saw that the Dodgers are also picking up the remainder of Podsednik’s 2010 salary, which is another win. So basically, I’m ecstatic.

Royals Prospects:

The Royals made a very good trade today in acquiring 25 year old catcher Lucas May and 22 year old P Elisaul Pimentel

The Royals currently employ an aging catcher and a backup catcher that does not have much of a future at that position.

Dotel For McDonald & Lambo: The Dodgers Just Got a Lot Older

As you’ve no doubt heard (and mourned about) by now, the Dodgers traded James McDonald and Andrew Lambo to the Pirates for reliever Octavio Dotel. This one really came out of nowhere, and I’ve having a hell of a hard time processing it.

Let’s start with the slight positive outlook here: Dotel could help the bullpen. I looked at him when scouting the reliever market a few weeks ago, and I didn’t hate the idea at the time:

Dotel has a little over $1m coming to him for the rest of the season and a $4.5m mutual option for 2011, but he’s been surprisingly effective for someone who’s been kicking around for so long. I know, the 4.89 ERA doesn’t seem like much, but that’s in large part due to a horrendous April (ER allowed in six games in a row). Since May 1, he’s saved 16 of 19 with a 2.81 ERA and a .184 batting average against, while striking out more than 10 per 9.

The perpetually rebuilding Pirates have All-Star Evan Meek and former Dodger Joel Hanrahan ready to take over in their bullpen, so you wouldn’t think they’d be dying to hold on to the 36-year-old Dotel all that badly.

I have to be honest, I don’t really hate the idea of tossing Dotel in for the late innings, assuming the price was reasonable.

You’ll note that last part – “assuming the price was reasonable” – but more on that in a second. Dotel was useful as a Pirate, and he’s got five straight scoreless outings in which he’s struck out six without a walk. He’s still striking out more than 10 per 9, and he won’t be asked to be the closer in Los Angeles, so if you’re asking me if the bullpen is better now than it was yesterday – yes, I think it is. Dotel along with Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, & Kenley Jansen (along with maybe Ronald Belisario) could be a pretty decent bullpen.

But the price seems out of whack. Dotel’s okay, but he’s not that good. McDonald was the two-time Dodger minor league pitcher of the year, and he doesn’t turn 26 until after the season. While his attempts at starting in the bigs haven’t been all that successful, he’s proven himself to be a viable arm out of the bullpen. In 48 career games out of the pen, he’s held opponents to a 2.71 ERA while striking out more than twice as many as he walked. Almost as importantly, he’s under team control until after 2015.

And then there’s Andrew Lambo, and let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Yes, he was suspended for 50 games in the minors this year, but no, it wasn’t for steroids or PEDs. It was for marijuana, and while I’m certainly not standing behind his intelligence, let’s not pretend he was cheating or shooting up heroin, either.

There’s a lot to like about Lambo, and a lot to dislike as well. Baseball Prospectus said this about him in their 2010 annual:

This 2007 fourth-rounder came into the year considered to be the best pure hitter in the system thanks to a combination of bat speed and raw strength. He was also the system’s most advanced prospect for his age, reaching Double-A as a 20-year-old, and spending 2009 as the league’s fourth-youngest hitting prospect. Despite a hot start at Chattanooga (.321/.383/.548 in April), Lambo soon went Arctic, batting just .243/.295/.377 the rest of the way as his plate discipline suffered and his power failed to develop. His odd reverse platoon split persisted, as he batted just .241/.299/.388 against righties. Lacking in speed, athleticism, and defensive ability, Lambo will only go so far as his bat takes him, and right now, that appears to be back to Chattanooga.

It’s important to note that he doesn’t even turn 22 until a few weeks from now, and lines like “best pure hitter in the system thanks to a combination of bat speed and raw strength” are quite tasty. Before his suspension this year, he was off to a great start, hitting .342/.390/.566 at AA. He’s now down to .271/.325.420, but it requires a but more digging than that. He obviously started slowly in his return from that layoff, but he’s warming up, with hits in 9 of his last 10 games.

Maybe, as some have noted, the defense isn’t there, and if he’s forced to move to 1B that would obviously hurt his chances, and it’s hard to ignore his trouble staying away from the weed. Still, he’s a 21-year-old who’s shown success at AA, and when you pair him with a 25-year-old who’s shown success at the MLB level, and you trade them for a decent-but-not-great 36-year-old reliever, it’s not hard to see why the future for this team looks bleaker by the day.

ESPN’s Keith Law, by the way, agrees:

The Pirates get an absolute steal of a return on Octavio Dotel by getting two out-of-favor prospects from the Dodgers, a situation where if only one pans out they still see a significant gain.

James MacDonald has a very strong minor league track record despite a fringe-average fastball when he works as a starter, but has a plus changeup and an above-average slow curve that both can miss bats and allow him to work backwards. The Dodgers threw him right into the fire in 2009, he struggled (unsurprisingly), and they gave up on him, which is the Pirates’ good fortune.

Outfielder Andrew Lambo just came off a 50-game suspension for drug use — hey, it doesn’t make him a bad guy — and he’s an indifferent outfielder, but he’s got the potential for an above-average offensive profile. He is strong, with good feel for the bat but the plate discipline of a guy who hasn’t played much and was handled strangely before the suspension. There’s enough potential there given his age (21) and inexperience that the Pirates are right to want to gamble on him.

As for Dotel, he throws mostly fastballs and doesn’t have the plus command you want to see in a guy who’s coming with the same thing four pitches out of five. He’s a fine guy to have in your middle relief corps but no one for whom you want to give up two young players, even if you’ve already given up on them yourself.

Can’t argue with any of that.

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Here’s what really bothers me, though. In the last few days, the Dodgers have traded James McDonald, Blake DeWitt, Andrew Lambo, Lucas May, Kyle Smit, Elisaul Pimentel, and Brett Wallach.

They’ve acquired Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot, Scott Podsednik, and Octavio Dotel – basically, a decent but not vital starter, a lousy middle infielder, a mediocre outfielder, and a decent veteran reliever, and all over 30.

Now, most of the baseball community has spent an enormous amount of time lately laughing at the Diamondbacks and Astros for the seemingly meager hauls they pulled in for Dan Haren and Roy Oswalt. You’re telling me that some combination of the players the Dodgers just traded couldn’t have pulled in one of those guys? Alternatively, is there really anyone who wouldn’t have preferred Haren or Oswalt rather than the collection of mediocre, over-30 veterans they just pulled in?

Yet despite all the moves, the offense – the biggest problem – didn’t get improved, and arguably was made worse. That’s supposed to help propel the team to October how, exactly? Really, what a terrible day all around.

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Back to the Lilly deal for a second, this tweet from the Chicago Sun-Times isn’t going to make you feel better:

Lilly says not ”overly excited about it,” despite looking forward to battling for a playoff spot.

Nor will the fact that urbandictionary.com actually has a name for Theriot’s base-running exploits:

TOOTBLAN. Acronym for Thrown Out On The Basepaths Like A Nincompoop. Baseball statistic invented for Ryan Theriot of the Chicago Cubs, for his penchant for ill-advised steal attempts and general lack of skill running bases.
Theriot’s current TOOTBLAN number is 19.

That was popularized by Cubs blog Wrigleyville23, who really ought to know about such things.