2/11 Murphy: “We just have to put it together”

The Cubs have lost 197 games the last two seasons combined, and aren’t predicted to finish at the top of the tough National League Central this year. Don’t tell Donnie Murphy that.

“Everything you read out there, we’re one of the worst teams in baseball,” Murphy said Tuesday of the preseason prognosticators. “I think that’s a lot of motivation. Twenty-five of us don’t think we’re the worst team in baseball.

“We all look at [that critique] as a positive and it makes us even more hungry and we want to prove people wrong,” he said. “I think guys will bounce back. Everybody knows [Starlin] Castro isn’t that kind of player, everybody knows [Darwin] Barney isn’t that kind of player, everybody knows [Anthony] Rizzo isn’t a .230 hitter.

“We have guys who can bounce back and put together good years, and you make a decent run and hopefully get close and make the playoffs. We know what type of players we have in this clubhouse. We just have to put it together.”

Murphy, 30, is hoping he’s one of the guys who gets a chance to do that with the Cubs. Promoted to the big league team last Aug. 3, Murphy hit a career-high 11 home runs in 46 games with the Cubs, equaling his total between the 2008, 2010-12 seasons combined.

Despite his short time with the Cubs, he finished third among the third baseman in games played and total at-bats, trailing Luis Valbuena and Cody Ransom. Ransom signed with a Japanese team this year, but Valbuena is back along with Mike Olt, acquired from the Rangers in the Matt Garza deal last July.

Valbuena, who batted .218 and hit 12 home runs in 94 games at third, is considered the leading candidate to start there on Opening Day. Olt, who appears to have overcome vision problems, will contend for the job as well. Murphy hasn’t been mentioned much.

“That’s fine,” he said after a workout with some of the early bird position players at the Cubs’ new spring facility. “It means I’m under the radar. That’s fine with me. I don’t take exception to that. I know there’s Valbuena, I know there’s Olt. There’s going to be competition, but it’s fun competition. We’re all good friends and it’s all good nature.”

– Carrie Muskat

31 Comments

You know what? I don’t care that they don’t win the world series because I know that they are re-building but I just want to see them do well this season! I just want them to be at least somewhere else then last place. I really just want us to get an amazing squad se in the nest season or two, we take it all the way!

Donnie come on bro…. Barney hasn’t shown average hitting skills yet in his career…. Rizzo needs to learn to hit those lefties or he won’t be around long as an everyday 1b…..Castro has at least produced at the big league level with his bat but can the glove catch up and can he find his bat again

Please Carrie, enough with this issue. ESPN, Fox and CBS Sports are all awarding the Cubs the cellar in 2014. Both ESPN and Fox are stating the rebuilding thing is becoming a joke with spending as little as they can the main objective, having disregard for Cub fans. My view, spending as little as possible is a directive straight from the top while issuing propaganda and hoping for a lucky wishbone some day. If you are an honest reporter you will respond to this or show your corporate colors.

Dean Chirempes, Murphy makes some statements, Carrie writes it. Then you challenge her to be honest?
As far as ESPN, FOX and CBS, have they jumped on the Boras bandwagon? Remember the Cubs not bidding on his clients, therefore not driving their the price up.
Theo/Jed have stated they are not going to sign any high priced FA, until they find the ones that will make a difference. That sounds straight forward and honest.
Its Spring Training, Carrie is the MLB Cubs writer. Should she be reporting the doom and gloom you project? Should Murphy have stated, this team is no good and we will end up last? Its Spring Training, the guys are getting back together, having fun. They have hope, new manager, new hitting coach, its possible some things may fall in place.
The last two years, bad starts in April mostly because of the bullpen, made it hard for the team to recover. Not that they would have anyway, but look at the blown saves. The bullpen has been rebuilt, I think I will wait and see how it goes.
Besides, its fun watching the rebuilding process. I look forward to the June Draft, I look forward to see if some of the young guys make the team or get called up later in the season. I look forward to the July trade deadline to see if VETS are traded for more prospects. It will be an interesting season, win or lose.

Yada, yada. The embarrassing thing is you all talk like it’s your money. Please stop looking so silly. Again, I’ll offer a product of poor quality telling you it will be better in 5 years or so with no solid rationale and call it rebuilding…any buyers? Crazy small thinkers. Just offer a competitive product on the field and I could care less what these wealthy owners pay…not my money!!!!

You look forward to the June draft; I look forward to being competitive and stop stealing the fans money that pays every day to see the team. As for Carrie, a little objectivity from a creditable reporter would be nice but she pulls the corporate line with propaganda; must need the work. No question she will not respond to me because she most likely agrees with me but simply cannot speak her mind and keep the job at the same time.

Deancee, really dont know the purpose of your post? You call me or us Crazy small thinkers? Did you read your post?
Put a competitive team on the field, no matter the price? We should go along with that because, its not our money? LMAO at your attempt at sounding somewhat intelligent.
Offer me that poor product you speak of: maybe your house? Sell it to me at market price. From the sounds of your rant, I would say it might go for 20K. I will rebuild it in about 5 years, it will probably take that long, then sell it for a very nice price.
The new owners will have a nice home for a sustained amount of time, not needing any upgrades.

Jasper and I both look forward to the Cubs being competitive too. We both look forward to seeing guys like Baez and Bryant and Almora grow as players, first in the minors as they learn how to play the game at a professional level, and then in the Majors when they take the next step and become among the elite of the game. We look forward to the players who we’ve heard about since they were drafted become starters and all-stars and superstars. We look forward to the idea that if there’s an injury or an underperformer or a trade or free agent signing, the Cubs can simply dip into the minors and get a player to step in and not lose too much right away. I don’t know about you, but I’d much rather have that than a bunch of over 30 free agents that get the Cubs to 84-78 in the first year, then struggle for the rest of their contracts, earning way more than they are worth on the field because that was the price to sign them when you did several years before. And you can’t simply replace them because they are making too much money to just cut or bench and there are only so many spots on a 25-man roster. But if that’s what you really want, I suggest you rewatch the 2009 Cubs season. They were competitive that year. They brought in a few veterans to help the team stay competitive. They were still in the playoff race in September. I won’t go on because I don’t want to spoil the ending for you.
As for Carrie’s job, she is supposed to report on the Cubs. A player says something, she’s going to report it. There’s no conspiracy, there’s no secret code of letters to unscramble in order to get her real message, no Cubs secret police coming in the middle of the night to take her to Cubs Reeducation Camp so she can go on telling us how the Cubs will win 104 games this year just because a backup infield says so. I mean, what exactly do you want. There are literally hundreds of Cubs blogs out there. If you want news about the team from someone who has inside access to the team itself, this is the place to be. If you want loony Cubs conspiracy theories and other off the wall stuff that has no basis in reality, then I suggest you go elsewhere. And I have seen Carrie answer people on here before, but never if you’re a complete nutjob. So if she doesn’t answer you, that’s probably the reason why.

That is indeed funny and expected from you based upon your writings. Yes, I think all cares what an auto maker spends on re-tooling (for example) but keeps buying the poorly made car until things get better. Or, does one want a quality made product at a reasonable cost with little regard to the cost of manufacture and should they not provide the latter they purchase from one who can. The thing your little brain cannot understand is that a sports team is a product and the fans are the consumer. In line with the above mentioned, you just keep buying/supporting the poor product with little regard to an upgrade. But wait, it’s only been 100 years or so, they need more time. If you think for one minute the two brains child’s that run the team would not love to go out and purchase competitive free agents without the owner holding their hand you are indeed a small thinker…they are just tolling the corporate line. These guys would love to go out and spend and that’s what they did in Boston for the most part.

Agree with Jasper. At this time of the year, most of the offseason transactions are complete and there’s not much to talk about other than pitchers and catchers preparing to report. Carrie’s job as the Cubs beat reporter for mlb.com is to report on the Cubs, not editorialize. As Jasper says, if Donnie Murphy is asked “how is he feeling” or “what do you think of the team”, her job is to report his answer, not challenge him. And as Jasper says, what is Murphy supposed to say “yeah, we suck, there’s no way we’re going to win, this team is bad and I’m just here to pick up a cool million for being a backup infielder.” Any professional athlete who says that will find themselves out of a job before too long.
And who cares what ESPN, Fox, and CBS have to say? First off, I don’t think it’s a secret that the Cubs are projected to finish last again. But it really shouldn’t be a secret that the Cubs are sticking to the rebuild and not throwing it all away to sign 30-year olds for too much money who will be earning way more than they’re worth by year 4 of their contract. And if they Cubs aren’t interested in spending period, then what what the whole let’s bid aggressively on Tanaka business? It’s not that the Cubs don’t want to spend. It’s that they only want to spend on something that will help them in the long term as opposed to just this season, because that’s where they still are in the rebuild. That’s why Tanaka was so appealing. 25 year old pitchers don’t hit the free agent market every year. The fans should know this by now and the dopes over at ESPN, Fox, and CBS should know this too. And Carrie knows this too I’m sure!

Thank you for pointing out Tanaka Doug, they went after him pretty hard. In fact, just my opinion, but offered him way to much in hopes of signing him. Again, just my opinion, but it does state that Management is willing to pay the price on a FA they think is right.
Looking forward to ST here, I want to see how some of the Minor League signings play out. I remember watching Ryan Roberts with the D-Backs a few years back, before his injury. He was a Pete Rose type, constant hustle.
Chris Coghlan the 2009 Rookie of the year with the Marlins before an injury.
Ryan Kalish once a high profile Draft pick before an injury.
The list goes on, but as we know, these are all gambles. However if one comes back and makes an impact of any type, it could change things around.
Spring brings hope, why not go with it and enjoy?

Yada, yada. The embarrassing thing is you all talk like it’s your money. Please stop looking so silly. Again, I’ll offer a product of poor quality telling you it will be better in 5 years or so with no solid rationale and call it rebuilding…any buyers? Crazy small thinkers. Just offer a competitive product on the field and I could care less what these wealthy owners pay…not my money!!!!

Yada, yada. The embarrassing thing is you all talk like it’s your money. Please stop looking so silly. Again, I’ll offer a product of poor quality telling you it will be better in 5 years or so with no solid rationale and call it rebuilding…any buyers? Crazy small thinkers. Just offer a competitive product on the field and I could care less what these wealthy owners pay…not my money!!!!

After my response above, I see you have realized you embarrassed yourself? So instead of thinking about it, you copy & paste your original post over & over again.
How does that help strengthen your point?
Does it make you look knowledgable on the subject?
Does it give you any creditability?
You might want to stop, you gained no ground on the original post. Copy & pasteing it, your losing yardage.

It’s fun beatin’ those guys period. I can’t spell anonymity but there is so much left in baseball on the field these pros don’t cover anymore.

We are going to need that guy. That guy bringing it every day. That guy.

Ron was that kind of guy.

Winning baseball is winning. End of story. Thank you Jeter, Williams, Torre

I think Donnie Murphy has a .205 attitude

Well, I’m out Jasper; going to take a ride in my restored 1970 HemiCuda in this great Arizona weather then take the wife out for a crab dinner while retired at 52. Right, I’m embarrassed Jasper.

AZ here also. Retired at 50 here. :) Have fun with your Hemicuda,
I am not embarrassed. lol

Embarrassment is not the goal here Jasper. The point here is simple; there has rarely been a competitive winning team (no absolute here) without 2-3 strong vets to anchor the lineup of which are usually free agent acquisitions with a price tag attached. Management is not willing to spend to make this happen and I believe will not ever. I also believe having this happen now along with the young talent on board the team could indeed be competitive now. As for me caring should a given player not work out based upon what they paid is crazy. A free agent not working out is the cost of doing business and happens all the time and maybe unavoidable. However, by doing this indicates the desire to win whether they work out or not but this is where these brain child’s earn their money; picking the right free agents not by doing nothing. In addition, will you really argue that by having a few high level vets on the team would not help to develop the young players on a faster track? Right now, who’s on the team to look up too? The average Joe vet? Are these the type of players you want the young guys to emulate? All of this is only good common sense and part of any good business model. Good vets provide a strong model for training/work/winning ethic. To disagree with all of this is just short minded.

When you say strong VETS, are you speaking of high priced, 6 to 10 year contracts, 30 something year old VETS? If so, again I highly disagree.
Above you say they have been doing the same over 100 years, but in reality this Management has only been in place a little over two years.
Now they are finally building Organization wide and people want the 2008 & 2009 Cubs back. Is that with or without Soriano? If so, is he the VET you were speaking of?

$10 says this guy was complaining in 2008 and 2009 about how the Cubs are spending way too much on guys like Soriano and Fukudome and Zambrano and Milton Bradley and complaining when they traded menial prospects like Sean Gallagher and Matt Murton to acquire Rich Harden. He probably justified it, like they all do, because the Cubs infamously traded Lou Brock away so many decades ago, but conveniently forgets that the Cubs acquired Ryne Sandberg for virtually nothing much more recently.
It’s like, figure out what the Cubs are doing, and come down on the opposite side of that. Sign big free agents and trade prospects for established players… that’s no good, you’re wasting money and trading away Lou Brock all over again. Stink intentionally so you can draft in the top 10 for a few years in a row, trade the assets you have for other team’s prospects so you can build up your system faster than just waiting for the draft every year, and spend a bundle on the top international free agent talent… what are you doing, Cubs? Don’t you know you have to spend to win? And why put everything in unproven players in the minors, when you can dupe some team into trading their best players for those unproven players. Remember when the Cubs got Ryne Sandberg for nothing? And Rich Harden was pretty good for the Cubs down the stretch in 2008 while Sean Gallagher never amounted to anything, so why hold on to guys who will probably not amount to anything anyway?
With people like this Deancee guy, you just can’t win. Plus, between you and me, he seems a wee bit unstable. Maybe too much Arizona sun?

Doug you could be right, but another way to look at it is: You & I might really be reading into what Management is doing. You and I look at the Minor League players and stats. You & I read everything we can find on whats going on. Also, more rare, we stay positive and look for the good.
I can understand Cubs fans tired of waiting. Frustration and every move Management makes is wrong. Most fans dont realize the Cubs had three Minor League teams go into their League Championship series. They just look at the product on the field at the ML level.
If thats all you seen the last two years, then yes, they are frustrated beyond reason.

Well Jasper/Doug, take a look at how you both respond to the opposing issues put forth and how the only correct way is your way or the propaganda that is being projected…pretty immature I would say. Using a player or two in the last 50 years for examples, every vet available is a waste of time and money, and nobody is as knowledgeable as you guys in the minor league network as you both. There is simply no way you guys could be wrong or overstating issues in any way. I know little kids who have fewer paradigms then you guys; more willing to consider they may be wrong to some degree or over looking key facts. I think you both need to be honest with yourselves and grow up. You both are the kind that when the time comes and proven wrong will say you knew it all along. Ever consider you may be more wrong than right and me more right than wrong? In this case, I would be happy to be wrong but you guys must be right at all cost.

Thats very untrue Deancee, being new to the chat room, you have no idea what we have said in the past. You just introduced yourself with a conversation, that both Doug and I have had over & over with other posters.
The Cubs Organization is filled with prospects the last two years. Every trade, every Draft and International signings is where the money was spent, that others would rather have it spent on an aging FA’s.
Do I or we think every prospect will make it? No way!
I am looking forward to this years Draft, as they say, your throw enough up against the wall, some will stick.
Then you add that three teams in the Minors went to the playoffs. That takes talented prospects.
Then add the Cubs have the 5th or 6th rated Farm system in all of baseball compared to 26th or 27th two years ago. That takes prospects.
I think Epstein/Hoyer are moving in a positive direction.
Then look at the the two teams that made it to the WS last year, homegrown talent on both.

There you go again Jasper, assuming I never reviewed your posts prior…I have read for some time just not responded. In addition, prospects, minor league stats, etc while refusing to acknowledge these winning teams you mention (among other competitive teams) also have key vets to stabilize the lineup. These vets did not come cheap and are indeed a gamble but again, the cost of doing business while indicating the willingness to take a gamble for the fans and winning period. In summary, you really did just come back with the same tune and never willing to concede I may be right in some areas. Be honest Jasper. Prospects are great but rarely the end all and I have seen no willingness to do what it takes to win just wanting signs for advertising/increased revenue all with having a big market team.

It seems the Cardinals and Red Sox made it with a huge amount of homegrown talent.
Red Sox really still being Theo Epsteins team.

Guess I would rather put my trust in him knowing what hes doing over your opinions. :)

Just proving you know less all the time Jasper, both teams you mention have homegrown but also have or had big dollar vets on board as well…I will not waste my time pointing them out by name. Stop while ahead Jasper. I’m thinking its Theo’s and not your thoughts as I see things from my own mind. Are you going to take your ball and go home now while you think you’re still right?

They bought those high dollar VETS when they needed them to make a difference.

You dont need to name them to me, I know who most are.

Why dont you tell what you would have dont different the last two years? That might be great conversation.

Seems to me the Cubs need to make a difference. What’s your point here?

I have made my point. I like the direction Management is heading. I like the Draft Picks, I like the trades bringing more prospects, I like the International signings.
I like the Minor League Championships. They have made a couple mistakes, Theo even admitted that, but overall, I look forward to the future.
I know they are doing a very good job rebuilding. The difference between me and you is, I know I could not do a better as a President or GM.

Let me clear something up here. It’s perfectly fine if you think that the Cubs should be signing big name free agents. That’s a strategy for winning and if you think the Cubs should have that strategy, then good for you. What I take issue with is criticizing Theo for not running with that strategy. The whole reason they hired Theo in the first place is so he could oversee a complete overhaul of the organization from top to bottom. Theo was brought in because the organization wanted to have a minor league system that was among the best in baseball, and they thought he was the best guy to make that happen sooner rather than later. From the moment he was hired, Theo has stated that he believes the best way to win is through developing your own talent and filling in the holes where and (this is the most important part) when necessary. After two full seasons, he has completely overhauled the minor league system into one of the better systems in the game. And once that’s done, it’s only a matter of time before the Major League club begins to see the results of that overhaul. That is what is going on right now. That’s what the Cubs organizational philosophy has been for the past few years and will be for the duration of Theo’s contract.
If you’re mad at Theo because he didn’t bother to go after Robinson Cano or Jacoby Ellsbury, that was never the plan to begin with. If the Cubs organization wanted to be the team that throws big money at the top FAs, then they would have kept Jim Hendry around because that’s exactly what he was trying to do the final few years of his tenure as GM. So please, don’t blame Theo for not doing something that he wasn’t brought in to do in the first place. You can blame the Cubs organization all you want for picking what you think is the wrong strategy to begin with, but so far Theo has followed his strategy of complete organizational rebuild and gotten the results he expected from the first part of the strategy. Now that Baez will be up at some point in 2014, with guys like Bryant, Alcantara, Olt, and Edwards soon to follow, we’ll soon find out if the minor league overhaul translates to success at the Major League level. The strategy won’t change until we know the success or failure of that wave of prospects. If that wave is a complete failure, then you can criticize Theo all you want for a strategy that did not work. But so far the results are incomplete, but the early indications are as good as anyone in the Cubs organization could hope for. And trust me, if the strategy is a complete success, you won’t hardly remember having any gripes about it when you’re watching the 2016 World Series parade proceed down Clark all the way to the rally in Grant Park.

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