Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Your SKO Random Cubs Third Baseman of the Day: Willie Greene

Not much else going on in Cubs world lately, so its a good day to rant about...

Name: Willie Louis Greene
Height: 5'11'' Weight: 184 lb.
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Years as a Cub: 2000

Get comfortable, Willie

If I ever have the chance to meet Andy MacPhail or Ed Lynch, I'd love to ask them if there are any Nixon-esque tape recordings of their meetings. I'd especially love the one that took place in January of 2000, right before they signed Willie Greene. I imagine it went something like this:

MacPhail: Ed, what's our plan for third base this year?

Lynch:Well, we're going to go with Andrews as the starter.

MacPhail: Well, I know he did well in the stretch he was with us last year, but he did hit .195 as a whole, i think we might need some insurance.

Lynch: That's why I'm going after Willie Greene.

MacPhail: The Willie Greene that hit .204 last year?

Lynch: You're looking at the wrong numbers, Andy. Look at it this way, in his 19 games with us last year, Andrews hit 5 home runs. Over a 162 games, thats 42 homers. Willie hit 12 last year in 81 games, in 162 games, thats 24. So we can anticipate 42-64 homers from the third base position.

MacPhail: Holy Shit. It's like we just signed Mike Schmidt.

Lynch: Exactly. Now you're thinking, Andy. Now you're thinking

What Did happen during the 2000 season to Willie, Shane, and Ed? Total disaster. After Andrew's "hot" started ended with his back injury, Willie took over. For a ludicrous 105 games and 299 at bats, Cub fans were subjected to Willie and his .201/10/37/.289/.365 line, adding up to an atrocious .654 OPS. How horrible is that? In his 2005 season, Neifi Perez had a .681 OPS. So Willie Greene was worse than Neifi Perez. Wrap your head around THAT.

By the time the ashes had settled on the 65-97 debacle of the 2000 season, Lynch, Andrews, and Greene were all either gone or headed out the door. The 2001 season would start with Bill Mueller at third base, and Willie Greene was off to retirement at age 28.