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Friday, April 30, 2010

In Which I Start a Trend

Comment from Peter King, about Josh McDaniel's proclaimed reasons for drafting Tim Tebow:

"Josh McDaniels told me early this morning that the Tim Tebow pick came down to Tebow meeting every one of the parameters he sets out for a quarterback: competitiveness, work ethic, leadership, traits of a winner, intelligence, toughness, productivity. I see all that, but we all know the adjustment in mechanics and style of play are going to be huge factors in whether Tebow succeeds in the NFL."

Scouting Report on Tim Tebow:

"While critics will talk about Tebow's quirky mechanics and throwing motion, his character profile is in line with McDaniels' desire to create a strong locker room rooted in team-first principles...

Tebow is arguably one of the best college quarterbacks of all time. He has won a lot of games over the years ....

....but his accuracy has been inconsistent over the years as he often ends up throwing the ball when on the move"

Another Scouting Report:

"...does not have a great "gun", but all he does is win games and make plays. He is a real student of the game and prides himself on his ability to read defenses and make smart decisions. This lefty is a great ball handler and moves around well in the pocket and handles the pressure of the pass rush. He is not a real pretty QB, in terms of mechanics and as good as his stats are, he tends to throw some ill-advised balls and look a little streaky, but this guy is a winner. Ironically, as we go through the draft process and NFL coaches become more involved, his stock will rise. This is a guy on draft day that several teams will throw out the measurables and concentrate on the player. In this case, that makes a lot of sense.."

Oh, wait. That second scouting report is on Cade McNown. My bad.

Not sayin'. Just sayin'.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Just Something to Consider

The stats for two NFL quarterbacks after their first 53 starts-

1127 comp./1849 attempts(61.0%), 13711 yds, 95 TD, 67 INTS, 258.7 ypg, 7.4 ypa, 5.1 TD %, 3.6 INT %, 85.8 rating, 62 Sacks, 32 wins, 32 losses.

1098 comp./1775 attempts(61.9%), 12690 yds, 81 TD, 63 INTS, 239.4 ypg, 7.1 ypa, 4.6 TD %, 3.5 INT %, 83.8 rating, 86 Sacks, 24 wins, 29 losses.

That first line is Peyton Manning. The second, remarkably similar line, is Jay Cutler. Not sayin'. Just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Wrongs Righted- Bears Acquire Chris Harris for Jamar Williams

Since the start of the Lovie Smith administration, the Bears have made a habit of acquiring a plethora of safeties who aren't worth a damn. The only one that did pan out was Chris Harris, whom they foolishly traded to the Carolina Panthers in order to clear the way for Adam Archuleta and Danieal Manning. That worked out fabulously, if I remember. The Bears, having big questions at both safety positions, decided to fix their mistake and shipped Jamar Williams, who played a passable linebacker after injuries to Urlacher, Tinoisamoa, and Briggs, to the Panthers in order to reacquire the prodigal safety.

This is probably the best possible move the Bears could have made at safety this offseason. They certainly couldn't afford the salary demands of someone like Antrelle Rolle, but they also didn't want to gamble that an aging veteran like Darren Sharper could repeat his miraculous 2009 season. Harris gives them a starter at strong safety who is a great run stopper and respectable against the pass at a low cost and for several more years. This also allows Danieal Manning, Major Wright, Al Afalava, and Kevin Payne (although it appears Kevin Payne may already be the odd man out) to compete in order to put the best possible starter at free safety (I guess Craig Steltz and Josh Bullocks could also compete for those spots, but, come on. You're smarter than that).

The acquisition of Julius Peppers should improve the pass rush, while the return of a (hopefully) healthy Brian Urlacher and Pisa Tinoisamoa should upgrade the linebacking corps. With Harris holding down strong safety, and Charles Tillman and Zack Bowman (who led the team in interceptions and improved big time as the season went on) manning the corners, this leaves the free safety and nickel positions as the only big question marks on what should be a much improved defense.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010 Bears Draft- Somethin Outta Nothin

I hate doing the stereotypical post-draft "grading" system. Everyone uses the same formula:

1. What are the teams needs?

2. Did they draft players at those positions?

3. Did they trade up, even for a totally asinine pick? Trade ups=Good.

Basically then every team that filled all of their holes will get an A or B, and then when those players all suck no one will look back and say "wow, I guess they didn't deserve that A after all." People have long since forgotten it now, but I remember when the analysts said the Detroit Lions "won" the 2004 draft by picking up Kevin Jones and Roy Williams.

The Bears had very little to work with in the 2010 draft, and Angelo was determined not to give away any more future picks (Why not? If the team sucks this year you're probably gone anyway. Why not screw over your successor?), so the odds of trading up were very slim. This was mildly frustrating as there were some great players available in the second round that probably wouldn't have cost much to move up and grab (Taylor Mays, Jon Asamoah) that I was hoping for. Either way, the Bears did OK by staying put. Major Wright is a second round talent at safety that fell to them in the middle of the third. With any luck he can step up and play this year. Some free safety combination out of Manning, Wright, and Payne has to work well enough to not be a gaping hole in the secondary. With another year of experience for Afalava at strong safety I'm optimistic that they'll get competent play from that part of the secondary this year.

Wooten, the defensive end from Northwestern that they grabbed in the 4th round, was an odd pick. I think he's got potential first round talent, but I'm not sure defensive end was the biggest need in that round, although the talent at guard had dropped off precipitously by that point. Hopefully he pans out, but this was the only pick I had any major issues with.

Moore, the cornerback from Kansas State, is a guy I know very little about, but the team always needs help at that position, and the analysts seemed to like the pick (which means nothing).

The Dan LeFevour pick was a fine choice, and the reactions to it are hilarious. The comments on the PFT article are a goldmine, given that PFT is the most wretched hive of scum and villainy among all football blogs (also, Florio hates Cutler, which is why he posted an article about a SIXTH ROUND quarterback at all in order to stir up the Cutler hate). Some of the best:

"I think they realize Cutler=Mistake!"
"Cutler is fuming now! Cutler will be traded during next years draft"
"Cutler is not any good. A really strong arm doesn't equate to good NFL QB.Also, by all indications, in addition to being a pussy, he also seems to be quite a douchebag."

Guh. Personally I like the pick. Brett Basanez still sucks, so the team needs a third stringer. They can pay him a lot less than they'd pay Basanez or another veteran and he's got enough raw talent that he could develop into a mid-level starter someday (maybe even above-average if you factor in his mobility).

As for the 7th round, they drafted tackle J'Marcus Webb, a guy with NFL size who started his college career at Texas but left for "personal reasons," which I'm thinking may be a euphemism for "too dumb for an FBS school." He's a project. Hopefully he'll play well enough to stick with the team after training camp.

All in all the Bears drafted for good value with the picks they had. Hopefully they can take a look at a guy like Alan Faneca and see if he might be the stopgap at guard they need. That could make this a pretty good offfseason.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tim Tebow over Our Hero? Mais Non!

When the Broncos ditched Chris Simms after the season and decided to trade for Brady Quinn, was I concerned? No, of course not. If you think Brady F*&king Quinn is a threat to Kyle Orton, you need to go dip your gonads in something caustic. Brady Quinn, as I've mentioned before, has only one thing in his favor, and that's that he looks like a quarterback. A prototypical one, anyway. That wears eye-liner. But that's not the point. His arm strength is, at best, on par with Kyle's, he's far less accurate (52.1% completion rate to Kyle's 57.8%), and Kyle has the advantage of a year's experience in McDaniels' overrated spread offense. Kyle was thus safe from harm. OR SO I THOUGHT.

Last night the Broncos dropped a bombshell on the draft by trading down from #11 (the pick they got from the Bears) to #13, then to #24, then traded up to #22 where they took WR Demaryius Thomas, then traded back into the first round to get to #25, where they could select Tim Tebow. That flurry of draft trades built upon last year's pattern, giving the impression that Josh McDaniels has decided that people will praise him as a genius for making a lot of moves that ultimately don't make any sense. For the meatheads that are still upset about the king's ransom in draft picks that the Bears gave up for Jay Cutler, the Broncos have now turned those picks into Robert Ayers (a total no show for the Broncos last year) and Tim Tebow. So they've been kind enough to use those picks as poorly as Jerry Angelo would have. Thanks guys.

The Tebow pick is obviously the most shocking and the most newsworthy pick of this year's first round. I'm going to be honest. I like Tim Tebow more than most of the professionals do. Hell, I had a pretty powerful mancrush going for him before he won the Heisman. He's a legitimate project and one that may pay off very well 2-3 years down the road. At the 25th overall pick, though, with the Broncos having much bigger needs and a more NFL (and night club) ready quarterback in Jimmy Clausen available, they seriously overreached to try and-blah blah blah.

Fuck Tim Tebow. Oh I don't hate him for his overexposure. I don't hate him for his religious views. I don't even hate him for his sloppy footwork, his terrible mechanics, or his inability to go through progressions and read a defense. Whether he likes it or not, he's just stepped into the lair of the dragon. No hot shot young Florida quarterback tries to take Kyle Orton's job. Perhaps you remember when the Bears signed Chris Leak? And perhaps you wonder why you haven't heard from him since? Exactly.

McDaniels has dug himself a huge hole with his fanbase and probably his ownership by shipping out the core of the young, talented offense he inherited. The Broncos need to win soon to justify the faith shown in him. The core of the team, ironically enough, is now the defense, with players like Brian Dawkins and Champ Bailey who are old. Instead of making another impact pick on their offensive line, one that could help them win now (like the Thomas pick, which was a good move), they draft the biggest project in the NFL draft. Even if Tebow does pan out, it won't be for several years, at which point the core of their defense will need to be rebuilt.

Plus, McDaniels whole argument in replacing Cutler with Orton was that talent was less important than the system. If that's so, why waste a first round pick on a quarterback that, as Steve Young says, "may someday be almost as good as the guy you just traded away." To put it in Johnny Cochrane's words: That doesn't make sense.

But enough about Josh McDaniels drafting skills. The point of the matter is that Kyle Orton is and always will be a better quarterback option than Tim Tebow. Since I'm always right, you know this is fact. However, McDaniels took Tebow with the first round pick and will, sooner rather than later, seek to justify his asinine decision, most likely resulting in Kyle's departure from the Broncos before the 2011 season. This, of course, means war against the very principle on which Start Kyle Orton was founded, that being that Kyle Orton should start. From this moment on we will seek to denigrate and destroy Tim Tebow at every single opportunity. Sorry Tim. Actually, I'm not sorry. Fuck you. You're just a thicker Alex Smith.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

2010 QB Crapshoot

Typically around draft time Iggins! or I like to write some stuff about the players we'd like the Bears to draft. Last year that got thrown out of whack by the HOLY FUCK THE BEARS JUST GOT JAY CUTLER fever and the lack of a first round pick. This year they still lack a first round pick, as well as the second round pick that they lost in the tragic Gaines Adams trade. This really puts a damper on any speculating that can be done, because in one of the most unsual and talent-loaded drafts in recent memory the notion of trying to project all the way into the third round is even more insane than usual. The good news is that the two areas where the team is most in need (safety, offensive line) are unusually deep in this draft. The possibility of the Bears getting 1st or 2nd round talent to fall to their spot is better than it would be in most years. Other than that, there's not much to say. It'll all be a moot point when Jerry drafts yet another injury prone defensive tackle from a southern school and he doesn't make it past mini-camps.

Since there's not much predicting to do for the Bears, I'm going to discuss my favorite part of any draft : quarterback forecasting. If you haven't noticed yet, there's a slight bias on this site in favor of quarterbacks. It's the most important position on the field and the one I pay the most attention to ('cuz the camera is on the guy like every play. lol. srsly). Every year I like to predict which quarterbacks I think will be successful and which will be a bust, a brief rundown of the last decade's drafts shows mixed results:

2009-Matt Stafford (1), Mark Sanchez (5), Josh Freeman (17)- I liked Stafford better than Sanchez because I felt Sanchez's intangibles were overrated and that Stafford's arm strength and accuracy were much better. The results statistically were more or less a wash, with both throwing 20 interceptions, completing only 53% of their passes, and having QB ratings in the low 60s. Sanchez, however, proved that his great defense and outstanding running game can win a lot of games when he doesn't throw 5 picks. So...I'm going to call that a draw for now. I also liked Josh Freeman, although I felt (and still feel) he has more work to do than the other two in order to be a successful pro.

2008- Matt Ryan (3), Joe Flacco (18)- I like Joe Flacco more than Matt Ryan, but I thought both would be successful. Flacco had the better year this year, but Ryan had the better rookie campaign. I'll call it a draw, but both are fine quarterbacks.

2007: JaMarcus Russell (1), Brady Quinn (22)- I wasn't alone in saying both sucked. Russell was nothing more than a fat, big armed moron (I believe my illustrious co-writer once called him a "mush-mouthed idiot" during a frothy rant against the SEC) with little to no accuracy who played at a football powerhouse. Quinn just sucked and played in a loaded system at ND and got too much credit for simply looking like a quarterback. Russell's been the bigger failure so far, but damn, they both suck.

2006: Vince Young (3), Matt Leinart (10), Jay Cutler (11)- This caused a great deal of contention between Iggins! and I. I hate Vince Young. I loathe him with every fiber of my being. I have no idea why this is. I hate his throwing motion, I think his arm is nowhere near as strong as they say, I think he's inaccurate, and I think he's stupid. Oh. That's probably why I hate him. Iggins! absolutely loves the guy. Always has, probably always will. I said Matt Leinart would be better. So far it's difficult to say, although Young has the edge due to his half-decent rebound last year and his logic-defying winning record at quarterback. I'm convinced now Leinart sucks, but with both heading into the season as starting quarterbacks (unless Leinart fucks up and loses his job to Brian St. Pierre or some other no-name), this will be the year they both flop epically. Oh, and I thought Cutler had the best arm of the three and that he'd be successful, while Iggins! called him "the next Kyle Boller," a quote he denies to this day.

2005: Alex Smith (1), Aaron Rodgers (24), Jason Campbell (25)- Guh. I liked Campbell the best of any of the three, but thought that Smith would be successful if given a chance to learn the pro-style offense. I absolutely hated Aaron Rodgers' mechanics (which he overhauled while on the bench in Green Bay) and thought he would fail miserably. Not my finest hour.

2004: Eli Manning (1), Philip Rivers (4), Ben Roethlisberger (11), JP Losman (22)- I thought Eli Manning sucked, and I still do, even if his numbers have improved greatly the last two years. He just looks like a jackass and I know he pisses you off as much as he does me. I thought Rivers was the best QB in the draft, and I think the numbers (other than rings) back me up. I liked Losman more than Roethlisberger, so I'll call that one a failure, although JP's ahead 2-0 in the category of not being accused of sexual assault. Oh, and JP won the first ever UFL championship game, so there's that.

2003: Carson Palmer (1), Byron Leftwich (7), Kyle Boller (19), Rex Grossman (22)- Shit. I thought Carson Palmer would be the greatest quarterback of all time, but the injuries have derailed that. I liked Grossman more than Leftwich or Boller, but the only one I said would be a bust was Boller. Fail all around.

2002: David Carr (1), Joey Harrington (3), Patrick Ramsey (32)- Dear god, what an awful year to look for a quarterback. I liked Harrington more than the other two (he got a ring as the 3rd string QB for the Saints!), and I thought Ramsey was better than Carr. I thought all three would be successful, so....yeah. I even said Ramsey "was a perfect fit for Spurrier's offense." Good god.

2001: Michael Vick (1), Drew Brees (32)- Okay, technically Brees doesn't qualify if I'm only doing first round picks, but both Iggins! and I had a mancrush for Brees during his college days at Purdue. It's not often that you get the two of us to agree on loving a player who isn't on either of our respective college teams, but how the hell could you Not love Breesus, even then? We were both certain he was going to be the best quarterback in this draft and that his tears could cure cancer. Looks like we were right on both counts. Oh, and I hated Michael Vick. He couldn't pass then, and he still can't.

With all of my previous successes and failures tallied, let's take a look at some of this year's top QB prospects and what I think of them:

1. Sam Bradford, Oklahoma: If the Rams were smart, they'd draft Suh and pick up one of the QB's that falls into the 2nd round. They aren't, so they'll probably take Bradford. I think he's an Okay prospect. His arm strength and accuracy are pro-worthy, and he's probably the best prospect in this draft. Before the shoulder injuries I'd have definitely said he was the best. I'm not sure he'll survive long enough to merit the 1st overall pick. Tough break, kid. Next time take the money and run. I'm also not convinced he can handle presure and make quick reads outside of the spread offense (but he's not the only QB in this draft with that problem).

2. Tony Pike, Cincinnati: Ranking him #2 may be a reach, but he's tough and has overcome multiple injuries (although none as scary or as career-threatening as Bradford's shoulder), he's accurate, and his arm strength is better than advertised. I think he'll be a steal for someone in the 2nd or later.

3. Jimmy Clausen, Notre Dame: Guh. He's getting a lot of credit for being "the most NFL ready" quarterback in the draft, and his arm strength and accuracy is certainly respectable. I hate to overrate the team chemistry factor, because it's bullshit and I'd look like a hypocrite after my scathing defense of Jay Cutler, but god damn I hate this guy. He just looks like a shithead. Clausen's success (like most) will depend entirely on who picks him. If he goes somewhere with an adequate line and a strong-willed head coach he'll be fine. If he doesn't? I'm not sure he'll be an epic, Leaf-style bust, but I can see him putting up Grossmanish numbers as a half-developed "gunslinger."

4. Colt McCoy, Texas: He's not good. At all. A 70% completion rate is impressive no matter how dinky the passes were, but other than he's got nothing going for him. He's been injured, he has no arm strength, he's short, and he reminds me of Tim Couch. The only morons predicting anything other than journeyman/Jeff Garcia-ish (and that's being kind) success for this guy are the idiots that use phrases like "proven winner."

5. John Skelton, Fordham: Usually I'm the guy that touts the small school kid with the good measureables (like Flacco) over the kids from the big schools that are clearly just system QBs, but for some reason I'm not sold on Skelton. His size (6'5", 243) and arm strength are undeniable, but he just doesn't strike me as someone who can transition to the pro game quickly. Maybe a few years from now.

6. Tim Tebow, Florida: If he goes to the Colts or Patriots and sits for at least two years before playing, he'll be good. If he doesn't he'll flop. It's that simple. His arm strength is good but his mechanics, even in they're current revised state, aren't that good. He can't make complicated reads and he has no idea how to go through his progression. On top of that, he's lefthanded and you can count the number of good left-handed quarterbacks on one hand (Steve Young, Mark Brunell, Boomer Esiason, Ken Stabler, Jim Zorn). It takes many more hands to count the bad ones (Bobby Douglass, Will Furrer, Cade McNown, Todd Marinovich, Michael Vick, Matt Leinart, Chris Simms, Dave Ragone, Jared Lorenzen...). I think Hell may freeze over and Peter King may be right about Jacksonville taking Tebow. In which case he's fucked.

7. Dan Lefevour, Central Michigan: Before the season ended I thought he was going to be a steal, but his pro day and his work at the senior bowl were lackluster. It's not unthinkable he could end up a late round steal, but I'm losing faith.

8. Jarrett Brown, West Virginia: He's a better passer than Pat White? He's an intriguing project, at least.

9. Jevan Snead, Ole Miss: I can't for the life of me figure out why he didn't stay for his senior year in order to improve his draft stock. The guy has a million dollar arm but his accuracy and decision-making regressed to pure horseshit this season. I had him first on my board before this last season and now I wouldn't even go near him. It's conceivable he could be coached into some better decision-making, or that he could even have some degree of success due to arm strength and dumb luck a la Derek Anderson in 2007, but it's more likely that he's just going to suck like Anderson in every other year of his career.

10. Juice Williams, Illinois: Why not? You've stopped reading this, anyway.

Monday, April 12, 2010

SKO Random 3rd Baseman of the Day: Ron Cey

Name: Ronald Charles "The Penguin" Cey
Height: 5'10''/ Weight: 185 lb
Bats: Right/ Throws: Right
Years as a Cub: 1983-1986

Ron Cey is undoubtedly one of the best 3rd basemen the Cubs had during the long gap between Ron Santo and Aramis Ramirez, but unfortunately his age and his precipitously declining fielding skills kept him from being the long-term solution the team desperately needed.

Cey broke into the majors with the Dodgers in 1971, but didn't earn the full-time starting job at third base until 1973. During his time with the Dodgers, he was part of a core group of Dodger infielders which included 1B Steve Garvey, 2B Davey Lopes, and SS Bill Russell. The Dodgers featured this same infield group for an impressive 8 seasons, during which LA won four pennants and the 1981 World Series title, until Lopes left in 1982 and Cey and Garvey followed the next year. Cey was traded to the Cubs on January 13th, 1983.

While the 1983 season was a disappointing one for the 71-91 Cubs and is more memorable for manager Lee Elia's famous rant than anything else, Cey posted solid offensive numbers at age 35. In his finest offensive year in a Cub uniform, Cey hit .275 with a .346 OBP, a .460 slugging %, and an .805 OPS to go along with 24 homers and 90 RBI.

While Cey saw a slight dip in his numbers during the 1984 season, the Cubs saw a complete turnaround of their fortunes. The team roared to 96 wins and the team's first postseason berth since 1945. Cey was still a major contributor the teams success, with a solid .240/25/97/.324/.442/.766 line. Although things ended on a sour note, with the team losing the NLCS to the Padres, things seemed to be looking up for the Cubs.

Unfortunately, the 1985 season didn't go as planned, as injuries erased an early season division lead and the team faltered to a 77-84 finish. Cey saw his numbers dip for a third straight year, as he dropped to a .232/22/63/.316/.408/.724 line. His defense also continued to decline. A career .961% fielder at the hot corner, Cey's fielding averages were mediocre during his time in Chicago (.955, .967, .943, .952), and his range factor/9 innings had dropped from his career mark of 2.90 (near the league average of 2.89) to an extremely limited 2.42 by his last year with the Cubs. He also had 21 throwing errors in '85, his highest total since 1974. One reporter joked in 1984 that a piece of plywood would provide better defense.

An injury in 1986 limited him to 97 games, his lowest total (in a non-strike season) since before his rookie year (he'd played just 13 games in 71-72, making 74 his rookie year). While he posted a solid .273/13/36/.384/.508/.891 line in those 97 games, his fielding continued to decline and he was nearing 40 years in age. The Cubs decided to trade him to Oakland after the season in order to move Keith Moreland to third and make room for new outfielder Andre Dawson. Cey played just 45 games with the A's in 1987, hitting .221 before retiring. The 62 year old Cey now works in a consultant role with the franchise that made him famous, the Dodgers.

Ron Cey: Pretty damn good.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

SKO Random 3rd Baseman of the Day: Vance Law

I haven't posted on here in over a month and I'm bored, so I'm going to resurrect an old, old feature. I stated earlier that I would leave baseball coverage to those that are a lot better at it than I am, and that I'm going to do, but I'm at least going to finish this damn list, resuming with:

Name: Vance Aaron Law
Height: 6'2'' Weight: 185 lb
Bats: R Throws: R
Years as a Cub: 1988-1989

Keith Moreland had been a fan favorite and posted good offensive numbers at 3rd base for the team in 1987. Unfortunately, he played 3rd base about as well as Joe Bonham and made 28 errors. The Cubs, therefore, traded Keith Moreland to the Padres before the 1988 season in order to pick up closer Goose Gossage and replaced Moreland with Vance Law, a free agent who had spent the previous three seasons with Les Expos after stops with the Pirates and White Sox.

The 1988 season didn't work out particularly well for the 77-85 Cubs, but it ended up as a career year for Law. A career .256/.326/.376/.703 hitter, Law posted careers highs in batting average, RBIs, and total bases, and neared his career highs in OBP and OPS. Overall he hit .293 with 11 HRs, 78 RBIs, a .358 OBP, a .412 slugging %, and a .770 OPS in 151 games, resulting in his first and only trip to the All Star Game (along with fellow Cubs Greg Maddux, Andre Dawson, Ryne Sandberg, Rafael Palmeiro, and Shawon Dunston. Only the Cubs could post a losing record with 6 All Stars). While those seem fairly pedestrian by today's standards they were outstanding for a Cub third baseman of the late 1980s or early 1990s, and the Cubs showed their appreciation for Vance's efforts by naming a hot dog after him. I'm serious.

In the field in 1988, Law was a slight improvement over Moreland, with 19 errors and a .953 fielding % (besting Law's 28 and .934), although his range was slightly below both his career average and the league average, as he posted a 2.57 range factor/9 innings, below the league rate of 2.77 and his 2.65 career mark.

The 1989 season worked out much better for the Cubs, who ran up 93 wins while racing to the NL East title, but Law's poor play that year would essentially end his career and cost him his job in favor of late-season acquistion Luis Salazar. In 130 games in 1989, Law hit just .235, with only 7 HRs, 42 RBIs, and a .296/.355/.651 OBP/Slug/OPS. His defense also went into the tank as his fielding % slipped to .943 and his range factor/9 innings dropped to 2.31.

With Salazar in the fold and the 32 year old Law looking washed up, the Cubs handed Vance his walking papers in January of 1990 (I'm not sure what happened to the unused Vance Law hot dogs. Maybe they renamed them Luis Salazar Dogs? Or Steve Buechele Dogs? If you bought them in Mesa it was probably a Gary Scott Dog). He spent the 1990 season in Japan before making a short-lived, 74 game comeback with the A's in 1991. He now coaches the BYU baseball team.

Vance Law: Good enough for a hot dog sponsor, I guess.