This Chicago Cubs blog is inspired by the Trib ads in the 80s called Tales from the Upper Deck, which featured one of my heroes and die-hard Cub fan, Mike Royko.
I spent a great deal of my time up in Aisle 424 of Wrigley Field with other Cubs season ticket holders from 1998 to 2010. We mainly talked about the Cubs or baseball, but we also delved into other topics on occasion. Though many of us have given up our Season Tickets now, we still get together to talk baseball and discuss the continuing failure of the Chicago Cubs to win a World Series in our lifetimes.
Tales from Aisle 424 usually resembles the occasionally insightful, mostly snarky, and nonsensical rants of me and my summer family (and it usually comes back around to the Cubs).
The Cubs avoided arbitration with Koyie Hill by signing him to a one-year deal for $850,000.
For a team that is supposedly so cash poor that they had to finance their first baseman's one year deal, you have to wonder why they were so willing to set almost a million dollars on fire like that.
That isn't completely true. Any replacement minor-league call-up would have cost them a league-minimum $400,000, so they only wasted $450,000. But when you take a few hundreds of thousands here and a few hundreds of thousands there, sooner or later it adds up to some real money.
I can not stress enough how terrible and useless Koyie Hill is to this team. He is not young. He is slow. He can't hit. He is not good defensively. He actually cost the Cubs a full win last year, statistically. He was at -1.0 WAR. How bad is that?
Neifi Perez put up seasons of 0.6, 0.6, and 0.4 WAR for the Cubs from 2004 to 2006. Mel Rojas was worth 0.1 WAR in his one disastrous year with the Cubs. Remember when Anthony Young was with the Mets and he couldn't do ANYTHING right and was 2-14 in 1992 and 1-16 in 1993? In those years, he was worth -0.3 and -0.4 WAR respectively. Then when he came to the Cubs he was worth 1.1 WAR and then 0.4 WAR the next year.
It should not shock you to learn that the only person who I could think of off the top of my head as being absolutely terrible that was actually worse than Koyie Hill was... Aaron Miles. Miles was worth -1.4 WAR in 2009 for the Cubs. So he was worse than Koyie, but not by as much as you would think considering Koyie is going to take home twice the league minimum to forget that baserunners are live and never get on base.
The Cubs would have been better served by taking the $450,000 extra they are paying to Hill and just tossing it off the balcony in the Grand Ballroom at the Cubs Convention into the crowd. Seriously, because I bet at least half of that money would wind up back in the Cubs' pockets when those people would scurry out and purchase 13 game plans to see the Cubs lose to the Yankees and Reed Johnson jersey shirts (HE'S BACK!!!! OMG!!!).
But they might as well have just stuck me on the end of the bench and not let me do anything and it would have ended up better and cheaper for them.