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The Neifi Chronicles

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Man, you'd think the Cubs had just signed an axe murderer. Or a known steroid user. Or this guy.

Why? Because of the amount of vitriol being spewed at Jim Hendry for re-signing Neifi Perez from various members of the CBA; if you haven't seen it, check, for example, here, here, here, or even here.

Well. That stuff might have fried a few microchips in everyone's computers, it's so angry.

So, time for me to be the voice of reason.

It ought to be clear to everyone, as it is to me, that the primary reason Neifi Perez got so much playing time in 2005 is because three Cub infielders missed so much time with injuries -- by my count, 102 games missed by Nomar Garciaparra, 65 games missed by Todd Walker, and 43 games missed by Aramis Ramirez.

That adds up to 210 games missed, and not even Neifi! could have played that many in one season, no matter how many times Dusty Baker wrote his name on the lineup card. Caveat in those numbers quoted above: I calculated that based on the number of defensive games played by each player named; some of the games missed by Ramirez were, of course, replaced by Nomar at 3B -- although, that meant that Neifi played SS in most of those games (a total of 130 SS games for Perez in 2005).

It is clear to me that Baker wrote Perez' name on the starting lineup card so often mainly because he didn't have any other choices. Ronny Cedeno wasn't quite ready (and when he was, he ALSO got hurt, in September games that he might very well have started), and would you have rather seen Enrique Wilson in there?

I do have some faith, given that this is November 9 rather than April 9, that Jim Hendry will acquire someone who will start every day at SS, and hopefully will not get hurt. And that Neifi will start perhaps 20 or so games, and maybe bat 150-200 times, and play defense in the late innings, and as such, he is a useful player to have on the roster.

Many of you don't like Dusty and I think this is coming out in the knee-jerk reactions I'm seeing ("Dusty's going to start him no matter what! AAAAAAAAUUUUUUUGGGGHHH!").

I counsel you again: PATIENCE

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Now, back to baseball. Please.