Monday, May 30, 2005

Monday MUST READ!!

Greetings Cub Fans. After a weekend of Boating, Drinking and Sunburn, I return to find the cubs at the .500 mark and much more importantly, a hot Aramis Ramirez. So is this latest offensive "splurge" a sign of things to come, or just an abbiration? Most importantly, what are they going to do about their starting rotation. A group, that , before prior went out, was on such a roll, and seemed to have found its footing. Now is the time to trade for a starter. The reason to do it now, is because you might be able to get a bargain because you won't be bidding against other teams. Maybe we can convince the rocket to come on up to the Windy City or maybe someone like Bronson Orroyo could use a change of scenery. Hey, I'm a cubs fan, I have a license to be dillusional.

So happy memorial day, and enjoy this game.

Ps. What are the odds of Aramis hitting a triple and batting for the cyle?? It just might be crazy enough to happen!!

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Putting the Nept back into INEPT!!

Assuming that this 4-1 loss will hold, it will have been nearly two weeks without the cubs breaking the 4 run mark. Given that some of those games were actually wins is just a testament to the fact that the Starting Rotation is finally starting to gel, though, I've seen bowls of Jello solidy quicker.

I've been taking some time off, not from the cubs, just from blogging. I figured I'd be like that little clubhouse guy that keeps running out there in the jersey being a "good luck batboy". Is this what we've resorted to for good luck these days, dressing chubby little 60yr olds up in pinstripes and sending him out onto the field. Since I've been gone, i've been quite distressed about these trade rumors I see, mostly because of the lack of upside. Unless a quality offensive hitter becomes available, no trade is needed. Dempster, it seems, can handle the closer role until JO-Blow gets back into shape, and other than todays Dinger given up by bartosh, the middle-relief corps has been quite solid, and as said earlier, the starting rotation seems to finally be righting itself. And really, other than injuries, I'd say the starting rotation has been the best part of this team all season long.

So about this offense, any ideas as to who we can pick up. Maybe one of those TAMPA BAY guys. Also, I'm not wild about graves from Cinci, But would take any of their 4 outfielders over any of our three. though, I think if griffey ever became available, and the cubs were lucky enough to pick him up, he'd probably sprain his big toe coming into the clubhouse the very first time, and never play again. He and nomar can make T-shirts.

But I like Willy Moe pena, he seems to have some pop, can play center, and has some speed. I'm just about done with patterson. The only thing i've heard about him is , he showed some promise last summer, and before he got injured. So, let's get this straight, they kept the free swinger, w/ no plate discipline and let go two outfielders who could go deep without thinking twice (sosa and alou). And, by the way, Alou is heating up out here and SF and everyone keeps ranting about what a great "clubhouse presence" he his. Hmm..... clubhouse presence, like the complete opposite of Dusty Baker, and it seems now Corey Patterson.

But what do I know anyways, they just got two on and the Rocks pulled the pitcher. will write more later.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Addition by Subt-errrrrr-action

What is the front office waiting for, and what is dusty waiting for. This team has proven, that when confronted with crapping or getting of the pot, crapping is clearly not the viable option. Its time to admit that for whatever reasons, bad offseason moves, injuries, etc... the season is not going to turn around. I'm sorry, but Todd Walker and an oft-injured Wood are not going to save the season. So we need to take some of our spare parts and trade them for some quality parts.

Here's my list of players we could live without who, if we move soon, could get some good value for:

Ryan Dempster- Still hasn't convinced me he can close out a game without walking the bases loaded first.
Latroy Hawkins- I thought that Dusty had agreed never to put him in in the 9th especially at wrigley. This guy just needs a change of scenery and Hendry needs to supply it for him.
Jose Macias- The bag of sunflower seeds we could get for this guy would be worth it.
Jerry Hairston Jr. - Its tough to just throw away the guy we got for sosa, but he's not providing the "spark" we thought he would and yesterday got his 2nd RBI of the year. I'd have to say that that's a trade the Orioles won out on. Did I mention we're still paying Sammy?

Other Subtractions that need to happen now- The Trib. Co at some point will start to realize that Hendry is in love with spending their money on Damaged goods. Has anyone checked to see if he buys his groceries at flea markets. Bring in someone who can accurately place value on players, and no, having had Tommy John Surgery is not a plus

Larry Rothschild- I don't know what this guy does other than gets pitchers injured. I'm not sure if its that he and Dusty don't see eye to eye but something just seems off here.

Dusty Baker- I've been on and off the Fire Dusty bandwagon all season long, but I think it's time to give credit where credit is due and then go our seperate ways. Yes, gone are the days of the "Loveable Losers" tag, now they are hardly even loveable. No one is playing with any sort of passion or energy, and just listening to dusty talk puts me to sleep, how am I supposed to assume that its any different in the clubhouse. SOmeone needs to light a fire under these guy's asses and I'm not sure dusty could light a fire on the surface of the sun. Thanks for bringing us to the brink, now we need someone who's not going to sit Idly by as the team wallows in mediocrody.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

F**CK Fox

So, After spending 85dollars for a full season of MLB.TV, I checked the schedule the morning to see that today's game would be on FOX. There are few reasons why living in California sucks, and this is reason number one. At the time of the opening pitch, 10:20 local time, I believe FOX had on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Oh well, I'll just watch it on my computer, nope, LOSER! It's blacked out on the computer. So I'm watching the Pitch by Pitch on gameday. And it looks like big Z is having some control issues. So despite having waked a few and Plunked a couple, he's got a no-no after 5. That'd be all nice and fine if the cubs could actually get a hit themselves.

This offensive dry-spell has got to end soon. Aramis needs to get out of this funk, and whoever bats leadoff needs to learn how to get on base. Okay, that's it for captain obvious statements.

Let's see what happens. Lets get some HITS!

Friday, May 20, 2005

South Side Sux

I've never quite understood the Cubs/ Sox rivalry having always been a transplanted Cubs fan, but from what I can understand, it's quite testy. This must be why I just heard the Sux announcers saying that He hoped Garcia's plunking of Lee "wasn't an accident". Did I just hear an announcer say that he hoped someone got hit intentionally. How would he like to be in the batter's box against Maddux and say that. I've heard of homer announcers before, but wishing that someone get's hit on purpose is just a little bit absurd. You have to wonder a little bit if it wasn't a bit on purpose since Maddux did hit one of theirs, and Lee is our hottest hitter.

Now, I've been quite critical of the new broadcasting team, but these guys are horrendous. Do the Cubs guys get to do any of these games. I sure as hell hope so.

Also, why is Hollandsworth starting, and why is he batting in the 2 spot? does he have some sort of plate discipline or speed that hasn't yet been reported. Un-freaking-believable.... way to go Dusty.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Where would this team be without my man D-Lee? I know its depressing to think about, but we'd be a lot worse off. The thing I like about him is that he hits in the clutch. He doesn't press and doens't try to do anything super-natural, he just plain hits. If we can get Ramirez healthy and on a tear, I wouldn't be nearly as concerned about the offense as I am.
I thought we were supposed to get a new infielder yesterday, what happened to that. Please tell me he didn't go have dinner in Detroit and decide not to go to Chicago. I think once through that is enough don't you??

Monday, May 16, 2005

Hey WHaaat Happen????

Man, I go to Disney Land for two days and all hell breaks loose, again!!!! Now Big Z's arm is hurt and dempster doesn't know if he can start anymore?? I think this season, though still early is not going to turn itself around without DRASTIC CHANGES! I'll have to look up the cubs record in one run games, but it can't be good. Neifi w/two errors?? Hairston sitting?? You mean to tell me that the guy we got for Sosa isn't good enough to start and the guy who was suppoed to be a great defensive substitute at short is now playing 2nd?


1. Fire Rothschild- he clearly does not know how to a. Rehab Pitchers so they don't repeat their injuries. b. use pitchers in the correct roles c. evaluate talent. errr. Dontrelle Willis

2. Hendry either needs to make a move or resign. This is the man who could only get a substitute sub .250hitting 2nd baseman for sammy sosa, and oh yeah, we STILL GET TO PAY HIS SALARY. This is a man who settled for an injury prone Nomar rather than throwing his hat into the biggest Shortstop offseason in recent history. This is a man who after the bullpen wore down at the end of the '04 season made a total of 1 moves for the bullpen. Farnsworth for Bartosh. And after losing a solid #4 starter, replaces him w/injury prone, and control issue-full Dempster. Also see above paragraph about talent evaluation.

I wish I could agree w/ the fire-dusty people and I probably will sooner or later but I think that he's been hamstrung by his front office and hasn't had a complete chance to fill his staff w/ his people except last year's umm.... "trainer".

So, enjoy the day off, and bring on the Bucs!!!!

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Another Day Off

After taking 2 of three from the Mets, the cubs and I enjoy a much needed day off. I haven't been able to see many of the games but just by looking at highlights and boxsores, the bullpen continues to struggle and clutch hitting seems to be in short supply. Yesterday's game I saw that dempster had blown the save. (It's almost like I predicted that) and then I saw the cubs had runners on 1st and 2nd with one out... The next thing I see is Lee hitting a HR.

3 Things about that:
1.Where the Hell would we be without Lee??
2. Bullpen problems persist
3. Clutch hitting still lacking. It's great that Lee saved their butts, but why did he have to. Runner on 2nd w/ less than one out has to score, has to find a way to score, and that's all there is.

So, it's off to DC and hopefully we'll have something positive to say soon!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Why Did He Throw The Ball?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

That's My Question 1. A, With Question 1B. Being Why Was Latroy In the game? I thought Dusty had decided on "closer By situation" and I thought even he agreed that a one one game at home was not the right situation for Latroy. I mean, i thought we'd been down this road before Fox's injury and that's exactly what he said. I thought it's the closers who are supposed to have a real bad memory to put these things behind them, not the coaches and managers. And, as always, other than Lee, the offense laid another Big donut. And this time with the wind blowing out.

So after yesterday's Put up of shut up Game, I'm labeling this one, put up or pack it in.
If you can't answer the bell and rise to the challenge of the Phillandering Phillies, then we should probably just mail in the rest of the season. But just in case they are willing to learn from yesterday's game and are now going to rip off 10 in a row, here's some things they should definitley remember.

1. Prior should always throw to Blanco. He seemed calmer and more relaxed even in the 2nd inning Jam.
2. Latroy should not be in any games that are close, ever again.

That's it, I have no answers for the rest of their problems, except I do agree w/ one fellow blogger who called for a massive outfield shakeup, starting Grieve and maybe even Dubois as well. I'd be more in favor of Starting Dubois and Having Grieve and Hollly off the bench.

Remember to always look at the bright side of these things, at least they could still win this series.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Show up or Shut UP

Today's game between the Phillies and the Cubs will be a big indicator of how the rest of the season will fare. Here's a few things to look for, in addition to (or instead of) the score.

1. Prior- was his last start a fluke, or were the first 3? I'm inlined to think he'll have a good outing.
2. Cub's offense- how will they respond to losing the last 3 games by one run? Will they show the patience they need, or show the frustration that they have. How many K's-BB's will we see? The cubs have been a bit more aggressive on the basepaths lately, trying to force the action, unfortunately, they've run into a couple outs at home and stranded a bunch at 2nd. Will they continue to try to move runners over, or completely rely on the long ball. I'm curious to see how many total bases lee will have vs. the rest of the team by the end of the year, heck, I'm curious about april. Lemme check on that.
3. Bullpen Management- a lot of this depends on Prior's effectiveness but how will dusty use the bullpen today. With Novoa's struggles wed. and Weurtz and Hawk's struggles yesterday, will What will dusty do?
4. Lineup- what will dusty do to get this lineup to succeed? Ramirez and Barret are both heating. How will he use this to their advantage today.... probably by resting them.

I don't know if saying " they've only played one month" is uplifting, or depressing, guess we'll see today.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Let the Blame Games Begin!!!!

With little positive to discuss about this team, it seems like everyone has now turned the corner and begun the blame game and, I think it's time someone be held accountable. I think the most frustrating thing is the apparent apathy with which the players are playing and the "confused frustration" from which Rothschild, Baker and Hendry are all suffering simutaneously. Somthing has to be done to kick these guys in the pants. Hopefully McPhail and the Trib people will realize that they are not getting a good return on their investments, and in some cases, their "assets" are being put in jeopardy, ie. Chad Fox, by a Manager and Pitching Coach who have not proven in any instance that they know how to best utilize these assets. I'm tired of the Coaches being "just as frustrated and confused" as the fans. They should have a plan, and they should have contingency plans, but instead, the best they can come up with is putting an unproven arm in to hold down a tie, let him load the bases, and then let him walk one home. I wish I could say that its time for Plan c, but that would be acknowledging that there had been a plan A and plan B.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Putting the "pert" back in Expert

I've read all of the other blogs, w/ each one claiming to have a cause and a cure for the cubs maladies, and what's even scarier is that I see validity in almost all of them. Peter Gammons talked cubbies last night and said that their offense is in trouble and needs to get it going. I'm glad ESPN is paying him to go out on a limb like that, cause I might not have been so decisive in my analysis. What gems will he have for us tomorrow, "Roger Clemens is Pretty Good". He's more than right, he's "Captain Obvious Right".

And when you're "Captain Obvious Right", you haven't done the Expert Part of your Expert Analysis job. I want to hear what their real problems are, and not from the Cub Blog army, though again, I see validity in all of your arguments, I want someone to come out in the mainstream and tell us something we don't know. This problem is clearly more Systemic than just "The offense needs to get it going" . I dont know if its Hendry, if its Dusty, If its Rothschild, but at some point, the players can only do so much and their has to be some accountability further up the chain. It's like the 9-11 commission that blamed anyone and everyone, except for the bosses of those people.

I don't know where they thought their power was going to come from. Hairston has done decently has a leadoff man, but he's nothing to write home about, and that's all we got out of the Sosa trade. Oh yeah, we "get" to pay most of his salary too. Is anyone else feeling hosed on that one. Is it any coincidence that walker gets injured in the first month of the season and Grudz, now a member of our hated rival has batted for the cycle and makes a web gem at least every other night?

At the beginning of the season, I was much more of an apoligist, saying that if we knew we'd be in this situation in the middle of 2002 we'd take it in a heart-beat, but when you come out of nowhere one season, and fail to back it up, it looks less like dusty being a genious and more like a fluke of titanic proportions. Look at it another way, there are only 6 players left from the '03 team, a team that came within 5 outs of the world series. I know that there's turnover in all pro sports, but that seems a little extreme. Seems like it just needed some tinkering, not an overhaul.

But we can't live in the past and need to move on. That goes for you dusty, move on from "what's worked in the past' cause clearly, its not now.

Monday, May 02, 2005


I'd love to hear from some of you on this, but am I the only one not extatic about Dempster being the cubs new closer? Yes, I know they have to have someone close, but is dempster really the guy we want doing that. First of all, right now the larger issue seems to be the rotation. W/ wood out at least 3 weeks, they cannot sustain a 4 man rotation which means glendon will have to be the 5th starter. But that doesn't mean we have another starter to spare, or is my math "fuzzy" again.

Okay, so put aside the fact that we still need him in the rotation, I'm more worried about him actaully being the closer. Has anyone watched him pitch lately? Sure he has lights out stuff sometimes, but I seem to remember him walking the bases loaded, giving up another walk with the bases loaded, and then completed the trifecta by giving up a Slam. Is this someone you really want in a one run game in the 9th? Tell you what, maybe dusty should just go back and forth between Dempster and Latroy depending on the "situation". That way we'd never be safe in the 9th inning, and all of us can get ulcers at a premature age. Its time to see what Wuertz can do, and if not him, then its time for Hendry to pick up the phone, and find someone, anybody. Or, you know here's an idea, let's put in a starting pitcher who's not going to have a "cranky" arm, or someone who's going to keep his cool long enough to see the end of a game, then maybe the bullpen wouldn't be such an issue.

They have got to take advantage of these games where the offense is actually putting runs up, because, Lee and Neifi are not going to stay this hot. Dusty and Hendry have to put their heads together and fix this problem now. Give wuertz a chance, give latroy another chance. By the way, didn't he save the last chance he had 1-2-3?

OKAY, Let's Bring on the Brewers!!! i'll be numb on novacaine so hopefully I'll be able to stay up for the whole thing. And hopefully Zambrano will have one fewer Red Bulls and give us some quality innings.