Tuesday, August 30, 2005

New Manager?? NEW POLL!!

What a week... as depressing as it was saddening. Can you imagine just one week ago Dusty was going on about how this was his "favorite" time of year because of being "in the chase". Now one week later, two outfielders have been traded and Kerry Wood and ARam have been shelved. Nomar is playing third, and poor Matt Murton just now has been called back up.

I for one am anxious to see how Murton, McLain and Cedeno do this next month, that is IF dusty actaully plays them. Today on Cubs.Com, he offered us this nugget as insight into what his plans are for the youngsters.

"In my mind, Corey [Patterson] is still young. Our whole bullpen is young," Cubs manager Dusty Baker said. "We've been having 'young' out there for a long time and if not young, then inexperienced from [Roberto] Novoa to [Michael] Wuertz to [Will] Ohman to [Todd] Wellemeyer. Half our team is either inexperienced or young."

Baker will pick the right spot for the kids like Murton and shortstop Ronny Cedeno.

"I believe in matching young guys up so they have success," Baker said. "I've seen young guys get ruined.

"We've still got to win games, too. This isn't some great experiment. I play everybody on my team. They're going to get at-bats, big time."

Clearly, someone has been hearing his critics. Just a couple of questions for the Master guru

1. How come you say "I belive" as if its some wise thought that should be taken seriously?
2. Is KKorey one of those young guys that has been ruined? and if so....
3. Is Korey being ruined the reason he gets so many AB's?
4. Isn't riding the bench behind a guy like Korey more ruining for a rookie?
5. and lastly, what does "Big Time mean"? We've heard it so often but I don't really know what it means.

New poll is up, so take a look. Its kind of a "Dare to Dream poll" about who should be Dusty's successor as soon as Hendry stops smoking the Crack. I picked 4 guys that should be "available" this off-season if the Cubs came calling. Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Chasing What???

I talked about Cubs.Com yesterday and how I only really check it for the Injuries and the Dusty's Fired post. But I can't do it any more. Its almost like big brother is writing these articles. Check out this one called Thrill of the Chase. Dusty talks about this being his favorite time of year because the Team's behind and its just so Fun to be in that position!! WHat a bunch of Propoganda BS. I'm trying to figure out who is in more denial, Dusty for saying this stuff or Carrie Muskat for printing it without laughing. The funny part of the article comes just moments after talking about this being the "Fun" part of the year and Carrie laid this gem on us:

The Cubs started the day 6 1/2 games back, which is not an impossible feat, Baker said. But winning the Wild Card isn't the team's No. 1 goal. The Cubs entered Monday's game four games under .500. That's a problem. (really)??

"No. 1, we've got to get back to .500. That's how it is. That's our first task," Baker

So, If i'm hearing this right, its "fun" to be 5 games under .500, and fun to be behind 6 teams. (including the brewers) What part of this second paragraph would make any reader think that Dusty hasn't completely lost his mind talking about still being "in it" . (Also, why wasn't staying above .500 the first task when Murton was riding the pine while Holly and Burny did their best '05 Sammy Sosa impersinations)

Its time, ONCE AGAIN!!! To sell the scrap and keep the gold, let some of these guys get picked up by ACTUAL CONTENDERS and get some good youngsters in return. Does anybody doubt that Hairston, Walker, Holly, and Nomar couldn't help someone out for the next 7 weeks. Especially because any other Manager would know how to use them better than dusty. I hate to be so down on a team that I love so much, but this stuff is absolutely infuriating. btw~~ Maybe Jerome Williams should spend more time discussing scouting reports and watching film than working on his "Luck".

Monday, August 22, 2005

A Strong Vote Of...... Contentment??

Every day, my first website after my Email is Cubs.Com. Not to see the score of the game they just lost, or to check the inevitable injury report, but to see if Dusty has been fired yet. While that hasn't happened, I'm going to take the article on McPhail as a glass-half-full situation and say that the writing is on the wall. While there may not be a chance that the Cubs will outright fire Dusty, i'd think they'd be hardpressed to say "No" if anyone sought permission to speak with him.

Probably the telltale line in the article was


Once injuries are off the table, dissatisfaction with a team perceived to be underachieving begs the question of the job security of MacPhail's top generals, general manager Jim Hendry and manager Dusty Baker, and while the rumor mill spins at this time of year, MacPhail gave each a vote of "contentment," while saving his confidence for the organizational game plan.

"I am very content with Jim, and I know he's very content with Dusty," MacPhail said. "I'm confident we're going to put it together. I'm confident that the formula is going to get us there, and despite having what appears now to be a hovering-around-.500 year, I'm still confident we're going in the right direction."

I'm not sure what Content means, but it sounds to me like its less than confident and a lot less than "Happy". If the cubs finish this year under .500 even by one game, McPhail's contentment should quickly change to discontent, and Pink Slips should be handed out all around the office.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

I Miss Murton

Hmmm... C orey has sucked against lefty's. Corey's sucked this past week. Runners on base.... if only we had a young, strong, disciplined righty off the bench. Doh... I'd even have pinch hit macias for Korey in that situation.

Hey Dusty, WHat Happens when we ASSUME??

Well, I thought I heard it all out of Dusty the Master Apologist this year until I read the report on Cubs.Com yesterday talking about "trouble on the Base Paths" and almost vomitted. Can this guy get on his players, or himself about anything? He in a roundabout way found a way to blame everyone but Himself, his coaching staff and especially Corey for the botched squeeze on friday. Check it out:

--"I don't even know if he's ever been involved in a squeeze play," Baker said. "We instruct guys in Spring Training about when to leave, when to do this, when to do that. But the thing about teaching at this level, there's a lot of things that you assume that they already know and were taught.

"They might have been taught, but [they haven't been] applying it. Therefore, most of your teaching is done after a mistake. A lot of things you assume they may know until they make a mistake, and then you have to teach them then."--

I just have one question for the Penultimate Players Manager, What the f**k is spring training for? Isn't that where the coaches go over EVERYTHING so that they don't have to ASSUME anything? How can Hendry just sit there while this guy comes up with excuse after excuse. Anything short of, "Corey Messed Up" is a cop-out. Maybe they're still trying to build him up so they can trade him. But I have a feeling that GM's will be just as unwilling to trade for someone who wasn't trained properly rather than a kid who messes up a lot. Either way, it points out the glaring reality that Dusty, all coaches in charge of Defense/Baserunning, and KKorey need not be invited back to Arizona next spring.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Dusty's Fightin the Law

So Burnitz is Struggling, everyone knows it, Lawton hit a HR yesterday and I Believe had at least one other hit, so who does lineup GURU put in the game? batting 7th BTW, of Course Woddy Harrelson himself.

Any reason why Lawton couldn't bat leadoff and Murton bat 6th, 7th or 8th? What is Dusty's infatuation with slow corner outfielders who wouldn't be starters on any other team?

Sunday, August 14, 2005

In Need of Neifi

Okay, the Cubs won today, and I'm convinced it was entirely out of spite. Nice to see Nomar getting his groove back though he did almost throw the game away. Is anyone else wondering where Neifi has been lately. Had macias not come through with the two RBI hit, I know I'd be screaming for Neifi, but even Hollandsworth's PH didn't make much sense when you have a guy on the bench who can switch hit. Am I mistaken in thinking that Neifi could also have played LF for those two outs? I'm just wondering, anyone else have any ideas.

So now the Mighty Cubs are only 6 out of the Wild Card and with a Sweep or Win in Houston could definitely considered back "In It". (Poor Matt Murton, someone should really poke him with a stick periodically so that the bench doesn't permantly sag where he sits).

Here's to hoping that the Cubs just light up the Juice Box. That's always fun.

False Hope Springs Eternal

We can all lament the pain and anguish that comes with being a cubs fan and even I pointed to the cruelty inflicted by their Ineptitude in 8 straight games followed by two good performances vs. the league's best. Fortunately for me I had already given up on the season so now it just makes me chuckle. THe unfortunate part is that dusty will probably see those two games as a reason to "stay in the race" meaning he'll be running Wood out there when he should be resting, and he'll still be playing Burnitz and Hollandsworth inexplicably more than they should be playing.

The fact of the matter is, if they lose today, and I have no reason to expect that they won't, other than Prior pitching, the cubs will be in the same exact position as they were before the series with the Cardinals, and mathematically speaking, in worse shape. (they'll have four fewer games to play with)

Unfortunately, Dusty looks at the facts much like the Bush administration, with limited understanding or accountability. While nothing will have really changed in the past four days, the party line probably will be a lot more optimistic than it was four games ago, and foolishly so. Hendry needs to understand that as long as Dusty continues to manage this way, stubbornly and blindly avoiding all common sense and reason, this team could go till the next presidential election before it even sniffs the playoffs, and with a Payroll this big, with two #1 pitchers and two sluggers just now entering their prime, we can't afford to wait two more years to make another run at it, we need to start building for the future NOW.

Trade what you can to get what you can, and let the young kids play. Maybe Andy McPhail is just waiting till the offseason to fire the whole lot of them, I guess we can hold out hope for that.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Jerome Williams Sucks

No witty title, just straight to the point. The funniest of those Photo-Comparisons pointed out the uncanny similarity between williams and a Batting Tee. The only difference is that Batting tees don't walk 2 batters an inning.

ITs time to give Sergio Mitre another chance. When that guy is on, he's unhittable, when Williams is "On" he's quite hitable. And we haven't seen Williams be ON in oh, two months.

I don't know what to say about the last two games other than that this team clearly is quite Masochistic towards its fans and likes playing well every once in a while to make the suffering that much worse. I did see Murton beat out a double play ball the other day which was pretty cool. I had to check and make sure he was actually wearing a cubs jersey! I don't know why Dusty continues to fool himself into thinking we're actually in this race, and/or that Burnitz gives us a better chance in right than Murton. At least with murton, all three of our outfielders would be fast, that has to be good for something right?

Okay, back to watching little dots light up on my screen. I hate FOX

Tickets for Sale/Trade

No, I'm not giving up on this team, though these past two games against the Cards are enough to have any Cub fan committed. I have two tickets for the Sat. Sept. 10th Game AT the Giants. Unfortunately I cannot attend. I'm hoping to find some bay area cub fans who can use them before I let Giants fans have a go.

Ideally I'd be hopin to trade if anyone out there has two tickets to the Friday, Sept. 9 game but that might just be wishful thinking.

They are in Section 336, Row 16, Seats 3 and 4

$75 for the Pair should do it, or Best Offer.

email me at: smalbrecht23@yahoo.com

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Time to Waive goodbye

As one other blogger mentioned recently, hopefully the K man will do just well enough to get himself traded. I agree whole-heartedly. While we're at it, go ahead and put Walker, Burny, Holly, Macias and Nomar on the Waiver wire. I love Nomar and wish he had been a cub in his prime, but its time to get value out of him in another player since we have gotten little out of him as a player. This team needs to change its dimensions, or at least one of them and that's age. See what you can get for these guys and lets BUILD a team with youth and talent. I think Lawton is a keeper and once Baker is gone Murton will be an everyday player. I think Hairston should get a shot at every day 2B when he comes back. An infield of Cedeno, Hairston, Lee and ARam really wouldn't be the worst thing ever.

I look around the league and see all of these players that could have ben had who could have helped the team this year and the only real thing we can say about this past offseason is that We got Burnitz to replace Sosa. Think about these players and the impact they're having on their teams while the cubs went for Old, Slow and Impatient ummm.... Home Run Hitters?

Eric Byrnes
Guillen, the one on the Nationals who likes to fight people
Jason Kendall. faster, and more selective than Barret.
David Eckstein, Orlando Cabrera, Renteria, take your pick
MATT CLEMENT... (reason number one of many to also fire Hendry)
Any of the Devil Rays OF if we just offered them a Bag of Cheeto's in return
and honestly this is without me doing any sort of research on the subject.

Let's all please hope that Hendry saying its not Dusty's fault is just smoke screening for the firing that should happen before the end of the season. He is too stubborn to "give up" and let Cedeno and Murton play and hence he needs to be fired before he ruins another young position player.

Monday, August 08, 2005

For Dusty, and the Season, The Fat Lady has already left the building

It took me a long time to come aboard the fire dusty bandwagon, but nowI just hope there's room for me in the front seat. How could things have gone this bad? Well, unfortunately hindsight is 20/20 and that's about all we have right now.

The cubs were just barely keeping their heads above the water when DLee was challenging the triple crown and .400. Now that he's come back to earth, the cubs have sunk to the bottom. (did I mention we're 2.5 games behind the BREWERS??)

We also could and should have known that Neifi's heroics during Nomar's first month out would go away, and they did.

Corey Patterson's demotion was too little too late, as was the addition of Lawton.

Why did we let Mat Clement go again? He and Z were the only two in the rotation who were A. Young and B. Durable. Our whole bullpen situation would have been solidified at the beginning of the year if A. Dempster Doesn't Start, ever, Clement is Still in the Rotation, and Glendon Got to start. We'd still have LaBlow in the 7th or the 8th, Dempster in the 9th. And Wuertz, Ohman, Wellemeyer for Middle relief.

Again, Many of the Above statements have little or nothing to do with Dusty, which is why I think hendry should go too, but when you look around the League, at Atlanta, Oakland, THE WHITE Sox, the Astros and DID I MENTION THE BREWERS. All teams picked to end up Way behind the Cubs, all teams with what some would call "inferior talent" and all teams, (i'm guessing) with a smaller payroll, who are all out-achieving these cubs, but are doing it in SOLID ways. Good Defense, good baserunning, good pitching, timely and patient hitting.

It is time for this relationship between the Team, the Fans and This Manager to end. It was a nice little honeymoon for about a season plus 10 games in '03. But I'm just going to go ahead and chalk that up to two pitchers whose arms have now nearly fallen off, one "Corked up" sammy, and a little majic. In short, a team can overcome bad managing only on rare and special occasions, otherwise, you get the mess of what we are watching every night.

I'm surprised my WGN feed isn't getting scrambled, its just that dirty.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Dead and Hardly Kicking

Well tonight we witnessed 25 guys with no pulse "run: around a baseball field for 2 hours. I may have used the term Run a little too liberally, since they didn't do much of that either. I think its time for some players to get put on the waiver wire to see what we can get for them. It is time to start thinking about next year. I'm serious, crazy as it sounds, there is probably a Market out there for both a Macias and Hollandsworth type. They have served the Cubs "well" and now its time to cut our losses and move on.

I've said this before but its worth repeating. In a year when both the A's and Braves have like 3 rookie of the year candidates on their teams, it is so frustrating to see Matt Murton not getting to go out there and do what he can do. Macias playing center field is not an option for a team even pretending to be in a playoff race, which is the only reason I can think as to why Murton didn't get at least one start this weekend.

The past week of baseball was not only losing baseball, but it was BAD baseball. The cubs got beat by teams with no more talent than them, but with more heart, brains and more "with-it-ness" than the Cubs have had all year.

It should be funny though listening to Brenley and Kasper the last two months. You have to think they'll be wary of being too critical. Look for lots of akward pauses.

Question: How come Spiers is the only coach to come out Publicly saying that the defense has been crappy. I'd start to worry about little Darren Baker's future. His father clearly can't reprimand those he is in charge of and spoils those that have done nothing to deserve it

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Gimme My Murton

Another bismal afternoon for a cubs team that could have won if dealt a better hand by their manager. I try to ignore Brenley and Casper when i can, but sometimes nuggets of info. slip through such as, you usually try to avoid using your backup catcher unless extremely necessary. because who knows what could happen inury-wise. So, when they double switched inthe 8th(when defense matters most), in comes Barret to catch.

Couldn't Murton just as easily been put in for macias or walker (putting macias at 2nd). SO lets say that doesn't work and you want Barret's bat in the 9th, how is Lawton, a leftie who had never seen wagner better than Murton, a righty who'd never seen wagner before. Seems to me you go for the righty when all else is equal.

I'm changing the channel to TBS and swallowing the remote, I've gotta see some rookies play.

Lawton vs. Macias....hmmm

Last time I checked, Lawton could play CF, last time I checked he could play it better than Macias. Last time I visited her, my 70yr old Grandma hit better than macias, and (yes in case your're wondering, My grandma IS NOT better than Lawton)

I'm going to the Golden Gate bridge to listen to the rest of the game. (I may or may not use a bungee cord, we'll see)

Hey at least Ramirez is hitting behind Lee.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Or wordless, not sure what you call not being able to type, but whatever. Well today's loss was just another symptom of a poorly managed, poorly coached and unprepared team. Everybody has pretty much already said all there is to be said about it. The lineup sucking, the stupid Barrett play, dusty's unwillingness to play youngsters..... etc. So I thought I'd look at it from a different point of view.

I watched today's game with my "SUX" Jersey on, purchased after Prior beat Pitt after the break. My Mom said, "You know you'll root for them if they get to the series". Of course I shrugged her off but lately its become quite apparent that this hatred of the Sux possessed by all Cub Fans is more irrational than ever before, and almost rooted out of jealousy. I'm not jealous that they are winning and we're not, though if they win the series after the Red Sox last year, I'm quite sure I'll move to Mongolia and become a monk. But dammit, they play good baseball. How frustrating is it that in the two years since BartGate, the SUX have gone from being the Twin's whipping boy to the best team in baseball. They run the bases well, play great defense, know how to bunt and have a manager who will actually get after his players.
Somehow, the Southsiders figured otu how to win faster than Dusty can figure out what OBP means.

I'm not sure what the point of the above paragraph was other than to say that, the Cub fan's pain this year is made even more wickedby the success of the Sox. They were put together better, they are managed better, and they play better ball.
Too bad Sox fans are too stupid to realize what a treat they have......(hehe, you knew that was coming)

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Flip Flop This...

So, after Burny nearly runs the team OUT of another inning, Aram comes through in the clutch, finally! Then , with the Bases loaded, after another lee IBB, Burny strikes out swinging. Does anyone else think that this whole Flip-Flopping of the batting order is just silly. Who thinks that ARam wouldn't provide better protection for Lee regardless of who's pitching. How come Dusty is such a "numbers man" when it comes to stuff like this. (flip flopping order) but won't play the Percentages by running to keep his team out of a double play??

Okay, I'm gonna go now and watch Dempster try to save this bad boy.

BTW- dont' forget to vote on the new Poll: What will happen with the rest of the Cub's season?

Turning Two...

I'm not sure if Dusty understands double plays. Why not have the runners moving when Neifi is up to bat? He should know that the chances of Neifi lining into a double play are far less than grounding into one. Maybe Dusty doesn't know that the runners are allowed to move before the ball is hit.... HE IS ABSOLUTELY MADDENING!! Please LA DODGERS, take him off our hands, I can't stand another year of this

Monday, August 01, 2005

And Down the Stretch.....

Well, we survived the trade deadline with little damage and hopefully a rejuvinated lineup. So what's next?? I have mixed feelings about the rest of the season, I think it could get really ugly real fast, or this team could get on a tear. Just look at what the A's and Astros are doing. Does anyone actually think that the Cubs lineup is worse than the 'Stros. I know that the offense has been scuffling, but in the end, It will as it always does come down to pitching. Maybe Williamson and Wood will give the bullpen a much needed boost, but I wish we had gotten a reliever the past couple of days. The Indians had one out there and Baez is still available. Maybe Hendry is waiting till friday to see what happens with the Lineup and Pen and then maybe can make a waiver deal if the team stays in it.

I guess all we can do is just enjoy the next month, because it could be the last meaningful month of baseball that we see. Here's to hoping they're getting some sleep on today's day off, and do an A's imitation the next couple of weeks.