Posted on: June 25, 2010 11:34 pm

Wait 'til (but don't count on) next year

From Lou Pinella "having done all he can", Aramis Ramirez's aging body and sub .200 average, Fukudome's average in any but but April, millions of dollars in Alfonso Soriano and Carlos Zambrano, and frustration boiling over to whatever that was from Little Z in today's White Sox game, the Ricketts family will have no choice but to blow this thing up in the off season...but how?

"Embarrassing" Lou called today's dugout side show.  Zambrano continues to destroy any trade value he might have had.  Again the Cubs will either have to take another team's problem in exchange for Zambrano, or eat a lot of his $18 mil over the next few seasons.  Soriano has actually hit this year, but we won't soon forget his defense costing us games early in April.  Same issue as Z with long term contract dollars.

Why hasn't Lou played Tyler Colvin more?  Because the Cubs were hoping Fukudome would perform and attract some potential suitors.  So far, Jim Hendry's phone hasn't rung.  Knowing the Cubs will have to retain Zambrano's services, Derrek Lee will be catching the first train out of town.  Ted Lilly won't be too far behind him.

So the 2011 season shapes up with...aging overpaid veterens, a couple of promising kids, and roster filler.  As a huge Ryne Sandberg fan growing up in the 80's I hope the Cubs go in a different direction for manager next year.  I do not want Ryno to waste his shot on this team.  I fear he will become a sideshow to draw fans rather than be given a legitimate opportunity to manage in the bigs.  Bob Bremley has a World Series ring.

And one final thought...after watching another shut out,. how's that new hitting coach from Texas working out?

For any Sox fans reading this...great winning streak, keep it up, and not all Cubs fans are mindless fools.
Category: MLB
Posted on: April 6, 2010 12:16 am

Please, o please let not one game a season break.

My Facebook status for Opening Day states, "It's early, but the 2010 Cubs look suspiciously like the 2009 Cubs."   Carlos Zambrano loses the strikezone, then his head, then the game.  Players and fans make excuses about a squeezed strike zone for him.  Two baserunners are lost, and while one was due to a questionable call, let the umpires call the game, and play according.  Make a call for them, run into an out.  Finally, of course, eight walks and one hit batter by Cubs pitching this afternoon.  Tie a bright red bow on Opening Day and give it to the Braves.
There are a few positive team notes, lest the reader find my sarcasm and criticism of the team too harsh.  Sean Marshall showed Lou Pinnella why he should have been given a starting role.  However, I find that he is great for 3 innings, and once he gets to the second time through the order, teams tend to figure him out.  Please keep him in long relief.  5 K's in 2 2/3 innings, nice game.  Marlon Byrd won more fans over in one at bat than Milton Bradley did in an entire season.  The team has a day to stew over this one.  Let's get 'em Wednesday and make this game a distant memory.
Posted on: April 8, 2009 11:39 pm


In yesterday's post I expressed concern that the Cubs offense was hitting solo home runs and not stringing hits together.  Then in the rubber game of their series with Houston, the Cubs bats pound out 7 straight hits and 4 runs prior to Houston's starter Brian Moehler recording an out in the 1st inning.  Moehler would go on to only last 1 2/3 innings and was charged with 7 earned runs an Mike Fontenot comes alive with a 3-run shot in the top of the 2nd to open up an 8-0 lead.  Ted Lilly's pitches found a lot of the plate tonight as he did not want to walk anyone with a big lead.  The Astros hitters looked for Lilly's fastball and touched him up for 4 home runs between the 3rd and 5th innings. 

I also expressed concern yesterday about Bradley's 0-7, which tonight he extend to 0-9 on the young season.  However, he showed a lot of poise at the plate tonight working some deep counts.  with 4 walks and a HBP, his OBP is .357 even without the benefit of a hit.  Some hitters will try swinging their way out of a slump, but Bradley appears to be willing to wait. 

Shall we jump on the Fukudome bandwagon?  4 hits, including a HR, 4 runs scored.  He was in the middle of most of the Cubs rallys.  I'm at least going to ride on the bottom step.  Hopefully he gives us reason to climb all the way in.

The bottom line is that Cubs got a series win on the road to start the season.  Enjoy the ride north.  We'll see you on Friday.

Category: MLB
Tags: Chicago Cubs
Posted on: April 7, 2009 11:55 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2009 8:44 pm

Sour Grapes

 Reality check has set in.  The Cubs will not be 162-0.  Ryan Dempster is off to a great start in his quest to show that last year's 17 win seaons was not a fluke as he yielded only 2 runs over 6 innings.  Unfortunately the Cubs bats were silent tonight.  The Soriano debate will continue as he was 0-3 in setting the table for the rest of the order prior to hitting a bomb in the 8th the tie the game temporarily at 2.

I say sour grapes because the dribblers Berkman and Keppinger hit through the left side of the infield to win the game left me shaking my head.  But again, a couple of cheap hits is not the reason for the Cubs loss tonight.  It was nice to see Derrick Lee get his first hit and RBI of the season tonight, but Bradley's 0-7 start to the season is not what Cub fans were hoping for out of the gate for from the teams off-season aquisition.  The Cubs offense also took a hit when Soto left the game with "shoulder tightness."  There was really no additional medical report on his condition during tonight's broadcast so we can only wait and watch as this would be a gap in the middle of the order if he misses any  significant time.  With tomorrow being get away day for the team before an off day to travel to Milwaukee, I would anticipate seeing Hill in the lineup tomorrow as well to give Soto an extra day off.  It was also a tough night for Fontenot hitting in the 8th spot.  With the paitcher hitting after him, he saw a steady diet of sliders instead of the fastballs he saw Monday when he went 3-4.

And finally, the second guessers (luxery of being a sports fan) will question why we saw Gregg in a non-save sitation instead of Marmol, especially when a K could have set the table to get out of the inning and into the 11 with 2-4 hitters due up.  Couple of reasons come to mind.  1.  Gregg was up in the top of the 10th warming following the Tejada error in case Soriano drove him in so he was ready to go and Marmol was still cold. 2.  Gregg will pitch to contact where a 6-4-3 would have ended the threat immediately.  3.  Marmol is still working on control and there was no place to put Keppinger.

1-run games are always the toughest to swallow, and many a season has been lost becuase teams could not win the close ones.  The Cubs have a rubber game tomorrow night, and need to quickly put this one behind them and get a series win before leaving town.   






Category: MLB
Tags: Chicago Cubs
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