View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



September 2011



Game 160 – The Kids Aren't Alright

Written by , Posted in General

Cubs 0, Padres 2

Box Score

What Went Right

Casey Coleman – kind of a raw deal for Coleman tonight. He’s pitching a great game, shutout through 5; then he breaks up Mat Latos’ no-hitter in the top of the sixth with a one-out triple! In the process he tweaked something (it seemed to be in his leg/ankle). He gave up two runs and only got two outs in the sixth before being removed.

What Went Wrong

Mike Quade – was there any doubt he’d be here? Remember when we traded Fukudome and EVERYONE said the lion’s share of playing time in RF would go to Tyler Colvin. Here we sit, two months later and Tyler Colvin has 27 starts to his name since that day. No, Colvin hasn’t been tearing it up – but by the same token he’s only once started as many as five games in a row during the last two months. Colvin has been stuck on the Mike Quade yo-yo, especially in September.

Likewise, John Gaub was called up during the first week of September. Why? So he could pitch in four games. The Cubs brought up Steve Clevenger and Rafael Dolis when the AA season ended…a week ago. Both made their MLB debut in the 160th game of the year.

It’s embarrassing that we had 3 baserunners all night and our pitcher had the only extra base hit. But even more embarrassing is that after glancing at the schedule, Quade would decide to finally use most of the call-ups in perhaps the baseball’s best pitcher’s park. It’s the equivalent of giving a pitcher his MLB debut at Coors Field in Colorado.

These “kids” should have been getting more regular starts & appearances over the last three weeks so that when they got to the best pitcher’s park in the league they weren’t short on confidence and/or battling nerves.  It was simply too easy for Latos and the Padres; the Cubs’ “kids” were overmatched in nearly every facet of the game.

Quade’s defining characteristic as manager has been a remarkable ability to set his players up for failure, repeatedly.

(As an aside, Aramis Ramirez is a career .299 hitter with 5 HRs at Petco Park…in just 24 games – for Petco, those are MVP-like numbers. I’m all for playing the “kids”, but a PH appearance for Ramirez would’ve been a welcome sight. Instead, Aramis sat on the bench all night.)

The Takeaway

Wild Card Indeed I’m not a big fan of this usually (it IS a Cubs’ blog after all), but the Cubs’ game was a complete dog and the action around baseball was quite exciting.

First, baseball’s anti-hero Ozzie Guillen was “traded” to the Marlins. As I write this the details are still a bit sketchy. But the basic story is that Guillen wanted to be something other than a lame-duck when next season started; that means he needed an extension. The White Sox were unwilling, so he asked to be let go and put them on notice that he was quitting a couple of games early. They hastily arranged some sort of deal with the Marlins – where Jack McKeon was busy announcing his 174th retirement from baseball. More details to come on this I’m sure.

Then the Braves were battered around by division foe and the potential postseason kingmaker Philadelphia Phillies. On cue, the Cardinals tied their game in Houston and it looked like a mortal lock to have a tie atop the NL Wild Card with 2 games to go. Only the AAAAstros fought back in the bottom of the 10th and rallied to keep the spread at 1 game.

And while Joe Girardi spent far too much time whining and moaning about how the postseason schedule was affecting the use of his bullpen (what a problem!), the Rays beat the Yankees while the Cubs’ farm team in Baltimore was able to defeat the Red Sox and create a tie in the AL Wild Card standings.


Stars of the Game
Base on Win Probability Added (WPA)

1st Star – Mat Latos (.382 WPA)

2nd Star – Will Venable (.153 WPA)

3rd Star – Casey Coleman, hitting (.114 WPA)

  • Doc Raker

    Buddy- Pena is slugging .466 with 2 games to go. He would need about 20 bases to reach .500 in the next two games. Can he do it?


    I really hope Boston blows it and the Cardinals miss the playoffs. That would set up perfectly for Pujols to go to Boston, where we would only have to deal with him for 3 games a year every few years instead of 20 games a year every year.



  • Buddy

    I think you won the bet Doc. Congrats!

  • Chuck

    If the Cubs were to fire Quade, one replacement I would love is Ozzie. He is completely unafraid to make changes and let the best players play. Then we can welcome back Zambrano and, while the team may be terrible, they will at least be entertaining every 5th game.

  • Chuck

    This will be the last entry of Pena vs Dunn vs Berkman.
    Pena .227/.358/.466 124 2.4
    Dunn .160/.294/.279 57 -2.6
    Berkman .298/.410/.546 165 4.9

    The tale of the tape says it all. Pena clobbered Dunn and wound up with a pretty good season all things considered. Berkman whipped the field and had one of those seasons that veterans who have been excellent have as they ride off into the sunset. His numbers really fell off as the season progressed from his blistering start.

  • Norm

    No thanks on Ozzie. He did keep Dunn in the lineup all year long, he has a love affair for Juan Pierre, he keeps Rios hitting up in the order…Thankfully he’s going to Florida…hopefully he’s open to getting Zambrano down there with him.

  • Buddy

    I would take the dead guy from “Weekend at Bernie’s” over Ozzie Guillen.

  • Jedi

    With all the trouble we’ve had with Zambrano, I’m mystified that anyone would want to install Ozzie as the manager.

  • The dead guy from “Weekend at Bernie’s?” Oh, yeah. Bernie.

  • Randy

    If we had Ozzie we’d be able to keep Zambrano. First outburst and Ozzie put his foot so far up Zambrano’s rear that he would either retire (win) or adjust his attitude (win). Coleman isn’t a bad pitcher, but he was put into a rough spot on a bad team. It’s really hard to develop pitchers when your team is so bad that you always end up playing from behind.

  • Buddy

    Couldn’t remember his last name J. Can you help me out?

  • Chuck

    Jedi: The pure entertainment value of the player-manager interactions. If you are going to stink, stink with flair.

  • Doc Raker

    OK Buddy, since you concede the bet instead of sending me a jersey please make a similar size donation to, Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy. Thank you.

  • Buddy

    Happy to do it. Good cause.

  • Jedi

    So to put out the Zambrano fire, we’re going to bring Carlos Zambrano of the 1980s/90s in to manage? Yes, pour more gasoline on that fire.

  • Lomax. Bernie Lomax. Sad I know that.

  • Buddy

    Aha. Good memory J. OK, just for you…I would take Bernie Lomax, the dead guy from “Weekend at Bernie’s,” over Ozzie Guillen.

  • So would I. Imagine the hilarity that would fall out of arguing bad calls. “DeJesus, Riggins, and Lomax are all out there giving the ump an earful…”

  • Jeremiah Johnson

    Just a guess, but I think we could add Jonathan Silverman and Andrew McCarthy to the coaching staff pretty cheap. It wouldn’t feel right without the original Lomax-wranglers/puppeteers on board, and there wouldn’t be a noticeable drop off from our current coaching staff.

  • Seymour Butts

    Hey Raker, where are your seats?
    Plenty of fine seating available at Petco last night, likely the same the rest of the way.
    For those who don’t know, if you take away Bernie Lomax’s mustache, he could be Raker, (Raker is taller, and less decomposed however) so we can all look for you in the stands.
    Wear your Glen Close dress, and stand up in the top of the 9th.

  • Katie

    I would change my allegiances if the Cubs hired Ozzie as the manager. That would be terrible. Blech.

  • Dusty Baylor

    Wait…I thought I was going to be the new manager?
    Damn…I’ll have to cancel that nameplate and desk I ordered….

  • Doc Raker

    We are 13 rows behind the Cubs on deck circle. I will be the one holding a big sign that says, “Raker for GM- he can lose 90 games for a lot le$$!”

  • Jedi

    Dusty – Quade still thinks he’ll be back next year, which is hysterical (if it wasn’t slightly possible it’d be even funnier)!

    He also think Samardzija should be given the chance to start in 2012. So we’re going to take a guy that is having success and in put him in a position where he’s repeatedly failed. Can’t wait for 2012!

  • Chuck

    Jedi: A mediocre starter has far, far more value than a good, not great, reliever.
    I am an unrepentant Ozzie lover. I think we should get a tag-team of Ozzie, Hal McRae, Jim Mora and Denny Green. That would make the press conferences DVR worthy.

  • chris in Illinois

    Doc, You live in SD area?? If so, you can’t be all bad.

  • Buddy

    The Shark and Cashner should be in the pen next year, unless they are traded of course. Maybe as part of a deal for Logan Morrison? More to come on that soon!

  • Norm

    If the Cubs are going to exercise Samardzija’s option and the team isn’t going to be competitive anyway, may as well try him as a starter. I don’t think he’ll be that successful there, but you never know until you try.
    He’s seen some pretty significant improvement this year but his high walk rate will be a killer.


    Sasuckzidja should have stuck to football

  • So, 13 rows up…Bernie w/o a stach…in a dress. Got it.

  • Doc Raker

    I live in Orange County about 80 miles north of SD. I am actually much closer to Dodger Stadium but I much prefer a day at Petco with it’s Wrigleyville similarities. Dodger stadium is full of ex convicts and felons these days.


    Doc – I was at a bar in Wrigleyville a few months ago, and this girl serving me was from L.A. originally. I asked her what baseball team she liked, and she said she was ashamed to be a Dodgers fan because of the attacks. She was like that’s the kind of behavior you expect from White Sox fans.

  • Cutup waitress: “That’s the kind of behavior you expect from a White Sox fans.”
    BLPCAPS: “I hate those guys too! Are you single? Did I mention I’m a life guard…”


    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh! Why didn’t I think of that!? But it wouldn’t work though, because I’m not a beach guard or a surfer dude like the guards in L.A., and I’m fat.

  • cubbiedude

    Here’s a three way trade proposal: Ozzie to the Marlins, Logan Morrison to the Cubs, Quade to the White Sox.

  • Ha…nice. Just think the fan potential if you two had kids. Like the Homer line about parenthood (roughly) ‘kids are great, you can teach them to hate the things you hate, and with the internet, they practically raise themselves.’


    Actually it was with TV, they raise themselves, but in today’s world the internet would apply.

    It would be great to have a kid that I can teach to hate everything on my shit list.

  • FWIW, I think the most underrated comment of the year was your summary of the Zambrano ordeal. “So long Bozo!”


    That would get a like on FB. Speaking of Bozo, he put one of his Chicago homes on the market. Here’s a better trade proposal: Bozo and Quade to the Sox, Ozzie to the Marlins, Morrison and Peavy to the Cubs.


    This winter, I shall be getting rid of my Zambrano shirt. I will send it off to a 3rd-world country. Hopefully I can get this internship at the Disney College Program in Orlando, and I can donate a whole box of old clothes to this charity I volunteered at in Orlando on a service trip last year.

    Speaking of that, I think I made a bet with someone about the Pujols ordeal involving a donation to this charity. I think it was Doc or Seymour I made the bet with?


    Thinking about what j said last night, if we had kids, we could raise them be hard-core Lakers fans. lol

  • From wikipedia:
    ] The book includes several other quotations from Homer, including “Kids, you tried your best and you failed miserably. The lesson is never try”, from “Burns’ Heir” (season five, 1994) as well as “Kids are the best, Apu. You can teach them to hate the things you hate. And they practically raise themselves, what with the Internet and all”, from “Eight Misbehavin'” (season 11, 1999). Both quotes entered the dictionary in August 2007.[125]

  • Seymour Butts

    Well I guess that solves that!


    I could have sworn it was TV, but that’s awesome nonetheless.

  • Doc Raker

    BLPCB- I have 2 sources I talked to about the MLBPA being a factor in contract negotiations. First source is a 20 year big league veteran currently working with Donald Fehr in the NHLPA. He said, “the union hates home town discounts.”
    Source two is a fellow Ocean View Little League, World Champion Ocean View Little League by the way, coach who is very close with Albert Pujols agent. He said, “Absolutley the union cares about these contracts, especially Pujols because everyone will get paid from that. I am sure they are involved if not directly, indirectly.” If that satifies our bet in your opinion so be it, if not that’s OK to. I believe the union has interest and is invloved and in a situation like Pujols may even exert pressure on Pujols not to take a home town discount. Just pay attention to current affairs in politics to see the length of what unions will do to support their interests.
    * Great story about the waitress. Good that you didn’t hit on her, waitresses are always getting hit on, hitting on waitresses is very douche like. Most of the time waitresses put up with us for a tip, note a date.
    * Off to see the Cub finale in Petco!

  • Buddy

    Have a beer at Tin Fish for me.


    Doc – Let’s wait and see where he signs and for how much before closing it. Also, get some more info from the sources once he does sign.

  • Doc Raker