View From The Bleachers

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Thursday

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June 2017

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COMMENTS

Keep Moving Forward

Written by , Posted in General

Another disappointing day on the field for the Northsiders. Jon Lackey wasn’t fooling anybody, giving up 6 runs in the first three innings. This proved to be too much for the depleted offense against Stephan Strasburg, who struck out 13. Between now and the All-star break is going to be a bit of a grind for the Cubs. With Ben Zobrist, Addison Russell, and Jason Heyward missing from the lineup, and Kyle Hendricks from the rotation, it’s going to take some inspired play from some unlikely folks to string together wins. Maybe all this Montero nonsense is the spark they need (though it didn’t seem that way today). Add Kris Bryant to that list as he left tonight’s game with a sprained ankle. X-rays came back negative, thankfully, but don’t count on seeing him in the lineup for tomorrow, if not a few days. Remaining around the .500 mark would be just fine to open the second half, especially given the state of the NL Central.

A late season run in 2016 leading to a short offseason leading to a tetter-totter first tells me one thing: These guys need a break from baseball. It’s been time to hit the reset button since about mid-May, but it doesn’t seem like that’s just going to fall together mid game, or even mid-week. What I’m saying is, essentially, #DontVoteCubs (GASP!). Give these guys a week off to hang out with their friends and kids and forget about the game for a couple minutes. Yes, playing a game for a living is a privilege nobody should ever complain about, but 162 games in 180 days is something the average Joe can’t necessarily comprehend. The All-star game is awesome, and I certainly enjoy watching, but I don’t need to watch the same infield that I watch every day. And by the way, they don’t deserve it! The Cubs have maybe three deserving All-stars in Wade Davis, Kris Bryant, and Anthony Rizzo. None of which should probably start given that Wade is a closer, and the Bryzzo partners have guys like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolen Arenado more deserving, in my opinion. Now that he’ll be nursing a tender ankle, I say Kris takes this opportunity to say thanks but no thanks to a starting spot (That is unless Nolan beats him out, which I am clearly all for). Something to keep in mind is this year’s national league manager, Joe Maddon. Don’t be surprised to see him keep his stars to a minimum workload for those weekend festivities.

Theo has started to tap into the trade market with some minor deals over the past couple days. While a big name, top of the rotation acquisition is surly in the team’s future, it’s still not quite clear to me if that will be this season, or the off season. The front office is always looking for hidden or undervalued talent (see Jake Arrieta). The criteria for the team’s pitching needs are simple, yet expensive, and that is someone young and cost-controlled. A couple names that have caught my eye are Sean Manaea (25) of the A’s, and Jose Berrios (23) of the Twins. The A’s are well behind the Astros in the AL West, and would seemingly be open for business come trade season. The Twins find themselves in a similar situation to that of the Brewers, clinging to first place with a world series team breathing down their neck. As of tonight, the Indians are in first place, and they have been playing better baseball of late. A lot can and will happen between now and August. A trade with the Twins would be interesting. It seems as if they have a core of position players they are trying to build around, therefore if they trade a 23-year-old pitcher they will certainly want pitching in return. I refuse to make any sort of trade proposal, as I usually find myself scoffing at even the most professional writer’s attempts. I will however, say with a decent amount of confidence Jeimer Candelario’s name is being pushed around heavily. Another arm that intrigued me was Royals Danny Duffy (28). He is unfortunately on the disabled list, and the Royals are starting to show signs that it might not be time to blow it up just yet. Again, a lot could happen between now and August.

As for the Miguel Montero debacle, I can only look on and shake my head. Seems as though the guy isn’t handing getting old very well. My opinion on the matter falls in line with those of Joe Maddon, Anthony Rizzo, and Theo Epstein. There is just no room for comments like this when trying to build a winning organizational culture. Still, I will try to remember Miguel for the positive aspects of his Cubs tenure. A couple walk off hits, a NLCS Grand slam that set me off the wall, and of course who could forget his #WeAreGood twitter campaign. You don’t realize it yet, but you’ll miss his pitch framing/presentation as much as you won’t miss his noodle arm. That is not, however, enough to keep him around, as he heads to who knows where with his foot firmly lodged in his mouth. Good luck, Miguel.

The series in DC concludes tomorrow and the team continues on to Cincinnati for what is hopefully a fun weekend series. I’ll be at the games Saturday and Sunday, adding Great American Smallpark to my short but ongoing list of stadiums visited.

Onward. Embrace The Suck. We Are Good.

  • Sherm

    John Lackey hasn’t fooled anyone for a while now. He’s gone from wily veteran to whiny veteran. Enough already. Bring up Adbert.

    Embrace the suck – that was Hugh Grant’s very short lived mantra at one time. Didn’t work for him, either.

    Agree on both ASG counts. No Cub truly deserves to start. Not one. And most don’t deserve to be on the team. AND, I hadn’t thought of it, but excellent point on the added rest.

    I taped the game but never did watch it. One solid “Lackey sucks” or some such text from the Cap’n, and I knew there was nothing I wanted to see.

    Theo and Co. are not going to sneak up on anyone in the trade market. They’ve been exposed as the kind of dastardly devils who try to “win” trades. If they want someone, they will be forced to pony up (no, CAPS, no one is getting a pony.)

    Might still split with the Nats, but they appear to be the superior team at this moment in time. Nats/Dodgers would be a tremendous NLCS if both teams stay healthy and if the Cubs don’t remember how to “Embrace the entire fucking game of baseball and go back to fundamentals and win games they should win.” There’s your T-shirt.

    • Bryzzo1744

      Why don’t you make it?

    • Seymour Butts

      I might argue that The Yankees won the Chapman trade, long term. Chapman was at times dominant in the playoffs, but having just watched a recap of the NLDS and NLCS, he also blew chunks (and saves) at times. Marshall, Wood, Rondon, et al could have saved 50% of the opportunities as he did.
      The Cubs gave up a lot, and Chapman is back with the Yanks. I think they won that one.
      Castro for Adam Warren, Cubs lose
      Formerly fat Dan for Marshall, Cubs win.
      Mixed bag. If I’m a GM of an underachieving team (I guess that includes Jed) I might want to see what Theo will give up with anxious anticipation.

      Apologies to Bill Thompson. He could have had this thread.

      7.

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Flags fly forever, and unless the Yankees win the World Series with the players they acquired they lost the trade.

      • Eddie Von White

        Way to keep it real.

    • cap’n realist

      I’m back to realist. Mini-Realist surrendered her role of Maria so we could go on our scheduled camp trip to the warm sunny beaches of San Diego this long holiday weekend. She’s now Bertha the nun, which, lets face it, this dad loves.

      Thoughts from yesterday: Lackey really is some kind of jackass. Every Nats player hit him hard, including friggin’ Strasburg, a lifetime .156 hitter. After Happ snares the Strasburg rocket, Lackey STARES STRASBURG DOWN, like he did something wrong there. An inning or two later, Contreras hits a basically meaningless homerun to cut the lead to 4, and cadillacs it around the bases like he just tied the game. This is the type of effect that a ‘leader’ like Lackey brings to a young club. They’re acting like jackasses when they suck, just like Lackey. It’s stupid. Nats broadcasting genius FP Santangelo said of Contreras’ baserunning antics “he’s pretty happy with himself, for a guy still down by 4.” At this point, I’ve got to believe that Zac Rosscup is better than the 5-9 record with a five and a quarter ERA and leading the world in gopher balls the Cubs are getting from Lackey. Time to jettison another worthless veteran. In the 9th, I treated myself to an extra slice of pizza after being overcome by positive body image watching Matt Albers on the mound for the Nats. My man looks like he ate Prince Fielder. The Nats have him listed at 225 lbs., which may, at some point several years ago, have been a goal weight for him. With those white pants, they could have shown movies on his ass. At one point, he wiped his glove hand across his face, and Santangelo quipped “he had a bug on his chins” with the ‘s’ just slightly there. THAT’S a funny broadcaster. That’s how its done. Not a rehash of a 40 year old bad line…

      • Sherm

        My favorite Santangelo line of the night, was when Almora took second base on defensive indifference-Santangelo says I wonder if Matt Wieters will blame Matt Albers after the game for that. Classic.

      • Sherm

        Oh, and unless Matt Albers is only 4 feet tall…then he waved goodbye to 225 pounds 65 pounds ago

      • Eddie Von White

        Does that mean you are now cap’n the realist?

      • cap’von realist

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Tuned in last night just in time to see a 7-spot on the board for the Nats and Kris Bryant roll his ankle. That was enough for me, and back off went the TV.

  • Doug S.

    Saw today’s game on the schedule early in the week and pre-booked an early work departure to catch the 1 PM Pacific start. Please guys, don’t make me wish I was back at the office.

    • Doc Raker

      Find something else to do on this beautiful summer day.

    • Jerry in Wisconsin

      I will be leave work early to start a vacation in northern Wisconsin, so I am with you, but at least if they suck up the joint I will still have the views of northern Wisconsin to look at.

    • Mark_from_Toronto

      While I didn’t book an early escape from the office, I was somewhat looking forward to catching a good portion of the game on the radio during the drive home today. Hopefully the game will go a little better than the last 2 or my drive home will be even more frustrating that usual.

      • Doug S.

        You must have quite a commute.Is it from downtown to the burbs?

      • Mark_from_Toronto

        Yup downtown back to the burbs on the Parkway. it’s about an hour or so in bumper to bumper traffic 🙁

      • Doug S.

        Perhaps there’s a heightened road rage factor when Strop enters the game.

  • Doc Raker

    Not 1 Cub deserves to be an All Star, #letthemrest.

    It is impossible to have winning momentum when your pitching isn’t very good. Every starting pitcher we have is worse than they were in 2016, much worse in the cases of Arrieta, Lackey and Hendricks. There will be no ‘late season run’ without several new pitchers so let’s stop talking about expecting it and embrace the collapse.

    What does this collapse remind you off? Me, it reminds me of Todd Walker hitting cleanup after D Lee went down with a broken wrist in LA which happened right in front of the Capn.

    • Bryzzo1744

      I thought Walker was htiting 3rd while Aramis was hitting cleanup when that happened, with Dusty’s favorite toy, Niefi batting 2nd. At least one Cub will be an all-star because of the stupid rule that every team has to be represented. Hopefully Bryant will be voted in, and on the DL.

      • Brad posted his number a few posts back FYI

      • Bryzzo1744

        And?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Why?

      • Whom?

      • Tuesday

        It was me

      • Doc Raker

        Let me know when Donna posts her number

  • I was texting with the peanut gallery last night.. we can say bad words. I was wondering who Harper was “effing” with.. he was going balls out, even for Harper. My guess is that it was personally directed.. maybe at Riz for being the face of the MLB and playing lazy or something. Not sure but definitely got a vibe. Either way he smelled blood and made the Cubs look like clowns, again.

  • Eddie Von White

    Way to go Cubs! Now it looks like a wise choice for Doug S. to take the afternoon off to watch the Cubs. Earlier today I told Eddie Von Jr. that Doug was nuts. Now he’s a genius.

    • Doug S.

      Thanks EVW, that was surprisingly enjoyable at the end. Davis was great.
      As for my choice, that was luck. If it was wisdom I’d be living on LV Blvd.

  • Seymour Butts

    You were probably thinking our bullpen sucked, right?

    • cap’n realist

      IT DID

  • Bryzzo1744

    Today’s idiot:
    Customer: I need to add a car and a driver to my policy.
    Me: Ok, do you have the VIN and the license number?
    Customer: I don’t.

    It’s always *ichigan that they call to add their kids and don’t have the license number.

    • Did you ever wonder if maybe it’s against your company’s ethics policies to insult their customers on social media? I’m certainly insulted on their behalf and would think twice before using your company since they obviously hire people who are happy to make fun of others in public in a daily basis. Just sayin.

      • The great state of Michigan

        And the stupid asterisk is getting old

  • Doc Raker

    Here is the real question, Flamin Hot Cheetos- crunchy or puffy?

    • Bryzzo1744

      Either. As long as it’s dangerously cheesy