View From The Bleachers

Talking Cubs Baseball Since 2003



November 2017



November Ramblings

Written by , Posted in General

So here we are, the final day of the Chicago Cubs “Reigning World Series Champions” claim. It’s been a good run. There were times I felt I’d never see it happen in my lifetime. Now that it has, I feel pretty good that we’ll see it happen again. That, my friends, is called hope. Hope sucks.

I was driving to Nashville last night during the game and listening to it on the radio when I suddenly remembered that “I don’t really like listening to baseball on the radio.” It’s “okay” at best, especially when you don’t have a horse in the race.

Now that Lizzie has free time, I think she should replace Carrie the Muskrat.

The Cubs next bench coach should be whoever Joe Girardi wants it to be. Wait, did I type that out loud?

To me – and I love AJ Hinch and his decision making this offseason – the Astros blew the game in the fourth. Runners on second and third and no one out. 8 hitter coming up – and happens to be Reddick (now THERE’S a name Seymour must love) who hasn’t had an important hit since he played for Oakland. Plus, he’s a lefty and he’s facing Rich Hill. To me, the ONLY play there was to bring in Evan Gattis, the big righty. Here’s why. Will they walk Gattis? I doubt it. If they DO? Great for Houston. Bases loaded for Verlander. Send him up there with instructions NOT to swing the bat. Walk or K. Either way, Springer gets an at bat with bases loaded and only one out at the most. It’s a game breaking moment. But no, he leaves in Redwanker and the guy whiffs as we all knew he would. And so does Verlander. And they pass Springer to get to Bregman who grounds out. Missed opportunity there. Runs there keep Verlander in the game beyond the two runs he gave up.

If I’m Rich Hill, I’m calling Kyle Hendricks and saying “WTF is with these managers?”

Roberts is over-managing his bullpen (Maddoning, I think it’s called) and still has a chance to win it all.

I don’t like Yasiel Queef. Or whatever his name is. Whatever happened to humility in sports? Is Kris Bryant the only humble ballplayer left?

I hope that Yuli Gurriel homers off Darvish tonight and then bows to him before running the bases. What? Too soon?

I want the Astros to win, but deep down? I really don’t care who wins.

This should be an interesting off-season. I’m very interested in what Theo & Co. will do. I’m worried about who they might trade. I’m hopeful (hope, again) that they land some some quality ballplayers to fill the handful of open spaces on the roster.

I don’t like Alex Cobb. I can’t watch him pitch. He does this stupid little toe point thing in his windup that makes me crazy. Please don’t sign him. Yes. I’m THAT shallow. Plus, he’s 30 and oft-injured. You read that right, I wrote “oft.”

Happy All Saints Day. (See, you thought I was an asshole for the Gurriel and Cobb commentary, and then I go and say something like that and totally redeem myself)

  • Eddie Von White

    I like your commentary – Gurriel and Cobb humor and all. I don’t want the Dodgers to win, but I don’t really care either. It would be great if the Stros beat the Dodgers in L.A. except there will probably be riots and violence in the parking lot. Buck just couldn’t get more excited last night knowing that Kershaw is available to pitch tonight if needed. I hope he does and gets shelled.He did toss out an interesting fact in that Dodger Stadium is the 3rd oldest ball park in the majors behind Wrigley and Fenway. Who knew? You can’t redeem yourself, somebody else has to redeem you.

    • JTBarrett16

      I knew that about Dodger Stadium. I too would like to see Kershaw get lit up

      • Doc Raker

        Dodger Stadium opened on a Tuesday

      • JTBarrett16

        It did in fact! April 10, 1962. 2018 will be a repeat of 1962. My birthday will be a Tuesday next year, and my mom’s birthday (April 4), is always 1 day of the week after mine.

      • Be sure to yell her happy birthday.

  • cap’n realist

    I’ll be coaching a 10 year old gels softball team instead of watching tonight. It’s where I prefer to be. I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 20 years. I want to care. I just don’t.

    • JTBarrett16

      I feel that way about the Red Sox.

  • Jerry in Wisconsin

    This is my Jerry in Wit-consin winner this week – “The Cubs next bench coach should be whoever Joe Girardi wants it to be. Wait, did I type that out loud?”

  • Doc Raker

    Redwanker or Verlander should of bunted the run home in the 4th inning. Two bunts and it is 3 -0 Astros. I haven’t seen Redwanker get a hit yet, Verlander can’t swing the bat but you have to figure he knows how to bunt to help his team. But for a guy who plays in the AL and hasn’t bunted since high school maybe he should of practiced before the World Series.

    I like baseball on the radio, I see the game as I hear it. Unlike when I see a game on TV broadcasted by Len I don’t hear about the game and can only see it.

    My Raker Knock of the post is: I hope that Yuli Gurriel homers off Darvish tonight and then bows to him before running the bases. What? Too soon?-

  • Hm. I always thought it was Quiff.

  • Buddy

    I wonder if Astro fans will push the panic button next year if they don’t repeat like a lot of my Cub fan friends are doing here in good ol’ Central IL

    • Sherm

      Well, obviously the Astros won’t be any good in the first half of the season. World Series Hangover, you know. What with parades and parties and commercials (Madison Avenue is trying to figure out how to do a “Bryzzo” thing with Reddick and Peacock, but the results are unfortunate, either way.)

      Did you notice that the Astro’s didn’t play any kind of musical positions? The infield stayed the same and the batting order stayed the same – EVERY GAME. Maybin came in a couple of times and that pushed Reddick out, but that was primarily it. I don’t know if that’s because they don’t have a real good bench, or if Hinch is crazy enough to think that going with his best all the time is a good idea. (Yes, I was rolling my eyes while typing that.)

      Joe Maddon called Dave Roberts immediately after the game and said “You did exactly what I’d have done.” Roberts cried.

      I bet Houston is flooded with happiness! Washed away with emotion! Too soon? I am happy for the city and those fans. It’s all good – if it couldn’t be the Cubs…why not them?

      Time to turn our attention to the Cubs off-season. Saw a great Tweet – that when the Cubs watched the Dodger and Astro hitters and their approach, they called John Mallee and fired him again.

      Regression. Cubs really had 4 major players regress, in my opinion.

      1. Kris Bryant. Some will argue this, because of certain stats that say he had a good year. He did, but not as good as the prior year. Not enough adjusting during the at bat, and perhaps not a good plan going into each at bat as the year before. Less power to show for it. Less RBI because of lineup placement, mostly, but also didn’t get it done with runners on. Needs to be a 100+ RBI every year – or he’s not doing his job well enough. Period.

      2. Javy Baez – showed good pop again, and even had stretches of greatness that kept his average around .270 all year, but regressed back to the wild swinging, not-selective, not recognizing pitches, strikeout machine from his earlier seasons. For defense alone, he needs to play, but for God’s sake, someone needs to take this guy under their wing and teach him to be a selective hitter. He could be “Altuve good” with some patience at the plate.

      3. Russell – never clicked offensively. Had off the field issues early, foot issues late. Needs a rebound year. Also needs to go opposite field more often.

      4, Schwarber. I don’t need to go into detail here. 30 home runs are delightful. It’s the other 400 at bats that were a problem. If they keep him? Need to get him back to his rookie patience and selectivity.

      Rizzo didn’t regress – he had a good year, full of streaks and slumps, unfortunately.

      Heyward was slightly better than the year before, which is almost like saying “he sucked again.”

      Almora looked very good and comfortable at the plate…when he was allowed to play.

      Contreras had a good season, and is still learning and will continue to improve. The more he catches at this level, the better his own command of the strike zone will become.

      They need either a lead off hitter, or power hitter (Mookie Betts is both, just saying – and they DO have the pieces to get him.) #blockbuster

      I don’t want to talk pitching yet…

      • another dozen hope-lizzie-is-enjoying-retirments awarded to Sherm

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        Is there some give Lizzie a rocking chair fund, we are required to donate to?

      • Sherm

        It was only a matter of time. It’s hard enough reading some of this stuff ONCE. I can’t imagine how she read it all TWICE.

      • Maybe she copied the good ones into a spreadsheet.. I miss Dork.

      • I did use a spreadsheet and I also miss Dork. And I did read everything twice. Once in real time then again at the two week mark.

      • Buddy

        At least the never-ending barrage of David Ross media appearances should finally start dying down.

      • Sherm

        Don’t count on it. I heard he was the next new judge on “the Voice.”

        Or not.

      • Buddy

        Wouldn’t surprise me. Maybe he’ll tell some pop star I’ve never heard of that story about how nervous Rizzo was in game seven.

      • Adam Peters

        I don’t think anyone who watched Kris Bryant in the postseason (.200 avg, 3 extra base hits, 14 Ks in 40 ABs) would argue he didn’t have an off year. He looked clueless in October.

        I see you left Zobrist off your list. I assume this is because you want to pretend he’s not on the team anymore, but there’s no arguing he regressed, though it’s probably more accrate to say he’s in decline.

      • Sherm

        Honestly, I forgot Zobrist. Perhaps I was trying to. Of all the Cubs, he’s the one the media around the team has apologized the most for this season past – citing injuries that kept him from doing all those Zobrist-like things. And then…nominated for a Gold Glove. Really? Maybe if they don’t take range into account, sure. I’m sure he’s as good as anyone on balls hit directly at him.

      • Adam Peters

        I think in this age of the mountain man beard and stupid long hair Zobrist got some votes base on his immaculately groomed, not excessive facial hair, and short head-top do. Plus he has that winning smile. How could they not vote for him?

        Besides, it’s not as though there are any really outstanding fielders at 2B.

      • I should get a few votes in that scenario.. I keep it high and tight, perma 5-o-clock a day ago shadow, and lowered my error total from a few dozen to a fewer dozen.

  • Glad the Stros pulled it off.. they were the most exciting of the two teams. Broadcasters were all over Verlander’s wanker.. my guess is that they only recognize him and Altuve without going to the computer.

    • Eddie Von White

      Astronauts are true American heroes. Have you ever seen a dodger walk on the moon?

      • Jerry in Wisconsin

        No, but if there is ever a trolly around you better watch out!

  • JTBarrett16

    Phil Rosenthal must be on crack. Len Kasper is a good broadcaster?

    • Sherm

      Did you see Rosenthal’s picture above the piece? I think he swallowed Rob Reiner whole.

      Unfortunately, Kasper does have a lot of people who like him, so I don’t expect he’ll be going away anytime soon.