As I write this, the Cubs are seemingly in control of their game against the Giants (4-1 lead in the 6th inning). Will this be the night they finally snap the losing streak? In the mean time, I wanted to address something. A few Cub fans I know are wondering why Jacque Jones is taking such a beating from the fan base for his slow start, while Juan Pierre, who has been even worse than Jones, seems to be getting a pass. Well, let’s take look at the way both players reacted in the paper to a dumb play each of them made.
Jones’ quote comes after he was doubled off second base when he took off on a line drive that was easily caught by the left fielder. Keep in mind, this was the second time in a week that Jones had made this mistake:
You know what? If you’re not aggressive, then they say you should be,” Jones said Thursday. “Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. When things aren’t going well, you always try to make something happen.”
Jones thought Neifi Perez’s sinking fly to left in the series opener would drop for a hit, so he broke from second with an expectation of scoring for a club that is struggling for runs. But Luis Gonzalez made a diving catch and doubled off Jones at second.
“That’s how I was taught to play the game,” Jones said. “You play it on instinct. You don’t want to be silly, but you want to play with controlled aggression. You play the game with what you feel.”
Hmm. Jones sounds like a certain manager than many Cubs fans have taken a dislike to.
Now here’s Pierre’s quote to a question about being picked off 2nd base during the Arizona series:
Center fielder Juan Pierre blamed himself for Thursday’s loss, pointing to getting picked off second base by Arizona catcher Johnny Estrada in the first inning.
“It was like, ‘Here we go again,’” Pierre said. “As a leadoff hitter, that’s inexcusable, and I think that set the tone for the rest of the game.”
Now that’s something we haven’t seen in a while, a Cubs player actually taking ownership of a mistake. Doesn’t Juan know that when you’re on the Cubs you need to blame the light air, or the clubhouse food, or jet lag or something?
I’m not saying this makes the fans treatment of Jones fair, but in light of the fact that we’ve been watching Dusty Baker protect his players regardless of what they’ve done the last few years, it certainly might help explain why the fans are being tougher on Jones than Pierre.