Thursday, August 24th, 2006
Yes, yes, I know it’s been a while since I posted, and I apologize. To tell the truth, the Cubs haven’t provided much inspiration (at least to say anything good) lately, so I’ve been holding my tongue (and boy is it dry). So first, I will react to the Neifi trade. Well, it was nice that we traded him and don’t have to pay his salary and even got a decent prospect, but I’m more bothered by the fact that there are still 3 guys on the team who are WORSE(Bynum, Cedeno and Izturis) than Neifi!
That out of the way, I will now provide you with the real reason I jumped into action and posted today: Dusty Baker said something stupid. Yes, not usually news, but it got me so aggravated that I needed to get it off my chest. Actually, before the main event, here’s something to get me warmed up:
“I’ve always said since I started managing that I’d like to have a team full of young guys and young players who you can teach to play the game the right way,” Baker said.
All I’ll say is that if somebody can go back through various newspaper archives and find any quote from the beginning, middle or end of Dusty’s managerial career in which he expressed the idea that he wanted to teach and manage young players, e-mail it to me, and I will send you one of my cats as a prize.
On to the main event, asked about the club’s need to improve it’s NL low .318 on-base percentage, Dusty said this:
On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage,” Baker said. “Clogging up the bases isn’t that great to me. The problem we have to address more than anything is the home run problem.”
While Baker is right about the team’s power outage, he has once again brought up the insane idea that there is something wrong with walks, that they “clog” the bases. I do not understand this concept. Not at all. Here’s the way I see it. If a slow guy(say Aramis Ramirez) gets on base via a walk he is clogging the bases, because if a fast guy(say Juan Pierre) comes up after him and hits a ball that could be triple, Juan will only get a double, because Aramis will be too slow to score. But isn’t it still better to have men on 2nd and 3rd than just a man on 3rd? What am I missing here? Please, if you think you can adequately explain to me what is wrong with clogging the bases with walks, e-mail me said explanation along with your name and home address, so that I can tell your local mental health professionals where to find you.
Okay enough of Dusty. Hopefully he’s not going to be around next year anyway. September is approaching, and with the season over since July, what do you hope to see from the Cubs in the final month? Do you want to see a big winning streak? Maybe you want the team to be overtaken by the Pirates so they get the top draft pick? Here’s what I’d like to see in September:
1. Felix Pie: I know he’s probably not ready for the show yet, but remember, in September, a lot of teams are playing AAA players, and there are no great teams in the NL anyway, so I’d like to see what Pie can do in the bigs. Frankly, I’m curious to see the kid play, and after sitting through this crapfest, it’d be nice to see somebody with some promise on the field.
2. Ryan Theriot: I think I’ve made it known that I don’t particularly care for Ronny Cedeno. He seems like a nice kid who plays hard, but he lacks in two areas: hitting and fielding. The Cubs said earlier that they planned on playing Cedeno and Izturis at SS and 2nd next year, perhaps in some twisted quest to field the worst hitting middle infield since the deadball era. No, I want to see Ryan Theriot at 2nd, for the rest of the year. He shows patience at the plate, and actually has a track record of hitting in the minors and also seems to be able to catch the ball. And if he can stick in the majors, that’s one less spot to fill for 2007.
3. Carlos Zambrano rested: He’s one of my favorite pitchers, but the guy is being ridden too hard during a season that means nothing. I’m not saying bench Zambrano (who’d want to tell him that?), but maybe he doesn’t need to throw 120 pitches every outing. The once promising Cubs staff now lies in a twisted wreckage of broken arms and shoulders, and while we all want to believe that Carlos is some sort of freak of nature, the truth is that if you put enough weight on anything, it eventually breaks.
Those are the top 3 things I’d like to see in September of 2006. What are yours?
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