Perhaps Joe has it right on this Cubs team. I’m trying to keep my head out of the sands of pessimism this year and hope that things turn around – after all we’re not even at the All Star break yet. That notwithstanding it seems that Joe’s realism is more on the mark than my hopefulness. At least when it comes to this year (in years past it’s been quite the contrary.)
I’d rather not see this site turn into a place where we dog the Cubs but I really have to question a lot of day to day events. Witness tonight’s game – Geovanny Mota’s running decision which took out us out of a big inning (“mota” means “weed” in Mexican slang, see my previous comments on this subject, I’m not being pious and sanctimonious.) I’m just questioning his judgment – let’s face it, Geo is not in shape and he runs like a Mack truck. So what was he thinking?
And, as is often the case the Cubs didn’t hit. Another shutout. Again. What right does the Cubs’ website have to ask for help when it comes to Soriano’s All Star chances? The guy is a lamer this year, no if’s and’s or but’s. I deserve to cover the All Star Game more than Alfonso deserves to be there. Alfonso deserves to watch the All Star Game on his TV which is what most of us will be doing that night – he’s a high priced joke. And so are a lot of his teammates, might I mention Mr. Fukudome and Bradley to name a couple? With this payroll we can’t blame it on leadership, it’s time to hold these guys responsible. Boo Birds of Cubdom unite, let’s raise some Cain in Wrigley! Let these so-called stars know what we think of their skills, I’m quite unimpressed.
Prior to the Cubs vs. Pirates game tonight several roster moves have been announced or are in the making. The Cubs have optioned Jose Ascanio to Iowa and have recalled Jeff Samardzija;earlier in the day it was announced that the Pirates traded Eric Hinske to the Yankees for two prospects. There is also an unannounced trade that sends Pittsburgh outfielder Nyjer Morgan and LHP Sean Burnett to Washington for OF Lastings Milledge and RHP Joel Hanrahan.
I like the Cubs’ chances tonight because of these moves. Piniella had no choice but to leave Rich Harden in an inning later than he would have liked to last night – who would he have gone to? Samardzija earned another shot with the club, let’s hope he looks like the guy we saw last year (not this year.) The Hinske and Morgan moves have to be demoralizing to a Pittsburgh team that really isn’t all that bad – for a team that is in a perpetual state of rebuilding it shows even less commitment to now as opposed to tomorrow. Milledge reminds me a little of Corey Patterson – all kinds of hype but he has yet to stick anywhere and show results.
It was nice to sit down yesterday and not only watch a quick game, but to watch a win as well. I’ve been down in the dumps about this team and haven’t been doing much commenting on individual games as I’ve done in the past. I did come away with a few observations from last night.
Jake Fox is my third basemanShe Hate Me moveAdaptation. film – at least for now. I’ve not seen any difference so far with him at the hot corner as opposed to Mike Fontenot. Obviously I understand that he’s not the long term answer over there, but you have to admit he’s done better than you might have expected and he’s swinging the bat well. He had a couple of really nice at bats that yielded opposite field singles. He had been trying to drive the outside pitch too much instead of shortening the stroke, but tonight he did just that. Until Ramirez comes back, I want Fox out there at third.
Milton Bradley looked alive at the plate – You have to reward little successes with praise. That’s what we’ve learned with our toddler as he’s just about done potty training. Seeing as how Milton acts similar to a toddler, we need to treat him and his situation in that way. That being said, he deserves some praise for a couple of nice, hard hitting at bats including a scorched line drive double to drive in a run in a two strike count. I’m not saying all of his troubles are over, but it was nice to see him actually have a clue at the plate and actually drive in a run instead of just being content to draw a walk. Let’s build on that and move forward tonight.
I secretly hate when Ryan Theriot hits a HR – Though it’s fun to watch, and last night’s was crushed, I hate it a little when Theriot goes deep because it usually leads him to get away from his opposite field short stroke and look for the long ball. Hopefully it’s not the case here, but this new found power is good and bad. With great power comes great responsibility, the responsibility to not lose sight of the fact that you’re not a 30 HR guy and start trying to drive everything. Hopefully Ryan knows that.
Rich Harden was nasty – That’s the Harden we traded for, the overpowering pitcher that can rack of K’s in a hurry. Stay healthy and continue to dominate…please.
It’s not a milestone win, and it doesn’t leadfrog us into a good team, but you have to start somewhere. Let’s build on last night and really look to play good baseball as we head into the break. With series against Milwaukee and St. Louis coming up right before, the time is now to make a nice little move in the division that is mired by mediocrity. Don’t wait.
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From the Cubs Media Department comes this wonderful tidbit:
PITTSBURGH – The Chicago Cubs today recalled outfielder Sam Fuld from Triple-A Iowa. In addition, the Cubs placed infielder Aaron Miles on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to June 21) with a hyperextended right elbow.
Fuld, 27, is hitting .286 (81-for-283) with 16 doubles, eight triples, 27 RBI and 20 stolen bases in 73 contests for Iowa this season, including a .398 batting average (33-for-83) this month. He has walked 32 times compared to just 22 strikeouts in 319 plate appearances, and has a .309 batting average (21-for-68) with runners in scoring position as the club’s full-time center fielder.
A left-handed batter and fielder, Fuld made his major league debut with the Cubs in 2007, appearing in 14 games as a September call-up. Originally selected by the Cubs in the 10th round of the 2004 Draft, he is a career .287 hitter (537-for-1,868) in 496 minor league contests with 113 doubles, 26 triples, 18 homers, 185 RBI and 82 stolen bases.
Named the Arizona Fall League MVP in 2007, Fuld split 2008 between Triple-A Iowa and Double-A Tennessee, combining to hit .264 (106-for-402) with a career-high 52 RBI.
Fuld will wear uniform No. 27 and is available for tonight’s 6:05 p.m. CT game against the Pirates at PNC Park.
Miles, 32, is hitting .203 (25-for-123) with seven doubles and four RBI in 46 games during his first season with the Cubs. This is his second stint on the disabled list, as he was sidelined May 26-June 10 with a right shoulder strain.
Today in a knee-jerk reaction the Chicago Tribune’s Phil RogersMr. Baseball trailer came up with the perfect solution to the Cubs’ current dilemma. Phil suggests that we immediately DFA Carlos Zambrano and then offload him cheap to the highest bidder. What a stroke of brilliance, why isn’t Krane Kenney replacing Jim Hendry with Rogers? He’s got this all figured out!
Seriously, I want to know what kind of whacky tobbacy Phil is getting, is it Maui Wowee or does it have red buds. It’s like the aphrodesiacs that certain politicians are using – why are the rest of us “cut off?” The last time the Cubs a brilliant idea like this it resulted in the College of Coaches.
Granted I’m not exactly thrilled with this 35-37 team. There are a lot of fissures and cracks in the power plant – we can talk ad nauseum about the lack of consistency, mental miscues and inability to produce in the clutch. The temper tantrums are getting old too, they aren’t helping the team; what would help more would be “a little less talk and a lot more action.” I respect Phil’s right as a senior journalist to say his peace but I really wonder if he’s thinking things through before he hurls his missives.
What do the stats say about Alfonso Soriano as a fielder? I am pretty sure what I think they should say.
During today’s game, when Alfonso misjudged another fly ball allowing it to drop, Bob Brenley said something like “It’s humorous that we keep talking about the problems with Fox and Hoffpauir’s defense when we see this on a daily basis.” He must be reading this board.