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Saturday

22

August 2009

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COMMENTS

Stick a fork in 'em, they're done

Written by , Posted in General

That’s about all you can say about the 2009 Cubs.  Eight games out with less than six weeks to go, this team is in a freefall and it’s going to be an accomplishment if they finish the season ten games out in the Central.  No sense in belaboring the point – so where do we go from here with the rest of the season?

I am going to be a casual observer from this point on – the NFL season is starting up and so is college football so from my standpoint there’s bigger fish to fry.  Hopefully the Cubs’ brass will recognize the futility of this season and when September 1st comes around they will call up the maximum.  We need to bench non-performers like Soriano and Soto and play Bradley every other game.  Let’s see what the future looks like in terms of our minor leaguers, there’s nothing at stake now so why not?  I’d like to see Trammel given the chance to reverse roles with Piniella so that we can give him some experience at the helm – he managed Detroit back when they were hopeless so I’d like to see Alan get another chance.  Piniella says he’ll be back in 2010 but why should I look forward to that?  Many Cubs have not performed and the Cubs manager is one of them.  If Ramirez is still hurting and requiring surgery it might make sense to DL him now and get the surgery done so that he’s ready to go in April.

I’m not too bummed out about this year – we had two decent years and one very mediocre season.  That having been said it’s time to focus on what will be done to wright this ship.  Hendry is going to have to be creative in the offseason and he’s going to have to dump some salary to get the job done.

  • Rick Beato

    I am extremely bummed. To get what we are getting for $140 million is criminal. The regular seasons of the past two years were fine, but let us not remember that these flawed teams have not won one single postseason game in the last nine tries. No, this was not a great team but the freefall they are in now? This is a bad baseball team, one that cannot hit and cannot field and is not too good at running the bases. Dick Stockton (pretty terrible at a baseball game) was prattling on about how the whole game is starting pitching, and with Zambrano coming back, blah, blah, blah. Well, our starters are indeed pretty good but pitching has never been the whole game of baseball. No one ever won a 0-0 game and by the way our pitchers are not THAT good. How many times have we been shutout? And how many times have we shut other teams out? Too many for the first question and not nearly enough for the second.
    They were prattling on about the 1,014-1,014 record the two teams had in head-to-head competition coming into the series, but I fear it will be 1,018 losses by tomorrow and it might take ten years to catch back up to the Dodgers, yound and hungry and better than the Cubs in every category.
    This ugly August has shredded any reason for confidence.

  • cubbiedude

    //We need to bench non-performers like Soriano and Soto and play Bradley every other game. //

    Won’t, apparently, happen. Does the name “Miles” mean anything to you? Just because you’re paying ’em, doesn’t mean you gotta play ’em.

    //Let’s see what the future looks like in terms of our minor leaguers.//

    What’s the difference if they’re not gonna give ’em a chance to play?

    //Piniella says he’ll be back in 2010//

    Translation: I’m willing to walk, but it’s gonna cost you. I want you to pay me to play golf next season.

    //I’m not too bummed out about this year//

    As a dedicated lover of the game, I’m looking forward to an outstanding post-season. Phillies, Cards and Dodgers; Angels, Tigers and Yankees. Plus the wildcards. Lots of good baseball ahead.

    Actually, I’m looking forward to enjoying some good baseball performed by specific parts of the Cubbies from here on in, too. It’s just that they’re not firing on all cylinders at the moment.

  • MJ

    There won’t be changes until they’re mathmatically eliminated. Which is what I’d rather see, then phoning it in with six weeks to go.

    Very hypicrital talk here, you guys all want to see championship play and heart, but then with six weeks to go, you’d rather see them give up. Make up your minds.

    I’m now putting Cubs fans ahead of BoSox fans as some of the most fickle.

  • rob

    The thing is that you have Soriano, Bradley, and many others for a good number of years. You will either win with them or you will not win. What good is playing the younger guys?- to showcase them to other teams?

    Do you really think you win championships by playing Sam Fuld or Jake Fox everyday? What happened to Haffpauir? Jake Fox average is down to .286 with a .339 obp. These guys would not start for other teams or other teams would have been trying to get them at the trade deadline.

    The Cubs are buried in the grave that they have dug for themselves. Think about how bad these contracts are- Soriano, Zambrano, Fukudome, Bradley, and the Dempster contract which to me seems like another lousy one.

    I think that the team needs to consider whether or not Hendry can actually build a winner or if he just knows how to throw loads of money around and outbid himself for lacking players. Lou does look out of it. But I think it is because he knows the weakness of what he has been given. He has tried multiple line ups. He has played all of the guys who have been thrown around on the site- to some extent. He knows that Soriano, Bradley, Z and others are who they are. What else can he do?

  • Doug

    Remember that feeling last year in Sept?
    I was happy and nervous as hell at the same time thinking ‘could this be? could this be the year?’
    College FB and the NFL took a huge back seat as the Cubs had all the focus for me. My fantasy leagues suffered. Not this year.

    Good post Mark, thanks.

  • Mr. David M. Beyer

    I think MJ’s got a point. As frustrated as I am, I’d rather see them pull together and show some cojones than play the kids. Watch ’em go down fighting. With several untradeable contracts, we’re in no position for a youth movement. Let the vets show some pride and some fight. If they roll over, so be it, but here’s hoping they go down like they’re defending the Alamo.

  • cubbiedude

    MJ and Mr. David M. Beyer:

    I’m afraid I don’t know what you’re talking about. Cub fans, dedicated followers of the Cubs, have been hoping for some time now that the team would pull together, show some cojones, and play the young ‘uns. Remember, it’s about the team winning. It’s not about protecting an individual veteran, regardless of contractual considerations.

    By the way, I’m enjoying “The Three Effs Outfield” this afternoon. Better late than never.

    And, as far as the “untradables” go, I’m from Chicago. I’m hoping that, come November, the new owners make them an offer they can’t refuse.

  • cubbiedude

    P.S. “You hit or you sit!”

  • MJ

    Cubbie, there is no way Fuld, Fox, etc. are better options than the regulars. Even as bad as Soriano is, he can still be more productive than Fuld will ever be.

    Let the regulars keep fighting until they’re mathematically eliminated. This is professional sports you don’t just throw in the towel because things look bleak right now. Granted the odds are stacked against them, but it ain’t over til it’s over.

  • Mastrick

    I don’t think that Soriano’s salary qualifies him for more starts in left than Jake Fox; Soriano needs to ride the pine and play occasionally until he earns a starting spot. He can sit next to our fatboy catcher Soto and enjoy the ballgame from premium bench seats; we should go with Fox, Fuld and Fukudome in the outfield and let Bradley and Soriano split time off the bench.

  • moe thacker

    PUT A FORK IN THEM
    Every real cub fan must admit,
    That this year’s team has played like shit,
    They fail to hit when men are on base,
    They haven’t hit at last year’s pace,
    They’re falling further out of the race,
    They’ll be lucky to finish in second place.
    Bradley walks around with an angry face,
    Soriano plays left like he’s in outer space,
    The money they’re playing these two is a disgrace.

    Their starting pitching is still strong,
    It’d better if they could stay healthy long,
    Harden always seems to have something wrong,
    Zambrano just finished his rehab stint,
    They’re still paying him a mint,
    Dempster got hurt goofing around,
    Tripped on a fence and landed on the ground,
    At least Ted Lilly…..
    Hasn’t done anything that silly,
    The bright spot here is Randy Wells,
    But the bullpen has put us through several hells,
    They made Gregg our closer,
    He was just a poser!
    Now we got Marmol who nobody can hit,
    The trouble is he’s off the plate a bit,

    In 2008, Soto was rookie of the year,
    Now his hitting brings only a tear,
    Fontenot makes me cry in my beer,
    Aaron Miles does nothing to cheer,

    Kosuke and Theriot are just alright,
    But the Cards are soaring out of sight,
    Aramis is pretty darn good,
    But we really miss De Rosa and Kerry Wood,

    Everyone knows our mvp,
    That would be none other than Derek Lee,

    Now I’ll say this short, and terse,
    Every day the team looks worse,
    Their record is going into reverse,
    Maybe they’ve been infected by the women of Circe,

    Hendry deserves some of the blame,
    Ken Williams has put him to shame,
    You wonder if Lou still has the flame,
    Whatever, this team is pretty lame.

    It’s clear this team will never gel,
    Maybe we just need to get rid of Zell,
    At least Tom Ricketts is Cub fan,
    Who’s to say he might be the man,
    To lead this team to the promised land.

    But for now this team is done,
    Watching them is not much fun,
    They don’t hit and they don’t run,
    This year will not be our day in the sun.

  • sherm

    you had me at shit.

    Circe? Seriously?

    Play to win. Agree with MJ on this…until they are mathematically eliminated, they (mgt/players, etc.) have an obligation to play to win. That’s whay they are paid to do.

    Now, I don’t know that they CAN win down the stretch, but that doesn’t change anything — the point is to continue to try. Also agree that Aramis needs to be shut down and fixed for 2010.

  • MJ

    let Bradley and Soriano split time off the bench.

    Yeah. Good idea, let one of the hottest hitters in the second half sit. The logic around here astounds me.

  • sherm

    let one of the hottest hitters in the second half sit.

    Who are you referring to? Can’t be Bradley. He hit .275 in July (good for 108th in baseball) and is hitting a whopping .246 in August, including a 4 for 35 clip in his last ten games (.114 average) which places him in 137th place on the MLB leader board. So it cannot be him.

    Soriano, perhaps? He had a nice July, going 29 for 84 (.345) but his woeful August (11 for 70 and a weak .157 average — btw, he’s having the worst August in all of baseball) kind of make him a difficult candidate for “hottest hitter in the second half,” as well.

    So, please tell me who you are speaking about. Thanks!

    • It must be Bradley he’s referring to, but post all star break, he ranks 122nd in all MLB with at least 100 plate appearances with an OPS of .779. 122nd, seems far from one of the hottest.

  • He hit .275 in July (good for 108th in baseball) and is hitting a whopping .246 in August, including a 4 for 35 clip in his last ten games (.114 average) which places him in 137th place on the MLB leader board. So it cannot be him.

    Last I heard, there were these new fangled stats, like OBP or SLUG, that told us a lot more about a player’s performance than batting average does.

    With that said, while Bradley had a great July, he has struggled again in August.

  • sherm

    Pretty sure that fangled is not a word. Just saying.

    I was using what limited information I had available to point out, however feebly and understatisticalized it was, that neither of those two are anywhere close to hottest hitter in the second half.

    And, yes, I know, that understatisticalized is not a word, either.

    For the record, in my opinion — Bradley had a good July (19 for 69). Soriano had a great July (29 for 84). Unfortunately, both suck in August thus far.

  • Pretty sure that fangled is not a word. Just saying.

    You are right. I made a typo. It should have been one word: newfangled. Thanks for pointing that out though. Very helpful.

    I was using what limited information I had available to point out

    So the site you looked at to get his July and August numbers didn’t have OBP or SLUG?

    For the record, in my opinion — Bradley had a good July (19 for 69). Soriano had a great July (29 for 84).

    Again… there is more to batting average.

    Unless, of course, you think that Luis Castillo has been better than Albert Pujols this year. Or that Ryan Theriot has been better than Derrek Lee. Or that Nyjer Morgan has been better than Prince Fielder. I could go on. But to use batting average alone to evaluate a player tells us little/nothing.

    Lets actually look at useful numbers:
    Bradley, July: .275/.457/.420 OPS: .878
    Soriano, July: .345/.409/.583 OPS: .992

    Yes, Soriano did have a great July (though he was helped by a .393 BABIP). But Bradley also had a very good, if not great, July.

  • And btw… while Bradley has struggled in August, he has still be VASTLY better than Soriano, and has still gotten on base a lot:

    Bradley: .246/.372/.354 OPS: .726
    Soriano: .157/.200/.229 OPS: .429

  • sherm

    So the site you looked at to get his July and August numbers didn’t have OBP or SLUG?

    What site? I merely recalled what they had done in each game over the past two months and did the math in my head.

    There’s a site? Wow. That would be helpful.

  • Still wondering though, even without looking at these new things called the internets.

    Has Ryan Theriot been better than Derrek Lee this year?
    Has Luis Castillo been better than Albert Pujols this year?

  • MJ

    Yeah, sorry I didn’t do any research in my post about a “hot hitter.” I just went with my recollection, and did sherm math.

    😛

    And I was talking about Bradley. Who I still say I’d rather have out there than Fox, or Fuld on a daily basis.

  • sherm

    Has Ryan Theriot been better than Derrek Lee this year?
    Has Luis Castillo been better than Albert Pujols this year?

    How in the world does any of that apply to whether or not Bradley or Soriano have been “hot” in the second half?

    Q: Has Milton Bradley had a good second half?

    A: Umm. Albert Pujols is better than Luis Castillo.

  • How in the world does any of that apply to whether or not Bradley or Soriano have been “hot” in the second half?

    It has to do with your refusal to look at anything beyond batting average.

  • MJ

    From now on, I am only looking at one batting stat to make my presumptions.

    Triples.

    That is all.

  • Seymour Butts

    And to gauge defensive prowess, we should look only at game ending unassisted triple plays. Eric Bruntlet is the eras most outstanding fielder. QED.

  • sherm

    Triples.

    Stand up triples? Or all triples?

  • Fox should be in the line up everyday, he has earned it, his batting average is high and he has his ISO and keeps it with him on a regular basis, never to be lost. Meanwhile Soriano looks absolutley overmatched all of August and Bradley lost his ISO. I think once someone has lost their ISO and can’t recover it eventhough they have looked everywhere, including the lost and found at Murphy’s Bleachers, you have to decrease their playing time to someone who knows where their ISO is. These guys are paid big bucks and if they can’t keep their ISO where they belong so they can have it when they need it what good are they.

  • MJ

    Stand up triples? Or all triples?

    Only those in which the runner must slide feet first and to the home plate side of the bag.

  • sherm

    Only those in which the runner must slide feet first and to the home plate side of the bag.

    Well, that’s fair. For a moment, I thought you were being ridiculous.

  • MJ

    I’m never ridiculous.