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September 2009

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The State of My 2009 Fandom

Written by , Posted in General

In case you haven’t noticed, and I wouldn’t blame you if you haven’t, I have not contributed much meaningful content of late. I wanted to take a minute and share with you my thoughts on the current state of the team as we head down the stretch. Consider it a State of the Fandom address covering a few toics.

Playoff Chances – I think Jim Mora said it best when asked about the Colts chances of making the playoffs awhile back. He was genuinely surprised at the question and I feel the same when people bring up the idea that this team is still in the hunt. I understand that the numbers for the wild card race and the remaining schedule say we have a chance, but if you throw that stuff out and just use your eyes and common sense, you can’t possibly rationalize a situation in which this team makes the post-season. All that being said, I still find myself holding out hope, albeit a small amount, that somehow this team flips the switch and gets the job done down the stretch. Thankfully, I’m not holding my breath or you might really see a lack of posts in the future for me. The other part of me secrectly wants this team to miss the post-season to show Jim Hendry that maybe the team that scored in the top of the league in most offensive categories last year didn’t need quite as much tweaking as he thought. Then again, an almost 40% turnover on the roster is far from tweaking things.

Milton Bradley – I like him. I’ll say it again. I like him…as a baseball player. I don’t like him as a person. Anyone who talks smack after singles and doubles or home runs when the team is down by multiple runs is a disgrace. I like how he hustles and I like his willingness to do things like go in hard at second, but I don’t like his excuses and I don’t like the non-baseball stuff he brings to the table. Since he’s been here we’ve heard excuse after excuse as to why he’s not performing. Anything from the day games to the big market to racist fans. Maybe he should have done his homework before coming to Chicago. At this point, I want him off my baseball team for next year.

Young vs. Old – We’re in the crunch time. It’s time to drop allegiances to guys that have “gotten it done in the past” and start playing the hot hand day in and day out. Sam Fuld gets 3 hits on Monday? Get him in there on Tuesday. Alfonso Soriano hits a pair of home runs on Wednesday? Get him in there on Thursday. I don’t care what your experience is, if you’re playing well, you need to play. It’s time for Lou to drop the PC garbage of playing the guys that have done it in the past and start taking it one game at a time. Put the best lineup on the field to win that game.

Sorry for the rant. I had to get that off my chest.

  • We are in off season mode already. As a Cub fan I always hope the team will contend until the end of the season but we know that doesn’t always happen. Once the realization of droping out of contention the off season starts in my mind. Games are watch with next year in mind, hockey season becomes more necessary and a trip to the Arizona Fall League can be scheduled without worry of conflict of a Cubs post season game.

    For me the off season began the day after the Cubs blew Harden’s game against the Phillies, after he was pitching 5 perfect innings and then gave up a walk and a bomb to give up a 2 – 0 lead which should have been 6-0 lead if the Cubs could hit like a playoff team. That game summed up all the Cubs shortcomings in 9 tidy innings. Hope was gone, reality had reared it’s ugly head.

    So time for Lou and Jim to play guys they want on the team in 2009. I fear a stubborness from Jim inwhich will ruin 2010 also. I hope Mr. Ricketts is willing to make some changes and jetsam the melanoma’s. Time will tell. In the mean time I need to figure out what [sic] is all about, when to use it, what it means, is it really necessary, does anyone really care if it is used properly or at all.

    If anyone is interested in knowing what spring training was like 30 years ago before it became commercialized I recommend a trip to the Arizona Fall League. Nothing but scouts, families of the ball players and a few fans in the stands. A great place to see future prospects play. I saw the Braves Tommy Hansen pitch last fall and he looked dominant. I didn’t know who he was but it was obvious he was headed to the bigs.

  • It’s time for Lou to drop the PC garbage of playing the guys that have done it in the past and start taking it one game at a time. Put the best lineup on the field to win that game.

    It has nothing to do with being “PC.” At all. Past performance is the best indicator of future performance. And it isn’t even close.

    Streaks (hot or cold) are not good, or even decent, predictors of success in the future. Not even the next game.

    Fuld getting 3 hits today does not mean that he is more likely than any other player to get hits tomorrow. And Derrek Lee striking out 3 times today does not mean that he is more likely to strike out more tomorrow.

    It simply is foolish to use performance in individuals games as a mechanism to choose who plays in the next game.

  • Seymour Butts

    [sic] is an editors notation that an improperly used word or phrase, or misspelling is being printed as it was written or said.
    At least that’s what I remember about it.

  • Seymour Butts

    So… do we have a lot of Bears fans out there? Packers? Colts? Baseball has broken me for the year, I didn’t really care about last nights game, are there more to be played? whatever.

  • [sic] is an editors notation that an improperly used word or phrase, or misspelling is being printed as it was written or said.

    So if you were the NY Times or even the Kalamazoo Tribune and you quote a misspeled word you use [sic] to let everyone know that it wasn’t you, the NY Times that mispelt the word, but the person you were quoting. So it is something professional editors use, I see.

    So, like on a blog, if you were to quote someone who mispelled a word you could 1) simply spell the word correctly 2) misspel it again since know one really cares any way outside of a few bloggers or 3) write the messpelled word and actually go through the trouble of inserting [sic] into your post just so everyone knows it wasn’t you that actually mispeld the word in question. As in, by the way, not only don’t I agree with you on the point you are making but you mispeld a word and I know it and now so does everyone else.

    Now I understand, thanks.

  • MJ

    I see Doc thinks he’s a grammatical comedian.

  • Lizzie

    ^ was funny though!

  • Lizzie

    I don’t ever recall being “excited” about an off season before. But, I was so disappointed in this season I now can’t wait to see what they do between now and the next!

    Colts fan here in Indiana, even though I’m closer to Chicago than Indianapolis.

  • Go! Pack! Go!

    I’m very optimistic about this coming year in Green Bay!

  • Mastrick

    I’m finished with Dusty Piniella. Time to send him out to pasture and let a younger less tired manager take over. Thanks to the Cubs’ manager for giving us two great runs in 2007 and 2008, I’d like to see Trammel get the call next year with Ryno as his bench coach. Soriano can ride the bench and watch Jake Fox in LF until such a time as he decides to get a smaller bat and make contact, like Joe I’d like to see Bradley finish the year real hot so he’ll have trade value in the offseason. Milton is a clubhouse cancer, he’s Jacque Jones and Todd Hundley reincarnate. Gregg and Heilman can go places and I’d like to see the Cubs read the riot act to Fatboy Soto and give him one year to turn things around before letting him go places too.

  • MJ

    Milton is a clubhouse cancer

    Really? How do you know?

  • Milton is a clubhouse cancer, he’s Jacque Jones and Todd Hundley reincarnate.

    I would like to second MJ’s question about how you know Milton is a clubhouse cancer.

    But I would also like to know when Jacque Jones became a clubhouse cancer.

  • Doc Raker

    I will say it again, the least enjoyable Cub team of my life time. Hoping for changes in the off season. I would love to see a trade involving 2 aces, like Zambrano for Halliday.

    Don’t forget Jody Davis is managing in the Cubs system also. I have a bias for catchers in a managerial role since they have to think along with the game as part of playing catcher. I think catchers make good leaders and managers. Sandberg is the media sweetheart since he is a Hall of Famer but I am not sure that will translate into a great manager. No one is a bigger Sandberg fan than me, he was a great baseball player, but I am not assuming it transfers to managing.

    Maybe both Sandberg and Davis should be on the coaching staff.

    I think Lou has done a great job. The Cubs could have easily swooned in 2007 and 2008 but he kept them fresh throughout the season. Even this year with many underperformers he has kept them in contention until recently. Let’s remember most Cub teams that drop out of contention end up at the bottom of the division. He managed 2 consecutive playoff teams which hasn’t happened in 100 years. This underperformance is not Lou’s fault.

  • MJ

    Don’t forget Jody Davis is managing in the Cubs system also.

    Is he? I haven’t heard a thing about him this year, and I had a friend go to a game for Single A Daytona and he wasn’t in the media guide. Not questioning you, just wondering if really is still with the organization.

  • Seymour Butts

    About the club house cancer thing ( I didn’t make the effort to gray box it, kind of like the Cubs effort this year), I know Todd Hundley and he’s a great guy. Often things work out not as planned and people (media) want to find fault. Todd had issues as a cub, but they weren’t getting along issues.
    I also Know Jody, who has been managing in the Cubs system a year longer than Rhyno. He does have a good baseball mind, and I agree catchers are in an advantaged position when it comes to managing.
    There are rumblings in St Louis that Dave Duncan may leave after this year, great track record of turning trash to treasure, the Cubs should throw him a bundle.

  • rob

    I dont remember Jacque Jones being a clubhouse cancer. I also think that he was a big reason the Cubs went to the playoffs two years ago. He made some plays in the field in crucial situations that I will never forget. I always thought he got an unfair rap.

  • Is he? I haven’t heard a thing about him this year

    I believe that he is a roving instructor for the Cubs. Not a manager.

  • I always thought he got an unfair rap.

    See…we do agree on some things! 🙂

  • Seymour Butts

    Jody managed at Peoria, then Daytona last year. This year he’s a roving catching instructor.

  • MJ

    Thanks Seymour. I had a buddy that went to a game in Daytona, because he’s a Jody fan (he’s from Georgia so I have no idea how), and Jody wasn’t there. My buddy was crushed. He just figured the website wasn’t up to date.

  • Seymour Butts

    2 wins in a row, yippie skippie.

  • cap’n obvious

    He made some plays in the field in crucial situations that I will never forget.

    Jones? I remember seeing him uncork some throws that made Juan Pierre’s arm look like a howitzer. Throws from short center that bounced 11 times before reaching the plate. This was not a very good player…

  • Lizzie

    See…we do agree on some things!

    Omigod, that means I agree with Dave. 🙂

  • cap’n obvious

    Maybe both Sandberg and Davis should be on the coaching staff

    Not sure I’d agree with this, as niether ever did squat in the post-season, and weren’t what I’d call guys that knew how to win…I think the Cubs most important move this offseason would be to lure Duncan (whose contract is up) away from St. Louis. I hear he is not too happy with the way the Cardinals treated his kid. Who cares, the guy can flat out coach pitchers and gets more from less than any other pitching coach year in and year out. Rothschild is the opposite.

  • Not sure I’d agree with this, as niether ever did squat in the post-season

    How many “good” MLB managers “did squat in the post-season?”

  • I wonder why the Cubs moved Jody from manager to rooming catcher instructor. That’s the skinny I want to know.

    How do you evaluate a minor league manager that has to deal with pitch counts?

    Duncan and LaRussa have been together for a long time, I wonder if he would really leave. I would like to see Duncan as a Cub.