Let’s start this week off on the right foot, much like the Cubs did not after the All-Star break.

I certainly plan on it, as I sit here in my hotel room in Orlando, Florida on my first day of a week and a half family vacation. My family is notoriously opinionated, which makes planning our days a little bit of a challenge. However, family discussions have become half the fun. Maybe this is what runs through Jim Hendry’s mind while he tries to wheel and deal in order to put the best team out on the field. It seems as if he has no plan. Right now he takes his own considerations into account, and no matter what other opinions are thrown out there, he enjoys hemming and hawing over the options so as to defy all logical moves.

I’ll keep it short and sweet. We need a drastic change. Getting rid of Hendry would be a more than welcome step. Obviously, I’m not the only one with this opinion.

More of your views follow.

Wizzies:

  • Baseball is the one true religion in the world.
  • I used to play Strat-o-matic baseball when I was a kid. My brothers and me had our own league – stats, standings the whole deal. Went cold on the Cubs but never turned my back on them – just didn’t watch them as much. For whatever reason, now I’m back – worse than ever – just like the Cubs.
  • I would like to suggest multi-tasking. It works very well at the Swanson place. Evening game? No problem. Stream audio through my Droid as I make dinner. After dinner, you better believe I am going to do the dishes. Ever notice how Sex and the City is on all day? Hit the listing menu on your DVR; navigate to where that is showing. You just bought yourself an hour while those old bags cackle about shoes. By that point, you are looking like the best husband in the world and can tune into the remainder of the game as you please. Don’t work hard…work smart.
  • Conversation between my wife and me during the Derby last night (I only switched over during the last round, when Cano was mounting his comeback):
    My Wife: “Who’s Robinson Cano?” Me: “The Yankees’ second baseman.” Wife: “Who’s throwing the pitches?” Me: “Cano’s dad.” Wife: “Awwww, that’s cute! What does the winner get?” Me: “Money. And probably a slump during the second half of the season.” Wife: “Did any of the Cubs compete?” Me: “No. But it wouldn’t really have mattered if they had.”
  • Despite people’s hate for Aramis, he most likely will be the most productive option at 3B next year. If Hendry is still in charge of the team I see him picking up the option simply because Hendry will try and put the best team out there that he can for next season (maybe not best in the long term). And really, I’m sure Ricketts will want the most productive team as well. He sees those empty seats, if the club were near .500 they would be a lot more people at the games. It may not be best for the future, but I think he can’t help but look at those seats and see dollar bills. I think Ramirez’s hot streak over the past month or so may push them to pick it up if he continues it the rest of the way.
  • In 2008 we had 8 all-stars. The last 2 years just 1 because we needed a rep. Let’s get back to winning not only so we can get more all-stars, but if we finally make the Fall Classic we can stack the team with our guys.
  • Castro needs to quit hot dogging and make the play. He needs to field the ball and throw to first. Period. Cut out the double pumping, showing off the arm etc. He has a long way to go to prove himslef in the MLB. We have enough hot dogs on the team already. Castro stole two bases? I didn’t know he had that kind of speed. Why isn’t Quade running him? The NL manager apparently knows more about our All-Star than his own manager.  I felt the same way when I saw Quade in the dugout – he looked so out of place. That’s an abuse of the word All-Star.•    84 All Stars, who were these guys? It seems a bit diluted and just doesn’t seem to have the same status as it did in the 70′s. Back then it seemed like it was a game of Hall of Famer’s.
  • I’m actually thinking exactly the same way, Chet, although I’m not sure I’d be surprised one way or the other with Ramirez. I guess the only way I’d be surprised would be if he agreed to restructure the last year of his deal so we wouldn’t have to pay him as much.
  • As for expectations, “Soup” Campbell predicted on ESPN radio yesterday that, not only would the Cubs have a three game winning streak during the second half of the season, the streak would hit seven games. Personally, I think he’s been getting a little too close to the billy goat and the fumes are messing with his head, but it’s nice to have hope.
  • Most of the time.
  • I’ve enjoyed the wins and Starlin and Barney and Campana (I know no one here likes Barney and Campana, and maybe they do suck, but they are a lot of fun to watch when surrounded by the extreme suckage that is most of the team). If they pick up Ramirez’s option, I am going to be a little pissed. As Jedi points out, that’s just throwing the money away even if Ramirez plays at a level that money should normally buy. I look forward to the trade deadline (18 days!) and to the September call-ups. I look forward to one (or more!) win every three games and to Starlin, Barney and Campana. Who knows, maybe they will even improve!
  • Great stuff again Brandon. If Jim Hendry does even ONE of the things on your list I will be shocked and elated. My fearless prediction is that he’ll manage to do precisely nothing. Or at the very most, something that defies all logic and good sense. Prove me wrong Jimmy! Please!
  • If I put my GM’s hat on and look forward, I keep Castro and Barney and am OK with Pena and Ramirez returning next year. I’d also take Byrd and Fukudome in the OF, but sadly can’t move Soriano.
    Wait a minute…….I just returned 7 of our starting 7 fielders/key hitters.
    I think I have to fire myself.
    Brandon, you’re hired.
  • I honestly keep forgetting about Colvin. Poor guy. Impaled and forgotten.
  • Am I the only one that thinks the 2012 ship has already sailed and that instead we should be gearing up for 2013? I don’t see the roster flexibility or available free agents that make me think a significant upgrade can happen in a single off-season. We’re 18 months from contending within the NL Central.
  • It’s amazing what 3 days off can do.
    My Cubs cynical and sarcastic side has chilled a bit in that time. Consider this.
    What takes longer, digging a hole or filling it up?
    Cubs dug an 18 game hole pre ASB.
    Why can’t they fill it up post ASB and finish around .500?
    Drinking the Cubbie kool-aid right now.
    Bring on the Fish.
    Let’s keep my cyn and sar chilled.
  • Well looks like the 2nd half is off to a lovely start.
    Was that 2003 all over again?
  • Yah, nice write up Jeremiah, but I was sold after the first post of the series. I was actually sold after 2004.  Players seem to rank in two different categories…..”Jim Hendry guys” and “not Jim Hendry guys” regardless of ability.
  • Sometimes, you take a look down the bench and the only one left to go take some hacks is a 70 y/o tax accountant from Yuma. If there is a runner on second with less than two outs, you have to hope he knows enough baseball to try and take it to right. That is the game.
  • The Cubs pitching has been awful, but not quite Baltimore Orioles awful.
  • This was no more a gift win for the Cubs than game #93 was a gift win for the Marlins.
  • White sox sign Doug Davis. I can’t believe a playoff contender would sign an old pitcher for depth purposes.
    Letting Marmol pitch to a lefty and then bringing in a lefty to face a righty that strikes out as much as anyone in the game? Weird.
  • Happy with the win.
    I’ll admit I was sweating when Dempst was 110+ pitches and there were 2 men on in the 8th. Yes I was questioning Q leaving him in that long, but thankfully they got out of it. Then (gulp) Marmol comes in to remind us Cubs fans there’s no such thing as an easy win.
  • Andre Dawson is a class act and was when he played here. I almost get a little sad thinking that we don’t have a player on this team that would be worthy of holding his jock.
  • It’s also turning into a good thing that we didn’t trade for Peavy. The guy is falling apart with the White Sox. I hope he continues to suck for them.
  • When I saw the topic title I thought of the Simpsons episode where Grimes dies and Homer sleepily yells at the funeral: “Change the channel, Marge!” That would make a good headline for Sunday’s blowout loss
  • TINY not just my spam word, but my expectations.
  • Anti-spam word for me: pitch. The relievers ought to try that   Tough way to start the second half, and does anyone else get a vibe of the ‘Cliff Hangers’ game from The Price is Right when looking at the WPA graph? I think it’s safe to say Marmol (and/or Quade) got the price wrong on that one.
  • There are more clowns on the Cubs roster than there are on the Ringling Brother’s roster.

 

Updated Standings

Buddy-21

Doc Raker-20

jswanson-18

Doug S.-17

PackerCubBull-16

Aaron-12

Seymour Butts-11

Chet-9

Larry Sproul-8

Rich Beckman-6

Poll

It’s a long shot, but realistically do you think the Cubs will win three games in a row this season?

A)    Yes, within the next 2 weeks

B)    Yes, sometime in August

C)    Yes, hopefully before the last week of September

D)    Not a chance

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