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Thursday

10

July 2014

50

COMMENTS

5 Things Cubs Fans Should Know for July 10

Written by , Posted in General

I’ve seen a lot of fans that are in panic mode, saying we’ll never win again, and that this management has no idea what it’s doing. They are riding the fact that we haven’t won a game since the big trade and that it was all a horrible mistake. To that I say: you’re a moron. Let’s get on with the five things you need to know to start your Cubs fan day.

1. The Cubs lost again to the Reds last night – It brings the losing streak to six games now, and like I mentioned, no wins since the trade. Dallas Beeler got start number two of his ML career, and I would describe it as mediocre. Then again, it’s important to know what Beeler brings to the table. He’s not a guy who is going to overpower you with his stuff. In his minor league career, he has averaged 5.8 strikeouts per 9 innings of work. He’s not that kind of pitcher. Even last night you saw him hovering in the upper 80’s and low 90’s so it’s important to know what we’re getting in a guy like him. We’re looking for serviceable back end of the rotation production, which if you read my piece yesterday, is hard to get. Generally 5th starters do not produce much value. Beeler wasn’t horrible last night and given the fact that our pen is generally regarded as above average, I think you can win with a guy like him in the 5th slot.

The biggest frustration about this series has been the lack of production when it comes to getting runners in. It wasn’t as much of a story this game, but overall so far this series, I feel like we’re wasting our chances and the Reds are taking advantage of just about every one of theirs. It’s been the difference.

2. I hate manager ejections – If you missed it, Ricky Renteria came out to argue a foul ball that was not reviewable about midway through the game and promptly got tossed by the third base umpire. That wasn’t enough and he proceeded to continue to follow the ump to try to get more in, despite the fact that the umpire continued to try to end the confrontation and walk away. Tell me I’m wrong if you will, but I cannot stand it when managers come out and argue to the point of getting tossed. There simply is no place for it and it’s classless. An umpire is not going to toss you unless you’re being disrespectful, generally, which means when there are guys getting tossed (Renteria five times this season), it’s because they crossed that boundary. I don’t like that. MLB has replay. If a call isn’t reviewable, you have no business being on the field unless you’re making a substitution…period. I don’t buy into this garbage that it fires up the team. If my players can’t self motivate, I don’t know that I want them on my team. I want players who are driven to succeed and don’t need me as the manager to act a fool to get them to produce.

3. Jason McLeod got paid – There were rumors about two weeks ago that McLeod was in the running as a candidate to go back to his former team, San Diego, to become their next general manager. McLeod plays a vital role for this team in the Theo / Jed regime so it’s good news to not only know he’s not going to leave to be a GM…yet…but that he’ll get rewarded with some money for staying.

4. Wrigley Renovation process continues…on paper – Is anyone else frustrated with this process? I don’t even like reporting on it. The guys in the Tribune had a nice update on the process yesterday:

With tweaks made at the request of the mayor, the Cubs are ready to present their latest plan to the landmarks panel. Emanuel also required the Cubs to continue negotiating with the rooftop owners as a condition of getting a hearing with the landmarks commission, a City Hall source said.

Another source said the Cubs’ proposal with five additional outfield signs is expected to be approved by the panel, with conditions placed on it.

5. Minor MattersAlbert Almora is on fire. I’ll be honest, I had begun to wonder and worry about his future as a top prospect, but he’s been playing tremendously lately. He went 2-for-3 last night and has his average up to .279. The Daytona Cubs tweeted out after his first hit that he had hit in 16 of the last 17 game and hit almost .500 over that time. I really hope he’s primed for a big second half so he can vault back into elite status because I think some people have soured slightly on him.

We try to end the losing streak behind a Major League debut from Kyle Hendricks today in a matinee game on WGN. I’m a big fan of Hendricks so I look for a quality start from him. We also have the latest edition of Girlieview later this afternoon and a post from Chris Neitzel on why there is no such thing as a shortstop logjam with a look at history.

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Have to agree on the lack of production. Last night and a few other times in this series the Cubs have had runners stop at third when they likely had a decent shot at scoring and instead wound up stranded. In some cases, it’s been the 3B coach and others (like Sweeney last night) it’s been the baserunners themselves. At this point, the team doesn’t have much to lose, so why not take more chances in an attempt to score.

    • Eddie Von White

      Right!

  • Mark_from_Toronto

    Have to agree on the lack of production. Last night and a few other times in this series the Cubs have had runners stop at third when they likely had a decent shot at scoring and instead wound up stranded. In some cases, it’s been the 3B coach and others (like Sweeney last night) it’s been the baserunners themselves. At this point, the team doesn’t have much to lose, so why not take more chances in an attempt to score.

    • Eddie Von White

      Right!

  • Dusty_Baylor

    Agreed on Almora, Joe. People tend to forget that he is only 20, and that not all 20 yr olds are Trout and Harper. A solid second half will quiet the murrmurs I’m sure.

    • Noah_I

      I still have a lot of concerns about Almora. My biggest concern is his inability to draw walks. He’s only drawn 10 walks in 331 PAs, and one of those was intentional. So his unintentional walk rate is just 2.7%. You just can’t succeed with those sorts of numbers, even if you’re only striking out in 11.5% of your plate appearances. If Almora is able to get that walk rate up to even 5% and has a 70 hit tool? Then he’ll be fine. But for a lot of guys who are making as much bad contact as Almora had until about 10 days ago, they have problems getting the walk rate up without the K rate also ballooning. Of the top 7 Cubs prospects, Almora is now number 7 for me (I go Bryant, Russell, Baez, Alcantara, Soler, Schwarber, Almora).

  • Dusty_Baylor

    Agreed on Almora, Joe. People tend to forget that he is only 20, and that not all 20 yr olds are Trout and Harper. A solid second half will quiet the murrmurs I’m sure.

    • Noah_I

      I still have a lot of concerns about Almora. My biggest concern is his inability to draw walks. He’s only drawn 10 walks in 331 PAs, and one of those was intentional. So his unintentional walk rate is just 2.7%. You just can’t succeed with those sorts of numbers, even if you’re only striking out in 11.5% of your plate appearances. If Almora is able to get that walk rate up to even 5% and has a 70 hit tool? Then he’ll be fine. But for a lot of guys who are making as much bad contact as Almora had until about 10 days ago, they have problems getting the walk rate up without the K rate also ballooning. Of the top 7 Cubs prospects, Almora is now number 7 for me (I go Bryant, Russell, Baez, Alcantara, Soler, Schwarber, Almora).

  • Doc Raker

    On the manager ejection, I think there are times a manager needs to go out and argue a call in order to get the net call but I agree with Joe that it needs to be done with some class and not just a screaming match to get ejected. If the players don’t feel like the manager has their back they could lose motivation.

    Remember in 2007 when Pinella threw a fit with the third base umpire and after that point the Cubs went on to be the best team in the league that year……..until the playoffs. The media would always point to that event as the turning point of the season. Do the Cubs start winning even if Pinella doesn’t get the injection that day? We will never know but Seymour’s media thinks not but this is the same media that thinks man made global warming is true so what do they know.

    • PLCB3

      He did that because B the C went at it with Barrett the day before. This is before he acquired the B the C label.

  • Doc Raker

    On the manager ejection, I think there are times a manager needs to go out and argue a call in order to get the net call but I agree with Joe that it needs to be done with some class and not just a screaming match to get ejected. If the players don’t feel like the manager has their back they could lose motivation.

    Remember in 2007 when Pinella threw a fit with the third base umpire and after that point the Cubs went on to be the best team in the league that year……..until the playoffs. The media would always point to that event as the turning point of the season. Do the Cubs start winning even if Pinella doesn’t get the injection that day? We will never know but Seymour’s media thinks not but this is the same media that thinks man made global warming is true so what do they know.

    • AC0000000

      He did that because B the C went at it with Barrett the day before. This is before he acquired the B the C label.

  • Dork

    People tell me I should be happy that the cubs are losing, and maybe that is the smart thing. Higher draft pick, more slot money, better int’l money. I get it, but the end goal would not seem so far away if they could just win. I personally would prefer that.

    • Noah_I

      Here’s the thing: the Cubs winning or losing this season actually has very little bearing on how close they are to being competitive. I think that’s one of the myths we’ve been fed a long time in sports: that if you’re a 70 win team, you have to be an 80 win team before you can be a 90 win team. To the extent that was ever true, it certainly isn’t under current economics. I’d think of it this way: the Cubs are likely to add at least two starting pitchers, with the highest odds since Theo took over of one of those pitchers being a top of the rotation type. There are only three position players on the roster guaranteed to be there are the beginning of 2015: Rizzo, Castro, and Castillo, and it’s possible Castillo’s role gets reduced. Valbuena will be there if not traded, I wouldn’t be surprised if Coghlan remains, but no one else is guaranteed. And the prospects are coming. Whether the Cubs win 65 or 80 games this season, they’re just as close and just as far away from contending as they otherwise would have been.

  • Dork

    People tell me I should be happy that the cubs are losing, and maybe that is the smart thing. Higher draft pick, more slot money, better int’l money. I get it, but the end goal would not seem so far away if they could just win. I personally would prefer that.

    • Noah_I

      Here’s the thing: the Cubs winning or losing this season actually has very little bearing on how close they are to being competitive. I think that’s one of the myths we’ve been fed a long time in sports: that if you’re a 70 win team, you have to be an 80 win team before you can be a 90 win team. To the extent that was ever true, it certainly isn’t under current economics. I’d think of it this way: the Cubs are likely to add at least two starting pitchers, with the highest odds since Theo took over of one of those pitchers being a top of the rotation type. There are only three position players on the roster guaranteed to be there are the beginning of 2015: Rizzo, Castro, and Castillo, and it’s possible Castillo’s role gets reduced. Valbuena will be there if not traded, I wouldn’t be surprised if Coghlan remains, but no one else is guaranteed. And the prospects are coming. Whether the Cubs win 65 or 80 games this season, they’re just as close and just as far away from contending as they otherwise would have been.

  • Dork

    Starting pitching (excluding the villanueva/rusin game) has not been the issue in the last 6, even last night was winnable with a well sequenced extra base hit or 2.

    • Noah_I

      This is the problem with the team, that we have too few consistent offensive performers. So even with decent starting pitching, you’re going to have stretches where the team just doesn’t score runs. The bullpen meltdown on Tuesday night, though, is just something that happens from time to time.

      • Mark_from_Toronto

        Agreed, it just seems that the offense can’t get it going on a consistant basis. It’s nice to see Rizzo hitting homeruns lately, but it’s not much good when the bases are empty and it just generates one run.

  • Dork

    Starting pitching (excluding the villanueva/rusin game) has not been the issue in the last 6, even last night was winnable with a well sequenced extra base hit or 2.

    • Noah_I

      This is the problem with the team, that we have too few consistent offensive performers. So even with decent starting pitching, you’re going to have stretches where the team just doesn’t score runs. The bullpen meltdown on Tuesday night, though, is just something that happens from time to time.

      • Mark_from_Toronto

        Agreed, it just seems that the offense can’t get it going on a consistant basis. It’s nice to see Rizzo hitting homeruns lately, but it’s not much good when the bases are empty and it just generates one run.

  • Dork

    Remember Castro coming up and getting 3 hits and 6 rbi’s in his first game. That was exciting, and a nice start.

    • PLCB3

      Didn’t he go yard on the first pitch he saw?

  • Dork

    Remember Castro coming up and getting 3 hits and 6 rbi’s in his first game. That was exciting, and a nice start.

    • AC0000000

      Didn’t he go yard on the first pitch he saw?

  • Dork

    Will they Promote Almora to AA this year, or wait for the start of next Year?

    • Noah_I

      My bet is wait until the start of next year, but I’m only, say 65% confident in that. There’s only a month and a half left of the minor league season, Daytona is in contention for the second half of the season playoff spot, and Almora was unimpressive long enough that I’d want to see at least 6 solid weeks of consecutive strong performance before a promotion, at which point you’re in August.

  • Dork

    Will they Promote Almora to AA this year, or wait for the start of next Year?

    • Noah_I

      My bet is wait until the start of next year, but I’m only, say 65% confident in that. There’s only a month and a half left of the minor league season, Daytona is in contention for the second half of the season playoff spot, and Almora was unimpressive long enough that I’d want to see at least 6 solid weeks of consecutive strong performance before a promotion, at which point you’re in August.

  • Seymour Butts

    I completely disagree with you on the ejection issue. It almost always is a classless move on the part of the umpire.
    There are times that players and managers have a legitimate beef, and times they don’t but they believe they do. A quick hook by the ump shows that they are either disinterested in hearing another point of view, have too thin a skin to take criticism, or just have a deity complex.
    I have little respect for an ump who gives the quick hook. I think all ejections should be looked at by MLB with an equal eye on the actions of the ump as the player.n

    • PLCB3

      Remember when Hasbro got into it with an umpire and he tore his ACL when his manager tried to restrain him and the ump got suspended?

      • Dork

        I think Manger ejections are just fun and entertaining, but don’t take it to seriously either way.

      • PLCB3

        I enjoy managerial explosions. The aquafina commercial with Piniella is hilarious:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0Y9EfiJSF8

    • Doc Raker

      I will agree with Seymour that to many umps are arrogant and some even bait managers and players. Not so much anymore with replay but I always thought umps were arrogant and don’t take the time to explain their call. Being disinterested in the other point of view is the MO of liberals and their adoring media, umps should be better than CNN.

  • Seymour Butts

    I completely disagree with you on the ejection issue. It almost always is a classless move on the part of the umpire.
    There are times that players and managers have a legitimate beef, and times they don’t but they believe they do. A quick hook by the ump shows that they are either disinterested in hearing another point of view, have too thin a skin to take criticism, or just have a deity complex.
    I have little respect for an ump who gives the quick hook. I think all ejections should be looked at by MLB with an equal eye on the actions of the ump as the player.n

    • AC0000000

      Remember when Hasbro got into it with an umpire and he tore his ACL when his manager tried to restrain him and the ump got suspended?

      • Dork

        I think Manger ejections are just fun and entertaining, but don’t take it to seriously either way.

      • AC0000000

        I enjoy managerial explosions. The aquafina commercial with Piniella is hilarious:

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O0Y9EfiJSF8

    • Doc Raker

      I will agree with Seymour that to many umps are arrogant and some even bait managers and players. Not so much anymore with replay but I always thought umps were arrogant and don’t take the time to explain their call. Being disinterested in the other point of view is the MO of liberals and their adoring media, umps should be better than CNN.

  • PLCB3

    Really Len and Jim are talking about chicken salad and mayo right now?

  • AC0000000

    Really Len and Jim are talking about chicken salad and mayo right now?

  • PLCB3

    Now they’re discussing Dartmouth University

  • AC0000000

    Now they’re discussing Dartmouth University

  • PLCB3

    Now they’re discussing chicken and waffles.

  • AC0000000

    Now they’re discussing chicken and waffles.

  • PLCB3

    Seriously? iPod playlists and Shrek?

  • AC0000000

    Seriously? iPod playlists and Shrek?

  • brad

    Just wait for a couple of years once the youngsters arrive. It is obvious the minor league system is loaded. I would probably guess they have the best system in baseball right now.

  • brad

    Just wait for a couple of years once the youngsters arrive. It is obvious the minor league system is loaded. I would probably guess they have the best system in baseball right now.