Author Archive

Milkit Badly — the final chapter. Hopefully.

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

I hate to gloat and say that I told you so, but feel free to go back to my original post on this site — and then come back. It’s okay. I’ll wait. It’s titled “Milkit Badly” and you’ll find it in the archives. Dated February 7, 2009. Go on.


{{{tapping feet}}}

Oh, good. You’re back. Can I get some of you Milton apologists to admit that this guy was a bad signing? That he had an absolutely crappy year? That, regardless of sample size, BABIP, Nationalized Health Care, or OBP — he didn’t get it done.

For the record, Mark DeRosa has 72 rbi’s — anyone else remember when I asked who would end up the year with more, DeRosa or Milky? I do. I took DeRosa. It’s unlikely that Milkit will catch him now…since HE’S DONE. He did get to forty, however. 40.

He’s an ingrate and a malcontent — and just like certain stats can predict baseball productivity; personality and character also have long term patterns…and this clubhouse cancer is a problem that needs to go. And now we hear from the teammates, too, that they are tired of the guy’s act.

Don’t go away mad, Milton. Just go away.

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Hey Yogi? It’s over.

Friday, September 4th, 2009

They’re done. And for some inexplicable reason they seem to be getting worse, not better! This is off the cuff (who has time for a .500 team?) but here are my thoughts and grades for this year: In no particular order of importance or anything else:

1. Alfonso Soriano: I don’t like him. Never really have, and less now than ever before. Bottom line? I think he’s probably just an idiot, not a bad guy. Hate the home run admiration. Hate the hop. Hate his Efense (there’s no “D” in it.) Hated the Jon Cena “can’t see me” hand thing. Hate the fact that if I threw a ball right now, in my office, into the ground? He’d swing. And miss. I know that we have a big, bad contract issue with him and that there are not too many solutions with happy endings. Why isn’t VJ asking him to try a lighter bat? Anyone else concerned that his decline in productivity and “healthful resilience” might be related to PED testing of recent years? This guy should be hitting his stride right about now…he can’t even hit that. If he’s not healthy — fine. Take the rest of the season off and let’s see him come out strong in 2010. Not sure that his hitting woes are health related, however. Grade: for all that $$$ and all those K’s? F+

2. Kosuke Fukudome: He’s had a decent year. He’s done a decent job in CF — not his natural position. Unfortunately, he’s being paid to be more than decent. Thankfully, he’s been better than last year — especially in the second half. He really does not have the power or the speed we were told he did when they signed him. Not his fault — he is what he is. A pretty good player who works hard and gives his all. Above average, but not by too much, in my opinion. He has done a better job at the leadoff spot than I expected. We’re stuck with him, too. Grade: C+ that would have been a B if he were making $8M and not $12M.

3. Milton Bradley. Um, surprise? Don’t like him. I dubbed him Milkit Badly on the first day of spring games when he drew a base on balls and hurt himself walking to first. I don’t take it back. For the record, I don’t think he’s an idiot, just a bad guy. At least he’s bounced back — somewhat — offensively since that God-awful start. Let’s see. I should say something nice. Oh, okay — he has a good eye. I don’t think he’s a clutch hitter. It seems to me that he is worse with men on base than otherwise. Stupid comments notwithstanding, he’d be okay if the rest of the supporting case were all on their game. Since they aren’t, and haven’t been, way too much has fallen on this guy’s shoulders — and he doesn’t have the shoulders to bear that weight. He should be a number 6 hitter for someone — probably a small market team that doesn’t get the national microscope that the Cubs do. He’s probably not tradeable. Hopefully, he’ll adapt and be much better next year. Defensively, he’s been okay. Not great, but not bad, and he catches the balls he’s supposed to which in my mind is the most important thing. Grade: C- (C as in Can’t shut up, Can’t drive in runs, and Coming on strong when it doesn’t matter)

4. Derrek Lee: I apologize to DLee for anything I said, wrote or thought about him that wasn’t entirely positive. Except for calling him out early on when he was sucking, because, well, he was sucking. But good Lord, he’s be outstanding since then and deserves the team MVP — if they give such awards on teams that grossly underperform. I have to think that his wrist is finally healed — he’d been rolling it for almost a year and a half and hitting grounders…now he’s driving those same pitches with authority. Sorry Derrek. You are the man. Also a good teammate and person, from what I can tell. Go ahead and trade Hoffpauir to an AL club. Lee will be here a few more years. Grade: A

5. AAndres Fontebaker: Okay, this is a tough one.

5a. AAron Miles could not hit water if he fell out of a boat. Period. Piss off, AAron. No one here wants you. Grade: F-

5b. Andres Blanco: He’s the guy I want out there. For one half of every inning. Just the defensive half. If Blanco and Miles had a bat fight no one would get hurt. Keep this guy as a late inning defensive replacement. And teach him to hit. Grade: C (A for defense + F for offense)

5c. Mike Fontenot: Not the guy. I wanted him to be the guy. Really, I did. But he’s not and he never will be. He’s just not that good. He’ll never be a starter — or at least shouldn’t be — because he’s just not that good. This experiment should be officially closed. Trade him. Grade: D

5d. Jeff Baker: Just the name, Baker, makes me cringe, but he’s done fairly well after a slow start for the team. Plays with some gusto and has starting hitting the ball. Hasn’t been here long enough to deserve more space in this post. Grade: B-

6. Ryan Theriot: This is it. We’ve seen the best of Ryan Theriot. Period. He isn’t getting any better. Ever. If you like what you’ve seen, than fine. If not, tough. The organization likes him and he’s the guy, for now, at short. He’s worked hard to become a fairly good hitter, and is a serviceable shortstop, despite the girl’s arm. Grade: A (because it’s the best he can do. It’s an A for effort. Which I’ve never understood, because there is no A in effort. You could say it’s an A for Affort, but that’s stupid, because affort isn’t a word. You could say E for Effort, but that’s equally stupid, because everyone knows that there is no E in the letter grading system.)

7. Aramis Ramirez: Clutch guy, even injured. He’s an important piece of the Cub puzzle, and I wish they’d shut him down now and fix that shoulder for 2010. Has turned himself into a solid defensive 3b and is truly one of the better hitters in the game — especially when it matters. Kind of the anti-Milton, in that regard. Not much to add. Grade: I’m giving him a B because he’s missed so many games, but his performance when he’s in there is obviously “A” work.

8. Geovany Soto: Let’s be blunt. Oops, sorry, Geo. Could it possible be that he’s fallen this far because Henry Blanco wasn’t there to watch over him? Just wondering. It’s got to be something, because he’s not the same guy who won the ROY last year. Let’s write it off to world’s worst case of sophomore jinx and move on. I won’t be so kind if you repeat this year’s performance next year, though, Geo. Grade: F

9. Koyie Hill: I think he’s done a great job as a backup catcher. He’s not a starting catcher — on any long term basis for a team that has post season aspirations, but as a backup? He’s great. He works hard. He tries hard. He’s not much of a hitter, but many catchers nowadays are not. He’s decent defensively. Grade: B (for Backup…who was thrust into the starting role. Can’t really complain about the way this guy has played. They should add a “no power tools” clause to his contract, though.)

 Let’s see…who else is there?

10. Reed Johnson: The Ryan Theriot of the outfield. Except older, slower and less talented. The broken foot didn’t help. I don’t see him on the team next year. Grade: I (Incomplete. Remember that one?)

11. Sam Fuld: This has to be the shortest team ever assembled and he subtracts from it. I like him as a fourth outfielder, pinch hitter, pinch runner, shoeshine boy, etc. He’s always going to give you 110%. Which for his size, is like 85% from everybody else. But whatever. Grade: C+

12. Jake Fox: Despite all the negative press on his defense, he doesn’t completely suck. Don’t get me wrong. He sucks, but not completely. I’d like to see what kind of offensive numbers he could put up if he actually played everyday. He’ll probably need to be in the AL for that to happen. The man has power and can drive in runs. Grade: A (because he’s had to play a number of positions, which isn’t easy, and has performed very well at the plate despite periods of inactivity between starts.)

13. Micah Hoffpauir: Ah, who cares? He’s trade bait.

I’ll discuss the pitching staff at another time. This has gone on way longer than I had hoped.

BTW — whatever happened to Gordon?

More later. Or not.


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Sing along with Sherm

Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

To the tune of “Little Pink Houses” 


There’s a black man with a brown glove

Standin’ out in right field

 He’s got an interest rate

Running through his head

You know he thinks he’s got it so good…

And there’s a goggleman in the bullpen

Servin’ up all kinds of slop

And they look at each other and say

It’s payday, baby, who gives a f***


Oh, but ain’t the Chicago Cubs

 Playing pitifully

 Ain’t this year’s Cubs, you know statisticallllllllllllly

Ain’t they just unlucky,

Yessirree, BABIP, yeah,

Little Grey Boxes For you and me

Oooh, yeah,


Well, there’s a young man in a new shirt

 Wishes he could get in the game

He’s got a splinter in his ass

He says, Lord this must be my destination

Cause they told me when I younger

Said, boy, your earn it and you can play

But just like everything else

Those crazy dreams came and went cuz

They got other player’s contracts to pay…


Oh, but ain’t the Chicago Cubs

Playing pitifully

 Ain’t this year’s Cubs, you know statisticallllllllllllly

Ain’t they just unlucky,

Oh, Yessirree, BABIP, yeah,

Little Grey Boxes For you and me

Oooh, yeah,


(pause for instrumental interlude and/or a snack)


Well, there’s more and more people

What do they know?

This team cannot score

But to Wrigley they gooooo…

Ooh, yeah,

And there’s winners and there’s losers

 But they ain’t no big deal

Cause the simple man, baby,

He’s paying the bills,

While the athletes, yeah, they just take pills….


Oh, but ain’t the Chicago Cubs

Playing pitifully

Ain’t this year’s Cubs, you know statisticallllllllllllly

Ain’t they just unlucky,

Yessirree, BABIP, yeah,

Little Grey Boxes For you and me

Oooh, yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Little Grey Boxes for you and me…

you and me

you and me…


(Guitar solo)

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And I quote

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Quotes from the Cub website that caught my attention:

Lou, discussing the Cub pitching and propensity to walk hitters: “in this business… if you get runners on, they score.” Brilliant. As opposed to getting them out, of course, where it is infinitely more diffucult for them to do so. Let’s try that option for a while, pitching staff.

Soto: “I don’t think he (Marmol) has anything in his head.” Gee, no kidding. In this article, Soto said that he feels Marmol’s problem is with his arm slot. Got that? ARM SLOT. Therefore, crack pitching coach is working with Marmol. On his leg kick. LEG KICK.

“Rollins launched the first pitch from Sean Marshall into the left-field seats for his 15th homer and also served up Ibanez’s blast, his 27th, and an RBI single to Pedro Feliz.” What? Rollins hit a homer and also pitched to Ibanez and Feliz? Huh?

Koyie Hill” “Any time, if it’s a guy’s first start, it’s going to be new to him,” Hill said of Samardzija.” Um, Koyie, the first ANYTHING is usually NEW to the person. That’s kind of, well, what FIRST means, doesn’t it?

“I think he (Pedro) doesn’t have the stuff he had before, but now he pitches smart,” Soriano said. Soriano, it should be noted, still hits stupid and gets dominated by the aging Martinez.

Koyie Hill again: “Pedro, to me, was Pedro,” added Cubs catcher Koyie Hill, who went 1-for-2 off Martinez. “Maybe not six, seven years ago, but he’s going to give those guys a chance to win when he goes out there.” And you know Pedro from seven years ago how? Did you have a TV in the barn? He was pitching for the Red Sox in 2002 and did get a lot of face time on the tube.

Eric Lee, on vacation from his home in Lambertville, N.J., thought Martinez’s five innings were “pretty good,” for a guy his age. Who’s age? Martinez or the jackass from Lambertville? Who writes this tripe? Who cares where one guy in the stands comes from? For that matter, who cares what he thinks. He’s a Phillie fan.

It doesn’t get easier. Cliff Lee is on the mound today. He’s pretty good. He was acquired at the trading deadline. Some teams actually go get players to improve their chances of winning divisions and postseasons. The Cubs, however, just continue to say how “injuries are a part of the game.” Yes. Yes they are. So are trades. My opinion is that this team, with this personnel and this coaching staff won’t win the division. You’ll think it’s drastic and that I’m nuts, but I think this team needs to be blown up and rebuilt. Starting with the management. And you can quote me on that.

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Who to blame?

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

Sure baseball is a “win some, lose some” sport. Sure, close games can go either way. And when you get blown out — a la the final two in Colorado, you just say “oh well, it happens,” and you move on to the next series. Losing closer games is harder — you wonder what coulda, shoulda been done to win the game. You look for blame to place.

So, last night — who do you blame?

1. Lou for pulling Harden with only 87 pitches? Is there some sort of law in Lou’s world that pitchers have to come out after seven innings or 100 pitches, whichever comes first?

2. The offense? Ten hits and seven walks really ought to yield more than three runs in 12 innings. Again — does this team lack clutch?

3. Marmol — I mean one HBP and three walks and a hit in two thirds of an inning? Really? Really? Send him down. He needs help. His problem is either mechanical or it’s between his considerable ears.

4. Gregg — Oh, yeah, I feel good when he comes in. Tingly all over.

5. The 0 for 9 Soto/Soriano combo? Tough day for the 5/6 spot. Why is Soto hitting 5 again? Because he came off the DL swinging such a hot bat? No, can’t be that. Because he was on fire back when he got hurt? No. Can’t be that. Hmm. I wonder.

6. Injuries? It’s easy to say “all the injuries are at fault” but what team doesn’t have injuries during the season? And even with the injuries, the Cubs have fielded a fairly good team all year…or at least an expensive one…it just hasn’t produced.

7. Jim Hendry — for not improving the team enough in the areas that are the most needed at the trade deadline. Just wondering who you blame?

Me? I blame them all. Mostly I blame myself for caring.

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