Preview: I Can't Believe It's Not Biittner
I Can't Believe It's Not Biittner
If I had a Billion dollars..I'd buy you a green dress?
...But not a real green dress, that's cruel. Or a corn cob dress for our friends at 1060 West lol.Driving home from Peoria today, while stuck in impassable trafffic, I caught some of the WSCR "Last Call" show. They continually asked the question "What do you do with the Cubs?.." and would then rip on Prior, Rusch, or another Cub, and cackle like hyenas.So, without further ado, here is what I would do with the Cubs if I was Jim Hendry. I will take this approach because getting MacFail fired is like wanting lower taxes; it ain't gonna happen.1) Be a man, fire Dusty Baker.So long, farewell, no hard feelings. It is June 18th, and this miserable excuse for a ballclub is 16 games behind the Cardinals in the division, and 10.5 games back in the Wild Card behind Cincinnati. Time to sing Auld Lang Syne to 2006, and get ready for 2007. Dusty was given a steaming pile of ox manure masquerading as a major-league roster, but he has not helped a bit. Crazy double switches, trotting out Glendon Rusch again and again, his baffling man love for Neifi, constant shuffling of the lineup....nothing has worked. No free agents want to come play for Dusty, no one in their right mind anyway.2)Name, on an interim basis for the rest of the year, Chris Speier manager, Von Joshua hitting coach, Don Buford baserunning/OBP/3rd base coach, and ask Fergie Jenkins to fill in an pitching coach.3)Jettison players that will have no chance to be a part of the team in 2007, by trade or DFA.Eating a few salaries will not be fun, but those salaries are a sunk cost. We would pay them whether the player is here or not, and if they can't positively contribute, cut'em loose.This means that the following players will be gone:Neifi Perez-can't hit, can't run, can't get on base.Tony Womack-36 years old, terrible career OBP, not someone to build around.Glendon Rusch-C'mon.....John Mabry-Left his talent in St.Louis I guess.Roberto Novoa-Walk them all...Walk them all Machine!!!!!Phil Nevin-When Lee gets back and is healthy, buh-byeFreddie Bynum-I hear that there's an opening with the Ham Fighters...Henry Blanco-Hank, great week.Kerry Wood-Take your 100 year old arm, and go away.Greg Maddux-Hall of Fame, here he is.It will hurt to trade Greg, but even he has to realize the pain that he will suffer by pitching here the rest of the year. Also, Blanco has been on fire lately, but his "huge" week had him 8/14, with 2 HR's and 6 RBI's..and he' still hitting .179/.250/.268.No one is that good defensively.4)If these players are let go for considerations, or minor leaguers, recall at least 4 of the following:Ryan TheriotNo power to speak of, and no chance on the field last time up. Will he save us like Neifi? Probably not, but he is hitting .307 at AAA Iowa, wit a .373 OBP, is 12/13 in SB'sRich HillThrow him in the pen in the "I Can't be as Bas AS Will Ohman" role..let him pitch.Nic JacksonOnce a highly touted prospect, he's battled his way back from severe shoulder injuries. He's a solid 4th OF type, and maybe more. Or maybe not, but he's hitting .311 at West Tenn, his OPS is .858, and he' s9/11 in SB's.Christopher WalkerI don't know if he's just Juan Pierre lite, but he's got speed. His Obp is only .340, but he's 22/31 in SB's, and has 10 doubles, and 5 triples.Eric PattersonHe is not like his brother in that he played in college, and has had some extended success in the minors. He is geting on base at a .342 clip, and slugging .426. Oh, he's also 20/25 in SB's.Thomas Atlee/Rocky Cherry/Clay Rapada.All 3 very solid relivers at West Tenn this year, all at least 3-1 in K/BB ratio.I am not saying to bring all of these guys up, but some of them? Definitely.5)Pick a lineup and use it. Minor shuffling due to injury, platoon, or resting a player is fine, but some stability would be nice.6)Here's the rotation for the next 2 months:1)Zambrano-He is the man!2)Prior- 2006 debut notwithstanding, he'll be ok. He has to throw the curve for strikes more consistently.3)Marshall-Up and down, but he has shown enough to continue to pitch. Not as overpowering as some, but seems to "get it" that lo[...]
What could happen next?
I give up,...i mean, this should've at least gone into extra innings. JJ's weak throw that let in the first run didn't decide the game, but it sure let the Padres into it!!
Time and time again, the Cubs have made fundamental mistakes in all facets of the game: pitching, fielding, hitting, and baserunning. It is not one person, it is all of the Cubs, for the most part. I am not going to go on a rant aboout how pathetic they are, I am not going to rave about Dusty Baker's boneheaded lineups and double switches. I will not do thes things because there isn't enough space in the blog to thoroughly disseminate this problem. I will, however discuss solutions to the problems at hand.
1)Dusty Baker must be fired.
This year is shot. It is May13th, yes, but this is a team without a rudder, a man without a country, a Hendry without a donut. Dusty is not the only one to blame here, as he as certainly left twisting in the wind by Jim Hendry's failure to have alternatives in the rotation and on the bench. He will not settle on a lineup, and insists on plays Neifi, Fast Freddie, and other mediocrities in a rotating pile of beetle dung he inserts into the lineup. This team is at a crossroads, they are spiritless, and disheartened. A change must be made.
2) Players must be held accountable.
Physical mistakes happen, but players repeatedly getting doubled off of bases, forgetting how many outs there are, and not being able to throw the ball from the OF to the infield grass on the fly...these things are inexcusable. Period.
3)Out with the old crap, in with the new crap.
I was listening to WSCR today, and Zack Zaidman (spelling?) came out and berated the Cubs minor league system, asking who they could bring up from Iowa.
The answer is very few players. However, most AAA teams are a place players go to play out the string, learn a new pitch/position, or to bide time until a spot is open. AA is where the real proving ground is anyway...
Instead of bringing up Ryan Theriot, a player that I like, by the way, why not bring up Buck Coats? He can play all 3 outfield positions...3B or 2B in a pinch...he's fast..has a good arm...abnd he's hitting .362!!!!! So he won't hit a lot of HR's but who cares??? We need people who can hit, and run, and get on base. No one else is hitting the long ball either.
At West Tenn? Micah Hoffpauir is hitting .279, with 10 HRs and 30 RBI, and has 20 BB to 24 K's.. put him at 1B instead of Walker, and move Todd back to 2B where he belongs. Luis Montanez..yes THAT Luis Montanez, is hitting .384, and has an OPS of .954. OF Chris Walker is fast, and can hit. He's hitting .313, with obp of .367, and 13 SB's. Why not bring up an outfielder that can play instead of burying Theriot on the bench behind our other second basemen, Walker, Perez, Hairston, Bynum, Bump Wills, Steve Dillard, and Curtis Wilkerson?
Other teams bring up these kind of players to fill in all the time. We choose to stick a "cagey veteran" in there, which means "someone else's cast-off" will play, instead of maybe catching lightning in a bottle with a younger player. For every Gary Gaetti there is a Lenny Harris or a John Mabry.
I don't think that the Cubs can get back into the racem but at least these moves would make the team interesting again.
Ronny Cedeno is NOT the Antichrist!!!
Ok...Ronny C. had a crappy game last night, going 0/5, leaving about 371 men on base. I thought he he a 3 run jack early in the game, but pulled it just foul.
He was not the only Cub to struggle last night, as the Cubs failed to score again, losing 69-0 to the D-Backs.
Who else sucked? Well....where shall we start?
Todd Walker 0/4
1/4, 2 K's
Hammerin' Henry Blanco, 0/2, 1BB, 1K, now hitting a rather Mick Kelleher-like .087 on the year.
4IP, 5ER, 6H, 1K, 2BB.
He just looks too timid out there
Juan Cruz looked pretty frigging good out there, with 5IP, 7K's, 2BB, and most importantly, 0 ER!
Remember, we traded him for the immortal Andy Pratt....Juan struggled at times with the Cubs, but he was, as usual, put on the trolley that the Cubs like to use...Chicago Rotation...Iowa bullpen....Chicago bullpen...Chicago rotation....christ!!!
Give a a pitcher a role, and let him stick with it!!!
What a novel idea...because the Johnathon Papelbons of the world are few and far between.
Without further ado, here is a special guest, Gaius Marius:Thanks Dusty. Its great to be here. I watch the Cubs very closely, and the reason they are not winning is Ronny Cedeno. Last night was a bad night, but Wednesday was even worse, as he had 3 hits and a stolen base!!!!DB: Um..How is that bad?GM: Well..he was clogging up all the bases, and...uh..DB: Didn't he also turn a really good double play too?GM: Yes, but Neifi Perez could have done that..I mean, he is a gold glover after all...DB: But isn't it true that Neifi won ONE Gold Glove, and that was 6 years ago???!!And isn't it also true that Neifi, despite having "saved"us last year is hitting a cool .186 this year?GM: Well yes, but Neifi has only had 43 at-bats, at 22 of those outs were line drives hit right at people....and all against Oswalt and Carpenter..with the wind blowing in....DB: Wait a minute.....come here...GM: No...get away from me!!!! (struggle)DB: (pulling off GM's mask) A-ha!! I knew it...Neifi Perez all along!!GM(DP): I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you ......DB: Save it pal...now take a hike....
note: the above interview was purely fiction, and served only to skewer the opinions of Neifi lovin', Cedeno hating, fact ignoring Gaius Marius. I will stil read his blog, and, besides the bias against Cedeno, is still informative and interesting.
I will also continue to believe that a much cheaper, faster, younger SS with some upside is still better than Neifi F. Perez.
Let's wait a year before running Ronny oout of town, okay?
For all of you Neifi fans......
What a revoltin' development!!!! Zach Duke is good, but he isn't Sandy Fucking Koufax!!!!!
My god......9IP, 2K, 1BB...5 hits....Saying that the Cubs were futile yesterday is like saying Tom Hanks new hairstyle is ridiculous.
Apparently, Jerry F. Hairston forgot that he is supposed to be a major league player, as he is 4 for his last 24 AB's, hitting a robust .167....That makes Neifi Perez look like Albert Pujols in comparison.
What's that? Oh....Neifi is a cool 2 for 21 in the same span, hitting .095. For all of you kids listening at home, that is not good.
Ronny C., while struggling a bit, is 12 for 45, for a .267 avg.
So for anyone out there clamoring for defensive wizard and part-time savior to take over at SS, let's nip this in the bud. Neifi is a defensive replacement, backup player...period.
You want the truth? YOU CAN'T HANDLE
....ah, forget it.....
The main reasons the Schlubs are struggling are:
1)Pitching, or lack thereof....
Yesterday was a decent example, with Guzman giving up 3 walks and 2 HBP. He still comes out looking okay if Rafael Novoa could pick up the ball......or kick it into the end zone ....
Too many walks, not enough outs. Yikes.
What the hell happened to him? The last 2 weeks, he's hitting .222...at least he has 8 BB to 4 K's...i guess. Talk about damning with faint praise.
He is hitting .273 since April 15, but has too many 0fer games, and, since he doesn't walk much, too many games where he ain't on base.
I could take the time to discuss Jacque Jones' follies at the plate, in the field, or on the basepaths, but I just don't have that kind of time or energy.
On another note..screw Mike Restovich...bring up Buck Coates from Iowa, and let him PH, fill in in the OF at 1B, , etc......he seems like he can hit a little, and is fast as weell. Not a lot of power there, but he does have 3 doubles and 2 HR's this year, hitting .338, with OBP of .386.
He can't be worse than Freddie Bynum or Mike Restovich, because they are just putrid.
Tomorrow's Another Day?
Geez....not much positive to say about getting positively mollywhopped by the Brew Crew this weekend.
I guess a quick review would suffice:
He is terrible. He should not be on a major league roster. He had a few nice games over the years, but his stats so far are just mind-boggling:
Record of 1-4, 8.46 ERA, 11 Home Runs
!!! Holy Crap!!!
I'd much rather give Rich Hill a shot..at least he's younger, and had throw harder than 83 mph if needed.
He was not good. He didn't have much today..4 IP, 7 ER, 1 HR.....ugh.
Anytime he wants to show up this year is fine with me.
Dusty Double Switch:
I'm leasving that alone. I have nothing new to add on his insane manuevers.
Cripes..there's just not much positive to talk aboout...Todd Walker keeps hitting, Scott Williamson pitched well today out of the bullpen...other than that...ugh.
So who comes up to help out this bedraggled bullpen?
I'd guess...mmm..Rich Hill to make a spot start or 2..Rusch DFA'd....Aardsma sent down...maybe bring up..geez...Les Walrond? Clay Rapada?
Any ideas guys?
Nails For Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks
Well surprise, surprise, surprise, the Cubs snatched victory from the jaws of defeat, pulling out a 6-3 win against the Kane County Cougars.....I mean, Florida Marlins.
Jacque Strapp showed up for one at bat, but he made it count, going balls deep against the struggling Josh Johnson.
After the game, the man of the moment ripped the Cub fans for ripping him. Now, while it may be a little early to boo him consistently, Jacque is in for a real eye-opener if he puts up the numbers he did last year:
.249 ba, with .319/.438/.757 peripherals, 23 HR and 73 RBI.
Sadly, his career numbers show that his career average is not much better than that. So let's just enjoy his success where we can get it, okay? Good job last night, now put the gimp suit back on Jacque...
On another positive note, Carlos Zambrano fought through some"Cabrera-itis" to pitch a pretty decent game. If the Cubs are going to do anything this year, "El Toro" needs to step it up.
Sean Marshall goes tonight, and it would be nice to see him get to 90 pitches and 6IP, yes?
Anyone else happy with Cedeno in the 2nd spot? Just me? Discuss people!!!!
I Write Sins, Not Tragedies
Nothing to do with the Cubs so far, but a great title, huh? Thank you Panic!Attack at the Disco, who are a really good group..great music.
An interesting start so far, and looking to be really interesting until he-who -shall not-be-named comes off the DL in July or so.
The Cubs are 9-7, with a number of serious questions staring them in the face, most importantly this:Who told Dusty Baker to try to micro manage every effing game?
God...it was like watching my slow cousin Dennis take on a supercomputer in chess.....ugly, plain and simple.
Here's a clue Dustbin, leave it alone. here's the lineup:
7)Whoever is stepping in for Lee
Put it in, and walk away slowly....
The game will take care of itself, okay Professor(not!)
The Cubs need to play .500 ball until Lee gets back, and go from there. This was not a team poised for a championship, but that needed everything to fall into place to legitimately contend.
Let Marshall pitch, let Ronny and Carrot Top play every day, and see what we have, ok?
Also, if Jacque Strapp does not pick it up by June 1st, bring up Felix Pie, put him in RF, and the 7th slot in the order, and let him play. Screw what happened to K-orey Patterson, Pie is not Patterson.
Pitchers And Catchers Report....Sweet
Pitchers and catchers report...it is truly sweet to hear those words.
It's been a long, mostly dormant winter for the Cubs, and I figure that the sooner the season starts, the more likely we can get Kerry Wood's team crippling injury out of the way.
That's why i named my fantasy team Kerry Wood's Labrum....pause......that's what I wanted...that sigh of disgust/amusement.
I read in the Sun Times that Hendry hopes Wood to be primed to make 30+ starts. He also expects that Neifi Perez will hit .350, and that Matt Murton will hit 50 HRs...
Please excuse me while I seem to doubt Donut Jim's rather.. optimistic expectation of the oft-injured Wood.
Oh well....lets just enjoy the start of Spring Training.
Lee's on First, but Who's on Second??
Good question..um..Steve Dilliard? Mike Tyson..Bump Wills?
Todd Walker would be a decent choice, except he seems to have pissed off Dusty and Big Jim, so he looks like he'll be traded to the Siberian National team for a dozen balls and a fungo bat or two. Yee..gods...It is a weird off-season when the Cubs are debating keeping Corey Patterson, and jettisoning Todd Walker...I guess the Cubs are hoping that Corey will give Bobby Bonds' record a run for its money? There really only a few viable options at 2B for the 2006 season:
1)Play Cedeno at 2nd..Neifi!! at SS..ok..why switch the young, up and coming player rather than the iffy, good-glove no-hit veteran who will piss of most Cub fans and bat second even though he should be on the bench? Answer..Who the fuck knows why Dusty does these things?? He wants to be The Genius someday...instead of being The Dumbass like he is now.
2) Reverse #1..this makes sense, as long as Murton hits either #2 or #6, and Perez is relegated to the 8 spot...in fact, if Neifi! is playing, the 8-spot is a great place for him.
3) This is my favorite option: Play Cedeno at SS, and Walker at 2nd, bat Waler 2nd and Cedeno 7th...and bat Neifi 10th.....
4)Trade for Jose Vidro..replace his knees with bionic parts..and play Cedeno/Vidro, and hope that Vidro hits like he did 2 years ago.
Any thoughts out there Cub Fans? Anyone else think that opening day will end up looking like:
8)Neifi/Cedeno..(please let it be Cedeno)
Well..its been an interesting offseason...not much has gone the Cubs' way. In a nutshell, the cupboard is a little bare. Lets quickly review:
1)Traded for Juan Pierre:
This solves our leadoff problem/CF problem, and paves the way for the end of the Corey Patterson error..I mean era. If Pierre hits his normal .300, with 50 steals and 95 runs, the Cubs will start off 2-5 wins better than last year. Bad arm aside, he won't hurt too much in CF, and will be a welcome sight for the heart of the Cubs' order.
2) Signed John Mabry:
Well..he could help the bench, and can play several positons....there will be a problem if he gets more than 350-300 ABs.
3) Sent Jon Leicester to the Rangers for a PTBNL:
Relatively harmless, as the Iceman probably didn't figure in the team's plans for 2006. Here's hoping he gets a fair shake in Texas..he's got some decent stuff, if he harness it.
4)Sent Jermaine VanBuren to Boston for a PTBNL:
This I don't get. A pitcher has a solid season in AA, an outstanding season in AAA, and a decent cup of coffe iin the bigs...and gets traded for basically nothing. Wildness aside, JVB looked to be an improvement ove Rafael Novoa, Todd Wellemeyer, etc. Not necessarily a big part we're trading, but good bullpen arms are few and far between..see the Cubs last year for proof.
5) DFA'd Jose Macias:
I could go on and on about this, but anybody is an upgrade over this useless player.
6)Signed Neifi Perez to a 2 year deal worth $5 million...:
Geez..if this makes Neifi a starter...the Cubs are in trouble...unless Tejada is at SS, or Abreu is in RF, and those moves aren't happening!!
Where does this leave the Cubs?
1) A gaping hole in RF and the 5 spot in the batting order.
The thought of Jacques Jones, Reggie Sanders, or ...hmmm...geez, I dunno.''..Larry Biittner in right field just chaps my ass!!!! The Cubs can't wait for Pie...or Guffman..or Mr. Goodbar....the 2006 season is coming soon. Aubrey Huff? Not a bad idea, but who do the Cubs trade to get him?
Jerome Williams? Rich Hill? Corey Patterson? Who else in the minors is worth trading..that we would want to let go of? Jae-Kuk Ryu? Chadd Blasko? Luke Hagerty? Kidding folks..kidding.
With a starting rotation of :
and?..a cast of thousands...Williams..Rusch...Hill....um....Koronka (YIPE!!)
This team is not that deep there everyone, and we can't count on Wood for more than 150 IP and 8-10 wins.
Kevin Millwod is available..for a decent price. Get him, and I'd feel a lot better about the rotation if we were to trade Hill or Williams.
Who the hell knows what Hendry is going to do?
Hey...It's Another Win!!! Keep'em Coming!!!
Well, the hometown heroes took the series finale today, beating the Pirates 8-2. Shouldn't they just combine KC and Pittsburgh already? I mean, I cannot figure out why the Pirates are so bad..every year!!!! Ok, well, I can..but they seem to have some talent, but a cast of also rans like Matt Lawton and Daryle Ward surrounding them. These guys are ok, but they won't take you to the next level. Anyway, here's a brief review of the game:
M-V-Lee!!: 2/5, 1HR, 1RBI, 2 runs, and a silly error. hey, he makes most of the plays!!
Burnitz: 3/5, 2RBIs, 1R, 12B. 1HR. This guy has my vote for the "glue" guy. He's not the team MVP by any stretch, but he is rock solid day in and day out.
A-Ram:3/5, 2R, 2RBIs, 12B, 1HR. There is a reason that he is on the all-star team folks.
Mulletsworth: 2/2, 2BB's, 1R. I don't care how well he does, he projects out this year to ( 9HRs and 52 RBIs...this still stinks. He would be great 1 time a week, and off the bench the rest of the week.
Walker: 1/5, 2K's..not a real good game for Walkah!!!!
Ohman: 1/3 IP, 1H, 1ER...not too good, son...
Hairy Hairston: 0/5, with 4LOB. Ok, so maybe he isn't going to do it every day. Let's just keep these kida days to a minimum, please.
Game Ball goes to......Carlos Zambrano!!!! 8 IP, 1 unearned run, and 1/4 with 2RBIs. This is a good game, for anyone. The 4BB's are still a bit too high, however.
The Cubs stroll into Cincinnati, and look to take it to the Reds. With the Houston Pusbags weekend debacle in St' Louis, the Cubs moved back into 2nd place by 1.5 games, albeit 13 games out of first, and 4 back in the wild card. The Cubs really need to take 3 of 4 here, and hope that the Marlins continue to play like the D-rays, and that the Phillies bring back Larry Bowa as guest manager for the rest of the season. Then, the Cubs will have a shot..or I will just be tremendously amused...whichever.
What Have We Learned?
Well..the Cubs can certainly beat up on the Pirates...which they are supposed to do, right?
Jerry Hairston looks comfortable leading off, and T-Walk is hitting pretty well in the 2-spot.
If D-Lee starts to hit again, this could be a formidable lineup. Today is a good day to catch up on the minor leaguers, so we will.
Rich Hill threw 7 innings last night, giving up 2 earned runs, with 1BB and 10K's.
He sure seems to have the goods as a starting pitcher, at least for AAA..I'd be surprised not to see him get called up in September. Please do not trade him away, Cubs. We haven't had a good lefty for quite a while....hmm..Steve Trout? Greg Hibbard?
Jason Dubois: 3/4 last night, with an RBI. He needs 2 weeks of solid ABs, and I'll bet he gets included in a trade. He can hit, and its a shame that Dusty wouldn't play him much. Contrary to popular belief, 75 ABs in May is NOT
a real shot at being the starter.
Corey Patterson: 0/3, but no K's last night...this is progress I guess? I don't see him back up until September..if at all.
Other helpful Iowa guys:
Mike Fontenot: .282 avg, with .386/.452/.838..not bad.
J Van Buren: 2.23 ERA, 15 saves...36.1 IP, 45K-16BB...gee, he might be worth taking a look!!!
Talley Haines: 2.57ERA, 9K's-0BB in 7IP. Did well at West Tenn before getiting called up.
West Tenn: Iowa bound?
Ryan Theriot(2B) hitting .300, with peripherals of .354/.394/.748..17 SB/6CS. No pop, but maybe as a utility guy, or @B next year if Walker goes.
Brandon Sing: 1B-OF: The guy is hitting .295, with p's of .404/.567/.971..this is good..in any league. 18 HRs and 47 RBIs...lets keep an eye on this guy.
Renyel Pinto: 5-1, with 2.06 ERA. Ok..the guy is an animal in AA. Put him in the rotation in Iowa, now that he has his command back, and leave him there the rest of the season.
Jae-Kuk Ryu: He's baaaaaaaaa-aack.. 7-4, with a 3.50 ERA, 105.1Ip, 80Ks/36BB's. He'll be in Iowa next year, or get a look in the bullpen in spring training.
There is some hope for the future, Cubs fans.
Okay..Let's Assess the Damage...There's a Hurricane?
Ok, not to make light of those suffering during Hurricane Dennis, I was speaking of the damage done by the beloved Cubs over the first 87 games.The Cubs are 43-44, 13.5 back of the Cardinals in the Central Division, and 6.0 games back of Atlanta in the Wild Card. They are tied for 6th in the NL in Runs, are 13th in OBP and SB %, 2nd in HRs, 8th in stolen bases, last in wlaks taken, and 13th in strikeouts(hitting). They are also 7th in errors, tied for 11th in saves, 10th in ERA, 3rd in HRs allowed, 4th in walks allowed(most), and lead the league in strikeouts.In short folks, this is a mediocre team, with a capital M!Lets take a look at the lineup, postion by position:C-Mike Barrett: batting .264, OBP of .323, SLG .448...9HR and 38 RBI....18BB/28K...A pretty solid 1st half for Mike. Let's hope that, with some rest, he can continue to play well, and maybe end up with...say....15HRs, 55 RBIs, and get that avg up around .275 or so.1B:Derrek Lee: He is very, very good. Despite what Joe "Sack of Shit" Morgan says, he is the MVP of the NL right now. That may be a different story at the end of the year, but we will see.peripherals of .452/.733/1.185 are just sick!!!! 45 HRs is not out of reach, and if the guys at the top of the order get on base at all in the second half, 135 -150 RBIs is not unreachable either.2B: Todd Walker: He has been pretty good, but not great. He's starting to get his rhythm back after the knee injury, and could have a strong second half in the 2 hole hint, hint!.358/.468/.926 will do nicely, and his defense is adequate too. With Grudzelaniek cooling off, Walker will look even better as the year goes on.SS: Neifi Effing Perez...Guh!! What is he still doing in this lineup?? I'll give props for a tremendous April, but he has just been horrible since!!!! I mean Mario Mendoza-Bad, Hal Lanier bad.....sheesh...look at these numbers:April:.397/.569/.966May: .277/.370/.647June: .241/.312/.553July: .209/.220/.429.(only 10 games, but yikes!!!) Anyone notice a pattern?? Dusty? Anyone??I do not want to hear any bullshit about how he is a good fielder, and that Cedeno is too young, or whatever. The rest of the month of July should belong to Cedeno..let's see what he can do, because Neifi is sinking faster than the Lusitania.....and if Cedeno falters, hopefully Nomar will come back as scheduled. Cedeno cannot be this much worse than Neifi...its just not possible.3B: A-Ram...Other than a few lapses in the field, and the lingering groin injury, he has had a good 1st half. He deserved his All-Star berth, and is one of the top 4 3B's in the game.Locking him up for 4 years was a smart decision, for a change...one we'd like to see continue..356/.549/.905 are really good numbers.LF: Everyone knows how I feel on this. I will be brief.Hollandsworth:.316/.423/.739...he is hitting .324 over his last 10 games, with 2HR and 7RBIs..nice....he is still the 4th OF, and should be played that way!!! God....his career numbers of .335/.446/.781 are average, at best for a LF, and he ain't gonna reach those, folks!He's been so hot lately, that he is up to .269 avg...with 5 HRs and 29 RBIs...gee, he's just great....Rookie Kelly Johnson, of Atlanta, is batting .258, 6HRs and 24 RBI in 132 ABs (compared to 208), with peripherals of .376/.447/.823...yep, Mulletsworth ain't that good.Dew-boy got 75 ABs in May to prove himself....75!! Well, if you can't cut it after that many at-bats....I hope that Murton continues to produce, or he'll be riding the pine himself.CF: Patterson....he stunk. Didn't hit for power or average, struck out a lot, and couldn't get on base to save his life. Iowa is a good place for him to spend July and August. Hairston must have really pissed off Dusty, because he flatly refused to play him regul[...]
Seriously, folks, it's starting to get a little old here. The Cubs struggle to get runs....bullpen blows the game...gutty start wasted.
It may jut be time to face facts:that this is just not a very good team. We have weak links in CF, SS, LF, the bullpen, and a the top of the order. We are last in the National League in taking walks, 14th in OBP, and 7th in runs scored, while having the 3rd highest batting average. I'm not sure what K-orey's trade value would be, but it is clear tht he needs a change of scenery, even if only a move to the bench.
Dusty loooooves veterans, and Neifi? is just that. He would look great as our fill-in, backup infielder, but he gets to play everyday, even as his OBP gets closer to .290....ugh.
Also, I am sick of hearing about his great glove;he is slightly above-average, at best!!!
Here is what the team should look like, if no major trades are made, come August 1.
1b:Dopirak...just kidding.. M-V-Lee
No arguments here, these 5 are really solid, as long as they are healthy.
I'll tell you this:Rich Hill, Renyel Pinto, and a few others could get looks too.
This dog won't hunt, and is in need of a makeover. It's not time to back up the truck, but it might be time to back up the van!
Seriously, Neifi Stinks!!!!
Ok..its been a few days...pull up a chair, and we'll get up to speed...
K-orey and Neifi!!! still stink!!!!!!
The Cubs have won 3 in a row
"Z" is back on track.
Welcome to back to the bigs Ronny Cedeno. Here's hoping that Dusty Toothpick will realize that Neifi? is a good utility infielder, who, like Mulletsworth, looks worse the more you see him on the field. Since his outstanding April of .403/.559/.962..wow!!!, he has posted the following peripherals:
I am not a genius, or even Bill Nye:The Science Guy, but that is a disturbing trend....and he keeps batting 2nd!!! WTF!!!!!!!!!! What, did Jim Essian take over the reins? (Please, God..NOOOOOO!!!!!)
Even if Cedeno reverts to his last year's "breakout" stats, he'll still be at .328/.401/.729, and if he does anything near his current numbers of .415/.552/.967, which is unlikely, it'll be an upgrade at shortstop, and Perez instead of Wilson upgrades the bench. Period, no argument!
Ok.....the next topic is the unfortunate task of retooling the lineup, it should be this:
Left Fielder DuJour
It is also time to say goodbye to Sweaty Joe, who is a great guy, but he's been just flammable this year, and he can take Remlinger with him. This opens up a spot for Wood, and means that we could either bring back Rich Hill (10Ks, 1BB tonight at Iowa), or bring up Jermaine Van Buren ASAP, after the injury is healed.
Trading some amalgamation of K-orey, Mitre, Dubois, Fontenot, and Marshall/Nolasco/Valdez
for a real CF/lead-off guy wouldn't be bad either. I'm telliing ya', TB needs pitching, and Joey Gathright would look pretty good in CF for the Cubs....go ahead, look him up......
Until next time, Go CUBS!!!!
They Call It A Streak...
A small one, but a streak nonetheless, as the Cubs win their second in a row, defeating the Brew Crew and their vaunted rookies 4-2. Let's take a peek at those rookies:Rickie Weeks: 0/4, 2K, 1EPrince Fielder: 0/4, 2K, 6 brats, 2 nachos, 4 beers...JJ Hardy: 0/1, 2BB, 1 ENot a great day for the "Brewer Brats," as those errors directly resulted in 2 runs scoring. Geoff Jenkins played the part of Mosies Alou in right Field, giving Hollandsworth a gift 3-bagger. Grrrr...we'll never get him out of the lineup with all of these infield hits and gifts from the other team....ok, so I am biased...sue me. The highlights include a 2-run HR by both M-V-Lee and Aramis (don't call me d'artagnan) Ramirez, and a nice first start5 from Jerome Williams:7IP, 3H, 2R, both earned, 6K/4BB..2 solo shots to Bill Hall...who is having a heck of a year.Not too shabby...if he can do that a few more times, he would justify sending either Mitre or Rusch to the pen, because, frankly, the pen is a little scary these days, tonight's performance notwithstanding.Here is what the Cubs need to do to poise themselves for a run at the playoffs:1) Solidify the bullpen:Bartosh is gone..ok, a good first step. Say goodbye, and fond wishes to Sweaty Joe, and he has a biger fork sticking out of him than Leno LaBianca did in 1969...Bring up Van Buren and send Glendon/Mitre to the bullpen. We need a long relief guy in the pen,and either one of thes 2 would fit the bill. Use Ohman sparingly, and for no more than a LOOGY..for now anyway.2) Solidify the Bench:Ok..it gets tricky here...release Enrique Wilson...I don't know what he brings to the table, but takes away more than he brings...avergae glove, no power, no stick....no chance to help!!!I'm resigned to Jose Macias..fine, but no starting him in the same lineup with Henry Blanco!!!! Never, ever, ever!!!!!! Speaking of defensive wizard Blanco....goodbye.....Geovany Soto is younger, cheaper, and couldn't possibly hit any worse, could he? Could he????!!!Holly should be the 4th OF/pinch hitter deluxe.....he's hitting .258, and everyone acts like he is frickin' starting material.....geez, give me Henry Rodriguez over this shmo anyday!!!Bring back Ben Grieve..he ain't much, must he has some pop, will take a walk, and is better than what we got on the bench, that's for sure!!!3)When Prior/Wood coome back, and if they have a modicum of success..Pull the effing trigger, and make a trade!!!!!!! Or I'll send you off to God-damn military school, with the Finkelstein-shit kid...Son...of a bitch!!!!!! It is obvious that we need a leadoff hitter and/or a left fielder, as we sure aren't going to give Dubois or Hairston a chance....How about Mitre, Patterson/Dubois for Randy Winn and a minor leaguer? Winn isn't great, but he has some pop, gets on base...has some speed, and could play CF for the Cubs and bat leadoff.Hey, .362/.389/.751 may not seem great, but its better than our current CF.....290/.411/.701....290 OBP....not too good, son....That one doesn't do it for you? How about trading a package of Mitre/Pinto/Sing/Patterson/Weurtz for Aubrey Huff and Joey Gathright? Gathright has little power, but tons of speed, and he gets on base...something the Cubs sorely lack. At AAA Durham, he is batting .304, with peripherals of .394//.398/.792, with 24SB/6CS, and his obp in 3 minor league seasons is .391. I know that the D-Rays are full in the OF with Crawford/Gomes/Hollins, and Baldelli coming back next year, along with uber-prospect Delmon Young on the way, but they are sorely lacking in pitching, relief, starting, you name it., as evidenced in tonights shellacking at the hands of the Yankees, 20-11(not a typo)4)Bring up Ronny (not [...]
Drooling,Sycophantic, Unoriginal Idiots....
Sorry, but these are the nicest things that I could say about the Chicago area sportswriters...mostly anyone writing about the Cubs.
I, for one, am tired of reading the umpteenth article on how "the Cubs let Dontrelle Willis get away.." or, "Dontrelle is the new Lou Brock." Knock it off, you pedantic, posturing piles of dung!!!!!
Willis was a 19-year old, with barely a full year of minor league experience when the Cubs traded him to Florida. Heck, I was all for the trade, as we needed a stopper in the bullpen and another starter. Now, who knew that Alfonseca would just burst into flames? After saving 21,45, and 28 games for the Fish, that he would turn into Mel Rojas? Clement gave the Cubs 3 solid years in the rotation. To get something, you have to give something. Reading some of these sportswriters columns is like listening to George Costanza telling Jerry how he's figured out "how to get Bonds and Griffey..." It is just not always as easy as Bruback and Hill for Ramirez...and...wait who did we get?...anyway, you get the point. It's like they recycle the same old slop, over and over.
Give me Desipio, Ivychat, or Bleedcubbieblue(sic) anyday of the week for insightful Cubs talk.
I was unfortunately watching the horrific movie "I Love Trouble" with Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts....great chemistry there....like the Cubs had with Delino DeShields.....ugh!!!....anyway, I watched Nolte's character "recycle" an old column, patting himself on the back, and I just had to laugh as I was reminded of the putrid tripe we were subjected to over the last week.
I Hate To Gripe, But....
Ok...the Cubs took a shellacking today...in a big way, gettin' mollywhopped by the Fish, 15-5.
Now, I won't even go into Maddux's performance, as he will get smacked from time to time:Hey, he is 39 years old! The bullpen, on the other hand......ewwwwwwww.
Wellemeyer: 1.1IP, 3H, 3ER, 1k 0BB, 2HR
Rich Hill: 1IP, 3H, 2ER, 2K, 0BB, 0HR..a little shaky in the debut, but understandably so.
Remlinger: 1IP, 2H, 3ER, 2K. 1HR...by Luis Freakin' Castillo..unbelievable!
Wuertz: 1IP, 4H, 0ER, oK/BB
Dempster: 1IP, 1K, 0ER
Ok...now I'm Dusty Baker...and I have tremendous potential upside..
and the game is getting out of reach..I put in the rookie, who takes a few lumps..from Cabrera and Lowell, who are pretty good last I checked. Instead of getting him another inning or two, I pull him after one, so I can get Mike Remlinger some work???!! WTF!!
Who cares if the kid gave up a couple of runs!!! See if he can settle down and pitch 2-3 innings of better relief. We know that Remlinger sucks, and that we'll have to DFA his ass.....give me a friggin' break.
Oh, and as for the Enrique Wilson Experience..0/2, .133 BA......couldn't we just bring back Ben Grieve? I mean, at least Ben has had some success in his career. Oh, but Wilson can play shortstop...he's there to back-up Perez...then why in the name of all that is good and right in the world was Hairston playing SS, and Wilson playing 1B?????!!!!!
I feel like Bluto in Animal House...Baker-Dead.....Remlinger-Dead......Wilson............DEAD!!! Who's with me?
The daily Hollandworthless report has been quiet, as Mulletsworth has been hitting over the last week, pulling his numbers up to.... .257/.318/.386. (avg/obp/slg) Gee, this guy is soooooo much better than Dubois....yes sir......give me a break. Platooning the two is not right. Holly is the 4th OF, and best pinch hitter we have....that's what he should be doing. If Dubois gets 300-400 AB, and isn't walking any more than currently, ok, but he is still managing .254/.302/.475 with very sporadic playing time!!
And, as far as defense..fine, he ain't gonna win any gold gloves.....but he's no worse than Alou was the last 3 years, and effing Hollandsworth? One good play does not erase his lollygagging around the outfield, turning pop-ups into doubles. Let's all knock off the Dave Kingman references, and get back to reality. Having actually seen King-Kong in the outfield, Dew-boy has a long way to go before he is that putrid.
Okay, I will get down to brass tacks this weekend, and we'll discuss Mr. Patterson, ok?
What can we say that has not already been said? We knew that Koronka was terrible.....that Bartosh was flammable....and that Borowski is living on borrowed time. Peter Gammons' article aside, it is time for a mini-overhaul of the pitching staff.
Bulllpen: Jermaine Van Buren. He has a 1.75 ERA, 7 saves, 35K/12BB ratio. He is a former 2nd round draft choice of the Rockies. will be 25 in July, and also had 21 saves for West Tenn last year. Bring him up.
Andy Shipman: 1-3 at West Tenn, 2.67 ERA, 31K/14BB, 0 HR allowed, opponents batting .217.
Could he be any worse than Bartosh??
Rotation: Jerome Williams
1-0, 2.45 ERA at Iowa. 18.1 IP, 13K/3BB, 2 HR allowed, .240 BA against. Christ, we ran Ruben Quevedo's fat ass out there for 15 starts a few years ago, we can let Jerome get in shape here. Out of shape with talent beats in shape without talent...at least, in my book it does. Do it!!!
Other than Rich Hill, the rest of the staff at Iowa..well...ok, maybe except Novoa....looks like Ben Affleck's career right now......like a steaming pile of horseshit!!!!! I think I was one of 17 people who actually liked
Daredevil.....whaddya gonna do?
We'll talk more after tonight's game. Hopefully, we won't get shellacked
like last night!!!!
Minor League Report: The Scaled Down Kind
Tomorrow, we can discuss the Cubs taking 2 of 3 from the Boston Red Sox...and discuss the Red Sox Fans annoying love of synchronized cheers. GOOD GOD!!!
I was at the game Friday, and if I never hear " Here we go Red Sox, Here we go!" (clap, clap) ever
again, I will count my blessings as many. The Cubs stand at 33-28, 6.5 back of the freakin' Cardinals, and 1.5 back of the surging Phillies in the wild card hunt. Why wasn't I more patient with Chase Utley on my fantasy team....crap!
Anyway, here are some players that the Cubs can look forward to seeing soon.
- Ronny Cedeno .353 ba, .416 OBP, 5HR, 15RBI, 21R, 7SB, 1CS
- Mike Fontenot .289 ba, .401 OBP, 4HR, 21RBI, 26R, 1SB
- Jermaine Van Buren 1-1, 1.75 ERA, 6SV, 34K, 12BB. 25.2IP
West Tenn Diamond Jaxx
- Matt Murton .353 BA, .923 OPS, 5HR, 33RBI, 33R, 11SB, 4CS
- Brandon Sing .290 BA, 1.017 OPS, 12HR, 35 RBI, 37R 41BB, 53K
- Jae-Kuk-Ryu 5-2, 3.34 ERA, 72.2IP, 51K, 28BB
- Ricky Nolasco 6-0, 2.55 ERA, 70.2IP, 78K, 25BB
- Scott Moore .315BA, 15HR, 48RBI, 45R, 14 SB/3CS, .374 OBP, .615 SLG 29BB/49K
- Chris Walker .282BA, 4HR, 31 RBI, 43R, 27SB/7CS, .348 OBP
- JR Mathes 4-2, 3.10ERA, 58IP, 48K/16BB,
- Carlos Marmol 5-2, 2.85ERA, 66.1IP, 60K/36BB Opp. BA .224
- Eric Patterson .368 BA, .445OBP, 4HR, 26RBI, 36R, 16SB/5CS
- Sean Gallagher 7-1, 1.46ERA, 74IP, 78K/25BB, 1 HR Allowed
- Matt Weber 3-7, 3.08 ERA, 76IP, 46K/10BB
Okay, so the A- ball guys you might not see soon, but they are having good years nonetheless. I will discuss the case of Felix Pie this week, or he would be on this list as well.
So the Cubs are in the hunt, but kinda treading water in the standings. Any possible trades that could nudge them over the top? Discuss amongst yourselves!
Much like the lame mid-70's show "Wha' Hoppen?" the Cubs continue to confound me, and many other fans, I'm sure.
After Mitre's sublime peformance, give hope to Cub fans everywhere, I read this pleasant bit of news.. "The Cubs also announced that John Koronka will start Monday against the Marlins.."
Ok...seriously? The Marlins are a pretty good hitting team, and I don't think that throwing slop out there for the sacrifice is such a good idea. Better to pitch Welly, Bartosh, and Wuertz for 2-3 innings each than run this guy out again....Here's the stat train:
L 1P/GS 100.5
BAA .261ERA 5.73
Now, for all you youngsters out there at home...these stats are "not too good, son.." as my old Coach K used to say...right before tearing me a new one.
Now, John Koronka may be a nice guy, and I am rooting for him to do well...but a career era of 4.39 in the minors, with 848 Ip and 911 Hits given up
...this suggests a pattern, wouldn't you think? I hate to sound like a broken record,but..Nolasco,Hill,Williams, Aardsma.....Marmol....Bueller...anyone? I am a little tired of bringing up players who should just be happy to be in the bigs, instead of bringing up those who have a chance to belong there...there is a difference....Helllooooooo Gary Scott!!!! Hello Joe Borowski(remember his spontaneous combustion against the Giants in 2001... 1.2 IP, 6ER 1HR, ERA of 32.40)
The Cubs are in a pennant race, right? Shouldn't they look for the best chance to win?
Which brings me to tomorrow's topic: Corey Patterson: Friend or Foe?
Minor league corner:
Chris Walker (Daytona) 2/5, 2R, 1 3B, 2 RBI
Brian Dopirak )Daytona) 3/6 2R, 1 2B 1HR 2RBI
Scott Moore (Daytona) 4/4 2R 1 2B 1 HR 5RBI
Eric Patterson (Peoria) 1/5, 1BB 1R 1RBI 2SB
Alan Rick (Peoria) 2/5 1R 2RBI
Anderson Tavares (Daytona) 3IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 2K
Jerry Blevins (Peoria) 0.2IP 1H, 3ER, 2BB, 1HR
Interesting Lineup Today...
Hollandsworth in RF and Dubois in LF. No Burnitz... well, Burnitz has been struggling lately. Oh, and I guess now the plan is to get Corey good pitches by hitting him in fromt of Lee? Here's the whole order:
Corey in the 2 spot? Walker in the 5 spot? Don't you normally want higher-OBP players (i.e., not
Corey) in the early part of the order? I am confused... anyone?
Cubs Dodge Bullet
Danny Graves signed with the Mets
today. I saw a lot of talk on various Cubs blogs about picking him up, and I disagreed with the idea. He may have been a decent closer at one time, but he is now damaged goods. Look at his stats this year with the Reds : 18.1 IP, 15 ER, 4 HR, 12 BB, 8 K. BA against is .357, OBP against is .433. That is not good.
Last night was a prime example of the problem with carrying 12 pitchers on the 25-man roster. Hollandsworth is used to pinch-hit in the 7th. Then Corey pinch-hits for Hairston in the 8th (low OBP pinch-hits for high OBP?), leaving Todd Walker (good), Enrique Wilson (bad) and Hank White (worse) as the only bats left on the bench. The 9th inning comes around and the Cubs have a chance to tie the game after Ramirez homers and Dubois and Barrett get hits. Unfortunately, it's Jose Macias's turn to bat and he grounds into a DP on the first pitch (big surprise there).
Of course, Dusty could have just used Walker to pinch-hit for Macias, but I digress. If we have another quality bat off the bench (Ben Grieve?) then there are better options at that point in the game. Plus, Dusty never uses the 12th pitcher, choosing to let him rot on the bullpen bench instead (see Leicester, Jon, and Bartosh, Cliff, for examples; Wellemeyer used to fall into this category but suddenly he's found favor with the Great Toothpick).
Of course, one has to wonder about the wisdom of letting Corey pinch-hit for Hairston to lead off an inning. Why take out a guy who gets on base and replace him with a guy who basically doesn't? It's all about not
making outs, and the best person to do that job certainly isn't Corey, at least not right now. Maybe he'll learn plate discipline, working the count, etc., at some point in his career, but it isn't happening now.
Tonight it's Josh Towers vs. GlenDon Rusch. Hopefully GlenDon can continue his outperformance as of late, and the Cubs' bats wake up again. Towers started the year off great but has slumped over his last three starts, giving up 15 earned runs and 27 hits over 14 2/3 innings. That's not good. And, tomorrow we get Halladay. So we better do it up tonight, while we can.
Why is Ronnie Milsap Pitching For Toronto?
Nice glasses Chacin.....but 6K(a career high)1BB gets my attention even more.
The Cubs fell tonight 4-1, with a pity HR from Aramis Ramirez in the 9th preventing the shutout. The
Reed Johnson hit a 3-run shot in the second, and it was all downhill from there, as the Cubs started swinging at lots of pitches, taking few, and leaving 15 men on base. Ugh!
On the bright side(?), Koronka pitched fairly well, probably earning another(gulp) start.
Macias: 2-4, 2B
A-Ram: 1-4, HR
Burnitz: 0-4, 2K
Perez: 0-4, 2K
Koronka: 6IP,5H, 4ER, 5K, 2BB, 1HR....103 pitches..yep, he fits right in...
Not a good start to the homestand, but tomorrow's another day I guess.
Tomorrow Glendon Rusch takes the mound, and will try to continue his Faustian streak. His last 3 games, he's sporting a0.75 ERA, 17K/5BB, 2ER....for you youngsters at home, that is really good!
Today's Question: Who gets the axe first, Mitre or Koronka, and why? Discuss amongst yourselves.