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About the Cubs, mlb in general,Yankees sometimes.

Updated: 2015-09-16T08:46:35.651-07:00


Give credit where it is due....and blame where it is due


OK, I don't shy away from any of my previous criticisms of Hendry and Baker, especially Hendry. Probably the worst part of the Prior injury (I was at the game Friday, it was horrific), is that it takes the heat off Hendry and reinforces the meme of, "the guy is it snakebit, whaddya gonna do with those injuries." As you can see earlier in this blog, I made a pretty clear case for, a) only an idiot would expect Prior, Wood and Nomar to stay healthy, so even though Prior's injury was "freak" it was still not entirely unexpected and b) therefore you only let Clement go if you have a bullpen to allow Dempster to take Clement's role in the rotation, and c) which you certainly don't unless i) you're the only guy in the world to think Borowski will come back to form, ii) you're the only guy in Chicago who thinks Hawkins can actually close after last year and iii) you have faith in Chad Fox going into this year with two elbow reconstructions (oh yeah, I was at the game where he blew out his elbow...). So Hendry has still done a crappy job since midyear 03. (read the blog below...we stayed the same while St. Louis improved and nothing else was done)

Having said that, as much as I don't like Baker, you've got to give the guy credit. Despite all the injuries, despite his getting booed, the Cubs have kept their heads together, and he and his staff have actually perhaps settled on a a couple of reliable setup men in Weurtz, Wellemeyer, and maybe Ohman. We're two games over 500 and 3 runs up as of this blog. We're not that far off the wild card; and even with Prior's injury if Maddux comes back to form we got a decent shot (and the warm weather is here finally) of staying in the hunt. Plus, with Walker back and DuBois getting most of the ABs (though why Hollandsworth was starting tonight is a bit beyond me), and with Aramis heating up, we're playing better.

And I think you've got to give credit to Baker -- for not panicking -- for keeping the crew together -- for getting them to play good ball. I still think he stinks as a manager -- but we're still in it, the Red Sox are coming, and meaningful games in September are on the Horizon.

Links and backup to follow.

Sox Manager Has More Class Than Anyone Associated With Cubs


Great article in Sun Times extensively quoting Ozzie Guillen about Sosa. Money Quote:

"Sammy Sosa did a tremendous job to put the city of Chicago on the top of the world. I don't know about the fans, but I think the media [was wrong] because somebody makes two mistakes and all of a sudden they take advantage of them and just wipe him out. He's a human being. I think Sammy can be one of the biggest reasons the Chicago Cubs have a lot of fans."

And from Frank Thomas:

That energy is definitely missing over there, I don't care what people say. He brought that crowd to their feet every day. Sammy is missed. Maybe some people say he's not, but he's missed. He always brought excitement and enjoyment to the game.

For a reminder of where I stand, read my first post, here.

This article also speaks to the complete lack of class of the Cubs organization, throwing Sammy under the bus, running him out of town, with the help of sportswriters (that means you, Mariotti). Just nuts. Read this for a previous post on Cubs class.

Some Back Up


Read this article in Monday's Sun Times by Jay Mariotti...

Money quote:

The man who has set back the Cubs is Jim Hendry. If he wasn't the man who also built them into a division champion, you might ask if his job should be in trouble. We're not sure if he has considered Lasik, but the general manager has developed blind spots that have reduced a pennant contender to a slacker in a division already ruled by the Cardinals, who scored 11 runs in the first inning Sunday and might clinch the National League Central by Memorial Day. So busy was Hendry in eradicating the clubhouse of Sammy Sosa and his Eminem-infested boombox, he seemed to forget about his other wintertime chores.

He left the Cubs without a closer, with Ryan [The Streaker] Dempster becoming the third pitcher to inherit the role in a month. He left them without corner outfield bats capable of justifying the loss of Sosa and Moises Alou. He lost an $8.25 million gamble that Nomar Garciaparra would avoid DL hell. He appears on his way toward losing the $32 million gamble that Kerry Wood would stay healthy for three seasons, which makes the departure of Matt Clement more painful, given his 4-0 record and 3.35 ERA in Boston.

I am pretty sure he must have been reading my blog - since I've making those exact same points since the first post back in March. I couldn't agree more with his points -- but the guy has chutzpah -- he was the one guy drumbeating for Sosa's departure since the cork bat incident, and still can't leave the guy alone.

Some of us said from the beginning that the reason we didn't make the playoffs last year had to do with the bullpen, not Sosa, but not Jay. He still won't stop on the poor guy. Pitiful if you ask me.



Please, please do not insult our intelligence, Hendry, ESPN Radio Talking Baseball, Tribune Company, please please do not. As I've said before, we SHOULD NOT BE SUPRISED, by the current state of events. Couple of points:1. If you're running a company, and your killer head of sales gets a serious illness but recovers, believe me, you make sure you have good number two and number three guys as backups. When I called in the other day to ESPN radio, and read Hendry's comments, what I hear is, "we're snakebit, lots of injuries, woe is me." GIVE ME A BREAK. As I posted many times, no way Wood and Prior were staying healthy, no way No mar was staying healthy. 2. Then we have the bullpen. Clearly a huge weakness last year, both in setup men and closer. We don't talk to either Percival or Benitez (cmon, if Hendry wanted those conversations he could have them!). What does he do? Nothing, or almost nothing. He counts on Borowski to have an 03 year and not get injured. He counts on Chad Fox, he of two reconstructive elbow (elbow!) surgeries, to stay healthy. He counts on Remlinger, him of the big mouth and the non Cubs performance to get the job done. Shocker -- Borowski isn't getting it done and Hawkins can't close. We've seen this movie before. We know he can't close! Friday was personally my all time low for baseball games at Wrigley.3. Why are 1. and 2. related? Because, if you had a solid bullpen in place, the decision to let Clement go with Dempster as a replacement I think is defendable on business terms. Wood or Prior goes down, you have Dempster as a fourth starter and you spot start guys like Rusch for number 5. 4. That's why, as much I don't like Baker, he HAD to let Zambrano finish the game on Sunday (yes I was there Sunday and Friday).4. But we went into the season NOT TRYING TO WIN. Say what you want about the Yankees, but at least they try to win every year. It may not work out, but they put together a squad that can do it. What do we do? Nothing. We count on every guy who is injury prone to stay miraculously healthy and we count on every guy to NOT regress ot the mean and we count on fading superstars to somehow be as good as they were in 1999 and not in 2003. Oh yeah, and we do it (read the archives of this site!) with no class, slamming the guys who have performed for us.5. So I reject the argument that we got snakebit, and I reject the argument that were "spoiled" by Hendry in 03 (what the radio guys said to me). The objective is to win a World Series. When you have the opportunity to do so you must go for it. We are wasting Prior and Zambrano right now. We knew based on last year's performance that we were much worse than St. Louis. They should be better this year with a healthy Matt Morris for the whole year and Larry Walker for the whole year. On paper, we shouldn't be.6. Burnitz for Sosa has worked out, but was it really worth all the energy? Also, DuBois is awesome offensively, but we're starting Hollandsworth? Please. Finally Dusty started him against right handers yesterday. Again, Dusty after the fact claiming that he can't play him because of defense is a bunch of bull.I say we hire Cashman when he gets fired in the middle of this year!DUMP HENDRY. HE'S INSULTING OUR INTELLIGENCE!Oh yeah, and one more thing! At one of the games this weekend they called attention to some of Sosa's accomplishments and he got booed. Booed! Why? What did the guy do except have some of the best years in MLB history, hustley, and singlehandedly take us to the playoffs in 98? Give me a break. He's proabably the greates Cub whoever played. Have some class and think for yourself, fans!cubsNomarWoodSosaAlouchicagoChicagoGarciaparraHendryDustyBakerDuBoisCoreyPattersonESPN[...]

We should actually be thankful for Nomar's injury, believe it or not....


The way I see it, the Cubbie faithful has been simultaneously a) waiting for Nomar to start actually PERFORMING and b) hoping against hope that he would stay healthy all year.

Now, instead of a bunch of usually very intelligent grown men and women hoping for something that recent evidence would say is pretty impossible, we're brought down to the reality of the 2005 Cubs campaign, and the weaknesses on this team.

Nomar hasn't been the same guy in years, and he hasn't been healthy in years. He was a great pick up last year -- no downside, maybe upside. A reasonable signing this year, as it was a one-year contract.

But with the Cubs getting rid of Sosa it evolved into this, "he is the new superstar." Cmon. He is essentially a veteran castoff and we got just what his recent performance (don't tell me about the Cactus league stats!) would suggest. Hendry, et al tried to use him to help say, "see, see what we're doing to build the team, replace Sosa?" Sorry, I would have preferred Beltran and Percival, and maybe Lieber.

So now we can ALL take a clear eyed look at this team, and not spend the summer "waiting" for Nomar to "get hot" and "hit for power." Lets just hope Hendry does the same thing for once.

SHOCKER! Nomar Injured!


Sorry for the delay in posting -- was on extended vaca, traveling, etc.

So time to catch up on a few items here:

1. Nomar injured -- out 2-3 months!
-- C'mon -- you can't be surprised can you? As I said here,
To make the bet on the health on Wood and Prior is like betting that Nomar won't gon the DL this year (he'll miss at least 20 games this year -- write it down).

That was on March 17th, and it was in response for all the dopes who said, Yeah, but we'll have Nomar for the whole year. Uh huh.

2. So is anyone really surprised the offense isn't scoring runs? Aside from D-Lee and Aramis, I would argue there is no one a good (not great) pitcher can't handle. Yes, Corey is having a great year, so far, but can be handled easily. Minus Sosa and Alou, a big downgrade. I actually am starting to believe in DuBois, but Dusty isn't giving him the playing time. Crazy, but not surprising. A few nights ago he let Hollandsworth hit against a lefty only to replace him by Hairston (!) in LF in the other half of the inning.

3. I am surprised about the effectiveness of Dempster. If he can keep it up, I think you have to say this justifies the move to let go of Clement.

4. But what about Kerry Wood? When is he going to last 8 innings? I don't care about ERA with him -- if he can't last 8, he and the Cubs won't get Ws!

5. Cardinals have not gotten hot yet, Pujols Walker are struggling, and Prior and the Z-man are getting it done. We get 55 starts between Prior and Wood and we still have a shot in what appears to be a weak division. But I think there is no way the wildcard comes from Central -- West and East are too strong.


What is usually the truth with people who continue to bad mouth, spread inneundos, and otherwise sully other people's reputations for no apparent reason? Why is it that the the Cubs Brass finds the need to just crap on Sammy right now? It's because they have to be justified in letting him go, and they are too small-minded to say there was the best Cubs player ever, who did wonder for the Cubs in the 90s.

Whatever happened to loyalty, to support? The guy's gone. Let it be. Even Dusty couldn't be quiet after he left. What's that Shakespeare said, "He doth protest too much."

I am talking about a column by Phil Rogers in today's trib on how Sammy could potentially be the single season home run leader with Bonds and McGwire out. Read it here.

But look at these quotes from the Cubs Brass:

From MacPhail:

MacPhail considered his answer carefully when asked if he believed Sosa.

"I think, on the subject of the hearings and what was discussed, that is something to be commented on out of New York and Washington, D.C.," MacPhail said. "I will tell you this—that through '02 there was no method of knowing who did what. There was just no mechanism for [testing]. Speculation at this point is inappropriate on everybody's behalf. All you can know is what has taken place from '02 on."

Nice. Classy.

From Hendry:

Hendry's answer also walked the fine line of not accusing Sosa or exonerating him.

"To accuse any player of performance-enhancing drugs is really unfair," Hendry said. "We can speculate until the cows come home about the last 10 years, who did what, did it change the record book? The stuff with Canseco's book—some people were probably accused [unfairly], and maybe some who were accused were accurate. I don't think we'll ever have a way to prove anything over the last 10-15 years. … To pinpoint a guy, say this guy took it and this guy didn't, is impossible to do."

Wow. That's supportive, Jim.

The only guy who was incredibly supportive was his hitting coach for five years, Jeff Pentland. But even that support got slammed by an un-named source for some reason (probably MacPhail):

I'm not surprised," said this person, speaking off the record. "Pentland's a players' guy."

Amazing. Unless there is something I don't know about Sosa, the Cubs Brass are unbelievably un-classy. Sammy single handedly saved baseball in 98. He was the reason to go to Wrigley in the late 90s. He played every game every season, and he played hard. He never mailed it in, ever.

Can they say one thing nice about him? Pretty disgusting.

Good News Bad News


Prior feels great, but Borowski broke a bone.

I've said it before, so this was originally first guessing, but how do we get through an entire off season without getting a closer? We knew Borowski was dumb luck in 03, and he was awesome, but last year he couldn't break 90 on the radar gun. Then you have Dempster who walks too many batters and you know will be needed in a rotation short Clement. Oh yeah they were going to count on Glendon Rusch -- the same Glendon Rusch who Dennis Eckersley said, "shouldn't be at the Major League Level right now" in 03 while with the Brewers. Look, I know he had a great year last year, and helped out A LOT.

My point is, if you really want to win the whole thing, how do you count on all these ifs happening? If Rusch is the same, if Borowski comes back, if Nomar can play 150 games (no way), if DuBois can make it at this level...etc. etc.

There were two very very good closers in the off season. Armando Benitez and Troy Percival. The Cubs didn't talk to EITHER ONE. At all.

This is the same old Cubs -- try one year, glide for another.

Belated on Santo


Of course he should go in. Anyone who says otherwise doesn't look at the numbers, and doesn't objectively make the call. Here's Rob Neyer (subscription required):

The subject was the Hall of Fame – specifically, the candidates on the Veterans Committee ballot. Joe and I agree about Ron Santo, of course; Santo's so obviously a Hall of Fame-caliber player that it's actually sort of offensive that we're still having this conversation, three decades into his retirement. We agree, too, that otherwise the vets committee ballot is pretty slim pickings, with nary another obvious choice among the lot.

Here are his career stats:

Another Neyer quote:

The case for Santo is simple: He's one of the eight greatest third basemen in major league history. He's also the best third baseman who's not already in the Hall, which come to think of it is about as good a qualification as any other.

Great article by Phil Rogers yesterday


in the Tribune. Money quote:

If the injuries to Wood and Prior don't prove to be just routine spring scares, if they are prevented from making at least 55 combined starts and winning 30-plus games, then some really hard questions will need to be asked. The answers could shake the foundation of the Cubs' front office and field staff, with no job safe, least of all Baker's.

Of course here is what I wrote back on March 9th (below):

The Cubs only chance of winning this year is 55 starts plus from Wood and Prior. If we don't get that, we don't make the playoffs, period.

Again, as I said before, you have a GM who made a bet that the starting rotation could do as good a job (if not better) than last year minus Matt Clement. In fact, would need to do a good job minus 74 HRs. To make the bet on the health on Wood and Prior is like betting that Nomar won't gon the DL this year (he'll miss at least 20 games this year -- write it down).

And of course, we don't have a closer. Since Baker was the manager this year and the manager last year, he is a negative but a constant negative (see my post here).

Classic Mariotti


money quote:

They used to be called Kid K and The Natural. They used to be compared with Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling. But until further notice, they are little more than Kerry Would and Prior Restraint, if not Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Your guess is as good as mine right now about what kind of seasons they'll have, what kind of careers they'll have and whether the club's window of opportunity -- about halfway through a six-year period, I figure -- is doomed to shut with the most disappointing thud to date. If there is encouragement that Prior's mechanics are sound enough to survive a tricky period, Wood's mechanics continue to be wild and reckless enough to bring criticism from Radio Free Steve Stone. It's more than sad, more than spooky.

My basic problem with Mariotti is all his energy over the winter was spent on Sosa - when the issue has always been the fragility of Prior and Wood. How silly does Prior's outspoken-ness look now?

Et Tu, Prior?


Here we go again. Of course now it is the ides of March.

Prior is SHUT DOWN for now.

Wood and Prior are down. We still have a staff of Zambrano, Maddux, Dempster, Guzman, and I suppose Rusch.

Certainly adequate -- but with giving up 74 HRs and no closer, we don't have much chance right now. This is why you try to improve your team *every year*. We didn't improve at closer, we lost two great outfielders, and we lost a very good number 4 starter in Clement. Betting on the health of Wood and the new Bird Fidrich is basically a bad strategy.

Is it Racism? on Zambrano


Seriously, I hate to throw that term around loosely -- and I've been reluctant to use it on questioning the local media's quickness to jump on the Get Rid of Sosa Bandwagon -- but how is it that I and the media see Carlos Zambrano so differently? Is it because he doesn't talk to the media that much? And when he does, he is not nearly as articulate as Prior?

Without question, by any objective measure, Zambrano is the best pitcher for the Cubs in the past two years, and one of the best in baseball. He had a great season in his rookie campaign in 02, also. (I'll add stats later..). Yet the guy is never mentioned as anything but fourth or maybe third behind Wood, Prior and Maddux.

Let's review. Going into the 03 season, the local writers referred to Zambrano as a potential number 5 maybe 4 starter -- this despite the fact that he had a low era and high so/innings pitched as a rookie. It was obvious then he was a fantastic keeper.

Then, after a great 03, there were still some grumblings. Even now, with Wood out for opening day, I have to read this this morning:

Mark Prior would be a good bet for the Opening Day replacement. Baker had said previously that the planned rotation sequence to begin the season was Wood, Prior, Greg Maddux, Carlos Zambrano and either Ryan Dempster or Glendon Rusch. Zambrano probably has to control his emotions better
before he's ready to start Opening Day.

I mean, c'mon. Prior has one great year. Zambrano, two. Prior has admitted to getting out of sorts in the Bartman incident -- Zambrano has won more big games for the Cubs over the last two years. Don't get me wrong, Prior is awesome, but we need to see two full seasons from the guy for him to shake the "injury-prone" label that Wood now has. Zambrano has been a horse.

But when he pitches well, it is always, "kept his emotions in check." The guy is a threat to throw a no-hitter every time he goes out there! Yes he still has his moments ( I am thinking of the game against St. Louis last year when he beaned Edmonds twice) but he is a stud. Not to take anything away from Prior -- but Carlos is the man.

surprise surprise


I guess Wood is a little more injured than they let on...This would be funny if it wasn't so serious. Money quote:

That's a big change from last Wednesday, when Wood removed himself from a game against the Texas Rangers after two innings because his shoulder felt odd. Wood said it wasn't pain but he couldn't specifically describe how it felt.

Wood's scheduled start today was scrapped quickly after an MRI taken Wednesday night showed that the Cubs' initial claim that he would remain on schedule was far-fetched. It's significant that Dempster will be starting today in Wood's place with Rusch following him to the mound.

This is not good, at all. As I said previously (see below, I need to figure out how to link to my own comments):

The Cubs only chance of winning this year is 55 starts plus from Wood and Prior. If we don't get that, we don't make the playoffs, period.

The Quotes on Steroids


From Fox Sports:

Baseball balked at the subpoenas. Stanley Brand, a lawyer for the commissioner's office, said the committee had no jurisdiction, was trying to violate baseball's first amendment privacy rights, and was attempting to "satisfy their prurient interest into who may and may not have engaged in this activity."

Reacting to Brand's comments, committee spokesman David Marin said: "Mr. Brand has his facts wrong. He failed to recognize that House rules give this committee the authority to investigate any matter at any time, and we are authorized to request or compel testimony and document production related to any investigation. It's a shame that Major League Baseball has resorted to hiding behind 'legalese' - and inaccurate 'legalese' at that."

Of course, the question for me is not whether they can do it, but why are they doing it? Seriously, besides grandstanding, why are they doing it?

Another blogger who agrees with me, here:

from Thursday SunTimes on Cubs Injuries:


from Thursday's SunTimes:


The Cubs sent Kerry Wood back to Chicago for tests on his tight right shoulder Thursday. The word from the team is it's not serious. Cubs fans heard that several times last season, only to find out later the injury was severe.

Injury: Mark Prior arrives in camp with right Achilles tendinitis.
Cubs claim: ''I'm not that concerned,'' Dusty Baker says. ''It's a minor thing,'' Prior adds.
Reality: Prior's first outing is June 4.

jury: Mike Remlinger arrives in camp still recovering from rotator-cuff surgery the previous fall.
Cubs claim: ''We don't know for sure Rem won't be ready [for Opening Day],'' Jim Hendry says.
Reality: Remlinger's first outing is May 25.

Injury: Mark Grudzielanek's right Achilles flares up April 10.
Cubs claim: ''If he can fight through the initial irritation, he can get used to it,'' former trainer Dave Groeschner says.
Reality: Grudzielanek doesn't play until June 19.

Injury: Kerry Wood leaves May 11 game after two innings with tightness in his right triceps.
Cubs claim: ''It just got tight and stiffened up,'' Wood says. ''It didn't kill me out there.''
Reality: Wood doesn't pitch again until July 11.

Injury: Todd Hollandsworth fouls a ball off his right leg June 27.
Cubs claim: Doctors tell the team Hollandsworth should be fine after taking a couple of days off.
Reality: Hollandsworth misses the rest of the season.

Injury: Aramis Ramirez injures his groin running the bases July 2.
Cubs claim: ''Hopefully, this is going to be just three to five days,'' Hendry says.
Reality: Ramirez doesn't play again until July 18.

Steroids, part 1.5. Congressional Arrogance!


Will be adding to this post later; but I heard the deputy to the committee answer MLB's lawyer on Mike and Mike in the morning, and the quote was "we have the right to subpoena anyone for any reason according to House Rules." Gee that's great. He went on to say (in an incredibly arrogant tone) that Congress could do a lot short of legislation, to "help" such as oversight. This is of course despite the fact that MLB already addressed this issue (with accolades from Senator McCain!).

I am reminded of the famous Ronald Reagan quote (forgive me this is from memory:) "We are not a government with a nation, but rather we are a nation who has a government."

What a waste of time.

BTW, the committee doing the subpoena-ing (is that a word?) is the Government Reform committee. This makes a ton of sense.

Wood and Prior...again


The Cubs only chance of winning this year is 55 starts plus from Wood and Prior. If we don't get that, we don't make the playoffs, period. Unfortunately, we now have Wood leaving a game early yesterday and Prior missing his spring turn. The Cubs are saying no big deal to both, but after admitting after the fact they weren't completely honest about Prior's calf and Wood's back the last couple of years, this is pretty depressing. Already. And it's not even the ides of March yet.

On Steroids -- Give me a break


OK -- we all know Steroids are bad for the game. We get it. I for one, would like to see Bonds and Giambi punished for breaking the rules. But the fact is, Baseball now has a policy in place which will eventually eliminate steroids. Again, I hate them, and think all of Bonds and McGwire's records should be asterisked.

But why in the heck is Congress using subpoena power and wasting time to call in MLB players and officials? For what purpose other than to grandstand and get publicity? This is about as useful as someone running ads for the US Postal Service (oops I forgot they did that too). Seriously -- a complete and utter waste of time.

My favorite quote from the espn article linked above:

Stanley Brand, a lawyer for the baseball commissioner's office, criticized the committee for an "an absolutely excessive and unprecedented misuse of congressional power." He said the committee was interfering with the federal grand jury investigation in California into illegal distribution by subpoenaing Giambi, a grand jury witness who might have to testify at a trial.

"Not even the Iran-Contra committee attempted to do that," Brand said.

Oh yeah, and Bonds didn't get called. Congress is saying that they're doing it to get to the bottom of the steroids problem -- but why didn't they do it with the death of Lyle Alzado, Tony Madarich, etc.? The world knows steroids are bad and dangerous...and the major leagues have taken steps to eliminate it. This is why people hate politicians!

In Defense of Sosa


On Sosa: Give me a break! What did this guy do to deserve the rancor and the "bandwagon" to get run out of town? Let me review (and destroy) the usual "reasons" given:1) He's overpaid -- since when is this a reason to hate a guy? I don't remember anyone screaming he was underpaid when he hit 60 HRs for the cubbies all those years. Cmon. The guy deserves everything he has earned.2) He whined about moving down in the order. Um excuse me -- how do we know this? Because Baker went out of his way to talk to the media and complain that he couldn't move Sosa down in the order because he was too sensitive! Can you imagine Torre or Cox going to the media about how he wants to move a player down in the order but the player is sensitive? No way - either they move him or they don't -- they certainly don't say something that can only make their player look bad. This is inexcusable from Baker.3) He got injured sneezing. He's a big guy who hurt his back. Tell me why that is a capital offense but when Wood gets injured every year -- sometimes by sleeping on those Heavenly mattresses at Westins -- we forgive him? Don't get me wrong, I love Wood -- but why is this a crime?4) He's the reason the cubs didn't make the playoffs -- THIS IS UTTER Hooey. The cubbies didn't make the playoffs because, number one, Mark Prior and Kerry Wood between them missed probably 20 starts at least. Number two, the cubs bullplen blew tons of saves. Number three, Baker is a terrible tactical manager, routinely costing the cubs 5 wins a year I bet. Sosa hit 35 HRs missing six weeks! Yeah he slumped last year -- but that is not the reason they missed the playoffs.5) He's bad for chemistry -- My personal favorite. Who says he is bad for chemistry? Oh yeah, of course lets see...Mark Prior -- who is one injury away from being the Mark Bird Fidrych of his day, and Todd Walker who's been here what, one year? Who are these guys to say anything? First of all, no one should say anything bad about a teammate, as John Wooden says here: " You never, absolutely never, criticized a teammate. That's my job, not yours."Second, if you do, you do it privately. Third, if you're gonna do it, only true leaders who've earned it should do it. Greg Maddux has the stripes, and Kerry Wood has earned it as well But that's it. No one else should say a word! Finally, chemistry is overrated! as this NY Times article shows.But what you need is strong management, a strong leader, which evidently we don't have. Instead we have a manager who throws his star under the bus, allows the team to be distracted by criticizing Steve Stone of all people, and blows game 6 and 7 in 03 by refusing to use a very rested Zambrano and/or Clement.6) He left early the last day -- Who knows what happened? According to Sosa, Baker told him he could have the day off. He shows up, and when the game starts, he leaves. Was it appropriate? No. Was it the end of the world? No way. And again, we see a manager and organization determined to try and get him out of town.Yes the guy slumped last year, a bit -- but, I've never seen a player who runs EVERYTHING OUT even down 6 runs in the 9th inning. Sammy hustled, and was someone I could show my kids as someone who played the game hard 100% of the time. If Hendry wanted to get rid of him to make room for DuBois and another free agent signing, fine -- that's a reasonable baseball move. But instead of going after Beltran, we are left with Burnitz for essentially the same amount of money we would have paid Sosa. Sorry, I'll take Sammy [...]



After years of frustration reading our local coverage of the cubbies, and the last year of media-inspired turmoil -- I feel compelled to write this blog. Sosa, Baker, Bartman -- I think the Trib and the Sun Times have missed the real stories in a heck of a lot of what has happened the past couple of years. Here goes...comments are encouraged!

About me: Fanatic baseball fan, Cubs season ticket holder.