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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Kaplan: Cubs need to change fundamental mindset

Ira might have it…but David certainly doesn’t.

The Cubs need to increase the accountability of their players and they have to convey a message of enough is enough to their fan base to reverse a trend of empty seats and apathy that has been evident for much of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Players who don’t want to do whatever it takes to win can no longer be allowed to enjoy a comfortable environment at Wrigley Field. A player who doesn’t want to play hard can’t be allowed to have a secure spot in the lineup.

The Cubs have some pieces that can be part of an improved team but until there is a major shift in philosophy regarding the types of players the Cubs acquire and an increased focus on improved fundamental play the Cubs will continue to find themselves on the outside looking in when it comes to championships.

However, increased accountability plus the addition of a No. 1 starter and paying more attention to defense when putting the roster together could lead to contending much more quickly than many believe is currently possible. When you reside in the NL Central, you are playing in a division that is among the weakest in baseball and that is one of the best things the Cubs have going for them as they try to return to contention after not making the playoffs since 2008.

Repoz Posted: August 06, 2011 at 10:51 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs

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   1. Transmission Posted: August 06, 2011 at 11:47 PM (#3894484)
Well, yes, an ace starter and better defense could lead a lot of teams to contend much more quickly.

I'm not sure that the whole player-accountability thing is just another windmill. Seems to me that the problem is a lack of talent and bad roster construction overall. That's an accountability issue, sure, but not one focused on the guys putting on the unis.
   2. Greg Maddux School of Reflexive Profanity Posted: August 07, 2011 at 12:19 AM (#3894491)
The Cubs need to increase the accountability of their players

"Management" is misspelled.
   3. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: August 07, 2011 at 12:59 AM (#3894494)
This article would have looked better 7 games ago.
   4. Brian C Posted: August 07, 2011 at 02:26 AM (#3894508)
I hate articles like this. Act really self-righteous while spouting platitudes (WE NEED ACCOUNTABILITY!!!). Avoid saying anything substantive. Add nothing to the conversation. Feh.
   5. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 07, 2011 at 02:43 AM (#3894514)
Dave Kaplan is a horse's ass.
   6. Mattbert Posted: August 07, 2011 at 03:05 AM (#3894522)
Yes, clearly the problem is player accountability and poor fundamentals. Nothing whatsoever to do with signing merely above-average players to superstar contracts at a relatively advanced age. Over and over and over again.
   7. Brian C Posted: August 07, 2011 at 03:22 AM (#3894525)
You know, at the very least, if he's going to write a high-horse column like this, he should name names. Who is not playing their hardest? Whose fundamentals are unacceptable? Who is not doing whatever it takes to win?

Talk about lack of accountability - Kaplan wants to call the team out without having the stones to defend what he's saying. He wants to puff out his chest, but at the same time he's writing so generally that he can claim he was misinterpreted on the off-chance that his useless platitudes piss anyone off, no matter what the objections to his columns are. It's really a slippery piece.

He can't even bring himself to call for a housecleaning - what he says is needed is a "major culture change" (emphasis mine). That can mean anything, though, and it's how people talk when they want you to think they're saying something without actually saying it. Frankly, it makes me wonder if he's running interference for the organization here, and what we're seeing is a preview of the Hendry preservation strategy - blame the lazy players and try to appease fans by talking up "cultural changes" in the offseason.

I still think Hendry's a goner, but stuff like this really stokes the doubt in my mind.
   8. SouthSideRyan Posted: August 07, 2011 at 06:10 AM (#3894565)
You know, at the very least, if he's going to write a high-horse column like this, he should name names. Who is not playing their hardest? Whose fundamentals are unacceptable? Who is not doing whatever it takes to win?


With Kaplan, the answer's always the same. The brown ones.
   9. dcsmyth1 Posted: August 07, 2011 at 10:49 AM (#3894575)
As someone who watches most Cubs games, I don't have any reason to nitpick on Kaplan. The team is fundamentally mediocre in most seasons, and it does play a role in their record. One fundamental Kaplan didn't mention is plate discipline, with the Cubs being near the bottom in walks drawn almost every season. That this is an organizational failing was confirmed recently by ex-Cub Sam Fuld.
   10. dcsmyth1 Posted: August 07, 2011 at 11:18 AM (#3894576)
Just for fun, I went thru the stats and noted the current Cubs league ranking in categories which have can reasonably be put in the category of 'fundamentals':

stolen base %, 16
walks drawn, 16
fewest GDP, 14
most SH, 15
most SF, 15
extra bases taken baserunning %, 16
outs on base %, 16
productive outs %, 1

errors, 16
walks allowed, 16
most GDP on defense, 15
SH allowed, 15
SF allowed, 13

Thank god for productive outs!

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