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   1. Dan The Mediocre is one of "the rest" Posted: June 02, 2007 at 12:53 AM (#2388145)
Theriot is to blame for people touting him as the next Sandberg?

You forgot Felix Pie, Larry Rothschild, the rest of the bullpen.
   2. Andere Richtingen Posted: June 02, 2007 at 01:16 AM (#2388229)
It's really hard to be an unlikable underdog, but the Cubs are perfecting it.

Once again, we have a team that is clearly more interested in playing grabass than baseball. But look at the standings, the Cubs are not that far back, and the teams ahead of them don't look much better than they are. Maybe today was a bottoming out, and they'll right the ship and be the just over .500 team they are supposed to be, and make a move in the division. The question for me is whether I can stomach rooting for them.
   3. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 02, 2007 at 01:22 AM (#2388244)
As the only good team in the division the Cubs will obviously see one player after another get suspended or put on the DL after being beat up by teammates until they lose by 2 games to a Pirates team that is making no effort to win and traded Jason Bay for Jorge Julio and Joe Borchard on July 31st.
   4. Andere Richtingen Posted: June 02, 2007 at 01:27 AM (#2388255)
And Ryan Braun goes DEEP!
   5. Spahn Insane Posted: June 02, 2007 at 01:48 AM (#2388319)
Who in the world is touting Theriot as the next Sandberg?
   6. Spahn Insane Posted: June 02, 2007 at 01:50 AM (#2388327)
AR summed up my feelings pretty well in post 2. Sure, it's possible the Cubs can right the ship, given the talent on hand (and the talent it's competing against). (Don't think it's real likely, but stranger things have happened.)

The question is--even if they do, will I have lost interest by that time?
   7. McCoy Posted: June 02, 2007 at 01:55 AM (#2388343)
This all sounds like last year to me. For the first two months people kept saying hey we are not out of it yet. They are one hot streak away, yada yada yada. This team is toast. It was toast last year, it is toast this year.

I've fought the urge to blame it on fundamentals. I always hated it when Dusty or somebody else blamed it on fundamentals. But this team is horrible when it comes to playing baseball by anything close to the book. They are a bunch of blindfolded monkies bonking into each other there.

Hendry is toast. Horrible off season on his part, one of many.
   8. Spahn Insane Posted: June 02, 2007 at 02:13 AM (#2388399)
Well, even if the team sucks in various ways, it's fair to point out that fundamental play's one of them. (It's certainly the most visible [and aggravating] way in which they suck. Well, along with punching each other out in the dugout.)
   9. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 02, 2007 at 02:21 AM (#2388416)
I always hated it when Dusty or somebody else blamed it on fundamentals.

The problem with Dusty blaming it on fundamentals was that fundamentals are what the coaching staff and manager are supposed to work on. What's frustrating to me is that the new coaching staff hasn't seemed to have had any effect on what has been the Cubs' most glaring weakness for at least three years now.

The Cubs are 2 games ahead of last year's pace. I can't imagine how you could possibly spend $300 million more inefficiently.
   10. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: June 02, 2007 at 02:25 AM (#2388423)
Lemme just jump in to essplain myself: I haven't heard anyone actually compare Theriot to Sandberg. I was exaggerating to emphasize the point that many Cubs fans are reading an awful lot out of his first 300 ABs.

Perhaps he'll keep it up, who knows. I've just been through similar hopes for a whole lot of players, from Mark Bellhorn to Bobby Hill to Kevin Orie to Tyler Houston to Scot Thompson to Dave Rosello. I'm not blaming him for what people think; I'm blaming the Cubs hype machine for possibly/likely making too much out of him and hoping he doesn't turn into a pumpkin.

This essay was a very long way to say that I've lost interest -- not because they are losing, not even because of the way they are losing, but because the same morons are making the same moronic mistakes and are generally behaving like asses as well. Even if the Cubs went on a ten-game win streak, I'd still find it hard to root for them as much as I'd like to.
   11. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: June 02, 2007 at 02:31 AM (#2388441)
The problem with Dusty blaming it on fundamentals was that fundamentals are what the coaching staff and manager are supposed to work on. What's frustrating to me is that the new coaching staff hasn't seemed to have had any effect on what has been the Cubs' most glaring weakness for at least three years now.

Yeah, that's true. What it reminds me of is the fact that coaching can only do so much. If Matt Murton drops a pop fly, no amount of coaching is going to be able to fix it. If Michael Barrett believes that he can throw a runner out at third, no amount of coaching is going to prevent him from making an ill-advised throw into left field. Coaches can talk about baserunning until they are blue in the face, but if Jacque Jones forgets how many outs there are, or Aramis Ramirez believes he can stretch a double into a triple, coaching can't prevent that.

Someone, probably SdeB, will jump in and say that this means that it wasn't all Dusty's fault last year. I agree, though I do believe that Dusty had other problems that merited his dismissal.

A few weeks ago, I opined that no one epitomizes the 2006-07 Cubs more than Jacque Jones. I stand by that statement.
   12. Andere Richtingen Posted: June 02, 2007 at 02:40 AM (#2388457)
This all sounds like last year to me. For the first two months people kept saying hey we are not out of it yet. They are one hot streak away, yada yada yada. This team is toast. It was toast last year, it is toast this year.

This year is completely different. On this date last year, the Cubs were in fifth place, 13.5 back, and the Cardinals had a 34-19 record leading the division.
   13. Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com Posted: June 02, 2007 at 02:53 AM (#2388496)
This all sounds like last year to me. For the first two months people kept saying hey we are not out of it yet. They are one hot streak away, yada yada yada. This team is toast. It was toast last year, it is toast this year.

Last year they were outscored by 60 runs in the month of May. This year they were outscored by 10.

Anyone notice they're pythag record's catching up down to their actual record?
   14. Spahn Insane Posted: June 02, 2007 at 02:59 AM (#2388516)
Anyone notice they're pythag record's catching up down to their actual record?

Y'know, I meant to check that while following on the GameDay this afternoon, and got distracted. I figured it must be, given the last several games.
   15. Spahn Insane Posted: June 02, 2007 at 03:00 AM (#2388519)
This year is completely different. On this date last year, the Cubs were in fifth place, 13.5 back, and the Cardinals had a 34-19 record leading the division.

Well, yeah, but the Brewers (or somebody) is likely to win more games this year than the Cards ended up winning last year.
   16. McCoy Posted: June 02, 2007 at 03:24 AM (#2388601)
Anyone notice they're pythag record's catching up down to their actual record?

Win the blowouts lose the close ones and you will have a pyth at odds with reality. I don't think I have ever seen a team deserve to lose so many 1 run games. I know a lot of people like to chalk up 1 run game outcomes to luck or to randomness or whatever but I honestly believe that if the Cubs played those games over they would still lose them. IT was the Cubs who made the mistakes that cost them the games and I don't see anywhere in the Cubs organization where they have learned from those mistakes.
   17. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 02, 2007 at 04:26 AM (#2388686)
The Cubs are 2 games ahead of last year's pace. I can't imagine how you could possibly spend $300 million more inefficiently.

At least Marquis and Lilly have been damn good this season. And DeRosa is hitting exactly as well as Soriano.

On the other hand, Soriano is hitting exactly as well as DeRosa.
   18. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 02, 2007 at 04:28 AM (#2388688)
That is, they could theoretically have spent the money more inefficently, just imagine if Vicente Padilla and Jeff Weaver instead of Marquis and Lilly were involved in this tragedy.
   19. McCoy Posted: June 02, 2007 at 05:10 AM (#2388714)
Well then it wouldn't be a tragedy, it would be a comedy
   20. Kiko Sakata Posted: June 02, 2007 at 05:22 AM (#2388727)
At least Marquis and Lilly have been damn good this season.

Marquis is rounding back into form, though. Over his last four starts, he's given up 14 ER in 23 IP.
   21. McCoy Posted: June 02, 2007 at 06:08 AM (#2388739)
NY and FLA are two of the best offensive teams in the league, SDP at home don't really score a ton and they didn't against him. Leaving the White Sox who might very well have been in a little bit of a offensive hot streak when they faced Marquis. Not saying Marquis before the 4 starts is legit, I believe somebody posted a stat saying the OPS+ of his opposition was 83 or something like that, but I don't really think we can call it rounding back into form. If the schedule has those three starts mixed into the rest nobody would notice.
   22. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: June 02, 2007 at 04:53 PM (#2388970)
I think The Riot is rather a K-Mart Ryan Freel -- better health, a little less offense. That can be a very valuable player to have on a good team. Too bad we're stuck with this drek.

The worst part is - this would ordinarily be the point where you could expect to back up the truck and maybe add some chits to what I think is a farm system on the downside (I'm not a believer in Pie).

Yet - with this likely to be Hendry's last season, I doubt he's going to be looking to the future in July. What's more - the roster construction doesn't lend itself to a rebuilding project.

Ideally, you'd sign your 26 yo ace to a long-term deal. I think it's safe to say that isn't going to happen now... unlikely Hendry have the cojones to deal his ace - given the state of the NL Central (with all due respect to the Brewers - whom I do think is for real... The Pirates, however, are not.)

Soriano's contract makes him unmoveable. I can't see anyone picking up Marquis' deal - maybe if would have kept his April going, but I think baseball has seen enough of Marquis to know better.

I'm afraid Hendry's laid the foundation for a team that could be middling to bad for quite some time.
   23. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: June 02, 2007 at 05:03 PM (#2388983)
Someone, probably SdeB, will jump in and say that this means that it wasn't all Dusty's fault last year. I agree, though I do believe that Dusty had other problems that merited his dismissal.

I'll just point out, while the iron's hot, that I predicted since 2005 that a managerial change wouldn't likely have a significant effect. Though I didn't expect to be proven right so spectacularly.
   24. Fred Garvin is dead to Mug Posted: June 02, 2007 at 09:51 PM (#2389529)
I'm not saying I expected a 180-degree turnaround from Piniella -- I didn't -- but I did expect that things would be on the road to improvement. We've seen, for instance, that Jacque Jones has improved his throwing arm from "the worst I've ever seen" to simply "mediocre."

I don't think it's fair to expect that fundamental play would be perfect by now. I know Lou is trying to do what he can. At the very least, he's not apologizing for his players' behavior, as Dusty did.

What's not apparent, though, is what Piniella is doing about it or whether these are problems that *can* be solved by a managerial change. Although I'm getting wary of Mike Quade's seeming inability to put up a stop sign, I'm growing convinced that these things are solely the fault of the players themselves -- and the only thing that might change things is an overhaul of the roster, something the team hasn't done since 1981.
   25. Bunny Vincennes Posted: June 04, 2007 at 07:41 AM (#2391906)
This is a pretty interesting conversation. I'm watching more baseball than I ever have before. I've gone back to work, on a part time basis, Jill bought us MLB.TV, and I just applied to Stats Inc. I'm watching 4-6 games a day, and might was well get paid from Stats to score the games.

I'm enjoying the game, more than I ever have (which is saying things). Where do the Cubs fit into this? It seems that enjoying so much baseball has taken the manic ride that is the Cubs down a notch. I've now watched every one of their games this season (I'm currently watching Saturday afternoon's game). I'm not down on this team yet, all sorts of goofball things have happened. I don't know what to think. All I can do is tune in, watch the games and see how it plays out. If they continue to suck, well I've seen this team do lots of sucking. I will say this, Lou seems to care, and that is a lot more than I can say for Dusty Baker.

I'm not sure what I'm saying here, but my perspective on the game and the Cubs in particular has changed a lot since I started to OD on baseball.
   26. And You Thought Zonk Was Terminated? Posted: June 04, 2007 at 01:44 PM (#2391954)
Good luck with the Stats Inc app, Jack --

I worked for Stats part-time in college 10-15 years ago - and one of my biggest regrets today was not keeping in touch and following up after graduating... 'course - I was basically doing the grunt work of checking boxscores vs. ancient MS Access databases, so it didn't exactly 'feel' like a career I wanted to pursue at the time ;-)
   27. Russ Posted: June 05, 2007 at 11:59 AM (#2393447)
The Pirates, however, are not.


The Pirates are 24-33... who on earth would imply that they were "for real" (unless it was "they suck, FO' REAL").

The Pirates are only team in the NL Central besides Milwaukee who are playing pretty much to the level of their ability.

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