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Chicago Cubs Headlines For Friday

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What offense looks like.

So last night was another train wreck:

Ryan Theriot sounded like Lou Piniella on Thursday after the Cubs dropped another agonizing, extra-inning game on the final day of their three-city trip. "I'm kind of like Lou," he said. "I don't really have an answer right now. I wish I did." Geoff Blum's RBI single in the 13th inning gave Houston a 2-1 victory over the Cubs, sending them limping home with a 4-4 record.
When Ryan Theriot is rendered speechless, you know we have a problem.
Whlie the rest of us have been scratching our melons, trying to figure out where to lay the blame, Lou seems to have figured it out:

Piniella wasn't pleased to hear his players had no answers.

"Well, they're going to have to find them," he said. "[The manager and coaches] don't play. They're going to have to find answers on the field. That's really the bottom line. Sounds cruel. Sounds harsh. But that's reality."

Children working in diamond mines in Africa is cruel. Telling the offense to get their heads out of their asses and hit the damn ball sounds about right. Get some perspective, Lou.

In surprising news, Fonzie earns hug points from cubbiejulie:

Soriano said it was one of the worst slumps of his career.

"This is my first time, but I keep fighting to stay healthy to be in the lineup," he said. "Sooner or later, I'm going to be fine."

The Cubs hope it's sooner rather than later. Soriano was brought here to be the catalyst for the lineup, and while he's not the only one struggling, he's certainly the highest paid among them.

Soriano is hitting .236 after 57 games. His worst season, average-wise, was .268 in 2001 with the New York Yankees, and .268 in 2005 with Texas. But Soriano combined for 73 steals in those two seasons. His running game is obviously a thing of the past.

Adding insult to injury, Soriano fouled a ball off his knee before grounding into a double play in the third inning Thursday.

"That's how bad my swing is, that I hit one off my knee," he said. "If you're hitting a foul ball off your knee, the swing is not good."

Awww. You know Fonzie's stupid explanations usually make me beat my head repeatedly against a wall, but that's as sincere a lament as I've heard from anyone on this team. Hang in there, buddy.

Gordo finally says what a lot of people are thinking:

HOUSTON -- Looking at the Cubs' hitting problems this season, Milton Bradley is the $30million elephant in the room.

Sure, Aramis Ramirez's shoulder injury creates a huge hole in the lineup, but the switch-hitting Bradley was supposed to be a big-money, middle-of-the-order hitter. He has had trouble sustaining more than a week of consistent playing time, much less production. After his recent calf strain, he spent all of two games back in the lineup before getting time off to work with hitting coach Gerald Perry on a minor fix in his swing.

''This gives Gerald a little time to work with him,'' said manager Lou Piniella, who added that Bradley was physically fine a day after playing through a leg cramp that started in his fifth-inning at-bat Wednesday. ''You know, he's started 35 of our first 56 games. He's missed quite a few games -- I don't know.''

Is that the cause of his .209 funk this season? "Regularity usually allows you to hit better," Piniella said, pausing to consider the hole in the lineup Bradley has created, whether he plays or not. ''We're in the middle of June now. This is not May or April. ... I tell you, he's hitting [.183] against righties. I mean, that's not good.''

The Cubs are 10-3 when Bradley doesn't play.

It's not that I don't think Milton Bradley, in theory, was worth $30 million, it's just that it appears that maybe we got a rip-off. I wonder exactly where Lou found this Milty, because I'm beginning to suspect it was from a guy selling a bench of "frada" and "couch" bags out of the back of his van.

LOHO QOTD: Tell us what you'd do to "fix" this team. Make a trade (it has to be quasi-reasonable-no "I'd go get Pujols" garbage)? Promote someone from the minors? Start fining people for not hitting? Start some of the bench warmers? Feng shui? Voodoo priestess?

I'm curious as to what people say, because it's not like, on paper, this team shouldn't be hitting the holy bajeezus out of the ball. I'm not sure what, if anything, there is to be done with these guys. I've never seen an entire team slump this badly all at the same time.

In happ-happ-happy news, the LOHO get-together is only 24 hours away! At 10:30 tomorrow morning, LOHOers from all across the nation will be converging on Murphy's Bleachers. From there, we'll head over to the game. Want in? Just grab a bleacher ticket and meet us at Murphy's. See you there! Cubs at Twinks today, kids. Game thread to come.

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16 Comments

flyball said:

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did arsenal score more in 1 game than the Cubs in the whole series? thats depressing

JulieDiCaro said:

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indeed they did. when was the last time you saw a footy match with a higher score than, like, 50 Cubs baseball games.

GAK.

Nicky Pork n' Beans said:

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I was offended by the lack of offense

JulieDiCaro said:

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I'm watching John Walsh from "America's Most Wanted" talking about his son's abduction right now. Adam Walsh and I would be the same age, and the movie "Adam" scared the crap out of me as a kid and even today.

I interviewed John for a J-school article in college, and I just want to say that he is one of the nicest, kindest. most generous (with his time) people I have ever met. Why a major public figure with his own foundation and his own TV show took time out of his busy schedule to talk with a lowly college student writing an article for class is beyond me, but he did.

Just FYI.

summerguy said:

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Well I'm glad you asked.

a. Fucking demote David Patton... ha, you had forgotten he was even on the roster didn't you? Well he is. And he also pitches about once a month. And no he is not on the DL.

Seriously "Cubs Management" how about actually promoting a player who DESERVES TO BE ON THE FUCKING TEAM. Um... how about Jake flippin Fox? God, seriously I think I could do a better job constructing this roster.

b. Demote one of our 70 2nd Basemen and repromote JAKE FUCKING FOX. He was the only one of the callups actually hitting. Let me think of one to demote off the top of my head... Andres Blanco. He has contributed next to nothing offensively for this team; actually, I consider him to be somewhat of a black hole in this lineup. He hasn't done shit yet he starts over Bobby Scales most of the time (who I think is just as good defensively and actually gets on base.)

c. Quit trying to trade for Jake Peavy. As much as I would like to a get a bonafide Ace on this team, starting pitching is NOT our problem. How about we focus on getting some offense? That is our freakin problem. I heard rumors that Ramirez had a setback... well go fucking figure. Why have we not traded for an Aubrey Huff or some veteran bat off the bench? We have no leadership on this team and I'm not saying that someone like Huff or a Geoff Blum would provide that... but it would be a start.

d. Uh Lou... you always preach that if a guy performs he will play... then why the hell did you just demote Jake Fox, who has been performing when asked. You do know that we will be playing American League teams soon right? I'm glad to know you stand behind your noodle-swinging 2nd basemen that you have helped compile with Jim Hendry. Thanks.

Oh and Fukudome still cannot hit lefties worth a shit.

flyball said:

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haha! I totally hadn't thought of Patton in at least 2 weeks, excellent sg

JulieDiCaro said:

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i feel like jake fox is getting the felix pie treatment. they make a big deal about the callup and how he's going to help on offense, yada yada yada, but then they only give him limied ph opportunities. i know he's a butcher in the field, but who cares? he can't be any worse than some of the other yahoos we keep running out there.

as for me, i would like a real second baseman. go get aaron hill.

flyball said:

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Jason Waddell is on the roster?

at least bring up Kevin Hart so I have someone to yell Fear the Turtle! to

thisyearcub said:

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Gordo is the one cent writer in the room.

Even though Bradley is in a severe rut, no one could predict that. Or Soto, etc. I don't fault Hendry for going out and signing him. It was the right move.

As for fixing the team, I agree on Fox. Call him back up, maybe his bat outplays his glove. Give him some time at 3rd sporadically. DFA MILES for goodness sake.

Overall, it sucks this team is struggling, but I've changed my expectations to "be within two games of first at the All-Star break." So far, they're close enough. Then A-Ram returns and we'll see what happens.

flyball said:

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a rut is a month, this is getting ridiculous for both Bradley and Soto

I'm annoyed that there was no real backup plan for Aramis, its not like the guy has never been hurt before, or never needs a day off

JulieDiCaro said:

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seriously. was the fontenot/miles combo SERIOUSLY theh backup plan for Aramis? because that's inexcusable. even without the shoulder, his butt usually sidelines him for a week or two every year.

a "plan B" that inserts miles into the lineup for weeks at a time is just so wrong.

thisyearcub said:

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And unbelievably enough, Miles is again in the lineup today.

thisyearcub said:

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summerguy, do you have a link to Ramirez having a setback? Wasn't he taking grounders two days ago?

summerguy said:

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thisyearcub, I do not have a link to that because it probably never happened... just something that would and could go wrong right now. (I think an editor at goatriders said it)

and Patton CAN get sent down... if the team we got him from doesn't want him (I don't see how they would want him).

thisyearcub said:

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Also, Patton can't be sent down. It's either waive him or keep him on the team.

flyball said:

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short of finding Kenny Lofton and having him just chill in the dugout I say let these guys figure it out or see if you can trade anyone for decent young guys

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