A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for July 21, 2009

Cubs-Phillies
…and there it is in a nutshell.


Hello Cubs fans! Max Power pinch-hitting (that’s a baseball term, gravedigger) for your normal Cubs headlines writers. Fortunately for you, there will be no photos of Jack Nicholson, no mentions of the 40th anniversary of the moon landing (Jesus, they really tried to work that in a lot last night — never sucessfully, mind you), but lots of mentions of a rout that, deep down (not that deep, actually), we knew was all too likely.

After the spanking the Cubs gave the Nationals on Sunday night that capped a four-game sweep, it seemed somewhat inevitable that the Cubs would have a mildly more difficult time with the Phillies on Monday night. This bold prediction proved true. Cue Gordon Wittenmeyer:

In fact, it took the World Series-champion Phillies a matter of four innings to beat up the Cubs’ lone All-Star, Ted Lilly, on the way to a 10-1 rout that featured Cubs breakdowns in every facet of the game, including a pair of dropped balls in the outfield.

What did Theriot think?

”They’ve got a great team, there’s no doubt about that,” Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot said of a red-hot Phillies team that won for the ninth straight time and 13th time in 14 games.
Wow, Ryan — way to go out on a limb. For what it’s worth, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel agrees with Theriot, which could suggest it was simply a strong Phillies team, not a questionable Cubs team (yes, that means you Soriano), that caused the rout.
“Lopez did a heck of a job,” said manager Charlie Manuel. “Moved the ball around, good sinker, good command.”
That’s not good enough for ESPN’s Jon Greenberg, who awkwardly, and unsuccessfully, attempts to link a classic Simpsons episode to the Cubs’ situation:
Given their current state of affairs after their 10-1 loss to Philadelphia, I’d say the Cubs are more likely to find Homer Simpson’s mythical Land of Chocolate (“Chocolate half-price!”) than an equally fantastical World Series berth. I found the episode’s message relatable to the Cubs, and not just because Alfonso Soriano plays left field the way Homer inspects safety. The sarcastic heart of the story comes at the end, when Mr. Burns realizes that wealth and time do not buy him happiness because no one, not even the scourge of Sector 7G, is scared of a powerless despot. Which kind of sounds like the Cubs: the rich, powerless despot of the NL Central. Burns sold his power plant for $100 million. The Cubs spent $35 million more than that to build this lineup. Given the team’s inability to build any kind of momentum, which figure seems more comedic?

I guess I should discuss the sandwich I was eating during the game, as that also coincidentally occurred at the same time.

Worry not, Cubs fans, Lou has been helping Milton Bradley with his hitting problems:
“We didn’t make many radical changes at all,” he said. “We talked about some things that felt comfortable.
“[Tuesday] we’ll work some more. We’re going to film it.
“We’ll get him in the lineup Wednesday and get him playing when we get back home [Friday]. Give him a few days to get comfortable with the things we talked about.”
Bradley was asked about working more.
“We’re going to work, like I’ve been working all year and continue to work,” he said.

Good, Milton. Because whatever you’ve been doing by “working all year” has been paying off like crazy to this point.

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30 Comments

thisyearcub said:

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I think winning one out of three in Philly would be just fine. Hottest team in baseball right now.

Julie, I took a pic of Sam Fuld for you in DC (before he got sent down).

Also, Milton Bradley=the man.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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One out of three in Philly would mean a 5-2 road trip, which I think any of us would accept.

JulieDiCaro said:

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except for the part about how we can't beat anyone other than the nationals.

JulieDiCaro said:

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FYI--Max wrote these headlines, which he inexplicably posted under my name.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I can see why you wouldn't want your name attached to this.

Max Power said:

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You stink, Carl.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I most certainly do.

JulieDiCaro said:

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why does the highlander have a french accent? shouldn't he be scottish?

JulieDiCaro said:

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oh, there we go. now he's scottish.

FrankS said:

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In reference to the Highlander question, Christopher Lambert wan born in America to a French diplomat father. He grew up in Switzerland and then at 16 moved to Paris, therefore he has that funky accent of his.

I keep wondering when Davis-Panzer will remake the original Highlander movie seeing as how it is about the only franchise the company has. The company may have changed its name since Bill Panzer passed away two years ago.

waxpaperbeercup said:

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a 5-2 roadtrip would be just fine when you consider how shitty this team has been on the road this season. (16-25 before the trip to DC)

Doc said:

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It's a good thing the stats tell us that Soriano is a good left fielder...because just watching the game indicates he sucks out there.

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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I seem to remember reading that most of his "good left fielder" status is predicated on the fact that he has so many assists.

Doc said:

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yep...

and my argument against that has always been that he gives himself more assist chances by not making routine plays in the outfield, allowing running to try to stretch outs or singles into doubles.

These are the same people who thought K-Fuk would be good in center and the same people who thought Bradley would still be a good right fielder.

People actually need to watch the games, not look at box scores.

oog of ulams said:

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Please stop with this "watch the games" stuff. You always say you're half-joking, but "I watch the games" has been the recourse of people too intellectually lazy to accept evidence that doesn't support what they already think.

The statistics don't say that Soriano has been good this year. But you wouldn't bother looking at that first before declaring that "These are the same people who thought K-Fuk would be good in center and the same people who thought Bradley would still be a good right fielder," would you?

Doc said:

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actually, I was saying all this stuff long before the season started...

and before this season started, based on common fielding statistics, Soriano was an above average left fielder. Upon examining these statistics, many people (no so much from this site, but from other popular Cubs blogs) claimed that those Soriano haters out there had everything wrong. I responded to that by saying "Watch the games" because anyone that actually sees this guy play in left field, and by see, I mean go to a game and focus on what he does out there, can tell that he is just plain bad in left field. Luckily, this year, the stats finally support this.

Then we go to Kosuke, who many people thought would have no problem in center field. In the handful of games out there last year, it was very apparent he didn't have a natural feel for playing the position.

Then finally we get to the guy who can't count to three. There was a reason the Rangers didn't want him out in right field last year. Because he can't play the position anymore.

Based on these facts, I said, immediately after the Cubs sign uncle Milty that the cubs outfield defensively the worst in baseball.

I admit, I was probably wrong about that, because there are a couple of teams that are probably worse than the Cubs with those three.

The cubs, are unfortunately in the National League. It's unfortunate because, well, they have 4 DH's on their roster right now: Fonzi, Milty, Hufflepuff and Fox Trot. Who put this team together?

Oh, and I still believe the Cubs will win the division this year. So we shouldn't worry about that.

flyball said:

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that was just sad to watch

millertime said:

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One bad game = THE CUBS ARE DOOMED AND HAVE NO SHOT!

Look, I know it hasn't just been "one bad game", but still. There is a lot of talent on this team. Other than the dodgers and Phillies, is there any team out there that anyone thinks is better than the Cubs? I mean, look at the Brewers and Cards rosters. I'd pick our roster hands down. Right now, the other teams in the division are hoping that 2/3 of their lineup keeps producing at career levels. Unlikely. While the Cubs hope that 2/3 of their lineup can stop performing at career worst levels. I'll give the edge going forward to the Cubs. Yeah, it was a bad game, and we're going to lose this series. We're playing a hot team in baseball on the road, that happens.

Also, the money issue doesn't mean shit. Jim Hendry has done a fine job putting this team together. I don't even want to get started on how dumb it is to compare the Cubs to the Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, or Red Sox.

thisyearcub said:

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thank you, millertime. Agree on all accounts.

oog of ulams said:

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LF: home of Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Barry Bonds, and Alfonso Soriano.

I wish we could just put an Ozzie Smith out there!

thisyearcub said:

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hey Carl. HAPPY BIRTHDAY you fool!

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

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Thank you, dearest Matt.

waxpaperbeercup said:

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I watch the games and still don't know shit.

berselius said:

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I would disagree that the stats support this. Soriano has been an above-average LF for the past three years, and when his stats are below average this year you feel vindicated?

berselius said:

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Also, the reason why the Rangers "didn't want him out in right field" was due to the fact that he was coming back from ACL surgery.

Doc said:

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"I would disagree that the stats support this. Soriano has been an above-average LF for the past three years, and when his stats are below average this year you feel vindicated?"

If anyone thinks Soriano has ever been above average in left field, then they need to look at some tape. His play this year out there has been identical to his first two years in Chicago...it's amazing how people ignore his short comings in the field when he's hitting well.

"Also, the reason why the Rangers "didn't want him out in right field" was due to the fact that he was coming back from ACL surgery."

Any why should the Cubs be any different? Oh, wait, because they don't have a DH in the NL. So why did the Cubs sign him?

oog of ulams said:

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Doc, you're begging the question. How can I trust your eye that watches a few games over the evidence presented?

Nothing wrong with watching a game. But we appeal to statistics because we recognize our fallibility. We choose what to see and remember, and I wouldn't consider any games I've watched and the impressions I got at them "facts" to base anything off of.

Doc said:

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I don't watch just "a few" games.

and with the exception of the last half of last season and the first half of this season (for reason of caring for my first child), I don't attend just "a few" games.

And for that, I rely less on statistics. Not everyone has that access, and if all they have are stats, fine. But they shouldn't dismiss those who make observations...which has happened often...not here, but on other sites.

berselius said:

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"Any why should the Cubs be any different? Oh, wait, because they don't have a DH in the NL. So why did the Cubs sign him?"

Because he recovered from his ACL injury? He did play 150+ innings in RF for Texas last year as he finished recovering, for what it's worth.

Making your argument about the stats justifying your views on Soriano is like going to a restaurant that you heard was bad. You go there three times in a row and get great food. You go a fourth time and your meal is not good. Suddenly, you're vindicated?

jtbwriter said:

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Afternoon from hot and hotter SoCal!
Okay-I leave you kids alone this morning, and we have a lively argument-okay-discussion going on! I think we all need a nap now!

I will admit Soriano's fielding sucked donkeys yesterday-but so did Lilly. Today is another day with MUCH better announcers! And I have confidence the Cubs will score more then one run!

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