A League of Her Own

Chicago Cubs Headlines for Tuesday

Chicago Cubs Derrek Lee hits an RBI double against the Houston Astros

This just in: Derrek Lee is awesome.

Derrek Lee homered twice and Ted Lilly earned his team-leading 11th win, launching the Pirates into the history books.

In spring training, Lee said former hitting coach Gerald Perry told him not to even say the words "home run." He changed his swing but after a poor April went back to his old ways.

"I approached Gerald with the changes and we worked on those in the spring, but I just never got comfortable with them," Lee said. "I finally said 'scrap it' and went back to what I was used to doing."

Hey, thanks a lot, Gerald. Now we know what got you fired: you messed up DLee's swing.

And the Pirates want us all to quit our whining:

While the Cubs have set the standard for futility with 101 consecutive years -- and counting -- without a championship, their 4-2 victory over Pittsburgh on Monday ensured the Pirates of a record-setting 17th consecutive losing season.

No professional team in North America -- whether it's baseball, the NFL, NHL or NBA -- has endured a stretch like the Pirates. The last team to go 16 straight years without a .500 or better team was the Phillies from 1933 to 1948.

Cry me a river, Pittsburgh.

Derrek Lee has no answers for us when it comes to this seasonp>

PITTSBURGH -- Derrek Lee said 2009 is just one of "those years" and believes the Cubs don't have to make many changes to get back to playoff form.

"It could be totally different [in 2010]," the first baseman said. "There are so many variables in baseball. I don't think it's like other sports where you can kind of 'talk things up.' Guys have down years. You see it all the time. This year, it just happened we had a few guys be hurt or have bad years. But you fully expect those guys to be back and rebound."

This is going to get me in trouble with the internet nazis, but I hate this kind of thinking. "We don't really know what went wrong. People got hurt, people had bad seasons. Maybe next year will be better. Blah blah blah." Yes, I'm certain next year will be TONS better with Kevin Gregg in our bullpen and Mike Fontenot as our 2nd baseman and Soto as our starting catcher. Part of the reason this team was bad was because BAD PERSONNEL DECISIONS WERE MADE, notably in thinking Fontenot was a starter and thinking Kevin Gregg was a real baseball player.

Bah.

And poor Kevin Hart tries to convince himself Pittsburgh's not that bad:

"It'll be fun" Hart said. "I know what they're going to try and do. They know what I'm going to try and do. I think everyone is going to enjoy it."

Hart was shocked at being traded to the Pirates but said he has settled in and believes the team will be competitive quicker than anyone expects. Still, going from Wrigley Field to near-empty PNC Park takes some getting used to.

"They're used to championships, and they may be a little disappointed in us, but I think we'll be OK," he said.

Spellcheck sucked it up in Iowa yesterday, so what are the Cubs to do? Call him up, of course!

The Cubs called up right-handed reliever Jeff Stevens from Class AAA Iowa Monday.

They'll likely recall righty Jeff Samardzija from Iowa today. Samardzija started Monday's game for Iowa.

Stevens is beginning his fourth stint with the big club. At Iowa, he was 1-3 with 2 saves and a 2.03 ERA in 42 relief appearances.

He began his major-league career with four straight scoreless outings. Stevens is one of three pitchers acquired from Cleveland for infielder-outfielder Mark DeRosa last Dec. 31. The other pitchers, John Gaub and Chris Archer, have enjoyed good seasons in the minor leagues.

Samardzija had a rough outing for Iowa in its season finale Monday against Albuquerque. He worked 42/3 innings, giving up 7 hits and 5 runs. He walked one, struck out five and gave up a homer.

I have never seen a player rewarded so much for so little.

6:05 game tonight at PNC.

Recommended

[?]

Recent Posts

Subscribe

Leave a comment

93 Comments

flyball said:

user-pic

I'm sorry, I got stuck at "team leading 11th win"

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

No kidding.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

This team has won 11 games all season? I don't think so.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

I'm not ready tog give up on Soto, but Fontenot and Gregg should have been shot dead already.

flyball said:

user-pic

I think Soto will bounce back next season

millertime said:

user-pic

If this was Oregon Trail, and they had scurvy, I wouldn't slow down the wagon pace to help them get better.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

I like.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

Guess who's on TV talking about Oprah?

Ronnie Woo-Woo!

Max Power said:

user-pic

From my office, I can see the setup from behind. Not as many people as I expected to see, but there have to be over 100 already waiting along the barrier about a block up Michigan from the stage.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

Gates don't open until 5:00.

Max Power said:

user-pic

They're a-waitin' already, that is for sure. Some lining up at gates, some seem to be a block back by a large screen.

Doc said:

user-pic

Oprah can keep him.

millertime said:

user-pic

Sign Sean Figgins, replace Gregg with Cashner, leave Aaron Miles in the middle of nowhere.

World Series here we come.

millertime said:

user-pic

On second thought, scratch Figgins. His numbers suck.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

I was waiting for you to get there.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

I somehow switched my "who's among us?" widget to serbian and now i can't understand anything.

Doc said:

user-pic

I have determined something during this season.

Spellcheck will never be a successful pitcher for the Cubs. In fact, he isn't a pitcher at all. Just watch him throw. His mechanics are horrible. When the Cubs signed him, they needed to completely deconstruct this kid's delivery and slowing turn him into a real pitcher. Instead they threw him out on the mound, promoted him for no reason, taught him a couple of fancy new grips on the ball, gave him millions of dollars and made him pitch in the big leagues telling him to throw as hard as possible.

He's got the delivery and mechanics of an average college pitcher. And as long as he's in this Cubs organization, he'll never move beyond that.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

well, too bad. because he's got a no-trade clause.

flyball said:

user-pic

at some point even Pittsburgh has got to be better than Iowa right?

Max Power said:

user-pic

Baseball-wise, or just generally?

flyball said:

user-pic

baseball-wise

I got nothing against Iowa, its a nice place

Doc said:

user-pic

Pittsburgh does have the nicest ballpark in baseball. And the Steelers are a good team.

Doc said:

user-pic

(and by that, I'm thinking the Spellcheck might be a good receiver for the Steelers.)

millertime said:

user-pic

Thanks Debbie Downer. Way to cheer up my morning.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

When I'm in a bad mood, I take everyone with me.

flyball said:

user-pic

celebrate with me, class starts tonight!

Max Power said:

user-pic

In non-Cubs baseball news, former Mets (and Twins, thank you) pitcher Jerry Koosman ,a href="http://www.webcpa.com/news/Pitcher-Koosman-Gets-6-Months-Tax-Evasion-51629-1.html?ET=webcpa:e470:131006a:&st=email" target="_blank">will do some time for his failure to pay taxes from 2002-04.

First Denny McLain, now Koosman. What 1960s-1970s pitcher will be next?

Max Power said:

user-pic

Let me try that again

.In non-Cubs baseball news, former Mets (and Twins, thank you) pitcher Jerry Koosman will do some time for his failure to pay taxes from 2002-04.

First Denny McLain, now Koosman. What 1960s-1970s pitcher will be next?

millertime said:

user-pic

Your first try? Complete garbled nonsense a cat would write if it ran over a keyboard.

Your second try? Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Notify the Pulitzer community. Tell everyone else sorry, but there's always next year. Max Power strikes again.

Max Power said:

user-pic

Starting the day with whiskey again, eh?

millertime said:

user-pic

Doesn't everybody?

Max Power said:

user-pic

Only the strong, m'boy.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

You make me feel like I'm not an alcoholic, thank you Max!

Carl Heartscubs Gierhan said:

user-pic

Jerry Koosman owned the farm that my great aunt and uncle lived on.

thisyearcub said:

user-pic

Quit fucking stat-padding, Lee!!!!

flyball said:

user-pic

sigh, I'm too tired for a fist fight this early

apologize before millertime starts throwing punches

millertime said:

user-pic

That was Umbra. He is the violent one. Something tells me thisyearcub is being sarcastic. I end up agreeing with thisyearcub on 90% of things anyways.

flyball said:

user-pic

there was no qualification on what context it was said in, just that the term was used

Umbra said:

user-pic

In doing so, a precedent was set: an implicit agreement that no direct negative acknowledges acceptance of his bargain.

Pistols at dawn, Matt.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

i'm not talking about DLee. I'm talking about guys who go up there swinging for the fences every time and fail. see, e.g. soto, geo; soriano, alfonso; fukudome, kosuke.

millertime said:

user-pic

Miles doesn't even have to walk to the plate before we know he fails.

Julie does make a good point though.
2009 Cubs: 484 walks 1017 SO
2008 Cubs: 636 walks 1186 SO

Not a good ratio.

Granted there is one more month to play, but what the heck happened to our patient approach at the plate?

I think Julie is more upset with the approach that most of our players are taking.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

okay, 'stat-padding' is unfair because it presumes a) the ability to pad one's stats and b) to know the motivation behind their ABs. I suppose it could just as easily be "i want to go home" as "i want to pad my stats."

But yes, that's what I mean. I'm sick of seeing guys go up there, take 3-4 pitches, and sit down. What happened to patience, working a count, trying to get guys on base?

it's like crash said, "strikeouts are boring. worse, their fascist. throw some ground balls, it's more democratic."

it's also fascist to freaking strike out every time you go up because you swing at everything. give your teammates a chance to bat you in.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

"they're fascist.


gah

thisyearcub said:

user-pic

Soto's plate discipline has actually improved this season.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

How do you figure that?

2008 62 walks .364 OBP
2009 42 walks .323 OBP

thisyearcub said:

user-pic

It's really easy to figure. First, from the few stats you provided, his walk total is 20 fewer, but that's in 55 less games than last season. Projected out, it would be slightly higher. He's also cut down drastically on his strikeouts (which again is in fewer games, but when projected out it's still a decent number).

He's also swinging at fewer balls out of the zone and making better contact. (h/t to fangraphs)

I don't necessarily use OBP as a true indicator of plate discipline, but that's just me. I know others do. But overall, Soto's has improved.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

that's really hard to believe.

thisyearcub said:

user-pic

Maybe, but the numbers are there.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

if i figured out his SO% correcntly, it was 24% last season and 23.5% this season.

all this tells me is that he's hitting more WAGs and pop outs.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

But not Lee, because we like him?

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

not Lee because he doesn't strike out every time he's up there. He has productive ABs, goes deep in most counts, and actually mangages to make something happen when he's up there.

millertime said:

user-pic

I've heard that there is no negative correlation between taking a first pitch and walk rates. So swinging at the first pitch is not necessarily a bad thing. The problem is later in the at-bat.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

I've always noticed that Rammy does this. I seem to remember him saying it helps him get settled and get a read on the pitcher. He doesn't walk a ton, but he never strikes out and makes great contact. Maybe he still would anyway, I don't know.

Am I rambling?

Doc said:

user-pic

When are you not rambling?

Doc said:

user-pic

This must be one of those few occasions where you are sober.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

Well, I *am* at work.

Doc said:

user-pic

I didn't know you could post here and beg on the streets at the same time.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

You've heard those stories about rich vagrants, right?

Doc said:

user-pic

yes...but you're not rich (I assume.)

gravedigger said:

user-pic

Ouch :(

Dmband said:

user-pic

I think its about time Samardzija calls up Lovie Smith and tries his hand on the football field. He's not looking to good these days...

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

I bet he sucks at football, too. He looks like he sucks at everything. Including hair.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

I agree with this, and am surprised he's even alive, because he looks like someone who also sucks at breathing.

Also, do you think he wears a diaper? I do. That's nasty.

Doc said:

user-pic

I wouldn't doubt it...that's why he wears those baggy pants.

Edelweiss said:

default userpic local-auth auth-type-mt

I don't know who wears a diaper, but Jeff Baker needs to wear a pair of sliding shorts . His butt jiggles like crazy when he trots. That is not manly!!!

thisyearcub said:

user-pic

The one thing he doesn't suck at is hiring a smart agent. But everything else, yes.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

or finding a dumb team.

Doc said:

user-pic

I've started to think that even if given the choice and a lot of money to do it, he wouldn't play football. After seeing him as a ballplayer, I don't think he is the type that would want to take the punishment of playing in the NFL.

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

he can't go to parties shirtless in Von Dutch hats if he's all banged up.

SO OBVIOUS!

millertime said:

user-pic

His type: Tall white kid that can't run fast. He would be worse than Mike Williams.

I actually think he might have a chance to turn into an ok pitcher. He is 24. It took Wells until age 26 to turn into a decent pitcher, and Wells doesn't have anything close to the type of stuff that Samardzija has.

Doc said:

user-pic

Wells was a professional ballplayer before they turned him into a pitcher. He must have shown some skill as a pitcher. F7 just doesn't look like a ballplayer. He doesn't seem to show any natural feel for the game. He looks clumsy out there and awkward.

Yes, Spellcheck is young compared to Wells...but I would have hoped to have a more polished pitcher that came out of college. And at age 24, his mechanics are really shaky.

And Wells making it at 26 (as a converted position player) is the exception as opposed to the rule.

But my initial point is that I really don't think he deserves to be on the big league team, and if he is to be a successful big league pitcher, he has a lot more to work on in the minors than just adding a change-up to his repertoire.

Doc said:

user-pic

Good...I just looked it up.

Theroit doesn't qualify for free agency for 3 more years...which means Jim Hendry won't give him a 5 year $50 contract until 2013.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

If his obesity or alcoholism doesn't kill him by then, god dammit, one of us will have to.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

I just realized how horrible that sounded. I actually like Jim Hendry a lot. That was probably crossing the line.

If it helps, I'm also an alcoholic.

Doc said:

user-pic

The funny thing is, I thought you where talking about Theriot.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

Oh. I was.

Doc said:

user-pic

where...were...whatever.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

Actually, its "wehre"

JulieDiCaro said:

user-pic

anybody wanna take the game thread tonight? I've got a crazy busy day today.

Doc said:

user-pic

gravedigger said:

user-pic

I plan to be drunk.

Doc said:

user-pic

that's assumed.

Dmband said:

user-pic

"I bet he sucks at football, too. He looks like he sucks at everything. Including hair."

Hahahahaha. Great point. I do hope you guys are right though about him developing into a good pitcher. Its weird how important of a role he filled last year as the late season setup guy....and now seemingly cant get anyone out. There is little to NO movement on that fastball, and I dont care how hard you throw, it has to move. Somewhere along the line the Cubs told him to develop into a 4 pitch guy so he could start...I think thats just dumb. Get his fastball to move, work on the breaking ball and keep him in the bullpen.

Doc said:

user-pic

ok...

So I guess I'm a bit dismayed on a couple of levels right now.

Usually, by this time of the year...the last week of August or the first week of September...I receive my application to Cubs purchase post season tickets.

Guess what.

They never sent one out. Last year I received it on August 22.

Now I know we all realize that the Cubs are out of it. But it would appear to me that the Cubs organization feels the same way about their playoff chances as we do.

We all kind of joke about the idea that many of the players have appeared to have packed it in for the rest of this season. But the ticketing office as well? I expected that most of the people in the Cubs organization would have continued to express some hope for this season, or at least given the appearance of hope.

So that was the first part about this that disappoints me.

The second was the fact that I was really looking forward to trashing the post season ticket form. Some years I get if via mail...others by e-mail...either way, I really wanted to just throw it out or delete it...just would have made me feel a little better.

So, if you haven't throw in the towel for this season, you should since the whole Cubs organization has.

thisyearcub said:

user-pic

Good stuff by the only Cubs writer worth anything:

http://blogs.dailyherald.com/node/2556

Doc said:

user-pic

Too bad Baker hasn't played more.

Dmband said:

user-pic

Doc-

Dont tell Jim Hendry that. He refuses to talk about 2010. As a GM, is this guy in denial or is he just talking crap. Im sorry, but seems to me the GM should be thinking about 2010 even before 2009 starts...THATS HIS JOB. That probably explains why our farm system is terrible and all of the big contracts are back-loaded with no-trade clauses....

Doc said:

user-pic

At the same time, Hendry is trying to keep his job and justifying the $300 million (or whatever) that he's given away in contracts the last few years. And I think he also knows there isn't much he can do for next season unless some guys retire or some team is willing to take some of this garbage off his hands.

gravedigger said:

user-pic

forbes says Chicago is the most stressful city in the country

Doc said:

user-pic

Obviously they have left out Madison in that study.

millertime said:

user-pic

My area city is more stressful than your area city.

millertime said:

user-pic

I had a subscription to Forbes, but then I realized that Forbes was basically just the big corporations tooting their own horns. I enjoyed The Economist much better.

Leave a Comment?

Some HTML is permitted: a, strong, em

What your comment will look like:

said:

what will you say?

Most Active Pages Right Now

ChicagoNow.com on Facebook

A League of Her Own on Facebook

A League of Her Own - A Chicago Cubs Blog on Facebook