Diamondbacks on the soles of her shoes. Cubs 7 Arizona 6.

Diamondbacks on the soles of her shoes. Cubs 7 Arizona 6.

There's so much not to like about the Cubs victory over the Diamondbacks last night- the Cubs squandered a 6-0 lead, the starting pitching went down for the third straight game, the bullpen....well the bullpen, the Diamondbacks have this player who wears a 70's porn star mustache and the Cubs never get him out so fans are wearing fake mustaches and playing super Mario noises and it's REALLY REALLY ANOYING- that you almost forget that the Cubs won. Being driven by the mojo of a new player, the Cubs took their second game of the 4 game series last night. It looked like it was going to be a laugher. In the 4th, an Anthony Rizzo double followed by a Nate Schierholtz single gave the Cubs a 2-0 lead. In the next inning, Junior Lake, who's becoming quite a thing, doubled home a run to make it 3-0. And Nate Schierholtz dropped it like it was hot again with a home run to right to make it 6-0. Get out the McCain jokes right? wrong. Arizona got two runs when a ball bounced on second base and under Darwin Barney's glove. Then Sveum made the Sveumiest Sveum decision he'll ever Sveum and pulled starter Jeff Samardzija in favor of Blake Parker. Well, in favor of Paul Goldschmidt, who just clobbered Blake Parker's first offering into the left field seats. 6-5 Cubs. The Cubs would skate on thin ice for the remaining innings until Save-bot 6300 went "Danger Will Robinson" and gave up the tying run in the bottom of the 9th. Get out the Tom Tunney jokes right? Well wrong. Nate Schierholtz,drove in his 5th RBI of the night in the top of the 11th and the Cubs somehow wind up with a road W.  Who's up for some breakfast.

I'M NOT GOING TO WASTE MY TIME ARGUING WITH A MAN WHO'S LINING UP TO BE A HOT LUNCH

Jeff Samardzija did not have his best game last night. To be fair, every break went against him. Worst umpire in Baseball Angel Hernandez had a Picasso-like strike zone that baffled pitchers all night. The ball that went under Darwin Barney's glove could have gotten Shark by on 5 innings without even giving up a run. But they say you make your own luck, and Shark didn't do that. 118 pitches through 5 .2 innings. Some of that is Hernandez ( although he did get 70 strikes.) Some of it was Diamond back hitters grinding Shark to death. But a good part of it was Shark trying to throw his way out of problems. Lots of reliance on the 2 seamer and 4 seamer. That killer slider and fork we saw in Colorado were nowhere to be found in the desert. And it cost him in the 6th when...

THE DECISION

There are some that will justify Dale Sveum's decision to pull Jeff Samardzija in the 6th with two runners on base after he had just let two runners score (albeit on a fake hit.) and had thrown 118 pitches.  But jee bus- 1) it was still 6-2....2) You sent Samardzija out there to get the 6th even though he had already thrown a 100 pitches....3) it was Paul Goldschmidt. In 7 AB's this year against Samardzija, GoldSchmidt has no hits and 5 K's. A homer puts them back into the game. This is the pivotal hitter. Who are you trusting, your top pitcher? Or Blake bleeping Parker? If Sveum was worried about pitch count he doesn't send Shark out in the 6th at all right? 1s 124 pitches that much worse than 118? O-for 7 with 5 k's and you choose Blake Parker. It's a classic 2nd guess. But OHHHHHH what a classic.

UP IN THE AIR JUNIOR BIRDMAN.

So Junior lake is starting to draw Yasiel Puig comparisons. And not just from Cubaphiles. National people are in on the act too. ( Well except for Keith Law who took to the airwaves and tried to pee in everybody's cheerios by screaming "Junior lake sucks" several times. Was sup dude?) But two more hits and an RBI. He's slugging 852. His OBP is 1380. He has the second most hits for a 6 game start in THE HISTORY OF BASEBALL. Suck like a fox..... Lake will eventually come down to Earth, possibly crash, but for now he's just wonderful. And He's helping the Cubs win. So is Nate "the great" Schierholtz. WHO SOMEBODY SAID MIGHT HAVE A GREAT GAME......

So two out of three against the Snakes. I'm really tired of this club from Arizona and look forward to Thursday's game being over. Carlos Villanueva takes the bump, and with the bullpen taxed, he'll be needed to go deep. So far Chris Rusin has given the Cubs the longest start in this series. Chris Rusin.... Anyway, a bullpen call up wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. Otherwise, we can hope Junior and the boys can tee off on Arizona starter Wade Miley. Of course, there's that whole left hander with a pulse thing, and Cub hitters don't do too well against that. But we'll find out tonight. Onwards.

Boxscore

 

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  • fb_avatar

    Miss Cleo says ...

    Nate Schierholtz's trade stock is going up.

    Kevin Gregg's trade stock is going down.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Why I believe PIT will pay up for Schierholtz:

    Pirates batting .222 with RISP this season, which is dead last in the league. The Cardinals have hit .347 with RISP (thanks to Allen Craig's ridiculous, lucky numbers), which is a difference of approximately 100 hits given the same number of ABs. It's an archaic, unquantifiable statistic, as if we can calculate "clutch" or "pressure performance" but nonetheless it is a glaring weakness for the Pirates, and though from an analytical sense BA-RISP is non-existent, I do think some guys perform better and more consistently in clutch situations, i.e., have better make-up.

    I think Scheirholtz, over the past two weeks is trending favorably vs. Rios. His OPS over the past 14 days is significantly higher, and all things being equal, for the season, Schierholtz OPS is about 80 points higher. So certainly, Scheirholtz offers the "opportunity" to hit for a better average with RISP than Rios, though quantifying or predicting their abilities to do that going forward is impossible.

    Still.....If the Pirates can get up to .250 with RISP, that could equate to a few extra wins, maybe 4-6 wins total, which is incredibly important in the NL Central race right now.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    Gregg and Schierholtz are both a fit in Pitt.

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    In reply to Ike03:

    Gregg is pitching his way out of trade candidacy. I didn't see last night's game, but his pitching line was really, really ugly.

  • Nailed the WTWF again! You're on fire!

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    What did Keith Law say exactly? Probably that Junior is a undisciplined hitter who is getting lucky, and once the league gets advanced scouting reports, he'll morph into Jose Macias...or something like that?

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Said he has tools but no idea how to use them and that he's a bad ballplayer.

    He also didn't like Yasiel Puig, for the record, until he started hitting.

    I think he has a lot invested in Lake not succeeding, so he's going to hold out until the bitter end. Hopefully Lake outlasts him and proves him wrong. I think it's funny that guys like Law and Goldstein predicted failure every step of the way for Lake yet he has had success at every level -- they've been wrong, but they keep pushing back the time frame when he'll fail, hoping then that they can say they were right all along.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Lake is difficult to evaluate.....either the league catches up with him, or he is someone with natural talent that rises to the level of competition.

    He looks like a ML player, but I still can't tell if he's a starter, or a super-sub in the future

  • In reply to Zonk:

    He is difficult to evaluate. And I know professionals who like him and some who don't. We know he has tools. His approach is very aggressive -- which rubs some the wrong way, maybe rightfully so. But you can never truly dismiss a guy with those kinds of tools, in my opinion. We'll have to see how it plays out. He's already exceeded the expectations of some and continues to improve as he moves up, which says a lot about him being able to adjust and step up to the next level of competition.

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    In reply to Zonk:

    One thing is for sure. Lake is one hell of an athlete. If hadn't grown up in the DR, he might have been a WR in football or a PG or SG in basketball. I think the question has always been would the baseball skills ever catch up to the athletic skills.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Can't he evalute anything without sounding like a douche?

    So you have absolutely no problem with an athlete who stands up in front of the public and lies, continues to lie and defame others only to admit later due to overwhelming evidence that in fact he did lie. Great role model for our children...
    Klaw (1:21 PM)

    Straw man, and begging the question. I have never said I have "absolutely no problem" with Braun. And I reject categorically the idea that MLB players are or should be role models for our children. They're ballplayers. You want role models? You want heroes? Look elsewhere.

  • In reply to Mitchener:

    I'm sure he considers himself to be "brutally honest" but as Oscar Wilde has said,

    "People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty."

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    The other thing about Lake: his numbers have steadily improved every year. I think he showed signs of being better than his numbers in Iowa this season -- the injury really set him back.

    I really am enjoying this. I think he's going to struggle -- obviously this is totally and completely unsustainable -- but if he can adjust when the advanced scouting reports catch up him, and his minor league performance suggests he can, we may have found our left fielder.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    A lot of experts do not like Junior Lake but it isn't surprising. That being said, he seems to always play up to the competition. So maybe all of those experts are wrong. Some guys are Big Game Players and it takes getting to the Major Leagues for them to blossom into something more than just potential. All I know is, despite the small sample size and what looks like a few defensively shaky moments (he is playing out of position), he has certainly proven he is a major league ballplayer.

    Scouts didn't like Ryne Sandberg either. Everyone said he was at best, a 4th outfielder or extra infielder when he was traded to the Cubs. He is a great example of someone who excelled as the level of competition got better.

  • In reply to Michael Canter:

    He does seem to play better as the level of competition increases and it's something you like to see in a ballplayer. I am tempering my excitement, but I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt right now. He's playing well and while he may not have the kind of approach you'd like, it works for him. At least for now. There have been many good players who have carved out nice careers with aggressive approaches. No reason Lake can't do it either.

  • John, what are Nate's and Russell's value right now?

  • Maybe I heard it out of context. But what I heard was "Junior Lake sucks. Junior lake sucks. he may be hitting now but pitchers will realize you don't have to throw him strikes and he'll strike out. because Junior lake sucks.....". That may have been old. it might have been yesterday, it might have been a snippett to a longer rant. But that's what was played...

  • In reply to felzz:

    Lake is certainly aggressive but I haven't seen him swinging at a ton of bad pitches. Perhaps that will happen when teams start pitching around him, but thus far I haven't seen Brett Jackson 2.0 up there.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    My short introduction to him has me thinking the same. It's not like Puig, who I've noticed hitting balls a foot outside. If he continues to lay off those kinds of pitches I don't see him crashing overly hard.

  • Junior Lake sure looks like a ML starter to me. Sure He will fall back to .275 or so hitter but the arm / speed and enthusiasm will not go away. Remember all good teams have a spark plug guy that brings out the fire on the rest of the team and Lake sure looks like that guy for the Cubs. I see him as LF everyday till someone takes it from Him .

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    PS He sure reminds me of Dunston

  • In reply to Bryan Craven:

    An extra-large Dunston ;) I know what you mean though. Plays with that same kind of explosiveness and aggression -- but still unrefined.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm sticking with my Ian Desmond comp. Similar build, similar athelte. And another guy that scouts didn't like because he was more athlete than ball player, but hey sometimes being a great athlete is enough.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Very true. You don't need to be quite as refined if you can compensate with athleticism.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    I'll tell you who Lake reminds me of: Young Sammy Sosa. Loaded bats and loaded syringes aside, Sosa went from a .250 BA to a .300+ BA, not just because he allegedly cheated. He changed his approach, compacted his swing and recognized pitches better. Even when Sosa weighed 185, he never hit cheap home runs. But in his first few seasons with the Cubs, he swung at EVERYTHING.

    If Lake can shorten that swing a little and recognize pitches a little better, make adjustments as a hitter after pitchers zone in on the holes in his swing, he could be every bit as god as Starling Marte, if not better.

  • So if the Cubs keep winning and say they finish over .500 for the 2nd half of the season, does that move up Theo and Jed's timeline? Do they splash a little money this off season? And if so, is that a good idea?

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I think the thing that's underrated about Theo and Jed is that they've been quietly trying to build a team that can win -- and they're getting closer. I don't know if they'll make a big splash but I think they'll add pieces this offseason to try and win in 2014. They're not the Astros who are trying to lose and started dumping players when they weren't as bad as the Marlins.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Exactly right. You see them adding both nearer term pieces like Olt and Grimm as well at farther off talent like CJ Edwards. Seems to me we need to target pitching and perhaps some nearer term outfielders depending on who else we may lose in trade. The next week will be interesting indeed.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Sure would be nice to add Ellsbury or Choo but those guys will probably get 5 year deals from some team, 3 years would probably be perfect for those guys.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Agreed. 3 years would be ideal -- but somebody is going to pay in years. It may well be the Cubs. Wouldn't be surprised to see them pursue Ellsbury.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Ellsbury seems knicked up an awful lot to be giving him at age 30 more than 3 seasons.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    No doubt. But you're always going to overpay in free agency. The Cubs will have to weigh the factors here.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Any chance the Cubs could overpay in dollars instead of years? I'm much more comfortable with that, if possible, but I don't know how often players would take that kind of trade-off.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Well, if just 10 of the 20 blown saves had been salvaged, they would be in the thick of the wild card race. Actually that might have set them back since they wouldn't have likely traded Garza or brought up Lake, but just saying. One thing about Dale's teams is they look like they don't want to give up, even if he makes some head-scratchers now and again. I think he's doing a great job with what he has. I didn't think bringing in Parker when Sam was at 118 pitches was a bad decision, just a bad outcome. Next spring looks to be pretty interesting as there will be a lot of battles over spots (3rd? 2nd? 3 OF spots). Olt/Vitters/Lake in play for 3b or LF, and maybe Valbuena/Barney platoon at 2nd. Depending on who they trade away it might be a whole new OF. Do they dare throw all the money they would have to after Elsbury for CF?

  • A larger Dunston is alright with me. Dunston was my favorite player

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    He was my favorite player too as a kid because of the way he played the game.

  • I don't think anyone will ever accuse Dale Sveum of being the brightest bulb in the socket. Sparky Anderson he is not.

  • Junior Lake is doing exactly what I hoped. Giving us otherwise disappointed fans something to be excited about. Folks that wanted him to stay at AAA to get his sacred 400 odd at bats at each level were missing this point completely. It's wonderful to see a player force himself on management with performance like this. This is how special players show their mettle.

  • Is there a time line somewhere of how the Wrigley renovation is planned to progress? Are they upgrading the clubhouse first? Will there be a jumbotron next year?

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Read somewhere that the Jumbotron is a 15-18 month project. Have to get a design, get bids on building it, and then hire and train a crew to operate it.

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    In 6,276 PA Shawon Dunston had a slash line of .269/.296/.416 with 203 BB to 1,000 K. I could live with a lifetime BA of .269 from Lake, but stop for a moment and think how much better Dunston might have been had his career OBP been just .025 higher. Had Dunston been just a little bit more selective at the plate, not only would the OBP have been higher, but the SLG probably would have been as well, because he was seeing better pitches. Dunston is not who I want Lake to emulate at the plate.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    If you want to see a more selective version of Dunston, look at his son playing at Boise right now. He's got a long ways to go but looking like a nice prospect right now.

  • In reply to Bilbo161:

    He is and I've been tougher on him than most. I expected the son of a former MLB player to be less "Raw".

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Absolutely agree. Loved to watch Dunston play, but on balance, he was only above replacement level one season (2.3 WAR in 1989). Raising that OBP would have helped. And I can see some similarities between Lake and Dunston, but I'm hoping Lake exceeds Shawon's effectiveness.

  • I was fine with how Svuem managed Mardj's last inning. He had to go out there because the bullpen had been getting taxed, but he had also thrown a lot of high-stress pitches and was approaching 120 on the day with Goldschmidt coming up. Last thing he needed was a 7 pitch AB. My one issue is I honestly would have gone with Strop instead of Parker though. It was the most important out of the day, IMO.

  • See that's it. It was the most important out of the game and you took out the pitcher that had struck him out 5 of 7 times. It's not like his pitches were flat or he was throwing 90-91. He was still mid 90's. It's easy for me to do this because it didn't work. And had Samardzija been left in and "Goldie" had homered off of him Sveum would be ripped for that. But this management team pours over all kinds of charts and scouting reports. It's one of their strengths. How could he not factor in 0 for 7 with 5 K's.......

  • In reply to felzz:

    I get you. If we were in a wild card race he might do that different I think. But studies have shown that the 120 mark is dangerous waters for a pitcher. "Goldie" (just puked typing that) is very capable, even against a guy who owns him, of battling deep into a count. Not worth Mardj's health to me.

  • As much as i agree with Felzz's take on the pitching woes last night, i was excited to see Rondon perform in a high pressure situation.
    what's everyone's take on that guy, will he develop into a solid bullpen piece or will he be dumped soon?

  • In reply to Csanad:

    I think he gets at least another year and to me he has more promise than Lendy Castillo. I think Rondon has hung in there well considering how limited he's been recently in his career because of injuries. They may have themselves a solid reliever in the years to come.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    John, remember when they took him with the rule 5 draft? None of us saw that coming. Then we hear the reports of them scouting him in the Venezuelan League... The thoughts then were get some MLB innings in and build his arm strength back up, then they could consider stretching him back out as a starter ala Cabrera or his floor is a still back half of the BP power arm.

    Certainly, he's proven to be a legit selection by our scouting team. He's light years ahead of Lendy.

  • Rondon is definitely a better rule 5 pickup than Lendy Castillo. Where Castillo was just stashed in the bullpen for a year. ( And it sounds like he's suffering for it this year...) Rondon looks like he can throw. Can he pitch? We'll see. But you can use him. And that's good. Not as regularly as some others. But he's not taking up a space like last year.

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    In reply to felzz:

    The only other Rule 5 pick doing much of anything is Pressly for the Twins...he is holding his own in their bullpen (sub 4.00 Era). But that's it, really......

    Rule 5 isn't what it used to be

  • In reply to felzz:

    Rondon has suffered from lack of innings. I think think he could pitch better with more appearances.

  • I don't think the Cubs should trade Schierholtz. He's more valuable as a Cub.

    What could we realistically get for him? A bottom Top 10 player on an average farm system? Should we could package him but for the sake of not creating endless possibilities I'm just looking at him by himself.

    I know it's really really early to think about but with no Soriano or Schierholtz the OF could be really bad next year.

    Assuming DeJesus optioned is picked up (no guarantee) and Lake stays in the MLB/OF (also no guarantee, I wouldn't be shocked with any scenario with him) we don't have a lot.

    No minor league studs worth mentioning that would make the team out of spring training. The revolving door of spare parts (Borbon/Sweeney/Sappelt/Bogusevic/Gillespie) aren't attractive options to start full time.

    Of course there is free agency. There's always the chance we find another Schierholtz type, I just think we keep what he have instead of trying to find another OF gem in FA. After Ellsbury, Choo, Beltran and Pence it's a drop off in talent. I don't think we go after any of those guys anyway.

    I could live with an OF of DeJesus/Lake/Schierholtz. Thing is I don't think any of us would be shocked if none of them were starters a year from now.

  • Even if Lake just becomes a super sub I think between him and Watkins it gives the Cubs something they haven't had in awhile flexibility off the bench. Watkins with good defense and OBP while Lake can provide thew Wow factor.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    I wouldn't be shocked to be Olt stick at 3rd and Valbuena becoming that super sub.

  • *Sure we could.

    Excuse my typos, typing quick on my iPad while on break. :p

    And I see someone already mentioned Ellsbury. I see that as...Boston has the money to keep him. He's a fan favorite. Been with the organization for almost a decade. The Red Sox are in a position to win and have talent around him. I think it's going to take one hell of an offer to pry him from the Red Sox. Not saying it can't happen but I'd file it under unlikely.

  • Not sure i would tie up to much money on Ellsbury. Good ballplayer but your lucky to get 140 games out of him when he'e healthy. I think he's only played one full season.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    Not sure I would either, but wouldn't surprise me to see the Cubs kick the tires. He could be that boost at the top of the lineup that takes the Cubs into the Almora years.

    Ultimately you're going to take big risks in free agency and the Cubs will research these possibilities with careful consideration -- but I will not be surprised to see them take a chance on that next step if they think they're getting close.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    Since 2008, he's played

    145
    153
    18
    158
    74
    93 this year

  • In reply to Ike03:

    didn't realize he had 2 years with over 150 games of course one was that monster year he had. Would love to have him leadoff just wouldn't want to pay to much and for too long. Unfotunately he will be looking for a big time contract based on that one monster year. Just throwing this out there but what about Cano. I know he's looking a huge contract but if your going to overpay why not?

  • Choo is a year older, but he's another guy that would fit well on a 3-4 year deal to slot in at the top of the line up. He is an OBP machine.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    I'd love Ellsbury/Choo on a 3 year deal. I think someone overpays and gives them 5 years though. Under that circumstance I'd stay away.

    They're both going to be offered qualifying offers so we'd lose a draft pick too.

  • In reply to Ike03:

    Choo cant hit lefties. Ellsbury can.

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    I would think Ellsbury will be gunning for a 5+ year deal. While no prospects are guaranteed, of our top 4 most seem to feel Almora has the lowest floor. And he would figure to arrive before 5 years are up. Not sure it's a fit.

    Tough call

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Choo would be my choice but like others are mentioning, the contract needs to be reasonable. Also, not sure I want to give up a first rounder. Maybe if we stay in the top 10 picks he would be worth a second rounder.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Neither Ellsbury or Choo are any good in CF anyway, so their presence wouldn't effect Almora at all. Both are better fits in LF and if they do sign for multiple years they will end up there long before Almora is ready.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    I've read where the Red Sox internal metrics on Ellsbury's defense in CF vary substantially from UZR/150 and other, more public metrics.

  • John,

    We are constantly examining players, prospects, possible trades, etc. I would love to see an article and some conversation on Sveum. The bonehead move of pulling Shark last night was the straw that broke the camels back for me! Then I had to listen to Brenly and the other idiot rip him and the Cubs for the "gift" to Goldie.

    Every game I watch Sveum in the dugout and he looks lost, confused and disinterested. You look over at the other dugout and you can see the fire of competition in the managers eyes. Sveum reminds me of Marmol, just fishing and hoping something good will happen on his watch. Am I wrong?

    After two seasons, he still fails to grasp situational baseball. I can't keep putting all the problems on the FO or the players. What is your take?

  • In reply to jaxx51:

    My take on Sveum is that he doesn't have as big an impact as you think. I don't think he's lost at all. I think he's been cursed with a bad bullpen. Moves look a lot better when you got guys to put in that can shut the door.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree. Sveum was criticized for putting Marmol and Camp in at the end of games. Well who else was he supposed to put?

    There's only so much you can do when you're not given a bullpen to start the season.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I think it is worth a dialogue based simply on Jaxx51 and your posts John. It is a year an a half into the Sveum era. It warrants some scrutiny IMO.

    Also would like to see the same on JD's work in the booth.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    and maybe a couple polls on performance of each.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I agree, John. Anyone who doesn't think the players matter should check out Casey Stengel's pre-Yankee managerial record.

  • In reply to jaxx51:

    At the end of last year, Theo and Jed raved about the job Sveum was doing. They were not going to rate him on the team record until they gave him a full complement of MLB talented players to work with. So if he is doing a good job according to Theo and Jed, then he is fine by me. That is just my opinion. Other Cubs Den contributors have said that this team never gives up. I would say that reflects well on Dale.

    John (although I am not the John you were asking for.)

  • BTW John, you referred to Angel Hernandez as the "worse umpire in baseball". I don't know why, but every time hes the home plate ump something controversial always seems to happen, and the Cubs always come out on the wrong side of it. Remembere the Steve McMichael incident several years ago. where McMichael, there to do the 7th inning stretch song, said over the PA system"me and you need to meet after the game" after Hernandez blatantly blew a call at the plate? I seem to recall he also was voted worse ump by players also a year or two ago.

  • Regarding Sveum, I really like the bigger picture stuff he's doing. His teams play hard for him. He doesn't buss toss any of his players. And he doesn't make any molehills into mountains by being a sound byte in the press. Something Pinella and Magoo did way too often. His in game decisions baffle me. And he's not really helping the young players develop, which is what I kinda thought he was brought here to do. ... If anything, he's been a bigger help to the Schierhotl's of the world, putting him in positions to succeed. It's a mixed bag for sure, but keeping this team together and still playing hard despite all the kicks in the gut from the bullpen, all the trade rumors and no-stop talk of "next year" and "the future" from the press and fans alike, is very commendable and has kept me in his corner. But I'd certainly like to see him improve in some ways.....

  • In reply to felzz:

    I would agree with everything except that the way he criticized Castro publicly would qualify as "Buss Toss" to me.

    I still have some questions/concerns, but also lots of praise for Dale.

    Take away half of those blown saves from the BP and we are at .500.....

  • I don't know felzz, I think he "Bus Tosses" players regularly. I'd also throw in the caveat to "the manager only really affects a handful a games" in a given season; which is how much a good vs bad Mgr. can affect games in a given season. Again, I think it's worth the conversation, even in that general framework. Maybe breaking performance down to different aspects of their job. Kind of like grading players' 6 tools (I added that 6th one from Johns previous post, which I like).
    And I again, think DJ warrants similar scrutiny.

  • felz late tip of the hat to your Paul Simon headline. its off the Mark GRACELAND cd if i'm not mistaken

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    "So far Chris Rusin has given the Cubs the longest start in this series." ... you mean the shortest start of the series? Wood and Samardzija both went 5.2, Rusin didn't get any outs in the sixth.

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