The Anarchist's Brunch- I think.

The Anarchist's Brunch- I think.

So I have tried to put this season into perspective. I've tried to look at other aspects of this season to judge if this season has been successful. Not the draft because they were going to draft players anyway. And I don't know if there's a player acquired in this trading season that I think can be someone special in a few years....maybe C.J. Edwards. But again, that's a few years. And Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo's stat lines surely aren't doing it for me. Neither is Jeff Samardzija. But I think.....I THINK..... I like the manager Dale Sveum. Not ready to throw down the stamp and make it official, but I THINK that's where I'm leaning.

I THINK I like Dale Sveum because that means Chris Bosio is the pitching coach. And Chris Bosio has done a very good job. Paul Maholm rebounded under him. So did Scott FELDMAN!!!!!! (Need a new computer that doesn't have a wonky 'caps lock' key...).  Samardzija and Travis too. Yes, Edwin is still interprative art out there and Volstad, well Merlin wasn't going to fix him.  Anyway, Pedro Strop has rebounded and Kevin Gregg has somehow become a 30 save guy despite starting April on the couch. Bosio has proved he knows what he's doing. I've hired directors strictly to use their DP, I can keep a manager if it means getting their pitching coach. Heck, that's how LaRussa stuck around.

I THINK I like Dale Sveum because he's doggedly persistent. Even now in in September he's still working on Castro to minimize his leg kick. He's still challenging Anthony Rizzo. Heck, he's still pushing Barney for a gold glove. I may not agree with all his moves. But I do like the way he sticks to them. Which leads me to....

I THINK I like Dale Sveum because he treats everyone fairly. Has there been one player on this team in the last two years that has simply been stapled to the bench? Sveum finds a way to get use everyone. Sometimes that means Scott Hairston or the clown car of bums trying to be relief pitchers, but if you're on the team, you play. There's something so simple and admirable there.

I THINK I like Dale Sveum because he understands the lengths of the season and where the Cubs are in their rebuild. Sveum never throws anyone under the bus. And there are several times when he could have. The Starlin Castro play against the Phillies comes to mind. He sent him straight to the showers but he was the first to protect the kid to the press. I'm trying to imagine what Quade (Magoo as I like to call him) or Uncle Liu would have said. Wouldn't have been pretty.

I know that the front office doesn't care what I think. or what I THINK I think. And there are some things that I KNOW drive me crazy about his managing. The "righty vs lefty" lineups, the handling of the bullpen, the fact that even though he's a tattooed tough dude who motorcycles around the city listening to Godsmack he's about as magnanimous as a Budweiser Frog. But there's enough there for Sveum that I want to see what he does with a real team. I'd also like to see some goals set and some accountability and not be protected by this "what do you expect him to do with THIS tea" crap. But I believe Dale has earned that.

At least I THINK I do.

ODDS AND SODS

You want to ditch the Old Style, fin with me. It's iconic and all but nut not very good beer. But Anheiser better let Goose Island set up shop in Wrigley Field and start installing some good beer in that place. So tired of seeing the Cell have a Two Brothers stand all kinds of good beer while Wrigley is filled with big corporate swill. Three Goose Island stands and an InBev Beers of the world stand somewhere please....

This time last year, it was unanimous that even though the Red Sox could dump the Carl Crawford contract and the Josh Beckett contract, they were never going to unload something as awful as the John Lackey contract because 1) he was hurt, 2) he was awful 3) he was owed a ton of money and 4) he was a pud. King Pud of the pudlingtons. But now he's healthy, he's probably the #2 starter for the Red Sox in this year's playoffs. And nobody complains about his contract or his attitude. In fact, quite a few teams would trade for Mr. lackey if given the chance.

So let's think about that for a second before we go ahead and label Edwin Jackson a complete disaster.

Has anyone been watching this Red Sox-Yankees series? Yankees have gotten quality starts and scored over 8 runs in all three games and have lost all three. Ouch. Phil Hughes has gone so far down hill he could be considered an avalanche. I mean, who's ever heard of a young pitcher failing to develop under the watchful eye of the Rooster Larry Rothschild....? Hahahaha.

I can laugh about it now.

Future Cub Jacoby Elsbury broke his foot and is out indefinitely.

I think I'm going to go total homer and say the Bears go 11-5 and win the Central this year.  And the 49ers defeat the.........Yikes the AFc......49 ers defeat the Texans 45-3.

And who exactly picked Bruno Mars as halftime entertainment?

I have to say, I've enjoyed the banter on the boards. and personally I embrace the difference of opinion. And in fact encourage more of it. Just a polite reminder to respect the person you're arguing with and treat them the way you would like to be treated.

Speaking of which, when #40 pick Pierce Johnson winds up being just as or more valuable to the 2016 NL champion Cubs than #6 pick Alberto Almora or #2 pick Kris Bryant, this silly lose-for-draftpick nonsense and I will claim victory over ALL......you wonderful people.

Anyone listen to the Fringe Average Podcast? Professor parks new one now that Kevin Goldstien has been put to rest (R.I.P Kevin....)? Anyway, the good professor was breaking down AFL rosters and got to the Cubs prospects. He thinks we'll see Kris Bryant reach the mahors first because his floor is so high. He also says that Baez, while amazing, plays the game with his head on fire and that those that "have a plan" can still get Baez out, just that there aren't many AA pitchers who have a plan. Interesting stuff. it's a great podcast, that hour + goes by a lot more quickly than other hour long podcasts.

By the way, wanna feel old? Guess who's the pitching coach for the Mesa Solar Sox? Mike Maroth. Wasn't he losing 20 games like two, three years ago? Man I feel old.

Will put up a mini-wrap for discussion purposes but won't do a full wrap as I'll be ensconced in Bears-ness.

Now to listen to Abbey Road and hit the elliptical.

 

 

Comments

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  • Sorry, I have to disagree with almost all of that, but I admire the composition.
    To me Sveum is the biggest flop of all. His players are simply sleep-walking most of the time. I agree on Bosio. He's been very successful in many cases. and pitchers are all cases. Samard****
    has been a disappointment, and I'm not budging off of him as a closer. I would trade all the advertising, etc. as cash stimuli for Girardi. I'm giving Theo &Co. one more season after which I will finally detox from this 60+ year nightmare. I quit 40 years of cigarettes in two weeks 15 years ago, so I believe I have the will to get clean.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Wow. The Cubs may be bad, but sleep walking?

    I see all these guys hustling out ground balls and playing hard all the time. That is a credit to the manager.

    Without a lot of talent, it is hard to condemn the manager.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    Agreed. At least Sveum has them playing hard, which is what you can ask of him at this point with that roster.

  • In reply to IrwinFletcher:

    The view from closer is probably more informed. I see few games and can only go by what I see. I see a very talented few young guys who don't perform up to their talent level. I naturally blame this on the staff. Too many mental lapses for my taste.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    If I do have a concern with Sveum, it's the handling of the young players and the progress of that core. I'm not ready to say he mishandled it, but I think we need to see progress next year from Rizzo and Castro.

  • In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    "I used lifesavors to help me get off cigarettes, but for Cubs love I ain't found no lifesavors yet" Hank Jr.

  • In reply to 44slug:

    I used weed.
    There is a chemical. It started as a birth control potion, It's called sulfa-denial.

  • BTW, Sorry about Ellsbury's injury, but hopefully the FO will look elsewhere. as a result. I don't see him as an asset for the Cubs. we have way too many outfielders as it is. 5 ought to be plenty, if 3 are good.

  • Disagree about Sveum. Haven't seen anything from him that makes me think he will ever amount to much. He does seem to throw guys under the bus{ seem to recall dumping on Castro and Rizzo earlier in the year) he doesn't seem to take any blame for anything. I do like Bosio and MacKay. IMO when/if Sveum gets fired I don't see him getting another head coaching job.

  • In reply to kansascub:

    Maybe if Trestman doesn't work out.

  • Nice read Felzzy... I can't agree with your statement that Dale doesn't throw anyone under the bus. He has in fact done that with Castro a few times. I THINK, there's still more questions than answers with Sveum. I'm not going to bash him, because there are some good things. But I THINK, the grade is still "Incomplete". I also think the teams performance this year will determine whether he's extended and is their guy or if he was just another FA value signing that didn't pan out....

    I agree, we need some good beer @ Wrigley. Nothing wrong with diversification and some premium products. If I'm going to spend the money go to a game, and eat, etc at those exorbitant prices, I should be able to get a decent beer to wash it all down with.

    IDK on Ellsbury. Me don't think he fits what we need or want. Not that he couldn't help or make us better.... just don't see them paying a premium for him. Or rather, don't want them to. I think we need to go balls out on Tanaka in FA and the OF'rs I'd like to see us get are Cruz or Corey Hart on short term "make good" contracts.

    I'm with you on the Bears game. It's finally here! It'll be weird not seeing #54 out there when it counts. Just don't like the way that all ended for him, or how he handled it. Excited about our Rookies this year and expect/hope for some good things this year. I think 11-5 sounds about right. Enjoy the game bro...

    Peace

  • I'm with you on staying away from Ellsbury, or any outfielder at this stage. Roll the $ dice on some pitching first, and fill in one or two position free agents when we see what is needed (2015?). BTW, I believe the Cubs should be a .500 club in 2014, or slightly better

  • In reply to AshevilleCubsFan:

    I think that's unacceptable, a contender is little enough to expect.

  • My limb is flimsy, but I'm encouraged to have little company out here. Unlike the NFL, defense (pitching) is still what baseball is all about. Da Bearss is what I've been waiting for, but I expect that this season will see the highest over-unders ever. Defense is no longer permitted.

  • Don't worry about Goose Island not being at Wrigley - Budweiser (well, InBev, the same company that owns Budweiser, anyway) bought Goose Island not too long ago. Old Style, though, is owned by Pabst, which is still not part of either the Coors/Miller comglomerate or InBev. I have a feeling that Old Style may be on its way out in Wrigley. I hope not, because it's my cheap beer guilty pleasure.

  • I haven't been to Wrigley since I moved to South Florida from central Illinois 27+ years ago.

    A question borne of curiousity and ignorance: What do they charge now for the basic ballpark food items - a beer, redhot, and Frosty Malt?

  • In reply to Jim Hickman:

    Beer is $8. Never bought the other items

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    -I'd rather drink lukewarm urine than Old Style. Once Wrigley is renovated and a winning product is on the field, I'd like to hope they expand their beers to fit a wider demograph.
    -I hope Jacoby Ellsbury is never a Cub. Ever. Not even if there's a fire.
    -I don't know who Bruno Mars is, but she sounds like a cute chick.
    -I appreciate the work Sveum has done with Castillo. I don't appreciate the work Sveum has done with Castro. Someone needs to start a foundation to raise funds for the battered and abused left arm of Everyday James Russell. I take the good and the bad from Svuem. I'll agree that he does get effort from his guys.
    -We really need Arrieta and Vizcaino/Cabrera to stick as starters before we even think about competing.
    -Remember the Twins wanted Castro for Baker?!
    -Stone Temple Pilots with Chester is a crime against music.

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    No worries - more Old Style for me. InBev owns beers like Beck's, Boddington's, Fransikaner Weissbeer, Goose Island, Hoegaarden, Labatt's, Leffe, Lowenbräu, Rolling Rock, Shock Top, Spaten, St. Pauli Girl, and Stella Artois among others. I think there's some diversity there.

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    In reply to SouthBender:

    That would be a pretty solid selection!

  • In reply to Eric Foster:

    And there are a ton of foreign beers on top of that that no one's ever heard of!

  • Bad staff aside, Sveum has no sense of when to take a guy out. No excuses on that front.

    Also, that thing with Johnson isn't going to happen because at this rate he's still going to be in the minors in 2016.

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    I actually agree with Parks on Baez being vulnerable to pitchers with a plan. I've noticed it myself. Where I think I disagree (SWIDT?) is that he's already shown an incredible ability to adapt. I think when he hits AAA, he'll face pitchers who will approach him more like major league pitchers will. He'll probably struggle mightily for a month, and there will be widespread panic. And then he'll figure it out and change things and be a monster again.

  • Yeah, Felzz - I gotta disagree on Sveum too. He beats Quade in all aspects. And I think he even beats Lou on game preparation. Equal to Dusty on player relationships, good and bad.

    Two, no three things:
    1. The guy doesn't make in-game decisions well. He don't freak out like Dusty. He simply makes the wrong moves too often. Especially with the bullpen.
    2. His heavy-handed approach to hitting, along with Rowson and Deer, is simply not working. Our entire young core is regressing. The bottom line is, you cannot effect wholesale changes to a hitters approach at the major league level. That's for early development. You got what you got with a Castro, for instance - make some minor tweaks, but don't turn a guy upside-down.
    3. Less his fault, but I don't like his lineups, and he does play favorites, easily getting hooked on a Valbuena or Jeff Baker after one hot month, instead of recognizing history or taking a longer view. And he is pretty harsh on Castro while giving an eternal free pass to Barney and Rizzo.

    I love Bosio and McKay.

    No, I place a premium on snagging a Bochy or a Scioscia at the first opportunity. And the best of the best at hitting coach and third base. I feel like it's time already. I don't want Sveum getting comfortable when we start contending.

  • In reply to HackWilson09:

    I share your concerns on the heavy handed approach with the young core, but I have to say there is no manager more philosophically opposite to this front office than Mike Scioscia. That one isn't going to happen.

  • The old saw is that the very best piece of pumpkin pie you ever had is not so very much better as the very worst piece of pumpkin pie you ever had.

    I feel the same applies to managers. With the exception of the very few that seem to give up at mid season, such as Lou did a couple of years ago, the very best manager MIGHT mean as much as a couple of wins over the very worst manager, and even then, that very BEST manager might be the very WORST manager the next year.

    I am talking about the effect a manager has on any specific season. I DO believe that a manager can have a profound effect on a system long term, in the way he uses and nurtures young players, or conversely favors "Grizzled vets". But the individual in-game decisions by any manager are are so similar to those that would be made by others, and the extreme randomness of small numbers make these decisions almost meaningless.

    I suspect (only time will tell) that Sveum will be good for the team over the long haul, if for no other reason than he has excellent coaches, who DO have a profound effect on the daily performance of the team.

    How many more games would the Cubs have lost last year (and this year) if a coach had not taught him to be an acceptable left fielder? Even the problems this year with Castro and Rizzo seem to be due to an effort to gain improvements in future years. Only the future will tell if they were successful.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    I subscribe to your pumpkin pie philosophy.

  • In reply to DaveP:

    That is SOO funny!!! I went to a small college in Iowa; all the guys I knew from my dorm couldn't get enough pumpkin pie. Tried it once, spit it out... and never bothered ever again. And that was 40 yrs ago!!

    Anyway... I scratch my head about some of Dale's moves, his lineups, and other things. But really, this team is still so far underwater does a this here and a that there really matter?

    The only thing that's keeping Baker from being Baker is Walt Joketty, the guy who lost the power struggle to that MO RON LaRussa!!! That is why Cincy will be a force to be reckoned with the in the division... IMHO.

    And I'm sorry but I just love me some Junior!!!

  • I don't know Felzz. 11-5! New coaches, new offense and basically same team?

  • In reply to 44slug:

    Still think so, felzz?

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    In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    I had the same thought.

  • Managers:'We've had some who weren't so bad but in all the list really stinks. Baker was a disaster. He ruined the two best pitchers of the era. Baylor was so so. Piniella was pretty good. Elia was the worst of all. Elvin Tappe was better than most. Old Lou knew the game. Durocher quit on a very good team, in '69. I remember all those years when nobody went to a game. Cardwell threw a no no in his first Cub start, but I think there were about 4000 at the game. 10 times that have said they were there. I watched on.WGN. I often muse about how we'd have done under La Russa, or any frontline guy.

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    even though he's a tattooed tough dude who motorcycles around the city listening to Godsmack he's about as magnanimous as a Budweiser Frog

    How would you say this in English?
    Are we all in agreement on the definition of "magnanimous"?

  • Scott Baker throwing 2-3 ticks faster than I saw at Kane (assuming the stadium gun at Kane was accurate)

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    It seems Theo's people actually have some clue what they're doing. This shouldn't consistently surprise me, but it does.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I think if he can throw 90 now, it's reasonable to assume he can get back to 91-93 with some rest this offseason.

  • I would have to disagree on Dale as a manager, with out going in a long drawed explanation, I would point to his handling and lack of development of Casto and Rizzo. With all the young talent coming up Dale is not the guy I would want in that position. Go all in on Girardi.

  • Felz, good call on Fringe Average-consistently good stuff. It also helps that Parks is hysterical.

    His comments about Baez are interesting & are certainly informed by his own observations, as well as those of other scouts. What is also interesting is that Parks has made multiple references to the idea of Baez ending up in another org. I'm not anti-Baez, BY ANY MEANS, but I still wonder if they might leverage his breakout yr to get themselves a nice treat. Reason to suggest they might: they've done it before( H Ramirez); Bryant's breakout as a virtual "can't miss" impact bat; Javy , despite approach improvements, isn't exactly their type of player; they may need to utilize the trade mkt to get the "top shelf" SP they need. Reasons against: he's shown glimpses of R Braun type offensive production; there is enormous risk in trading a potential 5-6 WAR everyday player for ANY pitcher, given inherent injury risk.

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    P.J. Francescon pitching like a guy who wants to sell Lady Kenmores next season.

    What a joke of inning.

  • With the sept call ups why do we continue to run Russell out there? I thought the called up another lefty? Why not give that lefty a look to see what we have?

  • I just want to say that what I really like about Bosio is that often when he goes out to talk to a pitcher who is stinking the place up, the pitcher's performance actually improves!!

    Sure, not always. But in the past, I have viewed such visits as exercises in futility (or just a stall while someone warms up).

    I think it is too soon to evaluate Sveum. Next year tells all.

    I still think he gets at least a one year extension if only because it seems to me that a first class organization does not field a team with a lame duck manager.

  • I'm going to take the easy way and vote "Present" about Sveum, like our Commander in Chief would.

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