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.