You mad about Mike Olt not being in the line up last night? You are not alone.
The question was posed to me today: Why do Cubs fans get worked up if Mike Olt sits? There are even times you can add Junior Lake's name to that same sentiment, to some degree.
For most, I think I can answer that quite simply. They want to see something, anything, worth watching. At this point the least they want to see is players they can envision moving forward with this organization as it reaches the next phase, whenever that is.
The fans are truly desperate to see young players, development. When many fans signed on to this Cubs rebuild thing, they envisioned a youthful team out there making mistakes and losing, but growing nonetheless.
They no longer want to see ABs distributed to the likes of Luis Valbuena, Darwin Barney, or Ryan Sweeney (any more than the usual day off) at the expense of developing a piece. We already know what those players are, but the jury is still very much out on the likes of Olt and Lake.
Do I, or at least knowledgeable fans, think either player will develop into a perennial All-Star? Not really. They are, however, two of the few intriguing story lines on this increasingly hard to watch offensive outfit. Olt especially is seen by many as part of a winning team in the future. Besides, if you take away Olt or Lake, you take away in game Twitter outlets.
— WilcoMeThat (@WilcoMeThat) May 13, 2014
Lake runs around like a Doberman puppy that hadn't grown into his paws yet.
— TomLoxas (@TomLoxas) May 14, 2014
It does seem sort of silly though for so many people to get worked up about the lineup when they are essentially watching an Iowa offense.
A day after the Cubs put up an offensive outburst of 17 runs and our own AJ Walsh claimed they had found their ideal (lol) line up, Ricky Renteria went tinkering again for wait for it...match ups. The Cubs skipper tried to explain his thought process to Patrick Mooney of CSN.
“We’re still mixing and matching,” Renteria said, “and will probably continue to do so, until we, in general, just draw a conclusion as to where we see they’re all at. But I think the way we balance it out, everybody’s getting at-bats, everybody’s playing. So I think it’s, to this point, advantageous for us to keep them all getting into the lineup at some point and letting them play.
We’re trying to balance it all out,” Renteria said before a 4-3 loss that went 12 innings. “We’re just trying to give ourselves the best chance.”
Best chance? Best chance at what? Is this really about wins and losses now? Fat chance. The only thing this is about is a top 5 pick for the third straight year. That is why the Cubs boast a AAAA outfield. It is most certainly not about wins, but losses. Here we are in tank mode for the third straight year.
No matter how entrenched you may be in your rebuilding-mode beliefs, did you really think we would still be in this mode in year 3? Either way, here we are.
Theo Epstein, Renteria’s boss, has said it on many occasions: he would much rather live with win totals in the 60’s than in the middling 70’s. If that is true, then why invoke such things as match ups?
If it is about still picking spots for players like Olt and Lake with certain pitchers for now, stop. Olt is 25, it's time to let him figure it out.
“Well, we’re growing to that point,” Renteria said.
Growing to that point heh? Spoken like a man who has only been watching this for a month or two.
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