Dunno about you, but I find it to be a very bewildering time to be a Cub fan.
As far as the whole "Ricketts Family puts hand out for public aid in a city run by Obama's ex-chief of staff at the same time Pappy Joe decides to finance a Super PAC with the sole purpose of further scaring an already frightened populace by stressing Obama's relationship with a Unpatriotic Preacher", yeah this makes my head swim, but that's not what I had in mind today. I am cynical enough to think that Pappy Joe didn't get his billions by being a dumbass, and that there is some method to his madness. Perhaps he put it out there to replace the leverage that his family forfeited when they pledged not to move the team out of Wrigley Field. I am an admitted political dumbass and I don't have any desire to dissect this issue any further, except to point out that public infusions of funds sometimes results in improved revenue streams that eventually results in winning teams, and I am so out of step with the rest of the world that I am crazy enough to agree to a somewhat higher level of taxes if it will result in the Cubs winning a World Series in the next 10 years.
No, I am writing about the current nine game losing streak, the fact that there is seemingly no hope that this club can actually win another game, let alone a string of games required to make this season 1) respectable and 2) watchable. I am not even going to complain about Anthony Rizzo still eating flavored bacons in Des Moines. We mere mortals have been made privy to precious few facts pertaining to the Theo, Jed and Jason Plan, and of the precious few, the main one was keeping Rizzo's MLB service time down this year. I will adhere and obey.
Speaking of which, would it really hurt if Theo, maybe, let us in on a few more of the secret steps? Are the steps in the plan so blatantly cynical that the fans can't handle it? Are we really being held in the dark for our own protection?
Because I gotta tell you: I don't mind being the worst team in 2012, if there was some sort of progress being made towards an eventual big picture goal. And for the life of me, I really don't understand the meaning of suffering all these losses with THIS particular bunch of clowns.
We have 22 year old Starlin Castro. Good hit, bad glove. Actually, bad decisions more than anything. I don't begrudge him this year to demonstrate an improvement in decision making skills at shortstop.
We have Darwin Barney, who is not exceptional in anything, as far as I can tell. He is a utility guy, and his presence doesn't enrage me, but it is clear that he is not a ML starter. He doesn't even hit enough for second base, he doesn't run well, and while he is not miserable in the field, he isn't saving, like, three runs a week out there. We need to see who else in the organization can hit well enough to play 2nd.
Then we have Tony Campana, who throws like a sissy, and although he can run like the wind and, so far, has gotten on base enough to matter, isn't a real good outfielder. Like Barney, I think he is an excellent backup OF, who deserves a spot on the roster. He bothers other teams on the basepaths, and he might be a key contributor if we were playing in Busch Stadium, circa 1982, with Whitey Herzog managing. But we need to see who else plays center. I understand Brett Jackson isn't ready. That's fine, we can wait.
Our starting pitchers? None of them really perturb me, either, since we sent down Volstad. I still think Garza is not an Ace, and if we can convince another team that he is, and can get an Ace return, we should go ahead and make that trade, rather than giving him his Ace money, only to watch him fall apart and make excuses that he "wasn't allowed to throw HIS pitches", like he has several times the past two seasons. An Ace never makes excuses like that. He throws his pitches. Bullpens? Ours sucks, but I am pretty much convinced that as long as you don't try to fit a square peg in round holes (ie. LaTroy Hawkins) or permit guys to disobey orders (ie. Marmol not throwing fastballs; Dolis only throwing fastballs), there isn't much I or anyone can really say.
I even understand the sticky situation that is Alfonso Soriano and his remaining 50 million dollars. He gives us next to nothing anymore. Lately he's been hitting a few solo homers. But there hasn't been a situation quite like his before. Sure, there have been other ballplayers whose contracts far outlived their production. There even are a couple of other current examples of guys making Soriano money and not doing dick. But the Angels don't know what to do with Vernon Wells, either. So I don't know what to do with Sori. It is easy for me to say "Eat It". I really don't expect the Ricketts to actually do it.
But as far as everyone else I have not mentioned: Reed Johnson. Ian Stewart. David DeJesus. Brian LaHair. Geo Soto. Joe Mather. Jeff Baker. Koyie Hill. KOYIE HILL? How the hell did HE get back here? All these guys: 1) we all born on or before 1982; 2) thus, are not part of our Future; and 3) all of them have, at one point, killed us this year. LaHair started hot, and it appears the league has adjusted. DeJesus started cold, and is only now approaching mediocrity. Everyone else I mentioned here sucks. They have sucked this whole year; they sucked last year; and honestly, if these 8 guys represent part of "the Plan", then we deserve to know exactly what in God's name that part of the plan is!
In fact, if all these guys were cut tonight, combined they would not cost the Ricketts anywhere close to what Soriano costs by himself. (DeJesus has a 2 year, $10 million contract).
I can deal with losing nine in a row if it were 24 year olds doing the losing. There is at least the hope that Growth is taking place, and that tomorrow might be better. But these 29-32 year olds? This is what you see, and what you get. If The Plan is to assure a 2013 top draft pick by losing the most games, then just say so. Then we won't be mad. We might not watch any more games, but at least we'd understand.
I mean, really? What part of The Plan does Koyie effin' Hill fulfill?
Filed under: Alfonso Soriano, Bryan LaHair, Carlos Marmol, Cubs, Darwin Barney, David DeJesus, Geovany Soto, Ian Stewart, Jed Hoyer, Jeff Baker, Koyie Hill, Marcos Mateo, Matt Garza, Reed Johnson, Starlin Castro, Theo Epstein, Tom Ricketts