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Show Lou the Door

Mike Klotz

It's time to give Lou his walking papers or the pink slip.  If you would like it put another way he needs to be canned, tossed out, terminated, outsourced, or downsized.  Anyway you look at it Ricketts or Hendry needs to wish upon him that the door doesn't hit him on his backside as he waddles out of it.  The game has passed him by. 



Look, I like Lou Pineilla, don't get me wrong.  I don't mind having a clueless dope in the broadcast booth for entertainment value, I just don't want him running my baseball team.  Let's have a look at some of his glaring mistakes just over the past few weeks. 
1. May 9th, 2010.  Dempster was throwing a good game as usual.  In the top of the 7th the Cubs take the lead on a HR from Tyler Colvin and things are looking good.  Hernandez leads off with a double then is cut down on a bunt attempt gone wrong by Leake.  This is followed by a single.  Demp then manages to get the right handed hitter Phillips out.  In steps Joey Votto.  Now Lou had enough sense to warm up Sean Marshall whom had been dazzling vs lefties throughout the season (.214 avg).  As Marshall stood, done with his warm up pitches ready for the call to face Votto, Lou had a brief conversation with Dempster and let him pitch against Votto.  Brenly groaned and stated clearly that he didn't agree with the call, while I groaned off the air at home.  Sure enough, the first pitch is hammered into right center for a 3 run HR that essentially ended the game.  Later in the post game, Dempster said that he told Lou that he felt great despite throwing well over 100 pitches.  It's the managers job to tell the pitcher when he's had enough.

Let's look at the numbers Lou claims that he manages by.  Votto is hitting at a ridiculous 1.076 OPS vs right handed pitching (.340 avg/.435 OBP/.641 slug).  Conversely, his OPS vs lefties is an average .762 (.250 avg/.345 OBP/.417 slug).  Now I am no Sabermatrician but that surely doesn't look like a good match up leaving Dempster in. 

2. Could you please put out a good lineup?  I mean seriously.  We don't score many runs yet we have 6 guys hitting over .300(Castro, Fukudome, Theriot, Soriano, Fontenot, Byrd).  He plasters Soto near the bottom of the order despite his line of .289/.449/.449 7th or 8th in the lineup.  Instead he has cemented Derek Lee (.226/.330/.358) 3rd in the order every day and Aramis Ramirez (.166/.232/.278) at cleanup. 

Look, its pretty clear that these two have a long track record of success but something has to be done about right now, not the past.  Moving these two down one spot in their typical spots isn't good enough.  Lou has Castro hitting 8th most of the time.  Castro needs to be hitting 2nd in the order followed by other hot hitters so that he can see some pitches to hit.  He is going to receive garbage hitting in front of the pitcher.  The good thing is that Castro is showing a lot more patience than he has shown throughout his minor league career but we could see more production. 

3.  This past series vs the Phillies really showed Lou's ineptitude.  Game one vs Jaime Moyer, he stacks the lineup with all righties.  He even went so far as putting Jeff Baker out in RF.  This despite the fact that we have 5 outfielders on the roster who do not get enough playing time.  The all right handed lineup showed Lou's blind obsession with the lefty vs righty match ups.  Generally speaking a RH hitter will hit a LHP better than a LH hitter, I understand that.  But when you stack the lineup with all righties the pitcher is able to focus on one part of the plate for 8 consecutive hitters, thus getting into a groove.  Sure enough, Moyer dazzled the Cubs with low and away changeups, striking out 7 and allowing a couple of bloop base hits.  Although the Cubs won the game it would have made sense to put the superior right fielder Fukudome in the game instead of a backup second baseman and to also mix up the lineup. 

The next game in the series showed even more embarrassment for Lou and the Cubs.  With the score tied 1-1 in the bottom of the 6th with two on and two out for Jimmy Rollins, Dempster fell behind Rollins 3-0, with first base open, and the struggling Ibanez on deck, the catcher Hill looked into the dugout to see if Lou wanted to just put him on.  Pineilla signaled that he wanted to pitch to him still and I am sure you can guess what happens.  The next pitch was drilled into the bleachers for a 3 run homerun. 

It looked as if the Cubs were going to get back into the game after homers from Lee and Fukudome, unless Sweet Lou had anything to say about it.  Stevens got the first out in the 8th and then Lou sees that there are lefties coming up in the Phillie lineup up.  Not just any lefties, Utley, Howard, and Rollins (S), three of the best in the NL.  So who does Lou decide to go with you ask? 

Well why of course John Grabow!  I mean he has a 8.44 ERA this year, that's good right?  Throughout his career he actually gets righties out a little better than lefties.  Sure enough, to no one's surprise he allows a run to score after a couple of walks, a hit and the Cubs lose.  All year long, if Grabow is in the game the other team scores runs.  Hey, at least he's consistent.  Lou is also consistent in placing him in the 8th inning during close games.

Lou's inability to learn from the mistakes that I have illustrated, show that either: A) he's losing his mind, B) the game has passed him by, or 3) he just doesn't care anymore.  He has said on numerous occasions, "What do you want me to do? I have done all that I can."  Well you can do one more thing, pack your bags and stop damaging this team.  It was good while it lasted, 3 winning season, 2 divisional championships, zero post season victories, and a sub .500 start to the season all with the National League's highest payroll.  Lou's time needs to be up soon, before it gets too late.



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mo said:

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Man are you right,, I hate Lou's managing or NOT managing.. You forgot to mention how many times the Cubs have men on 1st and third 1 out of less and the opposing team playing way back for a dp .. Lou never bunts, never suicides NEVER.. I would guess we have had at least 12 games down 1 run , with this same situation and never a bunt. especially when the opposing team is conceding the tying run playing way back.. Makes NO sense .. This one thing and Lou's thing with batting Lee and Rami 3 and 4 in lonf overdue foa change. Chad Tracy was playing third really good and should never been sent down. It seems Lou wants to ovoid people saying why not start TRACY.. Tracy was hitting over 500 at AAA.. Fire Lou hire Bob Brenly PLEASE.. Finally someone that knows baseball agreeing with what I have said for months

Mike Klotz said:


All true statements Mo. There are times when it depends on the guy that's up. Meaning you are not going to lay down the squeeze with Soriano up or something. But I agree that there certainly has been many times in which runners could be put in motion or the squeeze could be utilized much better.

I am equally as tired of hearing people say "well at least he's managing this year." It's a relative statement due to the fact that he sat on his hands all last year as the ship sank. Look, (as Lou would say) I am not saying that he needs to show fire by flinging bases, just put people in their place and move things around. Try some different things. We have a bunch of bums in the bullpen, so bring up Cashner or Jay Jackson. It would be nice to get the some MLB experience and they certainly wouldn't do any worse than John Grabow. Let's try something different, it just may work, it certainly hasn't been tried.

mo said:

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man am I pissed again NO Colvin in the lineup against a righty.. Nady a weak hitter instead.. LOU has to go . I cant stand this.. You might say well hes saving a lefty for the need to face a righty later// Shoot you wont need to pinch hit with Colvin in the lineup instead og Nady.. I really cant this LOU crap any longer .. I wonder how many guys will Nady leave on base. Shoot bat Nady as pinch hitter against a lefty.. Thats the only time he will play normally.. What Lou is doing is NOT taking advantage of the DH.. GOD Lou has to go .. I feel so sorry for Colvin.. When he plays he hits especially against a righty. What a potent lineup with him in there tonight!!! shoot I might no even watch .. Nady should be down in the minors getting ready not here You heard it here 1st trade Rami to the sox for PUTZ or Jenks ...Vitters will be up in Sept and next year .. Chad Tracy can play third .. Bring him back.. He was hitting ove 500 in AAA last week.

mo said:

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Lous got Nady batting 7th as a DH.. Wow must be a really good DH NOT... And again Castro batting 9th .. wont get the extra at bat . Lou sucks!!! Byrd hitting better than Lee and still lee is batting third . Why ? Lou dont want to upset his VETs. Put Castro third (not so many DP to kill early innigs rally s.
Start out with a lead.. Give the pitcher some runs early.. .NOT LOU Hell wait till the ninth to bat Colvin 1 time and then sit him , DISGUSTING!!!

mo said:

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Leave a comment...cant even get a lineup together .. today against a righty he has 7 right handed bats in the lineup.. Colvin sits. Why Nady today .. Why not against a lefty , then sit Colvin.. and on top of it all hes got Soriano a righty batting cleanup (strikeout I bet with men on base .. Leave Soriano where you had him. Lou craps up everything .. So much for DH and lefty righty advantage.. thanks LOU NOT ..

asmgem said:


There is so much right about this post, I say yes to Saying "Good Bye to Lou!"

Mike Klotz said:


So I was listening to the radio and Pat Hughes just said that lefties are hitting less than .100 vs Feliz. Then I walked up stairs and heard Brenly say "I don't understand why Colvin is hitting for Soto considering that lefties are hitting less than .100"

For once the hunch worked against the numbers! As Colvin doubles, it was still the wrong move by the numbers.

Mike Klotz said:


Oh but he let Fukudome hit as he sat on the top steps looking confused.

Kevin56 said:

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Wow! Another blog by an over weight know-it-all who probably has never played baseball before. If I had a dime every time I read one of these....

Congratulations Mike, you would make a great Monday morning quarterback. You've got 20/20 hindsight, big whoop!

Here is an interesting idea, maybe it's the players fault that they are losing! Ever thought of that genius? Aramis Ramirez is batting a stellar .160. Is that Lou's fault? Derrek Lee, (as much as I love him) is .218. How are you pinning that on Lou? Carlos Zambrano has an ERA on 6.46! Can you blame Lou for that Mike?

Bottom line is fire Lou or keep him, the Cubs are still a .500 team. A lot of over paid veterans doesn't equal a winning season. So who ever would be brought in to replace Lou would still have the same problems that Lou does. Unless maybe the Cubs could bring in Mike Klotz with his 20/20 hindsight vision....

Mike Klotz said:


Hey thanks Kevin for your kind words. Must be hard to type with the little bit of light that your mom's basement provides.

Kevin, I cannot blame Lou for the two offensive superstars on the team under performing nor did I ever suggest that he should be. I stated that he should be blamed for consistently putting them in situations (i.e. hitting them in the middle of the order) to hurt the team by hitting them in the middle of the order when there are clearly better options.

I also discussed his mismanagement of the bullpen by using players in situations in which they are destined to fail based on the numbers. It is the managers job to place their players in a situation in which they are more likely to succeed. Time after time he doesn't do that.

I will not be applying for any managerial jobs with the Chicago Cubs. I didn't see how you gathered that. The reason would be is because I am not qualified Kevin. See I haven't been in baseball for 50 years or whatever Lou has been in the MLB for. Nor am I paid millions of dollars to manage the highest payroll in the national league. Maybe because I am not qualified I shouldn't have an opinion. Under your line of logic one cannot criticize anything without have the credentials to personally do the job better. With that being said, I am sure that Kevin here has never criticized a President, Congressperson, film maker, hot dog stand clerk, cook, TV personality, or athlete in his life.

Also I guess that you must have been following me around my entire life and you a)know that I have never played baseball anymore and b) that I am in fact, overweight. Which it seems that you assume those two things go hand and hand. Please next time, try to present an actual argument that follows some logic and or refutes points made instead of irrelevant generalities not discussed in the article. I long for the day that I could provide such deep statistical analysis that your batting averages and ERA that you provided. Such insight, such clarity. Also, you should avoid the ad hominem, it's really embarrassing and really doesn't help anyone respect your opinion, Kevin.

But thanks for reading the article, I am glad that you liked it so much. Please have a wonderful day and remember, don't criticize anyone, that is of course unless you can do the job better, Kevin.

Kevin56 said:

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Wow, a “you live with your mom” joke. What did you walk down to the local high school and learn that one Mike? Way to go. Looks like humor and baseball both aren’t your strong suits.
“Clearly better options…” What’s your brilliant plan ding-dong? Have Mike Fontenot hit third for the team? There is an idea. Mmmm…., the bullpen has Carlos Marmol and Sean Marshall who have proven they can do anything right. Guess what buster, this isn’t a video game. You cannot use two guys every single day.
I never said don’t have an opinion; just don’t have one that sucks. If you want to fire someone, the blame should fall with Jim Hendry and the players on the field. A manager in the majors, isn’t like a manager in little league. His daily lineup is basically set by the GM. If the team doesn’t win, it’s the players fault. Granted there are two situations when a manager should be fired. One, he is a bad manager or two the manager is in a situation that they shouldn’t be in. Now, I think that even you Mike are smart enough to admit that Lou isn’t a bad manager. So you must thing that this is the wrong manager for the Cubs. What do you think that firing Lou is going to be beneficial for this year? That by bringing someone else in the new manager is going to come up with a magic formula and win a World Series? If you don’t believe this to be the case why fire him? Exactly, there is no reason.
Bottom line is this Mike, the Cubs are who they are. More than likely there isn’t going to be any major and either the veterans remember how to play baseball or the Cubs finish behind the Cardinals and Reds. Firing people just to fire people is just a meat head fan’s idea of fixing the club. Which would explain why you are blogging about the club and not running it.

Mike Klotz said:


Why do you keep saying my name over and over again, its a little strange.

"What’s your brilliant plan ding-dong? Have Mike Fontenot hit third for the team?"

"ding-dong" huh, sorry that my mom's basement joke wasn't as sophisticated as Hostess humor. I will try to be better. I like your hyperbole though that suggests that Fontenot is the only other option to hit 3rd. For example, looking at OPS, Soriano has the highest OPS on the team by a lot at 1.027, followed by Colvin (.979), Fukudome (.933), Castro (.909), and Byrd (.874). Fontenot is way down at .757 OPS which is average and shouldn't be considered for the middle of the order. These 5 above should be hitting somewhere near the middle of the order meaning 3-4 more often than D Lee (.664) and Ramirez (.495).

Ramirez has been so brutal this season that both Randy Wells (.552) and Ryan Dempster (.529)all have a higher OPS than Ramirez. Is that Lou's fault, no. What is Lou's fault is that he keeps putting him in the lineup in the middle of the order. Also you are mistaken to say that the GM makes up the lineup. I hope that you mean that the GM signs the players and the manager is expected to play them. The GM doesn't make up the daily batting order though. I really hope that you understand this fundamental aspect of the way a team is run considering how condescending and arrogant you have been.

I also agree that the scenarios you suggested for the possible ways one can fire a manager are relevant in this situation. A) he's not that good, I think that I listed several reasons on why I think so in the article. B) he isn't the right manager for the team.

"Guess what buster, this isn’t a video game. You cannot use two guys every single day."

Man I really thought I was watching myself play MLB the Show, thanks for the heads up, buster. I am fully aware that we can't use the same guys everyday so where's Russell? I see that there needs to be some use of all the scrap heap we have beyond those three but as I stated in the article that there have been times that he has these better guys warmed up or rested and he takes less than ideal options. Hendry also needs some blame here as well. I still wonder where Cashner or Jackson are at this point. Maybe they are waiting to get another year of arbitration.

Again you seem unable to present any reasonable, logical argument without using personal attacks or generalities. You have now had two opportunities to refute specific points made in the article and you have failed miserably. Provide some actual specific evidence for your claims instead of calling me stupid, overweight, meat head, etc.

This team should not be a .500 team. They pretty much have the same team that one 97 games a few years ago. We should be in the hunt for the division. We were not last year due to the horrific injuries we had all year. This team has been relatively healthy, comparatively speaking. This team is greatly under performing and the guy on the chopping block needs to be Lou. Not just because someone needs to be fired for the sake of firing someone. He needs to go due to the fact that he has shown that he is worn out and inept. He is so worn out that he won't shave because he is "too tired." He is so worn out that he can't handle personal hygiene at this point.

mo said:

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Comon man LOU is terrible Hers 5 reasons:

1. Cubs may lead league in 1 run looses wurth men on third and 1 out or less. Lou never thinks of a bunt, With opposing team play back for a DP.. Heck Larusa bunted his catcher Molina a year ago with a man on third and they scored the tying or winning run .. NOt LOU EVER.

2. Playing or batting Lee and Rami 3 and 4 or 3 and 5 Makes no sense.. Lou like last year is the last one to know a change is needed. Last year Soto. Fonteno, Sorry , Gregg all examples .. this year Rami , Leeand Grabow and soon Lowery.

3, Lou send down Tracy who was playing a really good third . IN AAA the 1st 3 weeks hes batting over 500 and playing 1st and thirs.. How nice if he had him to rest Lee.(lee plays too much, needs a rest ) nad rami dont need to play at all against a righty. Tracy bats lefty.

4.. Start tracy if RF against a righty, while Colvin sits .. Stupid. Since Lou early in the ytear said he has to get playing time.. Nady should get his starts against a lefty .Actully he cant throw is hitting in the low 200. Hes the one that should have been sent down.

5. Let Nady bat against the teax best right handed relever while Colvin in the dugout and Nady strikes out .. Then pinch hits for SOTO ( whos 100 point higher in AVG then Nady) ???

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