Zambrano Wins This One, Probably

GAME 111 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (54-56) @ NEW YORK METS (56-54) SHEA STADIUM, 7:05 pm CDT, TV: ESPN
Victor Zambrano, RHP
5-9, 4.19 ERA
76/57 K/BB, 10 HR in 118.0 IP
Carlos Zambrano, RHP
8-4, 3.24 ERA
132/64 K/BB, 12 HR in 147.0 IP
LF *Matt Lawton SS #Jose Reyes
2B #Neifi Perez 2B Miguel Cairo
1B Derrek Lee CF #Carlos Beltran
3B Aramis Ramirez LF *Cliff Floyd
SS Nomar Garciaparra 3B David Wright
RF *Todd Hollandsworth RF Mike Cameron
C Michael Barrett C Mike Piazza
CF #Jose Macias 1B *Marlon Anderson
P #Carlos Zambrano P #Victor Zambrano
Both Zambranos are switch hitters. That's pretty cool. Enjoy the Joe Morgan broadcast...
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Comments

The my boy squad is out in full force tonight.

IMO, Lawton has not been hitting very well so far as a Cub...He seems to ground out a lot...I hope this isn't a trend...Maybe he can turn things around soon. I was actually hoping Jim Hendry would get someone like Juan Pierre as our lead-off hitter...I also just noticed Manny Ramirez went 4 for 4 in his last game -- he really delivers for Boston (even if he is a high maintenance player)...The Cubs need start to re-build their momentum tonight...this is the best opportunity - with Zambrano pitching.

I like the idea of playing Holly instead of Burnitz. Burnitz is roached. I don't understand why he doesn't try plan B in center...I guess Dusty figures Nefi gives them a more fundamental team. Soup Campbell went on a rant on this mornings' version of Baseball Tonight on the Cubs lack of fundementals and how its not Dusty's fault. Ironically the trib went to Speier for the latest explaination on the teams' play. Am I reading too much into it or is it classic marketing/positioning? Setting up the teams'- next move through the media? Boy they haven't started Murton since they got Lawton....Last but not least, I thought Remlinger showed class in his parting comments but couldn't help feeling he would have trashed the organization if pressed more. Of course these are just my hunches'-nothing more.

This lineup is just brutal. Why can't Lawton play center so Murton can play. Am I the only one who notices the .400 avg?

I hate this starting lineup.

Having Nomar in there is OK but we shouldn't count on him to be solid yet.
I agree that Burnitz is gassed and putting Holly in as his replacement is OK... but putting Perez, Holly and Macias in the same lineup as starters is tantamount of telling Zambrano (and I mean Carlos) that he's gotta pitch a shutout....it tells Victor something too, like here's the smell of Victory.

Carlos may do it but I don't have a good feeling about this.

this season is over. lineups like this blow. f dusty. f this team. i was at the game at shea yesterday and finally saw the light. not enough OBP, not enough common sense. i'll watch tonight but won't get mad anymore, won't get my hopes up anymore. let's hope for a good offseason (less dusty, more OBP, more cowbell) and hopefully my hopes return in march.

see you in the parachat when i can't stand joe morgan anymore. so, like the 2nd inning.

WHERE IS MATT MURTON!?!?! WALKER AND BURNITZ OFF ON THE SAME DAY?!?! MACIAS IN CF AGAIN?!?!? f you, dustman. i just hope you're digging your own grave so you get to go deal with the nationals next year when F-Rob leaves.

I have a feeling, based on the comments in here, that the Cubs are going to win this game 15-2.

I too would like to see Murton as it certainly couldn't hurt at this point...but Murton vs. Holly is not going to make or break the game today...I don't think you can argue much with giving Burny a break.

This team loses because of an average 25 man roster with bad fundamentals....I think we spend too much time arguing if average player A, should play ahead of averagre player B.

When was the last time Macias started 5 games in a row? My guess is not since Rookie ball. Z had to have looked at this line-up and had 2 thoughts. 1. Why aint I hitting 6th and 2. I better throw a no-no.

I'm out of town for 5 days, and look what I come back to...

Dusty must really hate Chicago; this line-up screams for a firing.

Lee is only 1 for 9 in this series...that's not the D. Lee we have been used to this year. Lawton and Neifi didn't get any traction either...It's not just an isolated pitcher...Our team is having trouble hitting like BIG LEAGUE players should be hitting...Maybe The Cubs need to hire a peak performance coach to help the players "Get In The Zone"...Many of the top golfers, tennis players and olympic athletes use these types of coaches. If I were Dusty I would be using a different line-up BUT I would also shake things up and do anything possible to give my players the best chance to reach their full potential.

Error on Aramis Ramirez in the first inning and Ron Santo says once again "we're just NOT playing good fundamental baseball."

I understand the overall disdain for Macias, but there is such a thing as riding the hot bat, so I can deal with him playing (though if Dusty were going to ride the hot bat, he might think about using Murton at least occasionally). I don't, however, understand why the minute Neifi's terrible offense comes out for Nomar, Dusty puts it right back in for Walker. Geez!

Look at Neifi's numbers since May versus Corey's before his demotion. Comparable OBP, comparable BA, etc. Corey struck out more, but had more power. Both are good defenders. So what happens? Corey gets shipped to Triple-A and Dusty and Hendry act like they're frustrated with him, while Dusty INSISTS on getting Neifi into the lineup at all costs.

Beltran scores an un-earned run all the way from first base...what's going on here Dusty...? Maybe its time to go out on the field and talk to the team...This is embarassing.

Scott,

Okay, granted, we're not playing good fundamental baseball... WHAT DO WE DO about it?

Oh, great, Beltran score from 1st base on a ground ball into center field to Macias...

WHAT THE HELL IS MACIAS, AN INFIELDER, DOING PLAYING CF?

WHERE'S OUR 4TH OUTFIELDER?

Unfkn believeable! Get off ur lazy asses and get the damn ball! WTF is macias in center for again??? This whole team is LAZY and HEARTLESS and some changes have to be made. Wether its cleaning house coaching wise or cuttin a player to wake ppl up.

Dusty should make a change RIGHT NOW...take Macias out and put Murton in Center field if you have to -- he would be an improvement....or move Lawton to Center and put Murton in his spot...2 unearned runs at the beginning of this game is really disappointing.

I remember in 8th grade baseball we played a team that was much better than us....they took every opportunity to embarasses us any way they could. They took every extra base, they stole non stop, they turned singles into doubles, and doubles into error filled home runs.

Really, that's exactly what this series has looked like. The mets are running their asses off and making us look like a bunch of highschool kids on the field.

Macias is gasses too I guess. Bonehead can't throw to a cutoff man?

Dusty is to blame for this lineup and for playing the 25th man 5 games in a row

Way to go Holly! Once again Cubs show why they are best at turning something into nothing!

Holli has a TERRIBLE batting average...Why is Dusty playing him...? Murton could play better in the field and hit MUCH BETTER....It's a no brainer to NOT start Hollandsworth.

This is really something amazing to watch. Everything bad that could happen, will happen.

If I were Jim Hendry I would call Dusty on his cell phone and tell him I wanted the rookie Murton in the game as soon as possible...You can't reward the type of performance Hollandsworth is delivering -- it's horrendous....Holli should be sent down to Iowa to work on his hitting...;-)

I have been too lazy to look myself - does anyone know who is going to be a free agent after this year? Do we have any hope of improving through FA? Maybe we can begin Sammy back - at least he made things interesting! =)

Does anyone else think that this is as funny as I do?

It's like watching Comedy Central, but better. I gave up on this season long ago because they played like this all too often, but now it's just humorous.

I'm watching for pure comedic affect at this point. What will happen next that will make me laugh? I'm sure something will.

It's an awfully weak FA class this year. Teams can certainly improve off of it, but I think there will be more trades this offseason than the last 2 years combined.

There it is. Carlos walks 2 so he can load the bases. That's funny.

Zambrano does not have his rythmn...this could be a painful inning...He needs to kick things up a notch - and soon.

Another missed cut-off man. You can't write this stuff.

Lawton does not have the arm I hoped he had...The Cubs are taking advantage of every weakness the Cubs have...this is not funny at all...How many runs can we give away...? Zambrano's pitch count is up near 70 too....Hope Woody and Williamson are healthy tonight.

Is Zambrano to the 80 pitch mark yet?

I figure the more we lose now, the quicker we can get some kids in the game later in the season. I'm all for losing everyday right now. In fact, i'm in favor of losing every game the rest of the season. better draft pick.

The Rookie Rich Hill had trouble against the Mets BUT Zambrano is having REAL TROUBLE too...this is painful folks...We gotta get out of this inning without much more damage.

I'm in favor of losing every game so we can fire dusty.

Yeah, that too. I assume Dusty isn't coming back next year anyway.

Maybe we should start a "Draft Ryne Sandberg For Manager" campaign...I think he could really inspire the team and no one would be more motivated to help the Cubs turn things around and become a real contender for a World Series Championship....Sandberg is a class act and HE UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAYING GOOD FUNDAMENTAL BASEBALL...

"He (Ryne Sandberg) has the most consistent approach to the game I've ever seen. He's similar to (Al) Kaline. You could watch Kaline play for five years and look back and say 'I've never seen him mess up a play or make a mistake.' I know we use the word consistent a lot, but in Sandberg's case it applies." - Manager Jim Frey (Quoted on Hall of Fame Website)

There are some other fine managers out there who may be available. I'd prefer not to go to Sandberg. Something just tells me he's not manager material.

Someone pointed out earlier that Dave Campbell said that Dusty was not at fault for poor fundamentals. Could somebody explain what a manger is responsible for then and why we need one and why we have to pay them so much?

Best I can come up with Dusty is responsible for writing a lineup and that we know he constantly fucks up and even if he wrote a "beautiful" lineup, is it really worth the money?

"Lawton does not have the arm I hoped he had.."

HOPED? That's like hoping the Titanic won't sink. He had the same arm he showed us tonight BEFORE the Cubs got him. You could look it up.

COREY PATTERSON WATCH

1/3 today. 12 for his last 30 (.400), .273 BA with Iowa so far after a rough start.

What exactly are the Cubs accomplishing by keeping him down on the farm?

What's wrong with Zambrano? Our rotation is worthless.

Mets have been running on MaciASS every chance they get. It seems that other managers in MLB realize that he's an infielder, but not baker.

MaciASS, dude, that guy can play anywhere, man he is tough, ya know, gotta keep plugging away, dude, ya know, tough for him when he hits those groundballs right at people, ya know man one day those will get through ya know.

Yeah, dusty, those weak a&* ground balls that Holly, neifi, and MaciASS GOTTA start finding the outfield, right? I mean, does he even believe the shit that comes out of his mouth?

Isn't it amazing that we manged to replace our centerfielder that was hitting so bad he had to go to Iowa - with third baseman who hits worse!

People wondered why there was so much Macias-bashing on this site, arguing that he's the 25th man what's the big deal. Well now he's your starting CF. He never WAS the 25th man - more like the 12th. Murton, Cedeno, these are your 25th men - after all they are under 25 they must suck.

Bring Patterson up and send Holli down to Iowa (because he really needs to work on his hitting)...;-)

Dusty should pull any pitcher who gets in real trouble...we can always go with Rusch, Wood, Williamson, Novoa, and Dempster.

Only way I'd like to see Holly go down is if there is an actual barber in des moines that would cut his mullet, then bring him back up to PH OFF THE DAMN BENCH.

btw, he's playing tonight because he's 3/6 lifetime vs. zambrano. great sample size

What are they accomplishing? Keeping him off the ML roster so that we have one less dipshit to watch. Guys like macias, Neifi, Holly, and Lawton are enough, aren't they?

"What exactly are the Cubs accomplishing by keeping him down on the farm?"

The purpose was to entirely change his swing and approach at the plate. You can't take 40 at bats and say "Job done". No, I don't think Macias is a better option, but we might as well get something long term out of it, and bringing corey up before he is truly ready to face major league pitching again, and doing his job, would cause more damage than good.

Now we have fucking Zambrano quitting on the team...I didn't think things could get worse.

Why is Zambrano gone? What's hurting? His pussy along with Wood's?

Zambron came out at the end of the third gave a cut throat "I'm done" singnal to rothschild and then went to the clubhouse.

This team has just completely fallen apart in all aspects of the game, top to bottom, offense, defence, pitching.

It's now time to completely write off this year and look to the future.

holli gotta hit...miracles never cease...Now will we actually be able to score...2 on base and no outs.

It's been that time for a long time, Adam. Some of us (myself at times) have just refused to accept it. This team never had a chance. Not good enough.

No chance of scoring. I'm surprised Holly wasn't doubled off on that liner.

After all, Wuertz will have to bat after Macias. Dusty likes to get his bat in there.

I'm sorry, but if you can't laugh at this, you don't have a sense of humor. I love this team as much as anyone, but this is just cracking me up.

I mean holli gotta hit -- something we rarely say out here....The Cubs must capitalize on things...Just leave it to Macias -- I have a hunch Murton would be getting on base (yet, Dusty is afraid to use him).

"Some of us (myself at times) have just refused to accept it."

Yup, me too.
this is amazing.

That brings the scoreless streak to 15 innings.

i was baffled about carlos' departure too. he looked really pissed off. so dusty just explained that its carlos's back. its been sore.

as for the corey talk: im glad hes doing better in AAA but seriously, is he learning that K's are bad? if he can't learn it, i say trade him in the offseason.

Did Dusty just say during his 5th inning interview, "we've got 5 innings left"??

In DUSTY we trust!!! Best Cub Manager EVER!!!!!

Does anybody really believe that Corey is suddenly going to be a better player after time spent in Des Moines, Iowa? I'm just not buying it.

"Zambrano left the game with some tightness in the back" according to Pat on WGN...Our starting pitchers are having trouble staying healthy...this is really going to put some pressure on our Bullpen.

macias DP, another weak ground ball.

good point Eric, people in here defending dusty saying no big deal that Macias gets some time now and again have to seriously reconsider that stance. Having Neifi and Macias around, even as man 24 and 25, gives dusty the excuse to play them to be ready for the playoffs. so here we are marching a 3B with a girls softball arm out to Cf every day.

And yes, Rock, it is laughable. The only thing that I'm mad about is that I let Hendry dupe me into thinking that this team had the parts to win.

And Defensive Savior Todd Hollandsworth's Gold Glove just gave the Mets another base.

Late through from Holli -- there's an error...Dusty should pull this pitcher...we can't afford to give up more runs...Put in Woody and Williamson...Then Novoa and Dempster.

I think they show those interviews an inning after they're given. They often do that anyway. Dusty's not bright and I wouldn't try to say he knows what's going on, but most people can add and subtract single digits.

I don't find any of this shit funny! I actually find it horribly sad! The way these guys play the game as of late, is a total disgrace to not only the game but us fans. Nice bobble there holly! Not a one of these players plays with urgency or their head in the game. This is truely remarkable that this is actually a MLB team.

We make a good defensive play and a run still scores. That's just how sad things are.

I'm pretty sure ESPN does their Manager Interviews Live, but I could be wrong.

I HATE THIS TEAM. I HATE THIS TEAM.I HATE THIS TEAM.I HATE THIS TEAM.I HATE THIS TEAM.

Double play ending another inning.

I'm losing it but can you blame me?

At least I don't have to watch. Ron Santo does and it must really hurt. I feel for him.

I never thought wathcing CPat strike out would be something I'd want...but at least his defense on a bad day was above average.

I thought bringing up Greenberg/Murton meant something...but obviously it didn't. Hendry had intent with that move but the manager obviously must enjoy pissing off his boss.

Playing Macias in CF over anyone else is a statement. It says to me that we suck and (as a manager) I 'm a one trick pony, cause veteran players are my only way I'll play the game.

lets see...outfield of Lawton, Burnitz, Murton
or ...outfield of Lawton, Macias, Hollandsworth, hmmmm.

sh*t...I'd rather see Walker, Lawton, Cedeno in the outfield, if we're at the point of looking like the joke of the league.

Interview was following the 4th inning before the cubs came to bat in the 5th.

It is sad the way these guys play the game, but i'm done being mad. This team has no hope and those who can make changes refuse to do it. I no longer care about the 2005 Cubs. They're done. If Dusty and these fools are going to entertain me with play that's worse than some teams who play in the Little League World Series i'll watch and make fun of them and laugh at them.

In game interviews are only live during Spring Training games i believe

If you are recording the game, go back and listen to the end of it because I think you can hear Morgan saying goodbye, but also calling Baker the optimist at the same time.

1) "How are you going to use Kerry in the bullpen, Dusty?"

"Well, I'm probably going to get him in there somewhere during the sixth through ninth innings."

2) Holly bobbles and makes a bad throw into Ramirez. Camera cuts to Dusty, who takes off his hat and gives one of the greatest head scratches I have ever seen. I love the Cubs and always want the best for them, but when I saw that head scratching, I laughed until tears came out of my eyes.

Yea the Randolph interview says live, so they must be

I'm sorry, but Hendry's intent was not to play Murton or Greenberg. I think Hendry made that painfully obvious when he went out and acquired Lawton virtually ensuring that Murton would never start another game. Dusty hates young guys, but he's not the only one here. If he wants them to play he can fire Dusty right now. It's not that difficult.

In fact, i'm pretty sure you could claim Dusty has been negligent and that his ineptitude has cost this team and those would be grounds to void his contract.

During the Willie Randolph interview they've supered, "Live from the Dugout"

We all deserve BETTER PERFORMANCE...I posted this the other day but I really feel this would be worthwhile...

The Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry should put Dusty Baker and ALL Cubs players on a "pay for performance" contract...This is how it's done in many top companies. Give the players about 25% of their projected compensation as a guarantee and the rest would come only IF certain agreed upon milestones were achieved. Lets let the players share in the risk and the reward of winning. This team needs to get hungry and start playing good fundamental baseball. Many of the players (and the Manager) could and should accept blame for the performance. We don't need a bigger payroll we need a GM who would consider shaking things up and "paying for performance"...;-)

-s2@CubsFansDeserveMu[email protected]

There is no excuse for this shit. Where is Corey Patterson? It's not like he hits any worse the Macias, and at least he knows how to play center field. Macias is giving up runs by pure fucking laziness. Letting Reyes move to second on fly ball that didn't get to the track? Letting Beltran score from first on a single? This is total bullshit. How can you not call Patterson up and keep playing Macias. Someone please try to defend this. If you think Macias should be playing over anyone on the 40 man roster you're on crack. If you're giving up on the season then say so and let the kids play. Try to make some waiver deals. FIRE DUSTY PLEASE. Hendry should be sweating too.

I will now light myself on fire.

when a manager loses his team...

this is what it looks like.

Well, I guess Dusty can't count then. Wow. That made an already funny evening even better. I can't stop laughing right now.

Any chance Zambrano's back problems stem from looking over his left shoulder and seeing Neifi, Hollandsworth, and Macias all playing behind him?

Hendry made that painfully obvious when he went out and acquired Lawton virtually ensuring that Murton would never start another game.

Acquiring Lawton was done after Dusty made it clear Murton wasn't going to see the light of day ever again, not to mention that we were getting nothing out of the 1-2 hitters.

Murton was at best playing against some leftys until Dustbuster started Holly again against leftys. Hendry, I think reacted to get Lawton as a potential leadoff hitter and to keep Hollandsworth on the bench. Didn't work did it.

Of course there is no excuse for this crap. Do you think the Cubs care? I don't get the impression they do.

they need to give up on this season, play the youngsters and keep Corey in Iowa or I really don't care as long as i never have to watch him play again. Siberia if need be.

maybe they're waiting for Pie to get back to form to come up and take over for Macias. maybe this is there way of showing us how good Pie is. Play macias for 3 weeks and then put Pie in there.

And another thing who wouldn't have rather seen Patterson strike out with Walker on deck instead of the Macias Special? I am no longer rational or coherent. Should I be concerned that everything in my living room looks red and theres a shooting pain in the back of my head?

Well, then Hendry did a horrible job at predicting what i could have told him. Getting Lawton would relegate Murton to no time at all. Murton was actually starting to get some playing time.

No, JJ. Don't worry about that. Unless you're bleeding.

I can't wait till next weekend. Tony LaRussa is just waiting to watch dusty walk out with the lineups with his pants around his ankles.

Now that would be funny and somehow appropriate.

Anyone else think Nomar looks weird with his socks like that?

I think Zambrano just said "Fuck this."

And I don't blame him. Sad as it is, what incentive does he have to go bust his ass to play on a team that has Macias, Holly, and Neifi behind him?

Nomar just looks weird. PERIOD. His nose is goofy looking. Speaking of weird. What was up with Rich Hill's picture on cubs.com the other day?

>>>I think Zambrano just said "Fuck this."

And I don't blame him. Sad as it is, what incentive does he have to go bust his ass to play on a team that has Macias, Holly, and Neifi behind him?

Exactly. Who wouldn't do that. I think my softball team is better than this.

Like I said earlier, some Little League all-star teams are better than this.

and i'm laughing as I write that because it's just pathetic.

I actually think that myself and the neighbor kids, some 25 years ago played better back yard baseball than this team.

>>>I can't wait till next weekend. Tony LaRussa is just waiting to watch dusty walk out with the lineups with his pants around his ankles.

3 to 1 Dusty's not around by then.

I'm starting to think dusty won't be around for the Cincy series.

Zambrano, Wood and Prior all use their health (sore arm, sore back etc) whenever they get rocked early in a game...Every damn time..it's getting too predictable. Maybe it is a Dusty call "Looks like your back is giving you trouble again kid....I'm pulling you."....

Then post game "It's kinda hard to win when your starters are facing sore arms and backs etc"....

This team is pathetic and the manager is worse. I'm sure Dusty is a swell guy but he is useless as this teams manager.

I mean, this has to stop, right?

If Harry Carey were doing this game, he be completely Budman blitzed by now and do the broadcast in his boxers...

just to match the cubs play on the field

What's the O/E on the fire date? I say Dusty gets axed Wed evening after losing 2 of 3 to the Reds. Any takers?

if the cubs lose 6 of 7 next week to the Reds-Cards...I think Dusty will be looking for a home in Alexandria, VA or Pasedena, CA by next sunday

If you're going to fire the guy, what better time is there than after this pathetic road trip and getting shutout 2 games in a row? I'd rather they fire Dusty and give the job to macias. he can't do worse.

If they don't fire him by Wednesday, they won't fire him until after the season.

Since July 20, DLee is batting .234, answering the question, "Where would this team be without Derrek Lee?"

Folks, this is the answer.
#46 - Maybe he quit, but #91 (jj) is right. He had shit behind him and threw a ton of pitches. You can tell Randolph wants his guys to work counts on Z to run up pitch counts and it worked.

#47 - C'mon man. That's lame. And pretty vulgar. Sorry, but I can't read that kind of shit. I really hope that with was some kind of joke. Z's been the healthiest young pitcher this team has. And he plays with the most effort and heart. Don't get down on Z for tonight. This team knows it's done.

"Maybe we should start a "Draft Ryne Sandberg For Manager" campaign...I think he could really inspire the team and no one would be more motivated to help the Cubs turn things around and become a real contender for a World Series Championship....Sandberg is a class act and HE UNDERSTANDS THE IMPORTANCE OF PLAYING GOOD FUNDAMENTAL BASEBALL..."

Scott,
It's a good choice. It seemed to me his HOF speech was a "why I should be the Cub's manager speech" He voluntered for the job in 2002 after Baylor was fired. He would probably would do it for cheap the 1st year while we have to eat idiot's contract.

"Now we have fucking Zambrano quitting on the team...I didn't think things could get worse."

Adam,

Can you blame him. He is one of the only players who gives a crap. They give up a run on a grounder from a guy on 1st. He has more heart than the rest of this team combined.

CUBS SUCK SO BAD. GETTING SWEPT BY THE METS. I AGREE WITH JUMBO, Z IS THE ONLY PITCHER WORTH ANYTHING SO GET OFF HIS CASE, IT'S HIS DAY OFF I GUESS.

>>>I'd rather they fire Dusty and give the job to macias. he can't do worse.

I bet Macias is smart enough to not write his own name on the lineup card.

I would love to see Sandberg as Mgr. I hope your right, chifan. Also I hope that he manages for the Cubs instead of some other team. I hope we get him in time. See ya in hell, Dusty.

Yeah, even if Macias isn't smart enough to keep his name off the lineup card, he won't be putting himself in CF so tht's a plus right there.

Yeah, Zambrano has a lot of heart, but let's not forget Maddux.

6-0...Time for Williamson and Woody...;-)

Dusty will not be fired until after the season...and then it will be under the guise of allowing him to look for another job.

The Cubs haven't had a run since Friday...They haven't won a game against the Yankees or the Mets in New York all year...They're running out of time in this game...It would be the mother of all comebacks if they actually win this game -- yet, I wouldn't count on it.

But this is our inning. WE've got barrett, macias and a pinch-hitter.

"Adam,

Can you blame him. He is one of the only players who gives a crap. They give up a run on a grounder from a guy on 1st. He has more heart than the rest of this team combined."

Yes, there is never, ever, an excuse to walk off the mound like that...UNLESS he is truly injured, which I did not know at the time.

Here's a sure RBI, right? macias up with barrett on 2nd.

MACIASSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

That earned him at least 3 more starts against Cincy.

I forget. What does that mean when a runner touches home like that. I has been so long since I've seen such wizardry.

Scott, from your comments, I'd think you were watching a different game then the rest of us. We all gave up, along with the cubs, after the 3rd inning and you are strategizing about pinch hitters, what relievers to bring in, and late comebacks.

I admire your optimism.

Adam, when your manager isn't even writing lineups that give you a legitimate chance to win, it's the manager who has already quit, not Zambrano.

Adam: I think you are right...Hendry won't go back on "his word" that Dusty's job was secure this year...Yet, I'm sure Hendry would be more than willing to let Dusty interview for other jobs. I will be very surprised if Dusty leaves before the end of the season -- it's not his style to quit. Who knows what might be said behind closed doors though...I'm sure Dusty would like to try to salvage this season and finish on a positive note.

"Wizardry"

that's funny.

Now that Murton's OBP is below .500 maybe Baker will play him. Baker doesn't like people getting on base so it's easy to see why Murton hasn't been in the lineup. Damn base clogger.

"Adam, when your manager isn't even writing lineups that give you a legitimate chance to win, it's the manager who has already quit, not Zambrano."

That's just complete horseshit. Players are paid lots of money to play no matter what the circumstances are.

Meanwhile, it doesn't matter what lineup we have out there...this team blows pretty much top to bottom.

The only way to finish this season on a positive note is to get rid of Baker. I don't think Hendry will pause for one second to "go back on his word" after all, Hendry said Sosa was our RF in early February.

I agree this team pretty much blows, but Dusty quit a long time ago. I'm not saying it makes what Z did right, but it makes what he did understandable. I can tell you flat out right now I would not play for Dusty Baker if i was on the Cubs. I don't care how much they're paying me.

"I agree this team pretty much blows, but Dusty quit a long time ago"
Again, bullshit. Total bullshit. If he gave up a long time ago, he would be going against his usual style and play rookies.

"I can tell you flat out right now I would not play for Dusty Baker if i was on the Cubs. I don't care how much they're paying me."

I'm sorry, that's just idiotic.
Get a grip...I'm as pissed as the next guy, but be rationale. Murton is not the savior of this team, and firing Dusty won't make this a playoff team.

What a move Dusty. Lets make a double switch that gets the pitcher spot 3rd in the next inning.

I know it won't make this a playoff team. They hven't been a playoff team since April. I'm not at all concerned about that. I'm concerned about getting guys out there so we can find out what holes we need to fill next year.

If Dusty believes playing Macias and Neifi and Holly is his best chance to go to the post season then he's even more ignorant than I thought. I think he's asking to be fired. I think he's begging.

Chifan-
Williamson is not oging to pitch more than 1 inning, so it doesn't matter....

Most of us would TOTALLY freak out if the Cubs came back and scored at least 5 runs in the 9th inning...;-)

"What a move Dusty. Lets make a double switch that gets the pitcher spot 3rd in the next inning."

Get a grip guys, down 6-1 in the 9th, the pitcher won't be batting no matter what...it doesn't matter where he is in the lineup...here he gets Murton an at bat first instead of 3rd.

if they came back and scored 5 it would be an inning where they had 2 guys get picked off the bases and a game they should have scored 6 or 7 and then they'd lose it int he bottom of the 9th on 4 consecutive walks.

please bury them for dead along with sosa----

Manny,
What are your thoughts on Dusty these days? Do you still like him as the manager? Do you think he should be/will be fired? I'm not baiting you here either. I'm seriously interested in what you think as someone who's been very forgiving of him in the past. I'm pretty sure I already know your thoughts on Hendry.

"What a move Dusty. Lets make a double switch that gets the pitcher spot 3rd in the next inning."

Not only does it not matter...but he is scheduled to bat 8th in the inning.

Hatred blinds people from reality, whether it's a playground fight, and ex-girlfriend, politics, or sports.

Meanwhile V. Zambrano is known to be very wild. The fact that he made it through 8 on 107 pitches only walking 1 is absolutely ridiclous.

Lets count our blessings...Nomar looks good -- 2 hits tonight....Lee and Ramirez have had trouble and that has cost us big time.

>>>Lets count our blessings

crickets chirping.......

I was going to say the same thing about Victor's wildness as well, Adam. Pathetic.

JJ, yeah I still do like him as a manager. I don't think he will be fired, nor should he. Clearly the Cubs have taken a step back this year so far. And baker needs to be held partly for that. But he is not as much the reason as what the majority of TCR thinks. I think we all overestimated the players and health of this team. The bullpen and LF were not adressed proprely due to the offseason focus of getting rid of Sosa. But to say Baker is completely not at fault is wrong and he needs to be partly to blame. Next year will be a telling year. hendry and baker contract both are up. 2006 will be interesting. Hopefully Hendry can go out and improve this team, becuase no matter who the manager is, this team or something assembled close to it, will not make the playoffs this year nor next.

Mercifully that one's over. Unfortuantly the same can't yet be said about the season.

April 2006 is only 8 months away!

In DUSTY we TRUST!!!!!

Anyone know what Lawton's average is since he joined the Cubs...? It may not be any better than Corey Patterson's was before he went out to play in Iowa...This guy lawton is a veteran but we could sure use some more base hitting from him. Lets see how he does this week at Wrigley.

As a Cub, Lawton's 5-21 with 1 walk .238/.273/.286

And for a laugh, Yahoo's Depth chart for the Cubs has Lawton in Left, Burnitz in Center and Burnitz in Right.

Adam,

My bad I thought Perez was Macias when he grounded out. In a blowout all sucky players look alike I guess. How said is it that the Yahoo box score has Macias as our top batter tonight.

"JJ, yeah I still do like him as a manager"
The reason I'm completely done with Dusty now is his stubborness, and inability to change. He didn't make a change during the 8 game losing streak when he left Cpat and Neifi up top, and he has now left Macias in when the Cubs have done nothing, and here we are with another 5 game losing streak.

The same could be said for leaving jobo in as long as he did in 2003 as closer, and hawkins as long as he did in 2004.

Hollandsworth was about the only guy on the team who could have improved his recent line by getting a single in four trips. All of these hitters have absolutely sucked recently. When resting a guy with a 399 OPS of late , you don't put in the guy with one under 300.

This year is telling enough. The club isn't talentless, and even if one alloted some pitching injuries and Nomar, I doubt anybody would have said "79-win team." With tonight's loss, that's exactly what we're on pace for. This should not be sugarcoated with "we knew the team wasn't going to be very good." Not winning 85 games is one thing: mid-nineties-esque garbage is quite another. The offense has to get better, as Burnitz, Lee, and Aramis are not that bad. However, I'm completely sick and tired of seeing these absolute hacks on the roster and in the field. There is no possible rationale for the consistency displayed by both of them.

I don't care that the relative presence of three players isn't why we're losing. I don't root for players that suck, and I can find a new team fairly easily to step in until the Cubs break their addictions to them.

What was the problem with JoBo as closer in 2003? He blew 4 saves all year?

What was the problem with JoBo as closer in 2003? He blew 4 saves all year?

Oops, meant jobo in '04, and Hawkins in '05

Yeah, Borowksi was 33-37 in SVO's in 2003. Hmmmm....

Adam:
"and he has now left Macias in when the Cubs have done nothing, and here we are with another 5 game losing streak."

In the 5 game losing streak, Macias has been:
5-14, 1 run, 2 RBI (with a 4 game hit streak). He is also batting .296 on the year. yeah, I know it is holow, blah blah blah. But to complain about Dusty's use of Macias the last 5 games, is not where the blame should fall.

He stuck with Hawkins in 2004 as well when he wasn't getting the job done.

Manny
>>>Hopefully Hendry can go out and improve this team, becuase no matter who the manager is, this team or something assembled close to it, will not make the playoffs this year nor next.

I agree with you there, and that's why I agree that Dusty is not the only one the gets the blame. I just cannot get over the three lineups this weekend that had Macias in them. Put Burnitz in center and play Murton or Holly(shudder). Whoever makes the final call on the roster moves needed to call up Patterson IMO, but Macias should be Plan Y not Plan B or C or D or whatever you want to call by now. And I know "it's just that one thing you can't fire him for that," but it's not just that one thing. It's been three years of goofy shit like that, and it's hard to swallow when you're not getting to the playoffs.

Whatever. I'm going to bed. Maybe I'll wake up and realize that it's 2003 and I fell asleep during the 5th inning of Game 6.

>>>In the 5 game losing streak, Macias has been:
5-14, 1 run, 2 RBI (with a 4 game hit streak). He is also batting .296 on the year. yeah, I know it is holow, blah blah blah. But to complain about Dusty's use of Macias the last 5 games, is not where the blame should fall.

I didn't read this before my last post. I have to disagree. As I posted way above this, Macias gave up runs out of either pure laziness or stupidity in the last two games. It probably didn't matter tonight, but it could have made a difference yesterday.

I think the top 5 hitters have had a total of 1 hit combined in the last 2 games...that's what the problem is. BUT, when something like that happens...change things around. I was actually happy to see Burnitz sitting today for a rest...but wish he put in some young bood to mix things up.

Adam:
"I think the top 5 hitters have had a total of 1 hit combined in the last 2 games...that's what the problem is. BUT, when something like that happens...change things around."

Change the top 5 hitters? I guess you could move nomar to #2, but besides taht there is not much else than can be done. The good hitters are just not hitting and thus the Cubs are not scoring runs.

For the record, Macias's average isn't hollow "blah blah blah", it's hollow serious garbage. This is not debatable. He has seven doubles and three walks beyond that 296 average. Those are the extent of his offensive contributions, and he also has the benefit of being able to stand around in a variety of spaces on a baseball diamond. He. Sucks. When he's GOOD, like he's been this week, he's still mediocre at best.

It's okay to carry and utilize him often though. It's not like there any new schools of thought have developed in the past couple years that stress maximizing your roster's benefits by eliminating the flotsam, or anything like that.

Change the top 5 hitters? I guess you could move nomar to #2, but besides taht there is not much else than can be done. ...

Getting the guy who's done nothing but hit of late in for some of the guys who've done nothing but suck of late would be one potential avenue for improvement.

I love Ryno, but he would be a bad choice for manager. One, he has no coaching experience whatsoever. You can try to say he works with guys in Spring Training, but it's so limited it doesn't really count. Two, despite opening up more in recent years, he's still a very quiet guy. Too quiet. We have a manager now who let's the inmates run things, we need someone who takes charge, whether they are a screamer or not, they need to establish they are in charge and people will be held accountable. Does Ryno give that impression? No. I met him in June - he's still a very shy and quiet person who makes as much noise as a bump on a log. That's not the right choice to manage a team.

Lee needs a rest. Should have used Hollandsworthless at first and Murton OF.

Maybe Nomar should be the lead-off hitter...so far this guy Lawton is not getting the job done...I noticed that Juan Pierre came through for his team again today...

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/new...

He gets on base twice, distracts the pitcher (which we desperately needed tonight), steals bases, and scores...I sure wish Hendry could have found a way to pick up Juan Pierre as our lead-off batter...Lawton is a nice guy but so far I am NOT impressed with this $7 Million dollar player -- we need real offensive performance right now and I hope Lawton steps up to the plate. We also need our most consistent hitters to get hot again...withoug Lee and Ramirez having good games its very difficult for us to win...Our offense needs some more juice.

Rick Morrissey of the Tribune needs to take a closer look at Dusty's magical work since taking over the Cubs:

Of the four young core players we had at the start of 2003, Dusty has derailed Mark Prior's career, has led Big Z into some wierd injuries, and has perhaps destroyed the career's of Kerry Wood and Corey Patterson. This was done by overusing the pitchers and trotting Corey out there day after day in a lineup spot he was not suited to perform well in. He did it over and over until Corey started to doubt himself, and Dusty and his coaches filled Corey's head with a bunch of junk on how to hit. Was Corey's swing too long in 2003, when Dusty's stupid decisions hadn't gotten to him yet?
This isn't mentioning the other players Dusty has run into the ground here - using Hawkins in a role he obviously isn't suited for, not having a clue how to use Mike Remlinger or Chad Fox, which eventually led to Rem's demise and Fox's arm blowout (watch out Kerry Wood and Scott Williamson), Dusty didn't even understand how to use the top pinch hitter in MLB history - Lenny Harris - Dusty tried to make the
15 yr vet a starting thirdbaseman instead of letting him do what he does best - pinch hit. Doesn't that sound familiar with Hollandsworth this year? A good ph who can't play everyday, but Dusty just can't learn that lesson.

We haven't touched on the basic's of the game that Dusty can't grasp - working counts, drawing walks, bunting, using the hit and run, stealing bases, even tagging up - something we do poorly. And we all know Dusty can't make out a lineup card, can't use a bullpen, doesn't understand how to use his bench or rest his starters until it's too late. This 'top' manager is so overrated it's both alarming and fascinating anyone could think highly of him once they actually watch him manage a game.

This was posted on MLB.com about 2 hours ago...

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.js...

Baker refutes rumors, staying with Cubs
08/07/2005 7:33 PM ET
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com

{...NEW YORK -- Dusty Baker is tired of hearing about where he will be managing next and wants to make it clear he's staying put with the Chicago Cubs.

In recent weeks, Baker has been rumored to be taking over the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Washington Nationals. All false, he said Sunday, in what he wants to be the last discussion on the matter.

"There's always going to be some talk, especially when you're not winning and people think you should be winning," Baker said. "That doesn't bother me. I just do my job. I've got a job to do. It does bother me that I'm going places when I'm already at a place."

Baker, 56, can't even chuckle at the rumors.

"It's past funny now. It's not funny at all," he said. "The sad part about the whole thing is anybody can say anything. It's like a copycat crime guy. Once one starts, then who knows? They might copycat it from LA to Arizona to Washington...

...Baker doesn't want the Cubs to discuss a contract extension now because it's not his style. He did not negotiate a new deal during the season in his 10 years with the San Francisco Giants from 1993-2002.

"I was in the last year of my contract four times," Baker said about his stint with the Giants in which his longest deal was a two-year contract. "They asked a couple times, 'Do you want to talk about an extension?' and I said, 'No, I want to concentrate on what I'm doing.'

"I don't want to be a distraction to my team," he said. "I'd rather wait until the end and then win, and then you can parlay it to a better negotiating position. If you're not secure in your own abilities or yourself, you're going to jump on an extension."

If Baker and the Cubs agreed to an extension beyond the 2006 season, it might quiet some of the rumors that he wants to leave.

"I've never done that," Baker said. "My contract and [Cubs general manager Jim Hendry's] contract end at the same time."

There have been written reports that Baker doesn't want to come back to Chicago after his contract expires with the Cubs. Baker denies that.

"I never said that," he said. "What I would like to happen to quiet some people is to sign my coaches, so we have continuity of leadership going into next year. This year and next year are big years for all of us.

"Why would I go against what I've always done?" Baker said. "This is not anything new. Going into next year, I don't want to talk about it. Especially since I had [prostate] cancer [in 2001], you learn you don't look too far in the future. You prepare for the future and you learn from the past, but you live your life today. I manage today.

"To me, that's something that shouldn't even be discussed at this point what I'm going to do after next year," he said. "We're not even through this year yet. That's why [the rumors] don't make any sense to me."

Baker said when the time is right, he'll talk to the Cubs. But the team has to want him back, too. It's a "two-sided thing here. It's not a one-sided thing," he said.

Baker said he has never given the impression that he doesn't want to come back after his contract is over.

"Most people are guessing. They don't know me," he said. "They don't know how I think. If you look at my background and track record, you'll see it. This is in line and indicative of my personality and how I do things. Take it as face value and try not to see any more into it than it is."...}

"I love Ryno, but he would be a bad choice for manager. One, he has no coaching experience whatsoever."

Guillen was a base coach for a couple of seasons which was not a lot and look what he is doing. Scoisca did not have alot of coaching expirence and he won it all, and he was a low key player to.

Ryno would surround himself with great talent and coaches...He is a winner and a Hall of Fame player...I think he would quickly surprise folks and develop into one of THE BEST managers in major league baseball. Nobody wants the Cubs to win a World Series more than Ryno.

Baylor empathizes with Baker's plight

http://chicagosports.chicagotribune.com/sport...

{..."It's difficult when the expectations are so high. It seems you can't get beyond [a certain point]. If that were to happen, it would free up lots of things. Like that [series loss to] Florida [in the 2003 playoffs]. And it had some kind of effect because your expectations were to come back the next year and compete again. I think the most difficult thing when you win, you can't subtract [players] from your team."

Baylor has won most battles in his lifeóincluding beating bone marrow cancer two years agoóbut couldn't get over the hump with the Cubs. Just as Baker is beginning to discover and talk about, Baylor believes there may be something to the Cubs' lack of championships and all those day games.

"I thought about the different [starting] times, your body clock, your adjustment," he said. "I know this Seattle club, when you're that far north, you travel on your days off so you really never get [rested].

"I think there's something to it, I really do. You have four or five different starting times during a homestand."

So, Baylor can empathize with what is happening to Baker's team because he has been on the top step of the Cubs' dugout when expectations were high.

"I know when we went through a streak, like winning 11 of 12, guys started believing they could win," he said. "I think winning sets in with players. When they walk on the field, they know they're going to win. I think that happened with that team in '03. They had enough guys on that team to get it done.

"And I know Dusty is trying to get that feeling back. But now when you walk out on the field and guys don't cover first base, the fundamental things Ö panic sets in, you put pressure on yourself to start winning.

"When you see the wild-card [playoff spot] getting further and further away, then more guys get sent packing, that's when it hits your team."...}

Scott...please just give the links to the articles.

"Nobody wants the Cubs to win a World Series more than Ryno."

Nobody wants the Cubs to win a WS more than whoever is managing them. i've been a Cub fan for almost as long as Sandberg's been alive. (Although I'm happy to say I look younger than him) No one wants the Cubs to win a WS more than me but that doesn't mean I should be hired to do it. People that haven't played sports think that somehow desire will win out over natural talent. it doesn't. Talent wins every time. Desire and talent gets you to the Hall of Fame. Sandberg had that on the field. I have seen nothing from him in all these years that makes me believe he could inspire anyone to do anything from the dugout.

I just finished watching the game (Tivo). Almost makes me glad I live on the West Coast and hardly ever see them. It's less painful on Gamechannel and MLB radio.

Anyway, I'm pissed. It's not that this team isn't going anywhere ... I resigned myself to that a long time ago. It's that we're not going anywhere in all the wrong ways. We've got no heart. And while we should be auditioning kids for next year's team, we keep trotting out journeyman vets.

Hendry has to take charge. It's time to trade or release everyone who doesn't figure into the long term plans. Let the kids play. Who knows, they might even bring some energy to the club. It can't be any worse than this.

PS - I thought last year's team had the worst fundamentals of any Cubs team I've seen since I started watching in the 70s. This team may be even worse.

PPS - I'm not a Dusty hater, but don't say the management has no effect on how people play. FWIW, Moises has looked much more alive with SF this year than he did with us last year. I figure he doesn't want to look like a fool in front of his old man.

Tbone

This team has playoff talent or close to it and so will the 2006 team. What this teams lacks as desire (Macias letting Beltran score from 1st on a grounder). If Sandberg can add that we will be playing some playoff ball.

nothing was wrong with burn/walker...and dusty sits them vs. a righty in between 2 lefty starters...

now that's one you can all rip into him for hehe...

that's either stinking thinking or he's got some weird idea about wanting them ready to roll vs. the lefties fresh...

I am going to sum up my frustration with the Chicago Cubs and Baker.

It started in the second half of 2002 when the Cubs looked to have finally got the message and decided, hey we have a minor leagues, lets stop going with the old washed up veteran route to plug our holes. It looked like an honest to god youth movement.

In typical Cub fasion they didnt stick to the plan. They brought in Dusty Baker who has a horrific record working with younger players. This was the man who after all benched Rich Aurilla for a whole year so he could get Jose Vizcaino some playing time. The rotation was pretty much set heading into 2003 with Baker only having 1 decision to make. Juan Cruz or Shawn Estes? This is where the youth movement officially ended. Because before the season even started Baker said he needed his lefty. The 5th spot in he rotation was cleared up before it even began. You might remember this same tactic used with Todd Hollandsworth and Jason Dubois, with Baker saying Holly will get 400 or more AB's before the battle in spring training had ever began. You can say Juan Cruz or Dubois did't pan out, but how can you consider yourself a fair manager when your telling your rookie he has a chance to win the starting job and telling the Veteran "Don't worry your going to start no matter what." I call it being a two faced liar.

Since 2003 the Cubs have reverted back to the washed up veterans to plug holes. I got sick through most of the 80's and 90's watching the crap veterans play. Now in 2005 we are back to the same mode of losing.

Is it any wonder that the most successful teams in the last 20 years for the Cubs got to the playoff on the backs of younger players or rookies? 1984 - Ryne Sandberg, 1989 - Greg Maddux, Mark Grace, Jerome Walton, Dwight Smith. 1998 - Kerry Wood. 2003 - Mark Prior, Corey Patterson. And that each year after that season's playoff run the Cubs have increasingly got much older, and much less talented. Its like the Cubs think after a playoff appearance they are a few scrub players away from being a World Champion. They don't fix much, and feel the need to bring in the "veteran presence" to help the younger players take the next step. Instead the next step is usually into the toilet.

I am sick of seeing the patch works and the same crap in 2005. I hate Holly, Macias, and Perez for that reason. Because they are a reminder that this organization has learned nothing in the last 20 years on how to move forward. I am less pissed about Perez and maybe Macias because they are starting for injured players. I really have hated Holly because he is the typical patch work fix the Cubs have used year after year after year.

Crunch hit on something in Parachat about how the Cubs should of built a better bench what with all the injury prone guys we have on this roster. And thats really a side reason why I have hated Perez and Macias so much. They were 1 injury away from being in your regular lineup and that should never ever come to be reality. Your not going to win many games when your throwing AB's away with Macias and Perez starting for you. Thats was a scarey thought for me before the season, its even scarier watching it come true.

It sucks to watch Holly, Perez, Macias with Blanco mixed into lineups. Other teams have to look at that and laugh. Opposing pitchers are pumped to pitch against that level of crap. Derrek Lee, Aramis Ramirez welcome to Sammy Sosa's 7th level of hell. Dont worry guys you got about 4-5 more years of being the only offensive talent in the Cubs lineup before you experience what the true meaning of hell really is. And when your skills are declining and the team is still sucking, Cubs fans will blame you for the losing and ride you out of town faster than you can blink.

Thats the life of a Cubs fan. History repeats itself, and I am sick of watching the same train wreck over and over. 2005 is just another in a long line of disappointing seasons. But every day and every year I wake up thinking we got a shot. I am either retarded or a true Cubs fan.

WHY ISN'T MURTON PLAYING?!?!?!

This "hire Sandberg because nobody wants the Cubs to win the WS" stuff is just plain silly. If there's anybody on this planet who wants the Cubs to win the WS, it's Ron Santo. And I can't think of anybody less qualified to manage the Cubs -- or anything other than his toupee rotation -- than Ron Santo.

Jason's right about Sandberg. He's too soft-spoken to be managerial material. Not that the position dictates a screamer, but it does require an outspoken extrovert, someone who is not afraid to get on people's tails. Heck, half of the problem with Baker is that doesn't appear to ride herd hard enough on his players. Just look at last year and all that bitching about umps and broadcasters, bitching that Baker did nothing to suppress. And is anyone buying that "I delegate authority, so Rothschild will get around to scolding the pitchers for not covering first" line he gave the press the other day?

Besides, former superstars usually don't make good managers. Ted Williams (.429 in four seasons) is the classic example, but you can also add Eddie Mathews (.481 in parts of three seasons), Larry Doby (.425 in part of a season), Don Baylor (.476 in nine seasons), and Frank Robinson (.479 in sixteen seasons). The current exception is Joe Torre. There have been lots of theories as to why superstars don't make good managers that've been put forth over the years, but the most reasonable one is that they tend to expect more out of the average ML ballplayer than he is capable of producing.

Great managers have almost always been ultra-marginal major leaguers, or guys who weren't even good enough to make it to the big leagues as players. That describes Tony LaRussa, Tommy Lasorda, Sparky Anderson, Earl Weaver, Jim Leyland, and almost all of the other succcessful managers of recent years.

What's more, as has been pointed out Sandberg has no managerial experience and no day-to-day coaching experience. Cubs fans who want Ryno to manage the team are clearly thinking with their hearts rather than their heads.

If Hendry were to go with a guy who has no major-league managerial experience, I'd suggest Terry Pendleton or Glenn Hubbard instead. Tap into some of that Braves success; it's hard to do better in a rookie skipper than someone who learned how to run a team under the tutelage of Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzone.

Um ... that first line should read:

This "hire Sandberg because nobody wants the Cubs to win the WS more than him" stuff is just plain silly.

Dusty loves his veterans...That is very clear right now...Baker buried Dubois earlier this season when veteran Todd Hollandsworth struggled. He also has kept Matt Murton out of the lineup against right-handed pitchers even as Hollandsworth has slumped again of late. Murton looks to be a pretty good pure hitter and a patient one at that. The only thing thatís going to help him is to play.

Baker is very stubborn and is an "old school" manager and that's not what the Cubs need. The Cubs need to nurture, aggressively promote and embrace promising rookies just like Atlanta has. With our current management style it's just not possible.

Jim Hendry needs to accept part of the blame...He is the GM (and CEO) of the Cubs Franchise...He has given Dusty free reign and allowed him to be the equivalent of the Chief Operating Officer of the Cubs...Well, Dusty is not getting the job done and the players look to a MLB team Manager for guidance and inspiration...The Cubs need to refocus very soon and if they can't do it with current management then changes should be made. It's up to Hendry to make the tough call.

Chifan -
The reason for Beltran scoring on Macias was not lack of desire, but lack of talent.

Forget the wild card for a moment....

This club is SIXTEEN games behind the St. Louis Cardinals and quickly gaining ground on the Reds for 5th place.

I think the "only 5 games out of the wild card race" talk is shadowing the fact that this club--the most expensive in the NL Central is 16 games behind the first place Cardinals and fading fast. Forget the wild card. This team needs to be built to win the division. The team needs to run like they are going to win the division.

If I were on the board of directors of the Tribune Company I would be calling for the resignation or forced termination of the hitting coach and pitching coach and let it be known to Mr. Hendry and Baker that they have 51 games to turn this ship(t) around or they can forget contract extensions because they will be without a job next season.

There is NO excuse for the past two seasons. When the first place Cardinals have assumed more DL assignments than the Cubs could ever imagine and still maintain first place--they make the Cubs look like whining loser crybabies looking for a good excuse for why they suck so badly.

100 million to have an interesting finish with the Reds a battle for 5th....maybe 5th 3rd Bank could sponsor the remaining portion of the season.

Baker is lost--direction was totally missing in his body language and words in his interview on ESPN last night. Hendry says it's time to get it in gear. It's a little late for the rah rah cheerleading now Mr. Hendry. It's time you lay your foot day and demand accountability and lay it on the line to Baker and his coaching staff.

The Cardinals are closing out a 40 year association with an aging ballpark in Busch Stadium...and they are doing it in grand style. The Cubs value Wrigley Field more than anything and that includes winning. If a Genie gave them a world series Championship but they would have to move out of Wrigley to do it--The Cubs would chose to stay in Wrigley. The Cubs simply do not know how to win.

Mr. Hendry and Mr. Baker should be given notice that they are to earn a post season appearance and then go on to win the World Series or they will not be back next season...better yet they should be given their pink slips now.

MACIAS GOOD, RAMIREZ BAD -- "Baker"

Baker said Macias hustled and couldn't have done anything more, but Ramirez's errors are an increasing burden.

"That was big,'' Baker said. "They say the team that scores first wins 70 percent of the time. On this trip, they won 100 percent of the time.''

Not be cynical:

"If I were on the board of directors of the Tribune Company I would be calling for the resignation or forced termination of the hitting coach and pitching coach and let it be known to Mr. Hendry and Baker that they have 51 games to turn this ship(t) around or they can forget contract extensions because they will be without a job next season."

If you were on the Board of Directors of the Tribune COmpany you would never do that, because while the board members be fans, there real interest is in how well the asset is producing financially - indeed, that can only be their interest as a mater of law. The Cubs are indeed producing very well financially and Hendry and Baker are probably deemed a big part of that. My guess is that they are in very good standing as a result.

Even if the Cubs finish with 75 wins this year they will still have VERY robust ticket sales for next year.

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