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GAME THIRTY-ONE IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (14-16, 5th, 6 GB) AT SAN DIEGO PADRES (16-15, 3rd, 2.5 GB) Puppy Park, 9:05 PM CDT Weather: Lovely TV: CSN, DirecTV 738 Radio: WGN, XM 188
Chris Young, RHP 2-2, 3.53 ERA, 35.2 IP 30 K, 14 BB, 6 HRGreg Maddux, RHP 5-1, 2.35 ERA, 38.1 IP 29 K, 6 BB, 2 HR
*Juan Pierre, CF Ronnie Cedeno, SS *Todd Walker, 1B Michael Barrett, C Aramis Ramirez, 3B Matt Murton, LF *Jacque Jones, RF Jerry Hairston Jr., 2B Greg Maddux, P*Dave Roberts, LF Mike Cameron, CF *Brian Giles, RF Mike Piazza, C Josh Barfield, 2B Vinny Castilla, 3B Khalil Greene, SS *Adrian Gonzalez, 1B Chris Young, P

Cubs vs. Young: Jacque Jones: 0-8 2 K &nbsp&nbsp&nbspPadres vs. Maddux: Mike Piazza: 16-63 254/266/460 4 HR, 1 BB, 9 K Vinny Castilla: 13-43 302/333/581 3 HR, 1 BB, 8 K Brian Giles: 9-25 360/448/600 1 HR, 4 BB, 5 K

Maddux back to the mound and hopefully he'll fare better than his last outing as he got a bit torched by the D'Backs. The Cubs are in desperate need of something exceptional, either an other-wordly pitching performance, some crazy 4 for 4 day by an unlikely hero, or Dusty getting himself thrown out, something to spark this lifeless team. Get a win Cubbies!!! UPDATE: Mike Restovich is off the cubs.com 25-man roster and shows up on the Iowa Cubs roster, so I assume he's the unlucky soul. By my count, the Cubs have 6 players who can play second base, but only five who you could expect to hit a home run. I love this game!
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Comments

Nice...Piazza is catching. Hopefully we can get some runners on and "run like an antelope out of control."

Positive things:
Young is a righty.
Piazza. He sucks against Maddux
This looks like a good lineup.
The law of averages says we can't lose forever.

Negative:
We'll probably be hearing more about Barry Bonds than we ever wanted to hear when we play the Giants next series... he's one away.
Brian Gials and Vinny Castilla(really? c'mon) have pasted Maddux.
Maybe we can lose forever.

Gameday shows Theriot and Bynum on the bench, no Restovich.

runs, base hits galore
peace gently descends on cubs
maddux rules the night.

Restovich is also gone off the 25 man.

Great now when Mabry is at 1b and Walk starts at 2b our bench is:

Blanco
Bynum
JHJ
Neifi
Theriot

That is go to scare NL Bullpens. This team is run so stupidly.

Can't walk the leadoff man.

Why the hell did Pierre throw home?

because pierre has a canon for an arm!!

Am I missing something? The Matt Murton I remembered was patient and worked the count.

ARam leads off with a double and Murton swings on the 1st pitch with a grounder to SS. Someone has wrecked his approach to the plate.

I wouldn't expect JJones to do anything useful either...and he didn't.

This lineup isn't fun to watch.

Tomorrow Jason Schmidt vs Rich Hill; now that's a matchup for a 6-0 loss.

Murton hasn't been great on the road this year, period.

HOME: .341/.431/.455
AWAY: .245/.333/.377

He needs to relax a little bit and I bet he'll be fine.

2 bad plays so far for the Cubs in 2 innings.

Pierre missed cut off man and Murton didn't move ARAM over by hitting to right side.

UGH.......

I hate Jay Mariotti but I agree with his column. This is ridiculous and you can't blame Baker.

Everyone on this board that has railed Manny Trillo owes him an apology.

You can't demote Rusch and Williams and not demote Pierre and Jones.

May some changes for christ sake!

You can't demote Rusch and Williams and not demote Pierre and Jones.

Actually, you can. Especially when you have other pitching options and you don't have other outfield options.

Help us, Obi-Wan Maddog. You are our only hope!

Hey, does anybody have any information on Angel Pagan? Dusty seemed to like him, and would most likely platoon him with JJ. Is there any time frame for his return, and then we can say bye bye bynum

Nebraska, he's out until at least June.

You can't not demote Pierre and Jones...if you want to manage by performance. If you have to bring up Nic Jackson, Brandon Sing and Jake Ryu do it.

You can't not demote Pierre and Jones...if you want to manage by performance. If you have to bring up Nic Jackson, Brandon Sing and Jake Ryu do it.

carmen...it doesnt work like that. the reason why the pitches lost their jobs was because there were optoins that were expected to be able to perform as well if not better.

There are no such options to play OF. Jackson and Sing are nowhere close to being ready.

Hairston just struck out- fouled off about 3 90mph fastballs- yikes. Funny thing is, he got mad and took a swing at his bat- but he missed!!! Seems fitting somehow.

This is really a stunning collapse involving pretty much all 25 players. To me it just proves how mental this game ism where everyone, including Maddux is feeling the weight of the world on them.

Looks like Maddux has come back to earth. And now the infamous Dusty double switch- here comes Neifi. Boy, I feel so much better. Good god.

"The law of averages says we can't lose forever."

I don't know. I suppose the Cubs will eventually win again. With any luck they may finish the with what, 65 wins. I could see this team as poorly conceived, designed and performing as it is loosing 100 games.

One things for sure, the bloom is definately off of Maddux.

so why do i feel rich hill
will be in the record books
tomorrow.

It's 7-1 now. But the thing is that the game was really over once the second and third runs scored. 3-1. 7-1. 75-1. It's all the same.

I was playing slugfest (I think it was the 2004 edition) the other day and got big time nostalgic for Alou. Who knew he had so much left in the tank. Not Hendry, that's for sure. And to think Hollandsworth and whatever his name was were going to platoon and cover alou's production. Please. What a mess.

Hendry and Dusty (and their coaches like Rothchild) are totally failing...They are "old school managers" and just don't know how to make wise decisions...Hendry has one of the larger payrolls in MLB and he still can NOT field and effective offense...the Cubs' slump can not be blamed on D. Lee's injury...a really effective management (like the White Sox GM and Ozzie) have proven they can adapt to tough situations, make bold trades and create a winning culture. The best thing the Tribune Company could do for the fans is sell the Cubs team to new owners.

Everybody loves the Cubs. Ev-ery-bo-dy loves the Cubs. On WGeeeeN.

Go Cubs Go. Go Cubs Go. Hey Chicago whaddya say, the Cubs are gonna SCREW THEY'RE FANS FOR ANOTHER YEAR, AGAIN today.

might as well make it 8 losses in a row
with schmidt pitching tuesday be suprised
if hill makes it to the fifth

scott...it seems like you have a crush on the white sox and Ozzie Guillen. You know there is a blog for people like you, right?

"carmen...it doesnt work like that. the reason why the pitches lost their jobs was because there were optoins that were expected to be able to perform as well if not better.

There are no such options to play OF. Jackson and Sing are nowhere close to being ready." Dave
----
Jackson has been in the system for years. He's
playing great at AA, coming off an injury. If he's healthy, bring him up, what do you really lose. As for Sing, he played well enough last year to get the deal he has. He's not hitting now, but same deal-what do you have to lose?

My whole point is that any moves might wake up this team. It sends the right message through the organization. The organization needs to manage with a consistent value system. They need to reward good performance-throughout. The risk/reward is worth the move.

The fault of team construction must lie with the manager and general manager. Both will always make the decision who gets traded for and who gets sent down and called up.

This is why a poorly constructed team like we have with the Cubs IS just as much Baker's fault as Hendry's, and we should blame both of them for the current failure of the team to win. The excuse of injuries can only take you so far when we realize this team probably wouldn't win if there were no injuries occuring.

I'm not in love with some of the options to take over for Baker or Hendry, but at some point you have to do something to shake up failure.

I've been a Cubs fan all my life BUT I respect good management wherever I see it. We all want the Cubs to pull out of this amazing slump. Yet, I'll support ANY Chicago team that performs well enough to get into the play-offs. Unlike some Cub fans, last year I was happy for Chicago and for the White Sox when they went all the way and won the World Series. We can hope that someday the Cubs will have the management and the winning culture to be a serious contender.

Trader Jack to the rescue!

Scott:

Here's why I hated the White Sox even more last year- because everything they did was EXACTLY what I wish the Cubs would do. They did everything the right way, starting with the GM, then the manager, on down. Perhaps its more envy than hate, but that's neither here nor there.

As for those of you wondering if Dusty is a leader, imagine this scenario and then answer:
Switch the Cubs and Sox managers. Who has more wins both last year and this year?

As for the youth movement, I hear this guy Wood is pretty good. Apparently he had a 12K performance in single A Peoria last night. Let's call that guy up!

It's amazing Maddux only lasted less than 4 innings tonight...he was also charged with 7 runs...Nothing is easy for the Cubs on this west coast swing.

The Cubs are 0-6 on the road trip so far...and they have lost 6 of the last 7 games...We're below .500 and closing in on last place in our division...Jim Hendry, are you starting to get concerned...?

man, all i can do is hang my head and sigh.
i can't even get mad, it's just the way it is.
mad-dog had a bad couple starts, it's not him.
its this offense that just isnt clicking for us.
it's really depressing though.
we're going to have to kick some serious ass to climb out of this hole we've dug.
fortunately for us HOU has dropped 3 or 4 in a row as has MIL, and i dont think CIN can keep this up for the whole year.

look, last year was seriously a tangible failure on the part of dusty with the dependence on c-pat, neifi and JHJ hitting in front of derek. this year with ronny and JP in front we're much better off i feel. once we get out of this funk and aramis comes around we should be ok.

our rotation is good enough and our pen is solid. once the O starts to click we'll be back in it.

Regarding where blame should be placed (in response to #32 from Johann):

Steve Stone was discussing this on 670 The Score, so I can't take credit for this point, but it's a fact. Since the end of the 2003 season, the only players still with the Cubs (not counting Wood and Prior) are Ramirez and Zambrano. Coming out of spring training every year since, all we hear is that the Cubs are going to be better at the little things, or "small ball". Yet each year since then, the Cubs have, in fact, gotten progressively worse in this area (I have seen them lay down one suicide squeeze successfully this year, and it's still early, so there might be hope). But the fact is, the lack of fundamentals, the baserunning gaffes, missing signs, pitchers not covering first....the same problems persist every year. Players come and go, but the only things that have remained constant during this time are: 1.) the problems that need to be addressed, 2.) the manager of the team, 3.) the coaching staff. You do the math....where should the blame be directed? And injuries have no bearing on this. The Cardinals, Braves, Yankees, Red Sox, and other teams who win every year have had more than their share of injuries to key players. They get through it, the Cubs do not. Jim Hendry was extended, and he should not have been. Andy MacPhail is a waste of human space. Dusty Baker needs to be fired, it's as simple as that. The Cubs are going nowhere under the direction of this man, and the sooner we all accept that, the sooner we can cut our losses, hire Lou Pinella as manager, and move on.

Wow CTC, I hadn't realized that part. While the players may change the results and attitude remain.

Thats a fairly lucid point about the failure of management and the coaching staff.

It seems the Cubs learned nothing from 2003. Instead of building off it, they completly destroyed everything and went in the opposite direction.

Blow this team up. The whole thing. There's no one that's untouchable except Lee and maybe Marshall. Time to admit this $100MM bunch ain't going to get the job done. Start targeting prospects that can help down the road for veterans now, and build towards next year.

Dustin Pedroia, Howie Kendrick, Nick Markakis, I'd start with these three.

As for the chumps in pinstripes now--come June 15, Rusch and Jones are outta here. Perez I DFA right now. As soon as someone offers something for Pierre, I take it, cuz I'm sure not bringing him back. If Wood shows something before July 31, I trade him. Ditto Prior. If Maddux is open to a trade, I send him. We have bullpen talent. Move it. Zambrano has value. Use him to get Miggy Cabrera.

I'd be happier if the Cubs "pulled a Marlins" and started from scratch. This is just torture.

Eric, why do you root for the Cubs? You don't seem to like any of them.

another game of underperfoming players...

...another day of complaints about guys who push pencils, not bats or balls.

dont worry about the murton ground balls or aram's huge slump he's just starting to break. juan pierre is hitting under .200 the past couple weeks, but that's just dusty telling him to do that.

seriously...this isnt a team of kids. when exactly do professional ballplayers who have roles and are put into their proper roles responsible for their own failures?

Ok I'm as sick about this team as the next guy but it's not like it's September. If the career offensive numbers for most of these guys hold true AND Wood, Prior, Wilson pitch well we could be trading from a position of strenght come July. I know this is far fetched but it is possible to salvage this year. Hendry may not be able to manage the 40 man roster but he has a decent trade record during the season. Let's be real there is no chance all 3 OF's staying healthy all year so Pie playing with the club this year is going to happen. Couple that "acquistion" with D Lee and a solid staff then we can talk.

I know I sound pathetic but after this past week of hell there has got to be some hope for this year.

I'm with AZRAD, not giving up quite yet [but still plenty disgusted]

Read Brian O'Neill from the Post-Gazette, and see if you agree with this mindset:

If the Pirates were a more nimble organization, they would cut bait on the 2006 plan and the 2007 lineup would begin forming tonight. The Pirates have to play .558 ball the rest of the way, a contender's pace, just to reach .500. They could waste another year chasing that cheap elusive dream with overpaid stopgaps, or they could play the future, lose with dignity and get somewhere.
__________________________________________________

Yep, things are tough all over guys, but there's still somebody worse off than you...for the time being.

2005 Astros Record on the Morning of May 9th: 11-19. Just lost 16-0 to the Braves the day before. Couldn't score any runs. An amazing start by Roger Clemens, a 40+ pitcher. Did OK for themselves.

It's not how you start; it's how you finish. Yes, changes need to be made. Perhaps not as drastic as Eric's suggestions, however.

Perhaps Dusty read that Onion article and is trying to make it true.

"In Dusty we Busty"

Tex, comparing our bunch of players to the Astros of last May just does not work. They had talent on paper last May. Do we? Look, Jones' decline could easily be seen last year. Do some players turn things around after a year like he had last year? (And by that I mean stats much in decline.) Sure. But at Jones' age is probably is not the norm, to turn things around in a big way. All Further, when he was signed, many people were saying Jones' arm was poor. You know what, it certainly is. This guy catches a ball in shallow right field and needs two bounces to get the ball to the cut-off man. Not just occasionally but this is what we get from Jones on a regular basis.

Pierre? Again, when he was signed what I heard was that he has a very poor arm. You know what? It is true. Runners, even of average speed, tag up and move even from first to second base on fly balls that do not even make it to the track. Yes, Juan has speed. But his offensive skills do appear to continue to be in decline mode, which is something that started last year. This is another guy who is about the same age as Jones. With his weak arm, we need Pierre to return to form in order for this signing not to be a bust. But instead, at least so far, he is hitting even worse than he did last year.

Our bench, which I thought would be better than last year is worse if anything. Yes, unfortunate about the injury to Pagan but Bynum is terrible. Hairston continues to show why Baltimore was happy to get rid of him. Blanco cannot hit to save his life.

So Crunch, yes, I agree the players need to step up. But are we getting what should have expected from many of these players? If the answer to that question is no, then who is to blame? Is it just the players? Or could Dusty possibly get some of the blame? Teams have personalities. I just think that this group of players needs a manager with a different style that is not so laid back. Maybe not all the way to sweet Lou Pinella but maybe a little closer to that style of manager than what we have with Dusty, who seems detached to me.

Hairston continues to show why Baltimore was happy to get rid of him.

Ah...but the funny thing is that we still got the better deal in the Sosa/Hairston trade.

How sad is that...

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