Existential Dread

God, this team sucks. I was talking with The Lovely Wife about it last night and I realized that, right now, I just plain don't like this team. I'm trying to figure out what it means to be a Cub fan when the team is like this -- I don't get any enjoyment from following them, and if that's the case why do I bother? I want the manager, the general manager, and the pitching coach gone, but also realize that unless Andy McPhail is removed from the chain of command, it won't matter who the coaching staff is. When I look at the players on the field, I feel like several of them are actively hurting the team. On top of that, I flat-out don't like some of the players on the team, and two of the players I really like are injured (Prior) or continually getting jerked around by management (Walker). Offensively, this team is offensive. ESPN.com lists 11 team offense categories, and the Cubs are last, or second-to-last, in nearly all of them. Not last or second-to-last in the NL; last or second-to-last in the majors. The bottom three in just about every category is occupied by the Devil Rays, the Royals, and the Cubs. That is beyond sad. In other cities, when your team sucks like this, you look to the youngsters and into the minors for hope. There are a few bright spots among the youngsters on the team (Zambrano, Murton) and in the minors (Pie, Patterson) but because of management's track record, I don't get a sense, like fans of some teams, that the kids will get a chance to play. Thanks to the big Jacque Jones contract and the presence of guys like Neifi Perez, Juan Pierre, and Tony Womack (he's not here yet, I know, but he will be), I feel like we're going to be stuck with a particular type of team for the forseeable future, a type of team that doesn't play the sort of baseball I enjoy. Not only that, but because of the way the team is built, there's no "quick fix." There's no "if they could just trade for that guy, they'd be back in the playoff hunt." I think the team is broken (though some may disagree), and it's broken in too many ways for a Band-Aid to do any good. So the team isn't contending, it isn't one player away from contending, it isn't rebuilding. I don't know where it is in the success cycle, and I don't think *it* knows where it is. As a fan, that's a really frustrating place for your team to be. The Lovely Wife suggested that how you feel about your team is similar to how you feel about your family. You might not always like your family, but you always love them. When someone in your family is off doing something stupid, or dangerous, or self-destructive, it makes you sad, and mad; you do what you can to help them, but if, at a certain point, the behavior continues, you eventually have to detach for a while and hope they can figure things out for themselves. All the while, you pray they can get their act together, and you're there to help when they ask for it, and there to give encouragement when they make tentative steps in the right direction. But sometimes it becomes too painful to watch every day, and you have to disengage. I think that's where I am with this team. It doesn't mean I'll stop paying attention, and it doesn't mean I'll stop posting. But it does mean I'll being doing less of both of those things, and trying my best to care a little bit less about what's happening between the lines. I don't know how long it will last, but at least for the near future I have to unplug a little bit.
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Comments

Ah Christian,

There are days like this... the team does suck but we have nothing to do but hope for a better future. If that doesn't work think back to black and white TV watching the Cubs under Whitey Lockman. See we are much more fortunate these days...

Ruz-

I share your frustration.

However, a quick, modest winning streak cures many ills. Even one big inning, like the 8th on Sunday, can brighten the day.

So, like many things -- enjoy the good stuff, and don't let the bad stuff bother you too much. This, after all, entertainment, and we will miss it during the winter months.

"If that doesn't work think back to black and white TV watching the Cubs under Whitey Lockman"

Yes and be glad you were not born in Europe during the Black Plague also.

I agree that McFail is the monster that we should be rallying our torches and pitchforks at now.
His 5 year plan is in the 11th year, and like Reagan trickle down economics he has "suckenomics" which trickles down to Hendry, Dusty, the team and the minor leagues.

This is an organization of doom.

Man, ANYONE can write about a team when they're winning.

And if you don't write something about the Cubs the bleeping bores here will turn this place into a Twins Blog.

from Espn.com rumor central:

Extension for Dusty?
May 22 - Despite the Cubs' recent struggles (which have raised speculation about Dusty Baker's job status), a major-league source indicated May 21 that Baker still could receive a contract extension during the season, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
While team officials know this isn't the time to announce an extension for Baker, they also aren't entertaining any ideas about replacing him. In fact, they still want to find the right moment to give him an extension in the next few months.

"they still want to find the right moment to give him an extension in the next few months"

probably after they sweep the Marlins....uh never mind.

Believe me, I've done my share of writing about this team when they're losing. That's easy. In fact, in the very first post (7/23/01: http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...) I said:

"Ordinarily, doing a website to chronicle the Cubs is easy, but not much fun. All you need to do is write about the mistakes that the front office, manager, and players are making. Then you can hearken back to the summers of ë84 and ë89, mention how we havenít had a good pitcher since Maddux got away, make some crack about the Mets, and call it a day."

But this is different. This isn't a team that's playing badly. This is a bad team, and a bad team with a bleak future at that.

I couldn't agree more with your comments about this organization. Disengage if you must but you will be back.

As I mentioned before this team is like a game of golf. The entire round or season may suck but there was that great shot on 18 that saved par that will bring you back to the course. A winning streak or a decent move by management will draw you back instantly.

I have read this blog for about a year and just recently started to post. It is the best outlet out there for true cub fans and I thank you for your work and dedication.

Over the past few weeks we have all kicked the dog, yelled at the kids or wife, or kicked the dog again and again and again because of our frustration with this org. The sick thing is the dog won't go away and you still love it when he fetches the newspaper from the front lawn. But of course you end up kicking the dog again because you just read the sports section.

The sky is falling, the sky is falling!

lol... sorry. Couldn't help it.

On a serious note, can a $90 mil payroll really afford to rebuild? How would you explain that to investors? With that money one *should* be able to build a team and farm system from drafts, trades, and FAs. Something tells me if a team like the Marlins had the Cubs money they wouldn't bother to or need to rebuild. They'd just get it done.

It's funny thinking about other organizations... what do you think Kenny Williams or George Steinbrenner would do if they had the Cubs payroll and a guy like Glendon Rusch this last off season. My guess is they wouldn't sign him, rather they'd probably tell him to get the f out of my office, this isn't little league. The Cubs didn't "owe" him anything.

I also hate how Hendry chronically goes after injury prone pitchers looking to strike it rich on a cheap starter. I'd rather see the Cubs sign a mediocre workhorse than a Cy Young ability pitcher like Prior who is always on the DL.

Since I'm ranting and raving, I should also complain about how the Cubs always settle for shit when it comes to roster spots number #24 & #25. I wonder if Hendry knows that he can actually put someone worth a damn in those two spots. In the past years we have been graced with the likes of Macias, Enrique Wilson, Freddie Bynum, and Neifi Perez. Give me a break Enrique Wilson?

ruz.....you put perfectly into words exactly my feelings. The problem will not be corrected until McFail is gone. This team is no longer fun to follow. The only thing I can add is .......this is not a low payroll bargain lousy team......this is a $90 million dollar lousy team. Pryor, Wood and Lee will not make this mess a contender.

I have officially stolen a line (well a subtitle) from Major League as my new official motto for the Cubs ... win or lose.

They're still sh!tty.

Note to Christian:

The Whitey Lockman Cubs were fun to watch. This group of losers isn't.

I wasn't around when Whitey Lockman was managing the Cubs, but I believe that. My first cognizant year of Cub fandom was 1975, the year after Lockman left. Looking back, that team had a bunch of young, somewhat interesting players on it: Thornton, Trillo, Madlock, Burris, Stone.

But putting up with the Cubs' BS isn't like putting up with your family's BS because there is a more important societal and spiritual bond (if you like) with a family. The Cubs demand no loyalty from us, being a corporation that happens to front as a sports franchise. Leaving this heap of junk on the side of the road isn't some sort of infidelity or spiritual crisis of the import of leaving one's wife and kids or converting from Catholicism to Buddhism.

Disengage. Watch some other teams who can actually play this game and watch them win. Savor it. Remember that you like baseball more than any particular team. See how you feel in September.

I wonder if I can sue the cubs for alcoholism like the smokers sued the tobacco companies?

Ha! I'm going to get a contract extension and there is nothing any of you can do about it!

I'd have to say my spiritual bond with the Cubs is slightly greater than with that of my family.

I just posted this a little bit ago in the last thread, but I'll repeat it here: I don't think this is a fundamentally bad team. It may not be a particularly good team, and it certainly isn't a great team, but if the players were consistently playing up to their abilities we wouldn't be sitting so far below .500 and the season wouldn't look so bleak.

Just think about the players that have massively underperformed: Ramirez has been hitting like Neifi; Murton suddenly can't hit anything but groundballs; Cedeno has reverted into Neifiesque slap hitting; Walker can't find his power stroke; and Pierre has forgotten how to get on base.

If those players come around offensively this team starts looking a whole lot better. It's easy to forget given how miserable this team has looked, but there are bright spots: Pierre is third in SB despite a .275 OBP; Ramirez defense is back to '04 levels; Murton can still take a walk and his defense has been better than expected; Marshall, last night aside, seems to be ready to be in the rotation full time; and the new bullpen arms are looking about as good as can be expected.

I don't hold out much hope for '06, but I don't think this team is a complete lost cause.

Bravo, Ruz. Welcome to the reality based community. As you now have kids, you understand the difference between enabling bad behavior (by ignoring it) and tough love.

This team needs some tough love. As we know the Cubs read our sites, the best way to give them tough love is to use the bully pulpits we have to encourage change.

You are off to a good start.

Vorare:

Wake up and smell the coffee. This team is done. With luck they may finish fourth and with no luck sixth. The Cubs have a few working parts but the team as a whole is a disaster.

You would still be standing on the deck of the Titanic saying. "I don't think this team is a complete lost cause".

Which would be why I said "I don't hold out much hope for '06."

Did anyone else notice that while the Sun Times and Daily Herald carried stories about Andy McFail's comments in today's paper, there was no simiar story in the Tribune (at least the Internet version).

I love it. Andy McFail's own employer doesn't feel his own comments are newsworthy.

We owe our thanks to Paul Sullivan whom we all know would like to beat McFail senseless, and appears not to be on speaking terms with him.

By the way, my favorite one of Andy's comments is where he attributes the Cubs offensive problems to having difficulty "knocking them in". Of course this completly disregards the fact that the Cubs are last in virtually every meaningful offensive category. Thanks for the expert analysis Andy.

If Dusty Baker was managing the Red Sox, who do you think he would have leading off?

...lee tinsley

That's a trick question. Baker would never take the managerial job of a team with so many base-clogging walkers and so few toolsy slap hitters.

*While team officials know this isn't the time to announce an extension for Baker, they also aren't entertaining any ideas about replacing him. In fact, they still want to find the right moment to give him an extension in the next few months.*

If they extend Baker you can count me in as another person who will not spend another cent on this team nor will I watch them on t.v. nor will I follow them in the press, the internet or any other method of human communication. That will be it--the straw that breaks the camel's back that's been aching for 24 seasons. I'll p*ss off and go watch the Nationals stink up the joint or something.

The Cubs offering Dusty an extension and Dusty accepting that extension are two very different things. I suspect Dusty wants out of Chicago about as badly as many of us want him out.

Prediction.......McFail will fire Dusty.....all Cub fans will shout "HOORAY". And McFail will get another four years to make an even better mess of the Cubs. We will get another manager in an impossible situation and once again we will blame him. IT'S NOT DUSTY'S FAULT...LET'S GET RID OF MCFAIL.

While I will agree that the Cubs are probably done this season I don't necessarily think that they are doomed for years to come. I think that with some gut check moves the Cubs can both rebuild and conceivably compete next year.

First I think they would need to platoon Jacque Jones with someone like Matt Murton. While I like Murton, until he develops some power he is not an every day corner OF. However, in a platoon with Jacque Jones the Cubs could allow Murton to develop while making a reasonably productive every day corner OF in Murton/Jones.

Second the Cubs would need to trade Pierre and put Pie in CF. Pierre could fetch some interesting stuff since teams will always over value his speed. While Pie may never be the patient type hitter the Cubs need he will bring power, speed and defense to a position that isn't over reliant on offense production. If the Cubs want to make Pie the CF of the future he has to play at some point.

Third, the Cubs would then need to go out and fill the vacant corner outfield spot with a very good corner OF, preferably left handed. A viable third very good player would compliment Lee and Ramirez nicely and would serve to get some offense into a position that is lacking it this year.

Lastly, in order to make room for Eric Patterson the Cubs could sign a stop-gap 2B like Todd Walker or a comparable player giving them production in the short run and a spot for Patterson later on.

With the Cubs already set at C, 1B, SS, and 3B they would not have to make wholesale, drastic changes. All in all with a number of very good starters, a solid bullpen, and a slightly revamped offense the Cubs could compete and let the young kids play without going into full rebuilding mode.

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Cubs are set at catcher with the worst defensive backstop in the league

Watch some other teams who can actually play this game and watch them win.

I've been wondering about that. Any suggestions? Can we nominate an official "Alternate Dimension Cubs" team that we might all pull for?

My list of "won'ts" would include the Cards (for obvious reasons) and the White Sox (because... I just... can't). Elsewise, I'm open.

Just a thought:

Jim Hendry underperforms at his job and gets an extension. Dusty Baker underperforms at his job and is about to get an extension. I'm going to apply for a job at the Tribune. That way, when I'm working there, I can continuously make the wrong decisions. Soon enough, I'll get a raise and or an extension.

aaronb: I wonder if I can sue the cubs for alcoholism like the smokers sued the tobacco companies?

lol

vorare: Just think about the players that have massively underperformed
Sweet Suzy: Wake up and smell the coffee. This team is done.

You may be right in the end, Suzy, but it's impossible to say what you said with any sort of certainty at this point in the season. It's a really long season and vorare hit the nail on the head. Nearly everyone on the team is performing well under their career numbers.

I know where you're coming from, though, it's trendy to give up on the Cubs early.

Vorare you're thinking what I'm thinking. Even if Baker is offered a contract it doesn't mean he's going to accept it. If people like Peter Gammons are to be believed(and it's been by a few other "experts" not just him), but the feeling is Baker would like to go back to the west coast and his next destination could very well be Seattle..hey he can dine with his good buddy Ty Willingham at UW...or who knows, maybe the Dodgers if Little stinks it up in a pathetic division. What reason does he have to stay here. He's already made his cashgrab and surely he knows that 75% of Cub fans and the media want him out.

By the way, as per the norm, the Cubs are the second from the bottom in team ob% at .301, with only the Angels worse at .299. Reason #1 as to why these two teams suck.

#30 of 34: By michaelweaselo (May 23, 2006 11:57 AM)
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?

Following the film clip, Belushi climbs onto the table and ultimately says something like, "It's not over until WE say it's over!!"

So, umm, collectively I think "we" ARE saying "it's over."

Its only May there is plenty of baseball to turn this season into soemthing a bit more respectable and competitive.

I agree that a person just needs to disengage a bit. That is where I have been for several weeks now. It helps that the only way I get to see the team, aside from the rare appearance on the national FOX game, or on ESPN, is WGN, and lately there have been hardly any Cubs's games on WGN, which actually is a blessing for me.

In the games I do "get to" watch, if the team falls way behind early, which is the general rule this year, I just turn it off. I don't even bother checking back later. There is no point. We don't have the talent to come back from 5-0. Heck, we don't even have the talent most night to come back from 2-0.

It has gotten easier and easier to just turn the TV off and forget about the team for the night. I mean, we really do have an awful team. It is not just that they are slumping. Even if this team played up to its capability, not career years but at least up to its capability, we still do not finish with more than 70-75 wins in my estimation. Once I accepted that, I just don't experience anxiety any more over this team. They have no chance. What is the point in wasting my precious time feeling bad about this team's level of play?

It has gotten to the point where I am not sure if I am gonna use the tickets I have to the three games I was scheduled to see this summer, one in Minneapolis and two against the Giants in late summer. Someone said that a modest winning streak cures all ills. Well, sorry, not for me. Again, I actually have gotten to the point where, at least intellectually, I believe that the best thing is for this team to go something like 60-102. It is going to take that to get rid of MacPhail, Hendry, Baker, or at least one or two of them. So while it is hard for me to say that emotinally, I believe it really is the only way for us to one day get out of the fog, though I think it will be a minimum of five years before we have a playoff caliber team again.

I used to think, you know, I am young, eventually I will at least see my team in the world series. I am starting to really doubt that now. Sure, things will get brighter one day but I think that day is a long way off.

Hey Suzy! Remember me?

Baker and Rumsfeld starring in a new Fox series - The Unfireables! No matter what they do these two superheroes will never lose their jobs!

Looking at he bright side of things. At least the payroll has risen in the last 5 years. If somehow we were able to see a new management regime in here. We should be able to financially sustain some success. I have been a big Jim Hendry supporter in the past. Not anymore. He just seems afraid to make mistakes at this point. Uber conservative, not maximizing what the team can leverage. Namely , money. He is afraid to offer arbitration to players. He is afraid to try and stockpile draft picks. He is afraid to hedge his bet with a power bat/platoon right fielder in the offseason. Its not like most fans didnt see this as a possible weakness over the winter. Unfortunately the criticisms will probably just make Hendry all the more gun shy.

My wife asked me who I'd root for if the Cubs didn't exist...and now that I think about it, whose to say they do? My baseball alternate would be the Brewers.

"With the Cubs already set at C, 1B, SS, and 3B they would not have to make wholesale, drastic changes. All in all with a number of very good starters, a solid bullpen, and a slightly revamped offense the Cubs could compete and let the young kids play without going into full rebuilding mode."

Mike R that's assuming we ARE set at C and 3B. While I think Barrett isn't quite as bad as some people here think simply because Maddux, Wood and Marshall are among the worst at holding runners on, but I'm not sure if his bat is large enough to cancel out his defensive liabilities. I'd love to see the Cubs move Aramis but with Melvin Mora signing an extention with BAL there is no one in the 2007 FA class to replace him and we all know Hendry isn't capable of making an impact trade that doesn't involve salary dump so unless Beane is looking to dump Chavez's contract there is no visible upgrade for Aramis. Here's the rest of the realistic 2007 FA class. I'd love to see Loretta at 2B and batting 2nd and Carlos Lee in LF hitting in front or in back of D.Lee however it looks like he will get extended in MIL and that would mean Murton would platoon with Jacque in RF. That would bring some much needed bench depth though. Mulder wont' be worth the $ and Zito will get more than he deserves from the Mets who will lose Glavine's contract enabling him to return to the Braves for his 300th win.

C
Jorge Posada (Team Option)
Damian Miller (Team + Player option)
Javier Valentin
Gregg Zaun
Bengie Molina (Mutual Option)
Mike Piazza (Mutual Option)
Mike Lieberthal (May Retire)
Ivan Rodriguez (Poss. Void Option)
Rod Barajas
Javy Lopez

2B:
Luis Castillo (Team Option)
Junior Spivey
Mark Loretta
Ray Durham
Miguel Cairo
Tony Graffanino
Mark Grudzielanek (Poss. Player Option)
Ronnie Belliard
Craig Biggio
Adam Kennedy
Jerry Hairston Jr.

LF:
Luis Gonzalez (Mutual Option)
Barry Bonds (May Retire)
Ryan Klesko (Team Option)
Cliff Floyd
Carlos Lee (MIL is already discussing an extenion
Rondell White (Team Option)
David Dellucci

CF:
Jim Edmonds (Team Option)
Mike Cameron (Team Option)
Juan Pierre
Kenny Lofton
Bernie Williams
Preston Wilson (3-year Team Option)
Gary Matthews Jr.
Jay Payton
Torii Hunter (Team Option)
Steve Finley (Team Option)
Milton Bradley
Aaron Rowand (Player + Team Options)(arb.)
Dave Roberts

RF:
Gary Sheffield (Team Option)
Shannon Stewart
Matt Lawton
Moises Alou
Jeromy Burnitz (Mutual Option)
Jose Cruz Jr. (Team Option)
Trot Nixon
Frank Catalanotto
Jermaine Dye (Team Option)
J.D. Drew (Player Void Option)
Jose Guillen

RHSP:
Paul Wilson (Team Option)
Wade Miller
Jeff Weaver
Tomo Ohka
Pedro Astacio
Ramon Ortiz
Jason Johnson (Mutual Option)
Gil Meche
Joe Mays
Byung-Hyun Kim (Team Option)
Sidney Ponson
Tony Armas Jr.
Greg Maddux
Brian Moehler
Jason Schmidt
Jeff Suppan
Rick Helling
Woody Williams
Brad Radke (May Retire)
Kerry Wood (Mutual Option)
Mike Mussina (Team Option)
Cory Lidle
Kelvim Escobar
Chan Ho Park
Ryan Franklin
Orlando Hernandez
Jaret Wright (Team + Player Void options)
Kip Wells
Jason Marquis
Vicente Padilla
Adam Eaton
Tim Wakefield (Annual Team Renew Option)

LHSP:
Ted Lilly
Brian Anderson
Mark Redman
Shawn Estes
Tom Glavine
Kevin Appier
Jamie Moyer
Andy Pettitte
Mark Mulder
Barry Zito
Doug Davis
Randy Wolf
Mark Buerhle (Team Option)
David Wells (Likely to retire)
Eric Milton (Void Option)

Mike Piazza......Of course I remember you.......why don't you stop around anymore. The rash is almost gone. Love you....Suzy

"Following the film clip, Belushi climbs onto the table and ultimately says something like, "It's not over until WE say it's over!!""

"...pearl harbor?" "don't stop him, he's on a roll."

line is "Nothing's over until WE decide it is!"

what ultimately should happen this offseason

offer arbitration to,
Williamson
Maddux
Hairston
Walker
pierre ( provided that he turns his season around, If that doesnt happen he needs to be traded for prospects)

This will allow the cubs to keep these players at reasonable salaries for 1 yr. Or allow the cubs to recoup high draft picks. I assume most of these players will decline arbitration and move on. Maddux being the exception. Fill the holes to open up with:

Pie in CF
walker/grudz/loretta as 1 yr stopgaps at 2nd
Big OF corner bat is a must Huff/Lee/Alou

and most importantly, invest in the farm system. Stockpile draft picks whenever possible.

The 2006 FA Class is crap outside of CLee and he will be a DH in a few years.

Bruce Levine today on the radio stuck up for Hendry, by pointing out that Brian Cashman has not gone out and made any trades after Matsui went down. Talk about apples and oranges, tell me who the Cubs have comparable to ARod, Damon, Jeter, and Giambi to pick up the slack of DLee?

This is brutal.

I'm mostly with Ruz, it's quite unbearable to watch these guys. Starting with the manager they're unlikeable, undisciplined and more or less unwatchable. Of course if they were winning none of that would matter, but they're far from winning aren't they?

"...pearl harbor?" "don't stop him, he's on a roll."

Germans?

Could someone explain why firing McPhail will help?

He's the team's president; his responsibilities have little to do with the team's makeup or performance, aside from hiring/firing the GM. Just think through some of the things he's accomplished over the last few years:

-Payroll is up dramatically despite the Tribune's financial woes;

-Wrigley has been updated and expanded without ruining the stadium's history or charm;

-The Wrigleyville community is allowing more night games;

-The rooftops have stayed, and the Cubs get a revenue boost in the process;

-The "lovable losers" tag is pretty much gone, and the team is now expected to make a genuine attempt to compete each year;

-Attendance continues to set records;

-The team as added a lot of little programs and one-off events, like the tours, the garage sale, the shuttle busses running to downtown, etc.

I could probably go on. My point is: McPhail has done a lot of great things over the last few years, and punting him because the players underperform, get hurt, and are mismanaged isn't going to help.

If anything, it would just give the Trib a chance to install a real moneymanager who understands that this team can be hugely profitable without wasting money on a high payroll and competitive players.

I wouldn't offer arb to Hairston because he'll probably take it and we have enough reserve slap hitting 2B on the roster and in the minors...plus with his numbers he wouldn't bring a high enough pick to warrant his $2.5-$2.8 mil that he'd likely make it arbitration. Williamson will likely leave and he's stated publicly that he wants to close again and he probably would on a team like the Reds or Braves so if the Cubs fall furthur behind he could be traded for a prospect or two. How about to the Braves for their top C prospect Jarrod Saltalamacchia. With McCann emerging he will be blocked at Richmond anyway.

Vorare,

all the good things McFail has done in your mind is bring extra revenue to the team. Garage sales, rooftop partnership, ticket broker, additional advertising throughtout the stadium, shuttle buses costing fans $6 to use, and record attendance all profit the Trib. Nothing is put into additional scouting in Latin America, Asia, or great minor league coaching.

He is a failure on his 5 year plan. He has failed to establish the team as a potential powerhouse and he has had 12 yrs to do so.

"Could someone explain why firing McPhail will help?"

Tell us how he has help? He has one division title to show in his crappy 12 year tenure.
Show me another large market team that has put up with any regime with such little success.

McFail has gotten the trib to loosen up the purse strings. However there is considerable speculation that McFail is the guy controlling the roster and that hendry is a figurehead GM. If this is not the case, and McFail is just an administrator, I doubt people will care if he stays. I happen to be of the belief that McFail/Hendry is basically the same entity.

I doubt that hairston accepts arbitration. He wants to be a starter at this point. Even if he accepted arbitration. He is still an upgrade from Neifi, at basically the same price. Williamson wont be enough to pry salty away from atlanta. If Hendry tries to deal with Schuerholtz and the Braves, I suspect we will end up with Mike Remlinger and an IOU.

Yes, but that's exactly my point; the team president's job is primarily financial, and McPhail has done a good job handling this team's financial well being. That's the main reason Hendry has a ~$100 million payroll to play with.

If you dislike the players that the Cubs sign and draft, then you have a problem with Hendry. If you have a problem with the way the players are used, blame Dusty.

" Starting with the manager they're unlikeable, undisciplined"

Like the 2004 team without the talent but the manager, gm, and President are the same.

the facination with people who dont swing a bat or throw a ball on this board is amazing to me sometimes...

mcphail is ranked last in the league in pencil pushing...someone get a new guy who will go oldschool and keep an accounting ledger over an excell spreadsheet...we need to kick it oldschool!

And I should repeat, the biggest problem with firing McPhail (or Hendry, for that matter) is that you have to replace him. Take a long look at some of the other organizations around major league baseball (Pittsburgh, I'm looking at you) and think about what kind of replacement we might very well end up with.

I've been away for awhile, despite checking in occasionally, mostly because I've been un-plugging as Ruz detailed. The last time I felt even somewhat good about these Cubs was April 28, when they beat the Brewers 7-4 or something like that and Cedeno hit the homerun and Maddux got his 5th win.

Somehow, though, I knew that they were on the edge of a cliff that just a change in the wind would push them over. That change came when they headed west in early May, and since then, this team has just disintegrated. These last few weeks have been truly amazing at how terribly horrible this team has been.

Personally, while I hate to see them lose, it's less painful to get blown out 9-1 than to lose a heartbreaker 5-4. This team has given me no reason of late to believe they'll do anything other than lose and so to see loss after loss after loss isn't as painful as it could be if I had any expectation of success.

The only consolation that this horrible month has brought is the daily hope that Dusty, Hendry, or McPhail would be axed. I've been on the Fire Dusty bandwagon for some time now -- not because I don't like the guy but because I just think he breeds an atmosphere of mediocrity that is impossible to win with. I'd still love to see what Hendry could do without having to account for Baker's refusal to play certain types of players. And while I don't know who would be better than Hendry, and I'd hate to close the door on any more Ramirez/Lofton deals, I'd happily show him the exit if it means this team could change.

Personally, I'm somewhere between Vorare and Ruz for the take on this season. I too don't think it would take a helluva lot to make this team decent again -- there's just no reason to believe that the management will do what it takes to get there. Now that there's talk of extensions for Dusty, I just shake my head. If nothing changes, if the Cubs keep trying to ride this out until the pitchers return and DLee comes back, then the season surely is done.

This monotony is just unbearable though. Trade the big boys, blow up the team, whatever -- just make some step in the right direction.

Keep the status quo everything will be fine.

"The last time I felt even somewhat good about these Cubs was April 28"

that was matt murton's last extra base hit, btw...

heh...wait, that's not funny.

Who actually makes the personnel decisions on the North Side? Well if it's not MacPhail it might as well be. More and more it looks like Jim Hendry is just a bloated boob who fronts for Andy. Hendry has a mighty thin resume (much thinner than we've been led to believe) and he was MacPhail's protege for a considerable time, most likely time spent learning how to make the same moves Andy would have.

A great example is the Pierre deal - Cubs decide they really need an established leadoff hitter so they trade 3 minor league pitchers to Florida.

When MacPhail took over as GM of Minnesota in '87 one of the first things he decided needed to be done was to get a real leadoff man so he traded 3 minor league pitchers to San Francisco for Dan Gladden.

Deja vu all over again....minus the World Series part and then there's the reality that all three Cub pitchers made the Marlins roster... but that Pierre deal sure walks and quacks more like a MacPhail duck than a Hendry.

mcphail has already done the one thing that will effect the club the most...hendry's extension.

unless you care about the price of beer/corndogs or who him and mcgwire will team up to sell more ad space off in wrigley to, mcphail is practically out of play at this point. his next major impact on the club should be delivering his 07 roster budget he's gonna wrangle from the trib to hendry.

the whole "captain of the ship is responsible for its course" thing only goes so far in the real world...

VORARE, I think a lot of those "accomplishments" are John McDunna's

now there's conspiracy that hendry is a mcphail puppet?

c'mon...they're tight, but that's just wild.

i'm with you, Ruz. it's times like these that i'm glad i'm spending so much time in the UK where i can forget the Cubs exist.

Whew, for a minute I thought Piazza was going to say "I just wanna kiss you Suzy!"

Part of the frustration that many Cub fans are feeling now is from the Cubs "teasing" us at the beginning of the season. After about 20 games the Cubs led the majors in come from behind rallies after the seventh inning, and were in the top ten in BA with RISP. Even with DLee having a mediocre start to the season, and ARam struggling with his "ailments", other Cubs stepped up and made timely hits.

You also had a bullpen to finally respect, with Maddux and Marshall mowing down the opposition. Even though Zambrano is finally starting to get his groove back, Maddux and Marshall are starting to come back down to their expected performance levels.

Nobody said it was going to be easy being a Cubs fan - just ask Bartman.

I am just amazed that fans think that Hendry is anything but a gopher for McFail. Enough Cub insiders have detailed McFails management style to know that he lets Hendry take all credit and all blame for his mistakes.

mcphail management style?

what exactly is he managing that has an impact on the club?

the vending contracts? the traveling secretaries?

I have no problem with blowing the team up and starting from scratch, except the people directing the reconstruction should not be the same people responsible for creating it. McFail, Hendry, Dusty and coaching staff, bye-bye. Hello new executive team. Let them blow up (where needed) and start over.

As far a opting out, I would love to. I was in the basement exercising last night and watching the game and when I went upstairs, I intended to not watch the game (it was 6-0, or something like that). Instead, I turned it on upstairs. If there is a cure for this ailment, I don't know what it is. I've tried just watching baseball as a fan of all teams and enjoying the game, but it always comes back to the Cubs. This is the worst time in my life to be a Cubs fan (and I've been one since the late 50's) because of the raised expectations and success of that other team on the south side. Both of those things have never existed to the extent they do now.

"what exactly is he managing that has an impact on the club?"

He hired Hendry and promoted him to GM.

If Hendry wasnt extended we'd end up with someone worse than Hendry, I can assure you that. We wouldnt go out and hire Antonetti or Depodesta.

It's not so bad right now. Just think in a couple of weeks Derick Lee will be comming off the DL to start serving his 5 game suspension.

Man, this is a very therapeutic thread. I was actually feeling somewhat guilty about doing my own detaching -- wondering if I was really a fair weather fan.

Something about this team, this year, this suckiness is different than other years. In past poor years we either had limited talent, injuries or something else in the way of success. The Cubs were the Lovable Losers and they just couldn't get it done. Try as they might, they just sucked. It was almost quaint and we were famous for it.

This year is different. It's like the Cubs are in a parallel universe. I don't enjoy watching them. I don't care much if they lose, and I don't check the standings. I haven't checked stats in days. I don't even know what Prior is doing, and I almost forgot Miller was on the team.

It's amazing how quickly and completely things can change. Remember that rush of pride and possibility, watching Barrett's grand slam in the last game of the sweep against the Cards? (That was only 6 weeks ago!) Or the burst of excitement and anticipation, watching on TV or on Gameday or listening on the radio as Pierre tripled in the first inning of Opening Day? But it all just stopped.

I've been thinking about it a lot, and here's what it is, for me. It's the same feeling you have when you realized that you've stayed at your table at a restaurant too long, and it's time to leave. Or the feeling of hanging out on campus after finals and everyone has gone home. Or the last day at a job, where you are just letting go mentally. It hits you gradually, then suddenly --It's Over. The present is the past.

Wait 'til next year.

I'm not a knee-jerk firing advocate (fire the grounds crew! fire the organist!), but how haven't the Cubs at least cleaned house on the coaching staff? When a team is hitting as poorly as they are - we've all heard the numbers - perhaps the Clines/Matthews approach isn't working or they're just not getting through. I'm not in favor of firing Baker (please leave the rocks in your pockets), but if he won't agree to it he should be let go too. Jeez, let's at least have a veneer of accountability, if not the real thing.

There was a dreary inevitability about the acquisition of Tony Womack, wasn't there? With Jose Macias gone, the Cubs need someone who plays six positions badly and can't get on base with a court order, and you just knew they were looking for such a person.

keithmoreland: It's not so bad right now. Just think in a couple of weeks Derick Lee will be comming off the DL to start serving his 5 game suspension.

Whu?

I doubt Derrek will get more than a fine, it's not the NBA.

"cant get on base with a court order."

winner for the funniest thing said today.

Was there a general consensus on how many games Barrett will get / should get?

I think he should get about 12, and probably will get about 15.

15 and then appeal to 12.

Barrett shouldnt get more than 5-7. Kendall only got 5 for Charging the mound and punching lackey. I dont see what the big difference is.

Then Theriot can have a play mate with Soto as they spend time in the Darren Baker day care which opens after the first pitch of every game.

10 appealed to 8

Theriot, yeah there's a great story. Let's develop a player by bringing them up and sitting them on the bench, then send them back down.

That's way too high. Tavarez only got 10 days for decking Gathright at the end of spring training, and Tavarez a) isn't a position player and b) has a history of suspensions.

I'd guess 5-7 games, appealed down to 3-5.

papers said the Cubs felt Barrett might get as much as 10 games, 5 seems appropriate to me, 7 at the very most.

MacPhail is the 800 pound gorilla not Hendry. This is his team. Jim Hendry is a schmoozer with a degree in communications who had very little to do with building the World Champion Marlins. The guy who actually did is doing it again for Detroit. Hendry was his (Dombrowski's) gopher for a few months, then he fooled around as a low, very low minor league manager for a couple years before hooking up with Andy MacPhail.

Almost all of Hendry's major league baseball experience is with the Cubs --which explains the ineptitude. Prior to that he was a high school and college (Creighton, Missouri Valley Conference) coach.

If being the coach of Creighton's baseball team is all you need to run the entire Cubs minor league system and later be named General Manager then it's too bad Hendry has the job and not Ed Servais --former Cub catcher Scott Servais's uncle and present coach of the Creighton Blue Jays. He took over and immediately led them to their first-ever regular season MVC championship.

Andy MacPhail, on the other hand, is a baseball executive by birth. His father and grandfather are both in the hall of fame. He's also unfortunately gotten lucky and won two World Series which is why we're stuck with him. MacFail sucks but I don't think anyone at the Trib has the balls to fire him.

But anyone who thinks that a MacPhail is someone interested more in selling ad space and beer and not winning is just plain goofy. You don't follow dad and gramps into the Hall of Fame fielding teams like this year's Cubs.

Actually, I am fascinated with this trainwreck. Not only is a lack of hustle accepted, I think there is a teamwide contest to see who can make the most boneheaded play of the game, and I try to guess what Dusty will say to defend his players. This is much better theater than the upcoming summer reruns!

For those who think this team can be righted anytime soon, please put your bids in on the bridge I have for sale...

theriot isnt being developed...he's a pinch running less-that-0-power SS/2nd. auggie ojeda with a little more height and a touch more speed.

he'll bounce around then go home to sell cars.

Theriot hasn't even played. Why is he on our roster at all.

from the suntimes..

"You understood the injury history of our pitchers, and you have Williams, Rusch, Marshall, Guzman, Hill, Wade Miller, Prior, Carlos Zambrano and Greg Maddux,'' he said. "The numbers were there, but you got hit early and hit hard. Historically, Mark's problems have come later in the season.''

Ummm..if last year is history I believe Mark's problems were very early...as in he missed all of spring training...and most of the first trimester of the season because of the phantom leg pain and the "something doesn't feel right in my elbow" syndrome.

Something tells me all of spring training and all of the first trimester is actually early in the season and not late as McFail has screwed up. Historically Prior has been injured just about every season on a long DL trip...so historically if he was counting on Prior to be anything but disabled he was foolish.

cubswin...hendry is president of the cubs...not GM and not owner and not a RF'r. he's not george steinbrenner and he's not mike illich.

he used to be GM...he kinda sucked ass at it.

he's better doing what he does now...he's a good pencil pusher. he doesn't control hendry, though they share some attributes. they're tight, but theyre not best friends forever.

of course he cares about more things than concession contract/etc, but he doesnt have direct pull over what we as fans consider the club.

the distance between hendry and mcphail as far as hands-on field-exercised day to day operations is really far. mcphail may have given hendry his extension, but hendry's the one who picks out all the toys for the rest of the team to play with. he's the one who sends guys up/down in the minors. he's the one who spends the money mcphail gives him to manage.

hell, hendry almost had mcphail's job before the shuffle settled everything where it is now.

"cubswin...hendry is president of the cubs...not GM and not owner and not a RF'r. he's not george steinbrenner and he's not mike illich."

mcphail is president, i mean...

Ruz, if you see this, contact me - all your email addresses you've given me are dead-ending. Thanks!

MacPhail is the 800 pound gorilla not Hendry.
--
They sell sweatervests to gorillas?

Have you seen Jim Hendry lately? Surely 800lbs in in reach.

Feeling detached? After the last 3 weeks I do feel like a cockroach stuck lying on his back.

btw...hendry didnt just "run chrieton's baseball team" he rebuilt the whole program into a competitor. he was a very big man in college baseball in the early 90s (after being a very big man in competitive florida highschool baseball).

he started out as a scout and worked his way up. he may not have intended this to be his career, but it wasnt handed to him for no reason.

http://www.fangraphs.com/winss.aspx?team=Cubs

Things I didn't know before right now, no Cub has done more to help the Cubs win than Jones.

christian-
i feel your pain. fade for a while if you must. but even if the cubs continue to swirl around the bottom of the bowl, your writing and your site are a separate reality. and have given at least one man lots of enjoyment, education, and humor (even if it is occasionally the gallows variety).

don't let the bastards wear you down !

I'm speaking to Ruz's article here...

You might not always like your family, but you always love them. When someone in your family is off doing something stupid, or dangerous, or self-destructive, it makes you sad, and mad; you do what you can to help them, but if, at a certain point, the behavior continues, you eventually have to detach for a while and hope they can figure things out for themselves.

It doesnít mean Iíll stop paying attention, and it doesnít mean Iíll stop posting. But it does mean Iíll being doing less of both of those things, and trying my best to care a little bit less about whatís happening between the lines.

I find I've made this transition starting in 2004 actually when I saw the Cubs trying to win like the S.F. Giants instead of like consistent winners in tough divisions.

Dusty Baker, via Jim Hendry, via McFail put together a veteran dominant ballclub in the beginning years. They didn't utilize they farm system to their advantage. They ended up eating big contracts and didn't replace production values of those they let go....they let the ballclub fall apart...declining in quality each year...all while raising salaries...

I find myself laughing when they are losing because I predicted this type of play the past three seasons. They are a joke. The ONLY reason people take them seriously is because of the over-valued contracts being paid raising team salary to something in the top tier.

They are NOT a smart baseball organization. Quite frankly I don't see one bit difference between Dusty Baker, Don Baylor or Bruce Kimm. The only thing I know is Dusty Baker knows how to coach (sit back and watch) steroid induced power teams. He can't coach pitching staffs and he can't coach youngsters. Since steroids are much tougher to use and get away with using, Baker has been reduced to a meaningless manager. We are not only outbeaten by quality of players on other teams...but of managers who know how to manage/coach. Many managers never relied on steroid power players to win. That's all Baker knows and it's "Dude, Man, that's tough, that was a tough one to lose today, man, dude"...

The foresight of this organization to bring Baker in at a time when Steroids were increasingly coming under fire was a huge gamble...McFail and Hendry are now paying for that gamble big time. I'm certain they are just looking for the right opportunity to let Baker go. They may very well be putting that ball in Baker's court and making him the one who doesn't want an extension.....but they'd be the biggest fools in baseball (and quite frankly they are any way) to extend Baker's contract.

I find myself actually rooting against the Cubs--not because I am a bad fan...but because I know things will never get better with just mediocre outcomes...it's going to take a titanic collapse for the organization to do anything to improve this club....

Unfortunately even firing McFail won't do it....real positive meaningful results won't happen until the Tribune Company is left with no choice but to sell the club to a baseball man committed to winning...someone who is proud of more than just loving losers and an old stale beer stinky ballpark with pretty greenery on the walls below a real old fashioned scoreboard.

I won't bother with high hopes over it.

In looking at McFails success with the twins. Sure he won titles in 87 and 91. In looking at those teams, what exactly did he add to them? That was before heavy free agency. If he came aboard before 87, most of the same crew was there before he got there. It was mostly the same crew during both runs

87

puckett
gaetti
hrbek
gagne
gladden
brunansky
viola
reardon

This was an 85 win team that got hot in the postseason

91

Puckett
chili davis free agent
hrbek
mike paguarulo free agent
brian harper scrap heap FA
gladden
knoblach 89 1st round pick
morris free agent
tapani got in viola trade
aguilera got in viola trade
west got in viola trade

So basically he had a lucky 85 win team, and a really good 95 win team that consisted of holdovers and vetern free agents. Not exactly trailblazing organizational philosophy. His best and brightest move was to jump ship to Chicago before the orginization reeled off 8 consecutive losing seasons. Nobody was suprised to see it happen. All the vets got old and there was no system in place to sustain the success. Who says that history doesnt repeat itself.

McFail in minnesota 86-93
by year:

86 71-91
87 85-77 WS
88 91-71
89 80-82
90 74-88
91 95-67 ws
92 90-72
93 71-91

Now there are 2 nice spikes, but hardly what you would call sustained success.

mcphail's a prez now...all that roster playing is over for him.

pretty much the only thing that he could greatly effect he already has done, the hiring of the GM.

the GM is the guy who hires/fires and plays with the money. the prez is the guy who makes sure the club can operate and hopefully turn a profit while doing so...he's also the guy who guides the 'image' of the club, but ultimately its up to the GM to hire/fire/bring-up those people.

I've found it pretty easy to disengage. In '03 and '04, it was so tense watching the games...even to a degree last year. But when it appeared they weren't going anywhere -- and even moreso when it became official -- it was kind of fun/interesting to go to games and watch them on TV minus the tense feeling.

Obviously, I'd trade that for the tension, but still...I didn't mind it at all.

Now this year, once D-Lee got hurt, I sort of mentally prepared myself, though I had no inkling it would be this bad. So I still watch and go to the occasional game; I just don't get bent out of shape one way or the other. Many nights, I find myself watching TV and flipping to the game to see how they're doing, but I don't subject myself (or my wife) to uninterrupted viewing, except on maybe Saturday or Sunday if I'm not doing anything else.

What Me Worry?

Pierre
Hairston
Walker
Barrett
ARam
Orange Guy
JJones
Cedeno
Knock on...

vs. Scott Olsen

From all Tribune office accounts......Jim Hendry is the Chicago tribune "empty suit". You know the guy........Most organizations have one......he comes in to work...greets everyone....goes to his office and the only work he does is covering his bosses ass. He is ready to take any blame or any credit that comes his way. BUT HE DOES NOTHING ORIGINAL.

Come on. The Cubs roster is not all on MacPhail's shoulders nor is it all on Hendry's shoulders. I am sure they both contribute. It's much more fun to put all of the blame on one guy, but realistically MacPhail probably signs off on the roster but is heavily swayed by Hendry.

I do believe, though, that Ed Lynch had more autonomy than Jim Hendry.

I have seen the light Sweet Suzy. There is no way that a man with Andrew MacPhail's baseball pedigree would ever really turn over the Cubs reins to a unaccomplished buffoon like Hendry.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"mcphail's a prez now."

What do you mean "now" crunch? MacPhail's been President and CEO since 1995.

No way Barrett ensd up serving more than 10 games...NO WAY

Precedent says he won't.

He should get like 7-10 and end up serving 5-7.

How much precedent is there for slugging a guy square on completely unprovoked (according to the rules).

I think he'll get 10 and serve 8.

Great friggin start wood. Why is are entire staff allergic to the plate?

I just hope this year's club doesn't cause Ron Santo to have a stroke.

Things to count on:

Rain in Portland.
10 or less pitch inning for pitcher against the Cubs.
25 or more pitch inning for Cubs pitcher.

I think 2004 would cause a stroke.
This year would lead one to commit suicide.

Great at bat ramirez...

shocking. Lead off triple followed by 2 strikeouts...looking to kill the threat, then 8 & 9 drive in some 2 out RBI's...about friggin time.

Can others get into parachat?

Hmmm...maybe Barrett may have woke himself up...if not the team.

Looks to have 3 chances to complete the cycle.

It's lonely in here.

5 walks in 5 innings for Sir Kerry. Not good. Not good at all...

14 walks in 15 innings for the team...it's a disease.

Classic Kerry -- sailing along, leading 4-1 in the 5th, 2 outs, nobody on. Then, out of nowhere -- a 4-pitch walk to a hitter with no power, followed by a grooved fastball to the one decent hitter on the team. Pow. 4-3. Don't know about his arm, but his brain is certainly in mid-season form. 3 runs on 2 hits. Sheesh.

From the Yahoo update: "F. Bynum struck out looking." I assume that is not a typo.

Classic Kerry -- sailing along, leading 4-1 in the 5th, 2 outs, nobody on. Then, out of nowhere -- a 4-pitch walk to a hitter with no power, followed by a grooved fastball to the one decent hitter on the team. Pow. 4-3. Don't know about his arm, but his brain is certainly in mid-season form. 3 runs on 2 hits. Sheesh.

From the Yahoo update: "F. Bynum struck out looking." I assume that is not a typo.

Whoops. Sorry for the double post.

I find the talk about Barrett maybe waking this team up pretty funny. Look guys, there is no team to wake up. What I mean is that the talent is just not there.

Game-saver by Walker! What a play!

Nevermind...

Dusty sure has these guys scratching and clawing. We can only hope we have McPhail, Hendry and Dusty for years to come. I just wish they could somehow win 2 in a row so we can announce the Dusty extension. He just needs a vote of confidence. He loves this job. And he loves Chicago. And the team plays with heart. Uh just kidding.

Are they really going to sit back and wait for DLee, Prior and Miller and think they have a chance? They can't beat the Marlins?

Boycott the Cubs.

Ron Santo after tonight's game: "I don't know what to say...I don't know if there's a way to come out of this."

The Cubs have now lost 2 in a row to the last place team in the division...The Marlins are only spending about $15 Million on talent and the Cubs...well that's another story...

I think the Cubs will probably have a
"fire sale" in seven or eight weeks--once they determine that they have absolutely no shot at the postseason (though that should already be clear to McFail & Co.)...They'll probably get rid of Wood and a few other big money players...Unfortunately, I don't think the Cubs have the management team that is capable of doing a successful "rebuild".

on pace for 65 wins, or approx $1.45MM per victory.

well done Andy, Jim.

McFail and Co are clueless. They will never see that they are out of it. There won't be a firesale....firesales=defeat and that won't happen. It's obvious fans don't go to Wrigley Field to see the team win on the field--that's the most obvious fact about the Cubs. So as long as McFail and Co believe they have a shot fans will come out. That's all the Cubs care about.

I'd rather see two crappy years...a mediocre year...a decent competitive year and a WS in each 5 year cycle....than the current consistent crap thrown out there at 100 mil a year....

I was watching the end of House, clicked over to the game in the 8th, Cubs still leading 4-3. House is over, sit down at the computer and see the Cubs lost 5-4.

That just fucking great. The Cubs can't beat a team with a $15 million payroll. Just awesome.

I just can't take it any more. They're so, so bad. Can they lose 90 this year? Would Hendry re-sign Dusty and defend Prior and Wood regardless?

Has Tribune Corp no decency at all?

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic. I want to rip my season tickets up and throw them at Jacque Jones.

The Cubs will drag this season out longer than Al Gore drug the 2000 election out....even after the writing was clearly on the wall. They won't admit defeat. They will continue on as if they are still in it. In fact, I wouldn't doubt hearing talk of blockbuster trade deadline trades to be made to "better" the team. Even though the team has a hole in multiple positions it is not something that is going to be overcome anytime soon...but Hendry will trot out there some Sunday afternoon on WGN and be spouting garbage of how he's going to go get Dontrel Willis...or make some big move with the Pirates or how he's involved in a 4 or 5 team deal etc with us giving up nothing but some guy 50 spots down on our depth charts....

This bunch sickens me....

Fire McFail
Fire Hendry
Fire Baker
Fire Rothschild

Sell the Club to some filthy rich bastard who wants to win....that should do it.

so was it the 9 walks from our pitching staff?
or maybe the 1 hit from our team after Murton put us up 4-1 in the top of the 4th? yup, 18 outs, 1 hit over the final 6 innings.

it's really quite pathetic

I agree with those who think firing Baker won't make this team better...

But it WILL be a clear message from the Tribune Company that WINNING MATTERS and pathetic apathetic performance is not an option. It will say, "Cub fans you deserve so much more".....

but it won't happen--they fear a racial lawsuit or the Rev. Jesse Jackson rising to Dusty's defense for not being able to get a bunch of AAA white guys to do their job...

and you know that is exactly what would happen.

IF they lose tomorrow, Dusty's got to go. That would be 18 losses in 22 games, and a sweep by a team that has basically publicly stated that they are not trying to be competitive this year. I realize it's not all Dusty's fault, but something HAS to be done.

I can't believe I continue to pay attention to this team. I have watched this crap for over thirty years. What Nolasco did to them last night and then to follow it up with the other two guys they traded for Pierre was so Cub like. I live in northern california and can't make myself watch steroid bonds and the denial giants. I really wish I could stop being a cub fan. This SUCKS!!!

IN DUSTY WE TRUSTY!!!

Well, just wait 'til we get Kerry back! Oh, hang on....

My 9-year old son went to bed with the Cubs leading 4-1 and a big smile on his face. Another morning of disappointment awaits. Could be worse -- he could be a 9-year NY Knicks fan.

wow, 12 strikeouts. The Marlin staff is overpowering....

And to make the night perfect, Corey Patterson has gone 2 for 2 and is hitting an even .300 at this moment.

Just shoot me..

From Ruz' original post:

"I donít know where [the team] is in the success cycle, and I donít think *it* knows where it is."

I guess they're at that part of the success cycle where they battle all night against, and then lose to, an intentionally subpar team.

I don't mean to sound like I'm mocking Ruz' choice of words...I thank him and all the TCR people for making this such a wonderful place to vent. But "success cycle" just sounds like such a foreign term in Cubland. I sometimes entertain thoughts of the team preparing for long-term success by getting this player or promoting that one, but I have virtually no confidence that anything good would come of it.

glad i went to watch some minor league ball tonite...another 9th inning stinker from the dumpster. ow. btw, yes i still trust him as the closer and i'm still amazed he's getting it done.

i'm just glad i didn't have to watch it.

murton with his first extra base hit since april 28th! go orange! ...and it was to right field, even. were they pitching him away/down/down-away like he's been seeing almost exclusively the past month+?

Notes on the Passing Cubs Scene

posted on Monday...

http://www.cubsnet.com/node/1182

{...Steve Stone was on WSCR earlier today and observed that while the Cubs are spending $95 Mil. on payroll this year, the St. Louis Cardinals are only spending $78 Mil. Stone further pointed out that the Cubs the past few years have consistently outspent the Cardinals, yet the Cardinals have just as consistently outpaced the Cubs in the Wins column.

Stone also pointed out that despite this, the big shots at the Tribune Corp. seem mighty satisfied with how they have run things with the Cubs so much so that everyone on the team mgmt. & coaching staff who want to stay on has already been re-upped or is in the process of being re-upped. He also said that its a done deal with Baker's extension and its only a matter of time until its announced.

Finally, Stone also pointed out that once the Marlins series is all over, none of the teams that the Cubs are to play between now and the All-Star Game break are what you could call "soft teams." This means that if Cub fans think that the last few weeks have been particularly rough, they have not seen anything.

And so it goes for Cubs fans...}

wow...stone pointed out the obvious...what was his source, the internet? that's some hardcore commentary.

"Stone also pointed out that despite this, the big shots at the Tribune Corp. seem mighty satisfied with how they have run things with the Cubs so much so that everyone on the team mgmt. & coaching staff who want to stay on has already been re-upped or is in the process of being re-upped."

1 guy has been reup'd last i checked...and that was the GM.

did i miss a 1/2 dozen press releases?

Crunch has obviously been re-upped.

btw, if stone's "in the bag without debate, i know this" piece about baker does go through, i give him props for actually going out and finding a story for once.

super...dont you have some dusty or hendry or some ticket sales conspiracy to talk about besides me.

or you too busy trying to figure out how exactly i'm holding the team back in order to increase sales of "cubs suck" tshirts in a hidden venture owned by the tribune company to bail out sinking readership problems with the LA Times?

I too have been unplugging this last month like Christian and others I am sure, if only because losing streaks put me in a fetal position for a couple weeks. But the Cubs are my team and always will be.

The problem is that these last two seasons have been a phenomenal waste of our window of opportunity. I consider our window of opportunity to be the result of affordable contracts for Z, Wood and Prior. For a big-payroll team, having 3/5ths of your rotation locked down at reasonable rates is a unique chance to win a few division titles and hopefully a Series, maybe two. The White Sox are in such a window now. Next year, the Brewers will be in one (Weeks/Fielder/Sheets/Hardy). The fact is that the Cubs since the 2004 blow-up have tried addition-through-subtraction approach, which is precisely the opposite of what they should be doing. 2005 and now 2006 are wastes. It hurts to be bad, it hurts worse to be bad when since 2002 the potential for building one of the great Cub runs has been there and the sand is trickling through the hourglass.

Scott, that is what I've been saying alot. The money spent is not the issue. Did everyone see Mac Phail tonight on Sportsnite after the game? The fact that he is there(Florida), smells like something might be up. The fact he refused to blame injuries and pointed to offensive performance sounded critical to me. He has gotten the Trib to spend some $ and now he is still taking a beating. I feel he might be getting itchy. Say waht you want about Mac Phail, but he was a pretty good Gm at least. The one year he took over after firing Lynch he put together a pretty good club in 01 that actually won more games than the 03 team. That team played pretty well up until 9/11 and the Cards went on a tear. Mac Phail's style was alot less hazardous than Hendry's. This bargain shopping Hendry is doing with pitching drives me nuts, yet sepnds money on Perez and Rusch?? Mac Phail also was pissed off at Lynch for the Garland/Karchner deal. Mac Phail also went hard after Hampton (thank god we didn't get him) and tried to trade Sosa for Soriano, Westbrook, and others. Mac Phail at least had the balls to go down to Atlanta in 02 and fire Baylor as well. Just some thoughts. I was a Hendry fan but recently I'm not so sure. The Rusch/Williams and Perez deals sucked and not replacing Alou's bat has been a death blow offensively. The fact he is constantly suprised by Prior and Wood's health makes me wonder if he just thinks were that stupid or he is?

Sorry, the 01 Cubs and 03 Cubs each won 88. Overall though the 01 roster matches up with 03 very well.

The 2003-2006 downward trajectory has been very depressing for a team that was the envy of the league 2 and a half years ago. The only thing I can compare it to is the underacheiving Cleveland Cavailiers of the late 80's-early 90's.

I saw McFail on the Comcast program...He didn't want to make time to do an interactive interview with a group of reporters...he did a short one-on-one interview...Andy McFail may have good intentions but I don't think he has assembled the right management team and the right talent to get the job done...McFail must realize that his legacy is on the line...His team is embarassing for Tribune and for the fans...I have a hunch that the Cubs will see a fall-off in fan support -- fewer people will go to the games, buy the merchandise, and listen to the broadcasts IF the Cubs stay on the current trendline. It's clear that the CEO of Tribune (Dennis FitzSimons) lacks the sense of urgency and focus to position his company to outperform any of their publicy traded peer companies in the media industry. It shouldn't surprise anyone that Tribune's CEO is on the cover of this week's Crain's Chicago Business -- and the story is not positive...Tribune has 97% of the company's foundation money in Tribune stock...Of course the shares of the company are down 47% since early 2004 and the foundation's portfolio is shrinking fast. Some say it's a conflict of interest for the company CEO of Tribune to also be Chairman of the Tribune Foundation (it helps insulate management and makes it tougher for outside shareholders to take over the company). If you look at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (the largest in North America) they have 0% of their assets invested in Microsoft...The well-run foundations always diversify and some even sell off all the stock from their primary sponsors. Anyway, it will be interesting to see how Tribune deals with this new level of scrutiny...The company has UNDERperformed the S&P 500 index (when you consider total return to investors) for the last 15 years...that's a long time for a company to have performance problems. I really think that the Cubs have to get out from under the Tribune umbrella...This is a great time for buyers to approach the company as the team is clearly not as valuable as it was in 2004...Tribune management may be in love with the Cubs but they should do what's right for the team and sell it to a committed private investor (or a private syndicate). Tribune management is running out of time to turn their company around. It's possible that some large Hedge Funds or Private Equity firms could make life very difficult for them...A new owner would most likely break up the company and sell off all non-core assets like the Cubs.

Scott, as noted many times before...out of all the tribunes problems, The Cubs aren't high on the list at all...they are a drop in the bucket, and if anything poses the ability for positive name recognitions and cross ties with WGN carrying them.

But more importantly...I don't think the Tribune company is the problem at all...they've invested in the ball park and they have invested in the team...Would an extra $20 million in payroll help...of course. But, we should be able to compete just fine with the payroll we have.

Out of ll the problems with personell and management...the Tribune company is the least of my concerns....just as the Cubs are the least of their concerns. I don't think it's even a legitimate argument as there are absolutely no signs or whispers that Tribune is looking to sell the Cubs.

"They should do what's right for the team"
Why? what do they owe the Chicago Cubs? The Cubs are a business assest, not a charity case. The tribune company needs to and of course will look out for it's best business interest...as any corporation will. They aren't going to hurt their business to do a favor to the cubs (although I still fail to see how it would be a favor to the Cubs)

"A new owner would most likely break up the company and sell off all non-core assets like the Cubs."

that's about as true as it gets, though.

but as far as the cubs being a sketchy piece of the tribune puzzle there's bigger stinkers in their portfolio and a chunk of them worth more than the cubs to sell off. that said, its not like the cubs are immune...while some of the trib holdings can go for more, the cubs are still an easy 500-600+million selloff.

Dusty keeps hoping luck will change

http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-c...

So my buddies and I were discussing how many wins it would take to make it the the playoffs and we came up with at least 93 wins. If that is the case well we might have eliminated ourselves already. After last nights blowing of a great pitching effort by Kerry that leaves us having to go 75 and 42. Ouch!! Granted its been done before (look at last years Astors) but this is going to be tough!!! Gosh, is it to early to throw in the towl?

Dempster canít bail out Cubs

http://www.dailyherald.com/search/printstory....

{...When your offense shuts down after the fifth inning, youíre asking for trouble.

When your pitchers issue 9 walks, youíre begging for it.

Trouble, and a boatload of it, is just what the Cubs got Tuesday night in a 5-4 loss to the Florida Marlins.

Speaking of boats, the good ship Cubby is taking on water at titanic rates. Theyíre now 18-27, having hit the low-water mark for the season.

Ryan Dempster nearly worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the ninth inning with the Cubs ahead 4-3. But a 2-run single to the left-center field gap by Mike Jacobs gave the Marlins their second straight win in this series and sent the Cubs to their 17th loss in 21 games.

Dempsterís ninth opened with pinch hitter Wes Helms singling followed by a walk to Hanley Ramirez, who was trying to sacrifice.

ìGetting that leadoff guy, especially in 1-run games, is huge,î Dempster (0-2) said. ìTonight, the biggest mistake I made, I think, is when I had Ramirez 2-2 and he squared to bunt. I tried to throw him a nasty slider. Heís not going to try to bunt it.

ìItís a tough one because I just felt like I could make a better pitch there, and I just didnít make a good pitch to Jacobs. Itís tough, man. Itís tough when you blow one, and wins are hard to come by, and you go out there and blow it like that.î...}

Is it me or did yesterday's game almost seem scripted? I should have been more suprised by that ending, but I was like, eh whatever and went to bed (had to watch it delayed on Tivo).

cubfan: Sell the Club to some filthy rich bastard who wants to win...

Well now that George Soros & Peter Lewis don't have anything to blow money on, maybe, just maybe...

"The differential is startling. The Cubs pitchers have issued 207 walks, the most in the National League, and given up 224 runs. The team has scored 164, the fewest in the NL. The Cubs also rank last in batting at .242, and last in home runs with 33."

http://chicago.cubs.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/a...

Can we get something else on this board than all the whining - maybe AZPhil can post something intelligent. Okay the Cubs suck! Fire Hendry! Fire McPhail! Trade everyone on the team! Jeez...

Time to drag out the Onion article again [ "Dusty Baker Not Worried by Cubs' Hot Start" ]and see just how accurate it turns out to be

Patterson is currently hitting .306/.358/.505 with 15 steals. Juan Pierre is at .235/.270/.294 with 14 steals for the Cubs

It was reported in the Chicago Sun-Times that Jim Hendry didn't accompany the team to Florida because he is working on some trades to upgrade the Cubs offense and pitching, even though Prior and Miller should be pitching by mid-June. I think you are a little to late Mr. Hendry, and by the way why are the Cubs hurting for money.

The trib selling the team would be great but if there as such talk don't you think potential buyers would be sniffing around the club?

Last night -- Corey was 3-3, with an HR and 2BBs, plus 2SB. Now hitting .306, .358 OBP with 15 SB.

More than anything else, Corey's continued success illustrates the failure of the Cubs organization. Batting him leadoff ruined him, and was a terrible move for the team.

"Would an extra $20 million in payroll help...of course. But, we should be able to compete just fine with the payroll we have"

I agree, but Cub fans in the last 10 years have seen the Marlins(1997), D-Backs, Yankees, and Red Sox go out and "buy" World Champsionships. They went and got the best players available at no concern of costs.
Now after the Marlins and D-backs won they had to blow up the team, because the fans were not coming out.

Does anyone see that happening with the Cubs?The Red Sox have a smaller park than the Cubs. All ask for is that this organization have a sense of urgency that the fans have, not to ignore the I-rods, Vlad Guerros, and Tejadas when they are available.

steve stone needs to shut up. talk about a front-runner...

So Corey Patterson finishes off last night with a homerun and two walks, 3-3 .306 .358 .505 batting sixth. He seems to be emerging from the Dusty Baker induced hitting coma he was in. And he righted himself playing only occasionally at first, taking extra hitting instruction, riding the bench most of the time and filling in defensively.

So why didn't the Cubs keep CP as the fourth outfielder?

"If he (Patterson) is not going to have a chance to be a full-time player, he is not going to be able to correct the things that led him to have a bad year last year. It was not a good fit for him to be a bench player here at this point, after what happened last year," Jim Hendry said.

Well, now we know why Hendry is GM. The man's a genius.

At least he got two players in return. Can you name them?

And what's this talk I hear? The Orioles are euphoric about CP's progress and can see themselves building the team around their new multi-tool center fielder.

As loyal Cub fans it seems our duty more and more is too root against the players Hendry fails to protect or unloads at fire sale prices.

The Chicago Cubs, major league baseball's $95 million AAAA farm team.

Chicago Cubs sign Hawkeye pitcher

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...

REGISTER NEWS SERVICE

May 23, 2006

University of Iowa pitcher Tim Gudex has been signed by the Chicago Cubs organization, officials announced today.

Gudex, of Appleton, Wis., was a two-time, first-team all-Big Ten closer for the Hawkeyes. As a senior this season, Gudex was 4-2 with a 1.15 ERA and a Big Ten-best 10 save ó striking out 47 in 39 innings.

As a junior, Gudex became the first pitcher in Big Ten history to lead the league in wins (7), ERA (1.11) and saves (6) during conference play.

"We are thrilled that Tim will get this opportunity in professional baseball," Iowa coach Jack Dahm said. "The fact that Tim came here as a walk-on and left as a two-time all-Big Ten pick with a professional contract speaks volumes about the kind of person he is. We all are looking forward to seeing what he can do in the Cubs organization."

While I wasn't unhappy to get rid of Patterson, it does seem more and more like players who struggle in Chicago go elsewhere and play well. That would seem to me a failure of coaching in Chicago.

Players just never seem to get over their bad mechanics or patience issues here, which should be where the coaches come in. On championship teams, players who are struggling adjust and get better. Here, players do the same thing over and over getting the same results and never getting better.

Takes some skill to have an ERA of 1.15 over 39 innings and still manage to pick up two losses. He'll fit in well here.

The latest from Dusty...

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

{...Baker conceded before the game that this is the worst stretch he has experienced in his Cubs tenure, though he endured some difficult seasons managing in San Francisco.

"It was bad in '96, when I basically had a Triple-A team after they broke up my team from '93," he said.

The Cubs now have lost two straight to a team full of players who likely would be in Triple A if the Marlins hadn't dumped most of their veterans. Baker said he's not worried about anyone becoming a "fall guy" because he believes the Cubs can turn it around.

But they began the day ranked last in the National League in runs, batting average, hits, total bases, doubles, home runs, walks, slugging percentage, on-base percentage and walks allowed. Baker acknowledged he "sometimes" beats himself up over losses...}

*The Cubs traded Corey Patterson for two players now with the Daytona Cubs (A)

Nate Spears (.212 .306 .221) who has exactly one extra base hit in 104 at bats.

LHP Carlos Perez (6.75 ERA 19 K's 17 BB's and 4 HB's)

So CWP you're saying it was not a total lost?

sarcasm above

Am I the only person who would think that a loss today, and a sweep by the AAAA Florida Marlins might actually be a good thing?

I think a loss hastens the firing of Dusty. All the signs and Carris Muscat stories (by their denials) seem to point in the direction that McPhail and Hendry are engaging in some deep-think mode. Whoever pointed out that it was unusual for McPhail to be in Florida in this thread should be commended for this observation). The only logical result of that would be firing Dusty. Losing today will hasten that. Hendry has an affinity for the Marlins and when they fire Dusty, he will try to mollify us by citing the Marlins 2003 turnaround after hiring Jack McKeon and the 2005 Astros.

So, is this going to be the open thread for the next 117 games? Probably should be, title seems appropriate.

I think you could give Hendry a $150 Million payroll and we still might not have "a real contender"...The Cubs management just is not disciplined when it comes to attracting, developing, motivating and keeping top talent. Dusty and the current coaching staff aren't getting the job done either...We all know of several young players that were recently traded and they seem to thrive under different Managers and their coaching teams...hmmm...The Cubs seem to be masters at wasting money, making bad trades and then they fail to effectively develop the talent that they do have. Look at how the White Sox have the top AAA team in MLB -- they now have a record of around 33-11...Kenny Williams is out traveling with his AAA team often and working to aggressively develop the talent they need. The Cubs farm system is not producing the way it should and then Hendry seems to find a way to trade some of his best prospects (eg. Ricky Nolasco) for overpriced talent that doesn't seem to be able to deliver. That is unacceptable.

Corey now has a higher batting average than any Cubs player. Nolasco goes yard, and has as many RBI as Juan Pierre.

This is like a Mel Brooks comedy -- so, sit back and enjoy a good laugh, folks. This year just isn't meant to be -- look at the signs, they are all around you.

Seriously -- the only reasonable approach is to go young. Wood, Walker and Pierre will all be gone next year, so get what you can for them by the deadline. Then, bring up Pie, EPat, Guzman and anyone else who might be able to help next year, and let them take their lumps ans learn when it doesn't matter. Hope that Murton, Cedeno and Marshall continue to grow. Go buy an established starter in the off-season to go with Prior (yes, I still believe), Z and Marshall.

At least have a plan. Please.

{...Robert Warner of the Battle Creek Enquirer compares Jim Leyland to Dusty Baker in his response to my original article on "Busty" (link above). One big difference would be Leyland has won a World Series that he should have lost (1997). Dusty choked away a World Series (2002) and gave away a trip to the World Series in 2003. Baker was out-witted in both cases by superior GAME managers in Mike Sciocia and Jack McKeon. McKeon was a mid-season manager change for the Marlins in '03. As far as Leyland (butt-kicker) with the Tigers, he's doing far more with arguably the same talent that Alan Trammell (player's coach like Dusty) had...}

http://wwmt.com/engine.pl?station=wwmt&id=266...

I also have the feeling that something is up. I thought that last night when I saw they were interviewing McFail on the pregame show. Gail Fischer was lobbing him softballs, but the mere fact that he was in Florida with the team leads me to believe that he is " taking the pulse" of this team. When asked about Dusty Baker and Possible player trades McFail said that " All of that is up to Jim Hendry". It didnt strike me as a situation where McFail is 100% behind Baker. It also seemed like McFail has distanced himself from the situation.

Did anyone notice Joe Girardi taking his pitcher in the tunnel to chew him out for making excuses? Boy it sure would be nice to have a manager who promotes accountability. I liken Joe Girardi to a good father. I liken Dusty Baker to the every other weekend father who really wants to be a friend.

#180 of 183: By billybucks (May 24, 2006 09:51 AM)
Corey now has a higher batting average than any Cubs player.

Cruellest thing posted on TCR all year.

I saw that too Aaron, but it was a little too much of a show for my taste. I'm all for tough love and discipline, but grabbing the guy by the shirt and dragging him to the tunnel seemed to be all for the cameras.

Conspiracy theory: Cubs are engaged in a surreptitious "operation Shutdown" like Derek Bell pulled here in Pittsburgh, because they too want a coaching change. Har har.

I think MacPhail is in Florida trying to trade Spears and Perez for Cabrera and Willis.

Have you looked at the National League Standings this morning? 16 teams and there are only four of them under .500

#185 of 187: By 433 (May 24, 2006 10:05 AM)
I saw that too Aaron, but it was a little too much of a show for my taste. I'm all for tough love and discipline, but grabbing the guy by the shirt and dragging him to the tunnel seemed to be all for the cameras.

I can see where you would think that. I dont think that was the case because he took the guy in the tunnel, away from the cameras to talk. If it was for the cameras, he would have Lou Pinella'd right in front of everyone. JMO

I must say -- THANKS to those who created and maintain this site. Instead of screaming, or walking around with building frustration, we have an outlet to vent, and realize we are not alone. Many thanks.

Yeah fair point Aaron. By all accounts Girardi is a good guy, not a showboat, so who knows. I would have been really pissed if I was the guy he publicly embarassed by dragging me to the tunnel in front of everyone, but I guess that was the point.

mcFAIL wasn't in Florida to evaluate anything or anyone. According to his secretary Crunch, he has nothing to do with the team. It must have been a coincidence he decided to go a Marlins game the same night the Cubs were playing them.

433, Girardi wasn't doing that for the cameras, that is why he pulled him into the tunnel, because he thought he was away from the cameras. It would be nice if Dusty got upset with a player once in a while.

If the Cubs aren't going to fire Dusty and his coaching staff then maybe the thing to do is to give them the type of players they are most comfortable with.

Carlos Vasquez was just promoted to West Tennessee. Bring him up. Matt Lawton was DFA'd. Call him up. Rafael Palmeiro is just sitting around. Get him up. I gotta believe there's more pop in Sammy Sosa's bat than Murt's, Juan's or Jacque's. Find him and make up. Barry Bonds is a free agent this fall. Sign him up.

Let's just go with an all-steroid team and see what happens.

Vince -- I was talking only about Girardi's dragging the guy by the shirt collar. That was the part that seemed to be for the cameras, because he could have just as easily said "get up and follow me" or "get your ass to the tunnel right now." The collar-grabbing was a little over the top.

The Cubs (18-27) have dropped 19 of their last 24 games. While being nine games below .500 doesn't sound like the end of the world this early in the season, if a 90-win season is the unofficial barometer for a playoff bid, the Cubs will have to go 72-45 (.615) the rest of the year to contend.

If the Cubs continue to find every way possible to lose games then they should start planning for next year. Yet, it's clear that this team really needs new management and new coaching (and ideally new ownership too)...;-)

Scott, what are you doing here? I think Kenny Williams needs his car washed.

*Vince -- I was talking only about Girardi's dragging the guy by the shirt collar. That was the part that seemed to be for the cameras, because he could have just as easily said "get up and follow me" or "get your ass to the tunnel right now." The collar-grabbing was a little over the top.*

Waaaaaaah! And don't boo anybody either! Waaah! Someone's feelings might get hurt!

*And to make the night perfect, Corey Patterson has gone 2 for 2 and is hitting an even .300 at this moment.*

I have watched Corey a couple of times. It seems as though all his "hits" are check-swing infield singles. At least he's making contact now.

*Steve Stone was on WSCR earlier today and observed that while the Cubs are spending $95 Mil. on payroll this year, the St. Louis Cardinals are only spending $78 Mil. Stone further pointed out that the Cubs the past few years have consistently outspent the Cardinals, yet the Cardinals have just as consistently outpaced the Cubs in the Wins column.*

Gosh, if only we had Albert Roidholes and the greasy 11--or whatever they call the pitching staff and their vaseline.

*He also said that its a done deal with Baker's extension and its only a matter of time until its announced.*

If true, bye-bye Cubs forever for me.

*steve stone needs to shut up. talk about a front-runner...*

Yep, let's all kill the messenger just because he has forgotten more about the sport than you'll ever know.

Cubs fans ruined Corey Patterson, he was only going to turn around by getting away from Chicago.

Bring back Dallas Green.

Cub fans did not try and make CP into a lead off hitter that was senior management.

The Cubs recent history is filled with the team trying to jam square pegs into round holes.

Ah, the sarcastic, grating, neanderthal ravings of J-Damn.

Which is your favorite type of J-Damn post?

(1) The Idle Threat. "If [the Cubs/Baker/Hendry/Player X] doesn't [start/stop doing something], then [I'm gonna stop watching/I'm never going to a game again]."

(2) The Non-Response Response. "If you believe __________, you are [an idiot/crazy/uninformed]."

(3) The Scientific Study. "I have observed [incredibly small sample size] and I have concluded [X, Y and Z]."

I shouldn't pick on dimwits, but it's so Damn fun.

I had no problem getting rid of Corey Patterson during the offseason. But, after signing Jacque Jones to three years, $15 mil, I couldn't understand it. If the Cubs were going to get nothing better than Jones, they should have kept Corey and put him in right field.

I also do not understand why they did not try to sign Nomar to a one year deal to play second base. I don't think the Cubs would have much to lose if they would have done so (they would have walker, perez, hairston if he went down, and Nomar sure would look good at first right now with walker at second).

These are moves that I didn't understand during the offseason, and now I find myself even more frustrated than ever because my worst fears have come true regarding the guys the Cubs let go (Patterson and Garciaparra) and the one they signed (Jones).

- just needed to vent a little bit.

By the way, Girardi sure would look good in a Cubs uniform; Cubs should have gotten him and toasted Dusty then.

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