The Makings of a Disaster: A Chronology

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W: Mike Remlinger (2-2) L: Ryan Dempster (0-3) S: Kenny Ray (1)
So I decided that I'd keep a chronology of today's game, from start to finish. Little did I know that it would be a chronology of one of those games that is emblematic of what it means to be a Cubs fan, or to play Cubs-style baseball. At least it was an entertaining loss, which is more than what can be said of the other Cubs losses, of late. The rest is below the fold. First Inning 1:17 - Catch the final line of the Anthem. Sounds like the woman can't sing too well. Is this prophetic of things to come? 1:20 - a gorgeous day to play baseball, an unfortunate day to be stuck inside watching a game. I am a servant to you, the loyal reader. 1:30 - Z has walked the bases loaded. He should be out of the inning via picking off Andruw Jones at 2nd, but the Ump misses the call. 1:34 - Jeff Francoeur, he of the 2 walks for the season, he of the Dusty Baker School of Hitting, is the fourth walk of the inning, driving in a run. 1:38 - Ryan Langerhans should be the fifth walk of the inning, but the ump gives a very, very generous called strike 2, leading to the strikeout. Miraculously, the Cubs will bat only down one run. Z has thrown 37 pitches. 1:44 - Pierre shows bunt on the third pitch 1:45 - Pierre hits a ball 300 feet! Foul. Pops out softly to third to end the AB 1:46 - Neifi flies out on the first Pitch. Better than prolonging the unavoidable embarassment, I guess. Second Inning 1:48 ñ A six pitch inning for Z. 1:56 ñ Did Kasper just say ìRamirez hustling towards second.î? HUSTLING? 1:57 ñ of course, Aramisís double brings Bynum up to hit, with 2 outs and RISP. Hits it back to Hudson, for a feeble out number three. The soft cries of the endangered Red-Headed Outfielder can be heard, if you listen closely. Third Inning 2:05 ñ And a ten-pitch inning for Z. His stuff looked better-than-usual in the first, just with zero command of itÖ. Maybe heíll cruise from here? 2:09 ñ Pierre hits one ìsharply,î it rolls all the way out to shallow center. 2:11 ñ Neifi hits a weak liner, right to LaRoche. Neifi and Bynum have the only 2 ABs with runners on base, so far, and neither has hit the ball further than 90 ft. Fourth Inning 2:19 ñ yet another 1-2-3 for Z. He threw more pitches in the 1st than he has in the next three innings, combined. 2:23 ñ and with one on and no out, our ìcleanupî hitter, Barrett, tries to bunt for a hit. This is pathetic beyond the dumb-is-fun threshold. 2:24 - Well executed hit-and-run, as Barrett hits a feeble grounder to just where Giles had been, before he ran to cover second. 1st and 2nd, no out, Jones up, whoís hit Hudson well. 2:25 - And there you have it. Jones laces one to the RF wall for a double. Walker had gone to 2nd to tag up, while Barrett was running on the play, and almost results in having two runners in the same place at onceÖ. But weíll take it, tie-game. 2:26 ñ Ramirez ground ball scores Barrett, Jones to third. 2-1 Cubs!! 2:27 ñ Bynum comes up with another RISP ñ this time, third base with one out. Called third strike. Itís not Bynumís fault that he canít hit, really. This is all on Hendry needing him on the 25 man roster, and Baker feeling compelled to start him. Inning ends shortly thereafter. Fifth Inning 2:37 - Fourth inning in a row that Z sets them down in order, this time striking out the side. This lead might just be enough to win with. 2:40 ñ Neifi with the two-pitch, pop-up to shortstop At Bat. Sixth Inning 2:47 ñ Z walks Chipper, his fifth walk of a game. At the risk of almost jinxing him, I notice that he has not let a runner on base by any other means. He may have to leave the game due to pitch-count, without any Brave havingÖ umÖ reached base by something other than a walk. (That didnít Jinx him, did it?) 2:51 ñ Bynum, who positions himself a few feet from the warning track when he plays OF, is right there for a laser shot off the bat of Andruw Jones. Hooray for being uncomfortable at going back on fly balls! 2:54 ñ Walk number 6 to LaRoche, but Z gets out of it. Six innings, and no Brave has yet to reach base by means other than walk. 3:00 ñ Bynum up for the third time, again with a man on base ñ this time, just first base. 3:01 ñ Bynum keeps his spot on the roster for the rest of the year, hitting a two-run shot to right, no doubt about it. The Red Headed Outfielderís status has just gone from Endangered to No Longer Found in Wild. Heíll just be passed around from Zoo to Zoo until he and his kind have either disappeared from the earth, or have learned how to successfully reproduce and have their children released back into the wild. 4-1 Cubs. Seventh Inning 3:07 ñ Langerhans is about to walk on a borderline 3-2 pitch, when a belated appeal to third base gives Z a check-swing strikeout to start the inning. 3:09 ñ Play Of The Game? ñ slow-footed Todd Pratt smashes a one-hopper down the third-base line. Ramirez full-out dives to reach it on a high hop, gets up, briefly double-clutches to find the grip, and throws a rocket to Walker, who picks it cleanly on the long-hop. Prattís out at first. Carlos still has not allowed a Brave to advance by means other than a walk. 3:10 ñ Betemit hits a towering fly ball, right to the right-field vines. Jones loses the ball in the Sun, and it bounces off his glove. The play is called a hit, quite surprisingly given the home-town scorekeeper. The jinx is off, and I can say that Carlos loses his no-hitter 3:11 ñ And Giles hits a clean bloop-double to score the run, and gives the Braves their first legitimate hit. 4-2. Cubs. Nuts. 3:17 ñ and Team MVP Howry gets us out of the 7th with no further damage. 3:18 - Santo does the stretch: ìOk, we know the Cubs are having a tough time of it, but letís show them how much we love them,î he exhorts us, before beginning. 3:20 ñ Pierre leads off an inning for the third time. Another feebly hit ball, which almost finds grass before Langerhans makes a diving catch. Replay suggests it was a trap. 3:25 ñ Neifi singles, and Barrett doubles him home, 5-2. Andruw Jones seems to have both misjudged the ball, and loafed after it, as the ball drops softly to the ground just in front of the warning track. Eighth Inning 3:36 ñ Howry gives up consecutive base-hits to start the Eighth, Eyre comes in with runners at the corners and nobody out. 3:38 ñ Cedeno makes a fine diving catch on a soft liner by Brian Jordan, saving a run, for the moment. 3:41- Francoeur hits a sharp bouncer over Eyreís head, who leaps up to grab it. He throws wildly to second, but Neifi leaps and reaches backward to spear it, gets the force at second, and almost turns the double play. The runner on third scores, 5-3, but the play avoids more trouble, as Matt Diaz strikes out. Nice work by Eyre. 3:45 ñ Aunt calls, and I miss the bottom of the Eighth. Ninth Inning 4:04 ñ Aunt hangs up, I turn to TV and see that Dempsterís given up consecutive singles to start the ninth, putting the tying runs on first and second. Whatís happening to Dempster??? 4:05 ñ One of those wild pitches where the pitch was wild, but Barrett doesnít shift over to try to block it, just goes for the backhand. Misses, and the tying runs advance to second and third. A walk to Giles loads the bases, no outs. 4:10 ñ I really have to pee, but canít stand the thought of missing the latest Cubs implosion. 3-2 count on Renteria, bases loaded no outs. 4:11 ñ Renteria walks, to score another run. 5-4. Hear the sound of a slow, steady drip of water? Thatís not Water Torture, itís the drizzle before the flood. Chipperís up. 4:13 ñ Dempster Kís Chipper on a 3-2 slider, with a weak swing by Chipper. Dodged Bullet No. 1, with Bullet No. 2, Andruw, coming to bat. 4:14 ñ Andruw Jones has very stylish sunglasses. 4:15 ñ Cub-like. Andruw Jones hits another towering fly ball to the wall in right. Jacques Jones manages to catch this one, and the runner on third tags to tie the game. Jacques manages to throw the ball all the way in to Neifi, but Neifi drops the ball, while Marcus Giles, running all the way from second base, becomes the second man to score on the sacrifice fly. Neifi is charged with two errors, as his throw to home also sailed wide, letting Renteria, who started on first, advance to third. 6-5, Braves. I should have gone to pee, and just missed this. 4:16 ñ the last out of the inning brings a chorus of boos raining down upon the Cubs. 4:20 ñ and Neifi leads off the inning, to continuing boos. Kenny Ray will try to close. Neifi strikes out, to another round of boos. 4:22 - And the game ends not with a bang, but a whimper.


I need to go get some fresh air.

thanks neifi! your D is awesome! you should be playing bc of that...and hitting second in the order. also, on those days, murton should be benched.
fire dusty.

i'm going to go drink myself into bolivion.

I think its Bolivia, which is where Dusty and Neifi have to go next.

if I was the Cubs manager I would have gone onto the field after Neifi's errors and made him hand over his glove and hat and leave the field (think 80's cop movies). If he refused, I would have pummeled him with a bat Capone-style. Tell me the team wouldn't play harder tomorrow....

I know, dempster stunk up the joint too, but jesus. 2 runs on a flyball out...

I will ignore, for a moment, the fact that Dusty batted the Worst Hitter in MLB History 2nd.

But when that same Worst Hitter commits a DOUBLE ERROR allowing the tying and winning runs to score in the 9th inning, and he's due up first in the bottom of the Ninth, and your team inexplicably retains SEVEN SECOND BASEMEN...

...well, that situation pretty much screams out for a pinch-hitter, doesn't it?

Somebody wake up our drooling, brain-damaged manager.

Cheer up, tomorrow is the all-2nd baseman lineup:

Womack (2B) LF
Hairston (2B) CF
Walker (2B) 1B
Bynum (2B) RF
Neifi (2B) 3B
Cedeno (2B) SS
Theriot (2B) 2B
Blanco (C) C
Marshall (P)

Blorf, I think that we read the 2 same message boards....

Here's a fun and inexpensive way to enjoy the rest of the season: pay $14.95 for Gameday Audio through (unlimited access to any game all season long), then you can pull up the visual pop-up Gameday, which is in real time (the Gameday audio is on a time lapse). This way, you can see what happens BEFORE Ron Santo gets to complain. Watching the completely unsurprising meltdown of Dempster and Neifi!, before Ron had a chance to go apoplectic, was great drama and fun! I highly suggest this as a way to salvage the season while we wait for the dismantlement that will never come.

There is no floor in Hell.

Man, I'm a Braves fan, and all I can say is "I'm sorry". I mean, I was glad to win, but I still felt bad. I started having Chuck Tanner flashbacks. When is Dusty going to be fired?

Did Ron Santo survive today's game? Neifi has made the 2 plays that have defined this disaster of a season, both with 2 outs in the 9th -- the bunt against Washington and now this. If only we had some other 2nd basemen who could take over -- oh, hang on. We've got them by the truckload.

sheesh, even Braves fans are calling for Baker's head


I swiped that post of yours from the other site, it was too good not to have here.

How can this continue to go on without being addressed by the front office? MacPhail claims they are going to throw money at the problem, but they've already proven that they don't know what to do with the money they've already spent. Plus, MacPhail claims that the Cubs biggest problem is not hitting with runners in scoring position. Has he not noticed that the Cubs have inexplicably stacked their roster with a truckload of second basemen and a few others who are fast but can't hit the ball or get on base? Someone needs to tell Hendry he's GM of a baseball team, not a track team.

So let's see. We outhit the Braves 12-5 but lose 6-5. We have a no hitter going into the 7th inning, but eventually give up 6 runs in the next two and two thirds innings. But our bullpen is our strong point this year. Riiiggghhht.

We give up 2 runs on bases loaded walks in the first and ninth. Fantasmo. We give up a run on a routine throw back to the infield. We let a run score in the eighth on a bad throw to second that should have been an inning ending double play.

So that's 4 runs on walks, an error, and shoulda been dp. I think I'm done for a while.

I think secretly Dusty Baker is still working for the Giants.

Now that I think about it, this stockpiling of second basemen may be a shrewd move. When the trade deadline approaches and a contending team desperately needs a second baseman, who are they going to call? Second Basemen 'R Us. That's right, the Cubs. And of course, they trade their best players to the Cubs in exchange for a rent-a-second-baseman. Brilliant!

I posted this on the last thread:

Wood needs to be the Closer now. Its obvious that his arm cant handle the stress of 70+ pitches an apperance and we saw last year what he could do in the BP. Wood as a closer could be the most valuable trading chip at the deadline.

In addition, Ram should be on the block to see what he can get get us. In bulding this team for the off-season Hendry or whoever else is the GM needs to focus on getting "grinders" like Adam Kennedy and Aaron Rowand. This teams problem since 03 is that has lacked heart. the Sox last year overachived cause they had guys he got 110% out of their talent. Wimps like Prior, Wood, and Ram wont win championships cause they put in the B.A.M. on a daily basis.

>>I think secretly Dusty Baker is still working for the Giants.

Yes...and his revenge for Nefi's best Cub play ever (hitting a home run late in the last game of the 98 season when he played for Colorado to force the one game Cubs vs. Giants playoff......) is to make us watch him (Nefi) every day.


I swiped that post of yours from the other site, it was too good not to have here.
Posted by: Blorf "

Why did you bother reposting crap here from another blog? I put up an all-second baseman lineup on TCR YESTERDAY.

*But our bullpen is our strong point this year. Riiiggghhht.*

All Dusty had to do was run Eyre back out there. That's it. He couldn't figure it out.

Then he lets Neifi hit RIGHT AFTER MAKING ONE OF THE MORE COLOSSAL F*CK-UPS IN CUBS HISTORY. Brilliant. If he's not fired by tomorrow, I'm giving up. I was going to give them till the All-Star Break, but enough is enough.

I guess Neifi just made Womack the permanent 2nd baseman. Unless Dusty's Neifi-love knows no bounds... which it probably doesn't.

What gets me today at the game is the typical "glass half-full" Cub fan. Who claps and yells "Yeaaaaa Cubbies! My great Cubbies! Lovable (Losing) Cubbies", upon the third out finally being achieved. I was booing my ass off! WHY DUSTY HAD DEMP Pitching to Chipper - when he is a self-avowed "Mr. Matchup", threw me. But THEN, He has him pitch to Mr. Clutch - ANDREW JONES??!!

The irony is that until Dempster came in, the team actually played pretty damned good. Aramis, if memory serves correct, made probably his best defensive play at third base in a Cub uniform.

Of course, it was short lived as JJones lost the next batter's ball in the sun, blowing the no-hitter at the time.

This team's futility rivals Trebelhorn's, Jim Marshall, and Baylor's worst.

Murton's future with the team doesnt look bright:

Neifi just made himself the permanent second baseman. Dusty wants to see how this guy rebounds, seeing as how he has such great veteran clout.

Put a little of the nephi blame on hendry's ass. I mean the guy got the most outrageous contract this winter.

It's easy to see the negatives in the Cubs this year. I prefer to look at the positives. I see two in this game:

1. Neifi! shows that he's not a one-diminsional player; he can lose games with both the bat and the glove. That versatility ensures a spot on the Cub roster until his death from natural causes.

2. It produced perhaps the finest Cub Reporter post ever.

that sun-times piece was horrible....

what a phoned-in article

John Gibbons must be trying to win the "Manager most like Dusty Baker award" as he is playing Glaus at SS today vs. the Wsox.

I expect Neifi to bat 2nd and catch once Barrett's suspension goes into effect...Dusty somehow will squeeze 500 AB's out of his lovechild...but it will be tough to get them at 2nd base (except on the road) from now on, not without poison darts from the stands.

JJones keeps putting forks(as well as the sun) in his eyes, the HR in the 8th against the WSux should have been good for a few weeks of good will...GONE.

Ah, LaTroy Hawkins...please phone home.

time to bring up Augie Ojeda...we need a second baseman.

ouch. that is the only 4-letter word i can successfully run through the spellchecker. ouch.

lots of goats today- zambrano (6 walks ?), neifi, dempster, pierre, jones' sunglass supplier...ouch.

a victory today might have taken a dash or a pinch of the venom out of tomorrow's planned tribune protest. my guess is the loss, and the absurd nature of it, may inflame the situation. ouch.

if i were barrett, i would skip my appeal and get the hell out of town for a week and a half. of course, if i were barrett i'm not sure i would have plugged a.j. to begin with. hard to say.

and having made hudson look like a mere mortal, the cubs nevertheless refuse to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the win column. ouch.

I think the Cubs should ask the League if they can play ten in the field. Any of their second basemen would look better roaming the territory of the softball short centerfielder.

I love this game and respect the history and beauty of the simplicity. I love playing catch with my 5yr boy and just being in our own little world. My father never liked baseball and I never had a catch with him so a catch with my boy is awesome.

The 1st time I held my kids I read them the box scores for all the games from last night. I want my kids to know this game is awesome and that there are many things that come from it. This year, this team, has me completely worn out. I have lost the love for this game right now.

Ryno said it great last year about respecting this game. This organization seems to lack that respect. Dusty has managed to drain the team and fans of any enthusiasm. It is painful to watch games this year. I long for the days when we at least played with heart, we may not have won a ton of games or championships but we have never played without heart or energy.

It's sad that this organization does understand that most of us love this game and team and only wish for a team to play with some freaking heart.

Well can't chalk this blown save up not pitching. Dempster has been imploding in some pretty key games lately.

(Just going to toot my horn for a little bit)

This is the Dempster I feared. This is the Dempster who I have never trusted.

(horn put away)

Hey, but were going to turn it around just like the Astro's right??!? With no offense, no pitching, and likely no closer now. It is like our own personal hellish Tripple Crown.

Dont worry guys, Tony Womack will start tomorrow. And the Cubs will invent new ways to crush our soul.

I completly forgot to mention Neifi.

Retire, die, get capture by monkeys in the Congo, just stop playing baseball on our team.

I hate me some Neifi!

1:30 - ....should be out of the inning via picking off Andruw Jones at 2nd, but the Ump misses the call....

1:38 - .....should be the fifth walk of the inning, but the ump gives a very, very generous called strike 2...

That's as far as I made it.

I took the afternoon off from work today, and it never dawned on me to even think about putting the game on. I didn't know what happened until I saw the Braves comeback fast-forwarding through SportsCenter to get to the end of PTI.

Good thing I didn't watch, as I couldn't afford to buy a new TV right now. I'm SO glad that I spent $197 in April for an airplane ticket to go watch the Rockies series in August.

The most terrible thing of all is that I actually found myself hoping the Cubs would lose today. A single win won't do anything but reduce any chance of Dusty Baker getting canned. I hope they lose every single game for the rest of the season until that forsaken organization wakes up and holds someone accountable.

For inspiration, I look to the Detroit Tigers... 119 losses in 2003. Best record in baseball so far in 2006.

2 posts about dempster.

over a dozen about dusty.

Crunch have you considered maybe you are in outer space with your absurd theories? Or maybe we're ALL idiots and you know the truth. OR maybe we haev had three underacieving years and we realize firing Neifi won't change anything or signal change. C'mon. open your freekin' eyes.

I agree natural. I have been rooting that way for two years now knowing full well we have no chance of turning things around with Dusty at the helm. Lots of changes to be sure. But Dusty is the first step.

superj...have you ever considered having your own opinion on your own time.

there's been very very few posts by you the past weeks that have anything to do with anything but me.

if i piss you off so much, quit reading me.

you're trying to paint me as something bad...whatever makes you feel're full of shit.

you took a simple statement and blew it up into...well, you saw what you wrote. you know what you're trying to do. quit whining.

From ST article cited above: Getting a new left fielder and a solid second baseman will be high on Hendry's to-do list.

Another second baseman? I can't even laugh.

Yeah, Dempster stunk it up today. But he didn't put himself or leave himself in the game. And he didn't put Neifi freakin Perez in at second base. And MacPhail didn't sign Neifi to a contract. So I guess everybody has a pretty good excuse. We should just leave things the way they are because the yuppies keep packing the bleachers and the cash keeps rolling in.

All the while I have to choke back the vomit every time I hear from my "friends" who are White Sox fans. (Being a Cubs fan from the South Side sucks right now)

I'm staging my own protest. While considering the purchase of some pretty cool Cubs merchandise on sale at Kohls yesterday I happened to glance over at the White Sox championship tees, thought about the Cubs record, said fuckit, and walked away.

Starting Neifi Perez and batting him 2nd is a disgrace ot the game of baseball.

I remember fondly the days of sitting in half full Wrigley Field watching the Wrigley Cubs play badly. We always knew they would finish seventh but they were fun to watch.

How excited we were, when the Tribune bought the Cubs. We all thought that winning ways were right around the corner. After twenty-five years,they still haven't won and the product is worse today.

Vaughn he said a SOLID second baseman. We have 0 SOLID second basemen and 7 minor league second baseman...........

Crunch, we are in a slide losing something like 21 of 26. It goes beyond Dempster and seems to be a plague effecting this whole team. Even in this game, we left 2 guys at 3rd with one out, and 8 left on base overall...We have Jones playing poor right field and Neifi falling asleep on a routine play. add to that Zambrano walking 4 in one inning and Dempster sucking at the end walking 2 more...and it's another team wide collapse.

Whatever is going on, isn't working. If it's not Dempster one day, it's him the next day...if it's not the offense one day, it's them the next day. As a staff, the pitchers have allowed 29 walks in 4 games...that's beyond laughable.

The ship is sickening and everyone is weighing it down. When everyone is playing under their potential, it shows to me that something is wrong with the captain. So I think it's pretty damn clear why there would be 12 posts about Dusty. Dusty is the one constant that has overseen the 21 losses in 26 games or whatever happens under him. There is a different culperate on the field when things are so wrong in your company and all your employees are some point you say to the boss "This isn't working"...and you let him go. That's not going to save your company overnight but it does give you a chance to find a new direction and a new mentality.

Crunch, I know you are upset with people calling you out...but it does seem like you do consistantly turn your nose up at everyone else lately and mock them (us) for the things we want to discuss and we feel are important...I see posts like yours over the last few days as very arrogant...I don't think that's your intention, but it comes out that way. You are trying to tell us all that we are wrong for thinking the way we think and wrong for discussing things we want to discuss.

So instead of passive aggressive garbage like "12 posts on Baker, 2 on Dempster" your thoughts about the game, post your analysis of the problem. You call out people for attacking you...but in essence that's what you are doing to the rest of aren't attacking any person indivudally by name but your attacking our mindset and what we want to discuss.

all my statement was designed to do was point to something other than dusty dusty dusty on the daily.

ryan dempster has had 2 horrid starts in row.

someone had to notice he hasnt been throwing his fastball ANYWHERE near the play, he's throwing almost all sliders...and though his slider is still tight, he seems unable to throw it anywhere but low (which is good...if you have another pitch to throw to compliment it).

yeah dusty shouldnt have batted neifi 2nd, but this is what...year 2 of that point being made dozens of time every time it gets done. its done cuz he like a contact hitter in the #2 slot...the same reason he put cedeno there, but for some reason no one had an issue with. he will probally continue to manage that way...and people will ask the same questions and have the same outrage...and we'll hear about it again and again.

i'm kinda concerned about dumpster, myself.

what you gonna do to neifi...send him out there to do some defensive drills? =p

"Crunch, I know you are upset with people calling you out...but it does seem like you do consistantly turn your nose up at everyone else lately and mock them (us) for the things we want to discuss and we feel are important..."

i do not mock people...i mock issues. don't personalize it unless i make it personal. when i'm called out in a rude manner, that's when i make it personal.

"the same reason he put cedeno there, but for some reason no one had an issue with."

Cedeno's hitting way over the Mendoza line, Neifi isn't. Cedeno has room for growth/improvement, Neifi doesn't.

Al over at Bleed Cubbie Blue(If you want the eternal optimist go there) they had this on Dempster...

What struck Dave, Phil and me most about Dempster's appearance in the ninth wasn't just that he walked two and gave up two hits -- it was that for the first three batters of the inning, his velocity was no higher than 87. Was he throwing just sliders? It didn't appear so -- the two singles were off 84-MPH fastballs. Dave thinks Dempster might be hiding an injury.

That sounds a bit too much like Joe Borowski and his hidden injury.

If Wood keeps feeling soreness and pain after going 75+ pitches and has to be delayed all the time then he really should go to the bullpen and build up his arm strength like John Smoltz did.

I understand about not "personalizing it"...and I understand why you are upset with him/me/us....but I just want to make sure you understand that by mocking the issues that we choose to discuss, you are in effect mocking us and telling us in a passive aggressive manner that we are wrong to talk about the things we want to talk about...and if only we knew the game like you we would talk about what really matters. It's just the same passive aggressive stuff pretty much everyday lately where you aren't commenting on the are commenting on other peoples comments.

With that said...that's the end of it from my end...I said my piece..I don't expect you to change...but I do want you to understand the way I and maybe a few others are reading your posts.

"but I just want to make sure you understand that by mocking the issues that we choose to discuss, you are in effect mocking us and telling us in a passive aggressive manner that we are wrong to talk about the things we want to talk about."

but i'm not, though.

if it seems that way, so be it...but i am allowed to have passion about an issue, too.

just because its not popular doesn't mean i can't have the same zeal for the opposite view as those that are on the other side of my spectrum.

i feel that i explain myself pretty clearly over the long haul, too. i try not to be vauge and i don't "duck" the criticism. i try not to cop out and i try to accept responsibility when i'm wrong. i'm pretty much only using the word "try" here cuz there's no way i've covered all the bases on every thread cuz we got multiple issues going on for days sometimes.

i'm not a real passive aggresive type...i'm one of those 'here's what i think, deal with it or not cuz i'm just stealing your time anyway.' types...i'm not trying to make a name for myself, but i don't like to mail in my views all the time if i'm gonna bother to type/speak at all.

thanks for sharing, btw...and no, that's not sarcastic.

A manager likeOzzie Guillen plays to win. A manager like Dusty Baker plays not to lose (and then does anyway).

Case in point. I don't like losing one run games and having Matt Murton not get off the bench. Dusty left Mabry in to face the lefty Remlinger with two men on and one out.

Now, as Brenly pointed out, Remlinger -- while a Cub -- couldn't get left handers out. But what he didn't mention was that since Remlinger is now on a winning organization with some actual coaches, he has improved his breaking ball and now gets lefties out just fine -- as he did by striking out the worthless Mabry.

Murton should have hit for Mabry. But since it wasn't a double switch, it must not have entered Dusty's mind.

the same reason he put cedeno there, but for some reason no one had an issue with. he will probally continue to manage that way

The reason no one goes crazy about Cedeno in the 2 hole is that since he is so new, we're not quite sure if he might turn out to be a decent player. But in the case of Neifi, it is absolfuckinglutely a goddam guarantee that he will suck shit thru a straw, period.

And no one gives a hell what kind of "type" you are, crunch.

Dusty Baker can't save his own behind. His is one of the most uninspired managers in the game. The more I evualated him four year later. The Giants couldn't wait to let him walk after they blew a 5-0 lead in game six of the World Series, then handing the ball to Russ Ortiz as a souviner, getting big headed when there was two innings of Baseball left to be played. Giants fan's are having the last laugh today. In 2003 NLCS, Baker didn't calm down the Cubs after the Bartman's disaster and the Cubs came unglued when the World Series was right in their graps. In game seven, he left an tired Kerry Wood in the game too long, when going to the World Series was more important than getting Wood the win, Dusty should have pulled Wood after the fourth inning and put in Carlos Zambrano for an inning and Matt Clement for maybe two innings. Come on it's game seven win-or go home and everybody was available expect Prior. Instead he let Wood pitch two more innings and brough in washed-up Dave Veres and the Marlins scored six runs to put the game and the series out of reach. Jack Mckenon pitched Brad Penny for one inning and Josh Beckett for three innings (starters) in relief. In 2004 Baker didn't put his foot down when Mosious Alou and Kent Mercker went to the media to complain about Steve Stone. His job is to police the clubhouse and he allow it to continue to go on. He sided with the players complainng to the broadcasters and ran Stone out of town. Last year Baker didn't motivate or inspire the team when injuries wrecked the ballclub. He is not doing the same thing. It's time for the Cubs to fire him, bring in Bob Brendy to manage for the rest of the season.

The question I have, Dusty Defenders, is why was Ryan Dempster only used twice in the two weeks between April 25 and May 8? Granted there was a distinct absence of save opportunities but how did Dusty expect to keep his closer sharp?

Use it or lose it and he lost it. Dempster hasn't been the same since.

As for Al's observation that Dempster's fastball wasn't very fast, Brenly and friend said they thought Dempster couldn't get his fastball over so he was in effect doing something different out there to try to get some strikes.

Earlier Brenly noted that Barrett was setting up far outside the strike zone and thought that he should instead be sitting directly behind the plate until Dempster started throwing strikes.
But setting up extremely far outside the strikezone seems to be what Barrett does for a lot of his pitchers. Why? I dunno. Is it Rothschild's idea? Dusty's? Some grand plan? Because Dempster was throwing the ball directly into Barrett's mitt... it just happened to be a foot outside.

"And no one gives a hell what kind of "type" you are, crunch."

then shut up about it...or keep hearing me talk about it...kinda like i am now. here's your chance prove how little you care about it.

The biggest mistake hendry did this past winter was not signing Ben Molina. He is a .273 hitter with 15hr/yr. He knows how to make a pitching staff shine, evidence by how the Angels staff is not as sharp as last year. He wasn't signed until January so we easily could have done a sign and trade MB for a 3 or 4 started or a power hitting RF'er. I believe Molina is a FA again after the season and should be targeted by hendry. But of course he won't even be looked at.

*It's time for the Cubs to fire him, bring in Bob Brendy to manage for the rest of the season.*

Maybe Dustbag and Brenly can switch jobs. Then when Dusty's in the booth watching Brenly make baseball decisions, Dustbag can jump in with an inciteful "Oh, man, I'd never have thought of that" or "Oh, so that's how the double-switch works" or "Hey, you can walk Albert Pujols" or "Waitaminute, Neifi's not on the anymore" or "Oh, that's what the win flag looks like".

Stop me, I could go on for a while...

The 9th inning was pure Dustyball. Neifi drops a routine throw, doesn't hustle after it, then wings a wild throw over Barrett's head when an ordinary throw would have gotten the runner. All the while, Dempster is running around, not backing up any bases, but trying to corral the ball.

It was like watching a Little League game, when the better team realizes the other team can't throw or catch the ball, so you just keep running until you have enough runs.

Not pinch hitting for the sub-.200 Neifi in the 9th was, literally, unbelievable. I actually felt sorry for the guy -- he seems like a decent enough fellow, he just has no business playing major league baseball (with a 2-year contract!).

Over the last 4 games, this team has gone from bad to laughingstock. Nice legacy for Hendry & McPhail. The Baseball Tonight guys will have a hoot with this one.

I wonder if Brenly would even want to take over the Cubs now. It would be like a continuation of his 2004 season with Arizona where he left with a 29-50 record.

There are just an amazing number of terrible baseball players on this team -- Pierre has been surprisingly bad, but Neifi, Hairston, Mabry and Blanco are not surprises -- they just stink. Same goes for Rusch. Did Hendry really expect these guys to be winning players? You can complain about injuries, but when your backups are all awful, you are asking for it.

Time for a regime change, or else we're in for more of the same -- unfortunately, the only way that will happen is if this disaster continues.

Wow -- what a waste of a season.

I told you so, I told you so, I told you so...

carry on


I heard Piersall discussing Barrett's setting up outside the strike zone on the Score. He thought it was insane to make someone like Guzman, a rookie in over his head who was struggling with his control, to be so fine with his pitches. The Cub brain trust makes even Piersall, who is truly insane, seem smart.

DUSTYBALL !! That is some funny shit billybucks.
Sorry, but I'm going to have to use that. Maybe there can be a book written.

"It's not every day you see somebody score from second on a sacrifice fly," Atlanta's Marcus Giles said after he raced home two bases with the go-ahead run following a pair of errors on Chicago second baseman Neifi Perez.

Gentlemen we've lots of interesting things to see this year.

Piersall knows his baseball.

Mr. Obvious says: "These Cub pitchers just don't throw enough strikes"...

If the organization wants to take a conservative approach to this mess, they have to fire Clines and Rothschild first. Thats the least they can do.

I really expected some fan ugliness. I thought for sure that some enraged fan would charge the field and go after Dempster and Nefi.

Murton is a victim of Dusty's batting orders. Hit him 2nd and be done with it already.

John Koronka had another fine outing last night.

2 runs, 5 hits, 7.0 innings vs. Oakland

"(Star Telegram)The Rangers' confidence in Koronka, a rookie, builds with nearly every outing. Friday was no different, as he retired the final eight batters.

"John was the difference-maker tonight," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said. "The more you see from him, the more you have reason to hope he can do this at a consistent level [all season]."

I only mention it because of this Dallas/Ft.Worth WFAA article yesterday about John's relationship with Greg Maddux and the fact that we gave him up for Freddie "Boom Boom" Bynum. As a kid, Koronka studied the way his idol Tom Glavine pitched....

John didn't have Tom Glavine to lean on, but he had Greg Maddux. The two quickly developed a relationship. It left an indelible mark on Koronka. And Koronka seems to have made an impression on Maddux, too.

"He's not a brain-dead heaver," Maddux said. "He's a pitcher. He wants to learn about what he's doing. Most young guys are all really good throwers, but they shy away from information. They don't want to think. They just want to throw.

"Koronka wasn't that way. It seemed to me that he wanted information that he could use. He'd get it and try and take advantage of it."

Said Koronka: "I wanted to understand how hitters would respond. He came back instantly with answers that were always so useful. He tried to make the game as easy as possible to understand."

John looked good in spring training. Much better than last year. And it seems he was one of the few young pitchers interested in learning how to pitch from Greg Maddux.

Do you think anyone asked Maddux what he thought before they traded him?

Since we are bashing everyone, I really cannot stand the manner in which Brenly defends Baker. Does anyone else notice this?

Posted this earlier but must post it again:

Womack?? Come on, what's this going to solve? I still do not understand why the organization won't give Mike Fontenot a shot? He's hitting .315 at Iowa and he has a lot more pop than Theriot. (.382 OBP and .445 SLG)

I'd rather watch young guys hustle and make physical errors than watch really old guys lollygag and make horrible mental errors. (Don't forget, the 2-run sac play all started with Jones lobbing the ball into Nef in the first place. He sets, makes a solid throw and hits his cut-off and that play never materializes into the joke that it has become.) The Braves NEVER make plays like that because they know they'll be in Richmond the next day if they do. A teams play is a reflection of their manager and his approach to the game. Watch the Braves play fundamentally solid baseball and think Bobby Cox. Watch the Cubs play like sandlot ass-clowns and think Dusty Baker!!

WHy bring Fontenot up when Dusty didn't even give Thierot a chance...Dusty has no vision and no patience for youngsters instead he likes using has beens Perez and Mabry

I cannot say the losses are all his fault, but come on, he is not doing a good job with what he has, Hendry is also to blame for giving him these players to use.

My last thought on why they do not bring up the youngsters relates to the Cubs using up Options. I do not know exactly how they work, but that could be why a lot of these players are not brought up (especially in light of the fact that Dusty WILL NOT PLAY THEM!)

theriot and fontenot arent starters...they have neither the skills nor do they project for it.

but...but...neifi...well, like it or not he does more than just bat and that's why he was brought up to the bigs way back when and why he's still around and there's no use in yelling at me about it cuz i didn't do it.

theriot is a pinch runner who can play middle IF...fontenot they tried at 3rd, failed...tried at SS for a very very short and very failed experience. he's a 2nd baseman who hits like a broken mark grudz...i'm a fontenot fan, but he's probally not useful to any mlb team except for bench.

"i'm a fontenot fan"

No you're not. And that's pretty obvious, crunch.

Fontenot was a #1 draft choice of Baltimore. He's only been in the Cubs system a year. For some inexplicable reason the Cubs didn't even look at him in spring training this year ( It's rumored he got one plate appearance but no one actually saw him) after bringing him up to the big club for a few seconds last year where he posted an AMAZING .OBP of .600 and 4 RUNS SCORED in only 2 official at bats.

from the Sun-Times this am...our manager is quoted:

''That was an awful loss,'' he said, cursing when no other words seemed to fit. ''That was just terrible. I don't know what's going on now.''


You're probably right that Fontenot is no more than a reserve 2B, but why not use him in that role. He would make the league minimum for several years and they could use the additional capital to sign an all-star caliber player rather than a stop-gap player like Burnitz, Jones or Walker. Walker, Perez and Hairiston make around $6M combined and they offer very little either offensively or defensively.

Look at what the Braves have done the last few years with guys like Pete Orr and Nick Green. Both were average minor leaguers at best, but they have done just fine as backup/role players. Hell, the Braves even got Jorge Sosa in a trade for Green and he went on to a 13-3 record last year.

Long ramble for a short point which is why do they insist on paying reserves so much money (and giving them multi-year deals) when backup infielders are a dime a dozen.

"You're probably right that Fontenot is no more than a reserve 2B"

Since when does THAT disqualify you from starting in another position for the Chicago Cubs?

The same point can be made for back of the bullpen/long relievers. Why does Rusch get paid so much when we had Koronka and Hill available. Now I'm not building a Koronka bandwagon (although I've got to tip my hat to him for the run he's had in Texas. Good luck second time through the league my friend), but does Rusch offer anything more than the other two?

Again, they could have used the younger player, making the league minimum, to fill the role and used the additional money elsewhere.

predictable lineup vs a lefty:

Pierre CF
Hairston 2B
Walker 1B
Barrett C
ARam 3B
Murton LF
JJones RF
Cedeno SS
Marshall P
Perez (short CF)

...on the Santo pregame interview with Dusty, DB said DLee's cast gets removed this Wednesday 5-31.

#81 of 81: By Darkest before the Dawn (May 27, 2006 12:11 PM)
...on the Santo pregame interview with Dusty, DB said DLee's cast gets removed this Wednesday 5-31.

and this is the point at which the club will discover the wrong wrist was cast. it's just one of those years.

Walker, Perez and Hairiston make around $6M combined and they offer very little either offensively or defensively.

Is this the same Todd Walker who, for a total of $4.25 million, gave the Cubs two years of hitting 80 OPS points over the average 2B? I agree that there's plenty of replacement-level flotsam on the bench whose payroll would be better off elsewhere, but Walker really doesn't belong in that conversation. Luis Matos, had Hendry succeeded in acquiring him for Walker, sure would have.

Hits better than most 2B, but fields worse than most. Rather have offensive production out of corner outfielders and infielders and defense up the middle.

Walker also has a whopping 111 RBI in 921 AB's with the Cubs. Not exactly the run producing machine you make him out to be.

"No you're not. And that's pretty obvious, crunch."

well, if youve been here longer than a year+ you would have seen me comment on fontenot many times.

its pretty damn obvious i am a fontenot fan.

how nice of you to try to tell me my feelings, though.

you obviously think the only time the cubs look at someone is on the big club or spring. you obviously missed his time at 3rd base grooming him this season for 2nd/3rd/LF work. you obviously also missed him failing at 3rd leaving him to play 2nd/LF almost exclusively. obviously since the cubs got him they've been looking for how much use they can get out of him in various positions, including a few stints at SS and warming there in practices...where he also failed.

look, just cuz i dont wanna go OMG FONTENOT WOO and i dont think its a crime he's not up doesnt mean i dont like the kid...there's a lot of posts with my name on it talking about fontenot. i pretty much thought he was a sure thing for this year's bench, but as i was told and was shown a few times...he just couldn't handle 3rd. he's also got some swing issues, but its mainly his lack of flexibility that keeps him off this year's bench supposedly...and i have no control over that, and neither do you.

Neifi Perez, who has established himself as a worthless player, has no place on the roster of a winning MLB team. Period. End of discussion. I might even say any team at all cause you might notice that the Marlins don't have to pay anyone $5 mil to suck like Neifi.

His OPS is less than .500. For anyone else on the Cubs, that shameful performance earns a ticket to rookie ball (or out of baseball altogether). Inexplicably though, it's different for Neifi. We have to endure not only his shit-stained play, but the inanities of hordes of apologists in the press corps and on fan forums.

The 2003 Detroit Tigers were an entire team of Fontenots, Theriots, Hills, Marshalls, whatever. Some of them turned out to suck, as Fontenot might, but some of them developed well and are now starters on the best team in baseball.

Or you can sign ultra-utility man Neifi Perez (boy can he field!!!) and lose 95 games. Take your pick.

By the way, I'm willing to guarantee, to the tune of a crisp new 20 dollar bill, that if/when Neifi is released from the Cubs, that will mark the end of his MLB career.

i'd play fontenot over neifi at 2nd, but neifi's not employed cuz he plays 2nd well...its cuz he plays SS and 2nd well and can sub at 3rd in emergency.

royce clayton got a million bucks outta a non-guarenteed spring training contract cuz he was added to the club after hitting about .200 in 70 spring atbats...its not cuz he was a power hitter, was cuz he's a SS who can field.

there's a lotta things i'd do differently if i was running the team, myself...but neifi's situation has little to do with fontenot's.

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  • #$@!$!@$!@$#@!$@!$!@#!@!


    crunch 10 min 4 sec ago view
  • Maddon's master plan to challenge his offense to improve on coming from behind late in games is working amazingly.

    Rob G. 42 min 41 sec ago view
  • Everyone remember Starlin Castro dropping or misplaying just about every ball near second base that involved a tag?

    Javier Baez is the opposite of that.

    Rob G. 52 min 9 sec ago view
  • on the wild pitch thing, did they really call that a wild pitch on Jansen that Heyward scored on Friday? If so, I don't know what a passed ball is anymore.

    Rob G. 55 min 2 sec ago view
  • Let's see -- up 3-0, at home, Jake on the mound and contrast 2015 to 2016. Bleh.

    Hopefully, the Pirates will uncork a series of 9th inning wild pitches.

    billybucks 58 min 46 sec ago view
  • modern media

    @BNightengale: Former #MLB pitcher Dan Haren will be throwing to Tim Tebow tomorrow during his tryout in LA, he announced.

     [email protected](dan haren): @BNightengale nope, I was offered the opportunity and declined.

     @ithrow88 Oh and memo to my agent, @bvanwagenen: Pitching to Tim Tebow tomorrow DOES NOT count as getting me a real job offer.

    Rob G. 1 hour 17 min ago view
  • I think the Cub Reporter should be politics free.
    Build Bridges. Don't anyone dare pull out a trump card.

    Cubster 1 hour 26 min ago view
  • The Cub offense is in on the con.

    1-for-10 so far w/RISP.

    billybucks 1 hour 30 min ago view
  • swing and a miss.

    i'm gonna like...go stand over there. *points*

    crunch 1 hour 31 min ago view
  • This is all a long con by Arrieta to lull playoff opponents.

    Rob G. 1 hour 35 min ago view
  • the factual correction on your mistakes on your post that I barely bothered to read the first time because it had nothing to do with anything I wanted to talk about is indeed a sign of my degenerative brain condition. I appreciate the safety tip and will be looking into with extreme urgency now.

    Rob G. 1 hour 57 min ago view
  • it took you 4 posts to get to this?

    have you checked the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector?

    #droppingknowledge #savinglives

    crunch 2 hours 22 min ago view
  • Fwiw, Billy Hamilton's actual WAR numbers that relate to the ones that I posted for Mike Trout are:

    • 2014: 2.5
    • 2015: 1.0
    • 2016: 2.6

    But by all means #crunchsplain on the stupidity of WAR while exaggerating your points. I can't wait to read more.

    Rob G. 2 hours 27 min ago view
  • jacos 2 hours 27 min ago view
  • *stroking intensifies*

    crunch 2 hours 31 min ago view
  • #crunchsplaining

    Thanks for the awesome give and take today and for the 535 words you spilled filling in all the gaps that I woefully neglected. We're all a little wiser and better for it. I look forward to your play-by-play summary later in the comments.

    Rob G. 2 hours 37 min ago view