Take This Job. Please.
Herman Franks Preston Gomez Charlie Fox Jim Frey Gene Michael Frank Lucchesi Don Zimmer Jim Lefebvre Tom Treblehorn Jim Riggleman Don Baylor Dusty BakerThe four without any previous major league experience, by the way, are: The record of those 16, in their tenures as managers of the Cubs, is 2256-2520, or .472.
*Only Jim Frey and Don Zimmer had winning records with the Cubs, while Lefebvre, as mentioned, came out perfectly even. *Herman Franks and Dusty Baker came close to .500, at 238-241 and 322-326, respectively *Only 2 of those 16, Jim Riggleman and Jim Lefebvre, saw their career winning percentages increase. Riggleman came to the Cubs after three years in San Diego; Lefebvre arrived after three years with Seattle. *The other 14 out of 16 saw their career winning percentages decline.Of greater interest (or concern), managers who go to the Cubs don't get hired to be managers elsewhere, afterwards. Of those 16, only Elia and Lefebvre ever managed again. (Granted, there's still time for Baker.) And each of them was a mid-season replacement, a case of promotion from the coaching staff when the original manager was fired. Lefebvre replaced Phil Garner on the 1999 Brewers squad, and didn't return for 2000. Elia replaced John Felske during the Phillies' 1987 season. Elia, at least, was invited to start the 1988 season as the Phillies' manager, but didn't last to the season's end. (Replaced by John Vukovich, he of the lifetime 1-1 record as Cubs manager. Vukovich went 5-4 as a Philly manager) Every other manager who has come to the Cubs since 1977, including the one-or-two-gamers, ended their managerial career here. Virtually all of them were young enough that, had they wanted to/had anybody wanted them, they could have managed again. In their final season as manager, their ages were:
Franks - 65 Amalfitano - 47 Gomez - 57 Elia - 45 Fox - 61 Frey - 55 Vukovich - 38 Michael - 49 Lucchesi - 60 Zimmer - 60 Altobelli - 59 Essian - 40 Lefebvre - 51 Treblehorn - 46 Riggleman - 46 Baylor - 53 Lachemann - 57 Kimm - 51 Baker - 57What did any of these guys do, afterward? Other than Gene Michael, not much. Zimmer became Joe Torre's hood ornament. The rest, not even good enough to get recycled. Now on the one hand, there are only 30 people lucky enough to call themselves a major league manager, and this is a case where beggars can't be choosers. If the Cubs offered, I'd accept. But at the same time, let's say that I'm an up-and-coming hotshot candidate to be a first-time manager, a guy like Willie Randolph a couple years ago. Or I'm a guy like Joe Girardi, I've cut my teeth managing the Florida Marlins and come out of that job looking better than I did going in. I'm the sort of guy who is good enough, or at least hot enough, to have my pick of a couple of jobs. Knowing that the Tribune and Upper Management have a long-standing fetish for managers with previous major league experience (the last time we started the season with a manager on his first major league gig was 1982, with Lee Elia), and knowing the history of what happens to ex-Cubs Managers, why would I take this job? We know Girardi decided to sit this year out, essentially, while waiting for the Yankee job to open up. Did he recognize that applying for the Chicago job likely would be a poor career move? (I intended to write this article before the Cubs hired another manager, but was just too busy to get around to it. I think the point is still relevant given who we hired, and the topic still interesting in its own merit.)
Baez still learning
heyward with his 3rd multi-hit game since the all-star break (all in august)...2nd in the past 3 games during his 7 game hitting streak.
he's gone from flirting with a sub-.300 ob% to nearing .310 ob% in 3 games (1 game was just a 1 for 1 pinch hit appearance). all 5 hits in the past 3 games have come in a row...neat.
stewart with 7Ks through 3ip...of course.
that 10-13 mph difference in his fastball/change is working today...and they're swinging at his crappy slider.
brock stewart...steven brault...fun times for the cubs hitters vs allegedly competitive teams...maybe.
Maddon would have started three lefties against the Dodgers, Montgomery, Zastryzny and Lester, except that he doesn't have the juice to do that. No manager does. Maddon has a boss, Epstein (and probably Hoyer, too), who gave him a starting rotation of five guys including Hammel. Maddon was asked yesterday about the starting group for next year and basically said, Not my call, that's why I drive away in my RV in the summer and occasionally check in, etc.
video of Maddon.
always nice that he actually tries to honestly answer questions. Does mention that he wanted to give Zastr? a chance in a meaningful spot rather than a mop-up role.
#Cubs Maddon: "I'm not going to make up an excuse for why I did what I did. It has nothing to do with lack of confidence" ... "It was the right thing to do today based on what I saw, what their lineup looked like and Rob Z.'s availability." #Cubs
Hammel not particularly understanding of getting pulled out...as he should. Be curious what Maddon had to say. All I can think of is is keeping arms fresh and maybe wanting to see if Zastr? is worth considering for the playoffs and how he'd do against the Dodgers.
Heyward, Russell, Baez, Bryant, Ross in particular...although Bryant's a bit hard to judge with all the positions.
Fowler and Rizzo in the top half of the NL for their positions as well (per fangraphs)...Zobrist right at the halfway cutoff for 2b in the NL.
I'm sure some luck is involved too, but the Cubs and Maddon knew what they were doing.
If all the starters have FIP > ERA, is that luck or good defense?
#Cubs plummet to 19-5 in August.
Fun with FIP
- J. Hammel 3.07 ERA/4.27 FIP (3.68 FIP last year)
- J. Arrieta 2.62 ERA/3.05 FIP (2.35 FIP last year)
- J. Lester 2.81 ERA/3.67 FIP (2.92 FIP last year)
- K. Hendricks 2.19 ERA/3.37 FIP (3.36 FIP last year)
- J. Lackey 3.41 ERA/3.72 FIP (3.57 FIP last year with Cards)
zastyryzryzryzny put in 3.2ip 1h 0bb 3k
he's great when his control is "on"...problem is it's rarely "on" consistently. he could vault up the cubs prospect list if he ever gets better with that aspect of his game.
JD's take was just trying to get in a lefty to better deal with mostly lefty Dodgers lineup.
My second thought was what you came up with. My first thought was he was trying to light a fire under Hammel.
Maybe he was trying to spare him another brutal road start? NY, Colorado...
joe got a pitcher up for hammel at nearly the 1st sign of trouble in the 3rd...pulled after 2.1
not injured and though it wasn't his day so far he wasn't looking like a pure disaster.
really short leash on him. zastryznzryzryny in.
Russell and Soler can attest that Urias has a pretty good curve/slider - two big strikeouts looking to get out of that jam in the first.