2007 Cubs - R.I.P.

Thanks for the memories. Good luck Diamondbacks (I'll be rooting for the Rockies). Sincerely, Rob G. P.S. - That sucked. P.P.S. - Four months until pitchers and catchers report.
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Comments

I'll be the first witness to the death of this team...the Lilly and Hill starts were fairly unexpected....but the lack of clutch hitting and double plays we had seen all year.

#1 on my wish list for next year: a great rightfielder.

The P.P.S. cracked me up Rob.....my sentiments exactly though....Wait Till Next Year!

aram 0-12
soriano 2-14 (2 singles)
dlee 4-12 (3 singles)

HR's - 1 (soto, who hit 1 for 6 with 2 walks in 2 games)

dlee's 4 singles in 12ab pretty much makes him team hitting MVP given no one else hit above .250 except derosa hitting 3 singles in 12abs.

im not gonna justify lilly/hill with numbers and just say marmol put in a couple performances a bit below expectations for a guy who had the best #s in the pen.

everyone component of this cubs team with the exception of a few good pen performances and the D contributed to this pile of suck that leads to stuff like dropping 3 straight.

dlee with *4* singles, i mean.

*sulk*

4 extra base hits by the cubs in all 3 games combined...Z got one of them (double)...soto got his homer...j.jones double tonite...ward double in the game 2 nights ago.

and derosa hit his 3 singles in 11abs...sigh.

we had 4 XBH's? 3 more than I remember...

Derosa had 2 sharp singles today in between that gut wrenching, game killing double play.

The Ward and Soto hits were fairly memorable but thats about it. This team just laid down like dogs in this series. Not much else you can say. I'll still be on board for 08 though. I hope the ownership change doesn't totally keep the team from making a few changes.

Heck I'm so optimistic I still hold out hope that Mark Prior may actually play for this team next year.

So who do I get for RF? Jason Bay?

Hate to admit it, but I sure took a dump with that Soriano signing. At least Carlos Lee can hit with runners on base.

That series was craptastic.

Total letdown for me. I was at the last home game of the regular season. What a reversal. I can't believe I was doing the tomahawk chop just two weeks ago.

Oh well, go Cubs in 2008!

im just amazed that even if we wanted to name a guy who carried the bats through it all you got your choice of 2 guys, both of which only hit singles and hit .333.

few decent pen performances and a not-bad 1st start by zambrano is all you can say about the pitching...

meh.

Rob G.:
P.P.S. - Four months until pitchers and catchers report.

*sigh*

I had high hopes for the series, but the lack of clutch hitting and double plays didn't come as a total shock if you had been watching this team all year.

Its been a better team with Soriano, but the guy is just an unbelievably bipolar baseball player. When he is bad you have to wonder if the guy has ever played baseball in his life.

Wow that was fun. Nice job getting swept and showing ZERO heart and pride. I hope the players and coaches are as embarrassed as I am. Lilly and Hill shit themselves and the big bats, outside of Lee's few singles crapped themselves too. I guess $350 million doesn't get you what is used to. I gotta take my 3 day mourning period before I go any farther with the postmortem. But "Fire Hendry" cannot be said enough this offseason.

FIRE HENDRY!!!!

Well I think it's obvious this is all Barrett's fault.

This performance is the same type of thing we've seen all year: the offense going into a mysterious, deadly funk for several games at a time. The Cubs are too dependent on the Big 3.

The MOST important thing right now is to do what we've been unable to do after every playoff appearance--sustain the success, and plug the holes. We can't stand pat and hope things work out better next year, like we did after, say, 1998.

Mark it now--this off-season will be the most important in recent Cubs history. Jim Hendry, you're on the clock...

I don't see any problem Hendry with this team. The talent is there it jsut amazingly underperformed.

Cubs Veteran Playoff experience ... SMELL IT! Smells like Ass.

I've said it before* and I'll say it again, Rich Hill is 100% more effective when he uses his curve to set up his fastball, not the other way around. His FB has virtually no movement and isn't exactly overpowering.

So why does Kendall keep calling for the fastball?

If that's how he's going to be pitched, he desperately needs another pitch.

*OK, I never really said it before, but I thought it a lot.

Screw that.

2007 Cubs - R.

They don't need peace, they need to be supremely pissed off. What a whole lot of wasted nervous energy, hoping for the playoffs. It wasn't a bit worth it. This felt like watching somebody die for 4 days. I knew it was over, but had to continue hoping. What a huge choke by everyone.

My Thai friend, who knows nothing about baseball and even less about the Cubs said to me: "There's always next year" and I almost started crying (or I almost hit him, I'm still not sure). I said, "Yeah, that's the Cub fan's motto."

hill didnt have control of his curve or his fastball for too much of that game. bad time to have an "off day" but about 20 people off that 25-man roster have had bad days over the past 3 games theyve played.

The lack of clutch (basic even) hitting is the story. You can't really even judge the starting pitching (i.e. Hill and Lilly) given how the offense never once took control of an inning, much less a game.

But the season still represents a pretty solid turnaround with every reason to think this a playoff team next year, particularly if Hendry (yes, Hendry) can land a lights-out closer and another bat. Time to act, not to whine!

ps: turns out the AL will have a field day with whoever makes this world series. We were the NL's best hope!

closer won't be on the wish list that's for sure, Marmol, Howry or maybe Wood and of course Dempster still has a year left.

I imagine one more power bat and another starter are on the wish list. No idea how they'll find or get them though.

Needs less pure fastball-hitters...

If the Cubs were the NL's only champion, it is in serious trouble.

ARam ought to be glad the series ended tonight--with the way he's looked at the plate, he was in line for a sit-down for Game 4. He appeared to have no idea what he was doing out there.

Fanzone I'm not so sure about that the super hot Rockies look like a team to be reckoned with.

I hope this stupid Dbacks team goes down in flames in the NLCS, but if not I guess we could say we lost to the eventual world champs?

Lack of success does not equal lack of courage or pride. I am sure that as professional players, the Cubs do have pride and that it is thoroughly wounded right now.

What I don't get:

--the unbelievably comatose play of Aramis Ramirez in this series. Was there an at-bat during this series in which he did not look like he wished he was dead? At least Soriano went down flailing.

--pinch-hitting Fontenot, of all people.

--somehow losing to Livan F. Hernandez when he seems poised to walk the entire batting order three times over.

Anyone want to guess how well Augie will play here on out?

Watched the game with some of my flesh-and-blood friends. (It was like Parachat without the dolphin noises.)

What a lousy series.

In any case, I just want to say thanks to TCR and all the contributers and posters. You really enhanced the good parts of the season and helped the shitty parts go down easier.

And yes, like a schmuck, I'll strap on the helmet and run headlong into the brick wall again next year.

FIRE HENDRY!!!!

Yup... it is Hendry's fault that his stars didn't come through. It is Hendry's fault that Hill and Lilly uncharacteristically fell apart. Or that the Cubs' best reliever was the worst reliever in the series. Or that Lee, ARam, and Soriano all sucked. Or that the Cubs just couldn't come through with runners on.

Its all Hendry's fault.

And I will say good (not great) season. Very, very disappointing end. But I do think that the Cubs DO have a very good core of this team.

And great year for TCR.

And I missed all of you on parachat tonight. But Johann's mom wouldn't let me get to the computer.

oh come on Dave, if Hendry signed _____________ instead of _________, they wouldn't have hit into those double plays.

And if we would have just signed ___________ to pitch Game 2, it would have been completely different.

I'll add my thanks to the TCR gang as well. You really help keep me sane about this stuff.

True dat, Pell Mell. Really enjoyed it here, my only regret is that I only discovered TCR halfway through the season, instead of in the Spring. I spent the first half of the season looking for my parakeet in Chad's mullet.

I will never leave!!!!

What I don't understand is how the Cubs, especially Ramirez looked so lost at the plate. I could practically call the pitch that Hernandez was going to toss and I have zero professional baseball experience.

I several times called Ramirez flailing at an outside breaking ball when he should have taken the pitch and was begging him to swing every time a low fastball was coming that he sat blankly staring at.

Pitching on both sides was too predictable but only the D-backs seemed to have the sense to know what was coming based on the pitch count.

2007 Cubs, thanks for wasting untold hours of my time. At least last season I was off the hook by June.

Just came back from the ball park. It hardly even felt like a playoff game today...didn't feel like a regular season game either, just weird and tense and quiet. The only time it really started to thump was with Derosa up with the bases juiced, but the dp ensured the Cubs, like every other time the crowd started buzzing, pissed all over the excitement.

Hill and Lilly crapped the bed, but Davis and Hernandez really weren't that much better. It's just they waited on mistakes and we didn't. All the same, every time, it seriously seemed like EVERY TIME we had a chance to put some actual runs on the board, the entire series, one of the Big Three would come up and just completely fail. I don't think the Cubs lean on them too much, if even two of those guys are swinging just like their usual selves, we're seeing a game 4, maybe even up 2-1. Pure Cub.

Thanks to TCR and its talented team of commenters for making this a pleasant place to troll, and occasionally speak up, again this season. Looking forward to the ownership speculation. Go Tribe!

The Cubs are what I thought they were... a bunch of over rated over hyped losers. When will Cub fans see Lou Pinella is a bad manager? If Dusty had blew game one like that cub fans would have called for him to be fired ASAP but the good old boy Lou gets a free pass from Cub fans with his 300 Million dollar salary. Dusty had a bad triple A team and got blamed for everything but not Lou but I shouldnt be surprised these are confused Cub fans. And you thought Dusty couldnt manage...

Oh, and Hendry did a decent job of cleaning up his mess. Yeah, he spent alot of money, but he spent it well. Show me a GM with a higher proficiency this season. Lilly, Marquis, DeRosa, and Ward all exceeded expectation. Soriano and Floyd, I'll leave to the jury. Still, when you consider the disasters-in-waiting that were available, he comes out smelling pretty good.

On behalf of me, the Ol' Foulmouth, I would like to thank everyone for reading and commenting. I would enjoy writing for TCR if no one was reading--I very nearly have that experience at my own blog--but I am consistently amazed at how knowledgable and passionate the crowd is over here.

Thanks for a great season.

CT_Steve and I closed down parachat. Steve remembered to turn out the lights. This will save a lot on energy during the off-season.

Thanks for a great time this year, all you parachatters. It's lonely in St. Louis as a Cubs fan--you've made following Cubs games a lot more fun.

Borowski...keep drinking the Cubbie Kool-Aid.

Thanks for the invite Michael, but I can't be bothered to explain why Piniella is 10x's the manager Dusty ever was, but you keep doin' your thing, man. Whatever makes you happy.

BOROWSKI: Were you down the block or actually at the game? Maybe you were in the 500 Section?

I completely disagree. The place was rocking on almost every pitch until DeRosa's absolutely coffin-nailing moment. More electric than any game I've been at save the 2003 NLCS.

And - the first pitch, trend-setting stink-o that Hill set up had the crowd thinking, "Oh no!"

This team was COMPLETELY outplayed in every game in every facet. Did not belong there this time.

Not even one [CENSORED] game could they win. Very, very disappointed.

What a bunch of crappy, embarrassing playing by players who could not get it done on the biggest stage. SHAME on them.

BUT - I am more optimistic about 2008 than I was about going into this year.

I'm glad I didn't buy any "2007 Central Division Champs" shirts.

Not to be understood, I'm not saying the crowd wasn't balls into the game, it was just such a depressing fucking game from the first pitch, that the volume wasn't there. Everytime the place had a chance to really get excited, we got kicked in the balls.

The only positive I can take is: Looking ahead we have far fewer holes to fill for next year than we did a year ago.

Holes at end of 1996
Starting pitching
Closer
second base
shortstop
catcher (big hole)
center field
right field

Holes at end of 1997

closer
shortstop (maybe)
center field
right field

Thanks, everybody. You make following the Cubs from afar much less lonely than it would be otherwise--although I still wish I lived in Chicago. Special thanks to Rob, Trans, Phil, Cubnut, and Co. for their hard work.

As for the team, my modest expectations for the season were exceeded. The post-season felt like a freeroll, which I guess explains why I am not shocked or depressed.

I would ask for another starter and a RF underneath the TCR Christmas tree, but I'm guessing the sale might keep us all from cooking up something tasty on the Hot Stove.

Go Rockies/Indians! (I think I don't care which...)

I guess $350 million doesn�t get you what is used to.

the good old boy Lou gets a free pass from Cub fans with his 300 Million dollar salary.

I so hope that the end of the 2007 season also spells the end of the "$3xx million" thing? It's as old as it is inaccurate. But more likely, the minute Hendry (or whoever) spends dollar one in this offseason, it'll be "The Cubs have spent $3xx + $1 million!!"

I so hope that the end of the 2007 season also spells the end of the �$3xx million� thing?

I didn't mean for that to be a question. Or maybe it's a new game: read all posts as if you were a teenager, with a rising inflection at the end of every sentence. Something to pass the time until February...?

"it was just such a depressing fucking game from the first pitch, that the volume wasn�t there. Everytime the place had a chance to really get excited, we got kicked in the balls..."

Oh. On that I will agree.

Cubster and I saw each other and agreed that turning point was DeRosa's needless dp.

- sigh -

I went down for a smoke after that, and there was a pretty universal consensus down there that we were pretty f*ed after that. In the bleachers, a "Left Field sucks" chant started up...which was really more gallows humor than anything else.

JustanOldCubfan:
The only positive I can take is: Looking ahead we have far fewer holes to fill for next year than we did a year ago.

That's true. As much as I like Hendry, I'd like to see someone with fresh ideas come in and shake things up a little and try to improve on the existing core of this team.

I get the feeling they are only a couple or three moves away from becoming really good.

The big thing next year, imo, will be:

* A solid catcher. And honestly, I could care less if he can hit +.250, I just want a guy who can stop the ball and throw guys out. Maybe Sato (as TBS would say) is the guy, maybe he isn't.

* A legit left-handed RFer. Preferably someone who doesn't fit the prototypical mold of a Cub's hitter. As Sheffield/Cornelia said, "Needs less pure fastball-hitters�" My dream candidate for this would be Abreu, but the Yanks will probably pick up his option. Another option is Geoff Jenkins.

Hendry has to take the blame cause the team didnt win 91+ (10 games over break even). If they had in the NL this year, we have home field and maybe Game 1 and 2 playout differently.

Hendry's Mistakes:
C-Barret
SS-Izturis
CF-Soriano at first and then projecting Pie ready

-Jaque Jones all together, he turned it around in the 2nd half, but he signed him and then couldnt get rid of him.

-Cliff Floyd (washed up)

C- Bowen and Koye Hill over Soto in June/July

Hitting Philosphy:

Doenst believe in OBP
Too Right Handed

We 4 Pieces to the Puzzle:
DLee
Aram
Soriano
Derosa

CF? is Pie ready
RF?
C - Soto should be it
SS - Love Theriot, but we need an upgrade unless CF and RF are awesome

Drats. Leftists in my pants. It's the leftists fault, Mayor Daley and all.

See you next year.

every year the cubs have one part right
this year they pitched really well,
hitting was not up to par (clutch),
when we finally put a good pitching and
hitting year together then we have a chance.

i would worry that we did not suffer pitching
injuries this year ,that does not happen two
years in a row.

apropos of nothing...doesn't TBS have experience showing baseball games? Every deep fly ball hit in this offseason results in the camera guy only showing a zoomed-in shot of the fans in the bleachers, and not the outfielder, who would give viewers the best idea of how deep the gly ball really is. Sometimes it results in a flyout, and they have to whip the camera back down to show the play. wtf?

I'm not projecting my frustrations elsewhere...what are you talking about?

# 57
will pie be ready to be reguler cf.
that is a tough question from what
i saw this year i would NO.

TRADE ARam. That is all.

sign arod
trade aram for stud right fielder

Applejacks, yummy in my tummy

the 2007 Cubs were a VERY delicate team. Emotionally not terribly strong and they eventually made the playoffs because they had the most talent in a weak division. Especially once a confident Brewer team lost Ben Sheets etc.

The reason they lost this playoff series to Arizona I suppose was that the talent did not perform up to par and they were not terribly strong in the rotation and outfield. A better team could have picked each other up -- for these Cubs to get hot they had to have things go right before the pressure and momentum of being a CUB team set in and crushed them

All that said you cannot underestimate the mistake Lou made in game one. Most people found it odd that Zambrano was pulled AT THE TIME. In retrospect it looks even worse: wouldn't anyone here die to go back and have a 1-1 game in the 7th in game one of a playoff series and zambrano on the mound cruising at 85 pitches with the lone blemish a slol homer.

Another way to look at it: Can anyone in their right mind imagine how bizarre it would be if the role was reversed and Arizona pulled Webb out at 1-1 at the conclusion of the 6th inning.

Baseball is a terribly emotional game. In my opinion an astute manager would recognize momentum, gauge it and adjust. I promise you Lou will NEVER do that move again. You win the game at hand (ESPECIALLY IN A SHORT SERIES) and worry about later games if they arrive.

Z could have cruised through 7th and maybe 8th and kept the edge. one of our hitters break through with a big hit. We win a game in AZ, deflate the Dbacks and beat their cy young, and the pressure is off our big hitters . . . they loosen up and maybe they series goes differently.

So no the reason the CUbs lost was not becasue of Lou. A better more mentally tough Cub team could have picked him up after a mistake of that proportion. But for the 2007 Cubs to get have won that series with all their limitations, Lou had to manage perfectly and he fell well short.

superjimmer...

while I respect anyone's right to disagree with Lou's move in game 1....do you just discount how great Carlos Marmol has been for this team all year...they replaces Zambrano with a better pitcher (based on 2007 regular season)...it didn't work.

Do you really think this offensive team was going to do anything against Webb, Lyon and Valverde?

Even from the first game they all looked like they had all hit a slump at the same time.

I agree with PICO. You (Jimmer) seem to believe that there is a causal link of Z getting pulled with them losing the series? With them getting outplayed in every conceivable way? With the "stars" not driving in ONE damn run?

Lou is not the scapegoat here, man. Puh-lease.

" "I went from the best moment in sports in my life to the worst -- just whoosh," Mark DeRosa

This sums it all up for me.

Another option is Geoff Jenkins

Matt Murton will out-produce Geoff Jenkins next year.

Why would the Cubs want an aging RF who has only had one season with an OPS over .800 in the last 4 years?

Pico,

If it were a computer game I would oviously agree with you.

But Zambrano was pitching his best game in some time. He was on a roll and you DON'T fix what's not broken in my opinon.

I think it is best proved by the Dbacks saying a wave of relief actually tangibly swept through their dugout when Z was removed.

Yes the team looked bad in game one but they were facing arguably the best pitcher in the NL. Major damage against Webb, Lyon and Valverde? Not likely. Squeaking out a run? Certainly possible.

Look the better team won. That's my point BUT the Cubs fortunes could have gone differently -- pulling a top performer to save him for a game that never gets played? C'mon a LITTLE suspect??

Yeah Geoff Jenkins is no go...basically worse than the Jeromy Burnitz years. He didn't even play half the time for the Brewers.

And for everyone who says the Brewers are going to be some unbeatable super team in the next few years...isn't that how everyone thought of the Cubs after 2003? Prior, Wood, Zambrano were going to win 20 games every year? right? Corey Patterson playing centerfield for 15 years? In baseball things just don't always work out the way you might think.

Well, that makes five post-seasons in a row the Cubs have utterly crapped themselves by losing the final 3 games of the series. Coincidence? Who gives a shit? All I know is it sucks just the same.

I think what this series most underscores is that for the Cubs to be able to rise above their somewhat scattered and spineless post-season history, they need to assemble a roster of truly special players.

There is talent on this roster and a bunch of swell character guys, but where's the ruthlessness? Where's the moxie? Where's the leadership?

I know talent wins championships (and, yes, some luck may be involved), but if the big talent wilts under the burden of expectations (see: ARod, our Big 3), you need leaders to marshall the troops, step up and perform (see: Paul O'Neil, Varitek, hell, even Eckstein).

Don't get me started on the D'Backs' verve and guile winning this series with a bunch of kids. Do they have talent? Sure. But they also are not saddled with the weighty expectations of 99 years without a title and an insanely rabid fanbase. Like those putzes who beat us in '03, this is a team with no expectations and no one to answer to. Must be nice to be able to play loose and free and simply perform.

The Cubs will obviously never have that loose and free feeling in the post-season so the enigmatic solution means finding the right mix of players who have talent and are somehow immune to the pressure and can simply perform. Whether that mean populating the roster with players from elite teams, stacking it with young guys who don't know better, combing the various penal leagues for sociopathic felons with four plus pitches or great plate discipline, I have no idea.

But the GM who does figure it out will be rubbing his bronzed elbows next to Ernie and Harry.

I will agree with one thing....Lou should have never metioned a game 4...just say you like Marmol and the bullpen and go with that.

totally agree pico

are there any other fre agent out fielders besides jenkins?

rokfish..Bobby Abreau may be available but I think the Yankees have a chance. Griffey or Dunn may be available.

Rockies/Dbacks...

feel the history...

Well one thing to brag about we outhit the Phillies .194 to .172 but they outscored us 8 to 6.

#68: �I went from the best moment in sports in my life to the worst � just whoosh,� Mark DeRosa
This sums it all up for me.

DeRosa is also pretty hard on himself on his blog: "...the one time I needed to come through for my team -- my team was reeling, and needed one guy to get them over the hump and I didn't get it done. That's something that will stick with me."

DeRosa = mensch

why didnt he have the take sign = walk ,rbi

"...why didnt he have the take sign = walk ,rbi

SAME REASON that Theriot didn't in the first when he was 3-1, Soriano on and 0 outs. 6-4-3 DP

3-1 pitch, major league hitter, they get the green light.

.412 .667 .588 1.255 line on a 3-1 count this year.
.439 .691 .632 1.323 for his career

he also ripped pretty much the same pitch the AB before.

Shit happens.

I didn't think the Cubs could get past Colorado but I would have liked them to make it there. Having been a fan since '64 and now on the wrong side of 50 I have no reason to believe the Cubs will win a World Series in my lifetime. And I don't give a damn about stirring comeback wins during the regular season anymore. Everyone wins comeback games in the regular season. Good teams play and win in the postseason. You get as old as me and some others here, anything short of a trip to the World Series is a failed season. I'm closer to the end than the beginning. You're on notice, Cubs: either get me a World Series or find a way to get me my 43 years back.

So Phillies pull off the amazing division comeback and then their world class offense can't muster a hit against a suspect starting staff.

I guess they're "chokers" too.

Yeah I gotta think the Phillies did worse than we did...they even had 2 home games to get something done.

I'm sorry, but after 99 years without a World Series, backing into the playoffs and a 3 game sweep just isn't good enough for me. That's all I got tonight. Onwards to regretting Soriano's contract for many years to come.

who do we blame? its not like we almost won but came up short. Hitters looked upset and cautious at the plate. how can next year be different? who knows?

At some point this winter, each of us will remember that the Cubs sucked in 2005 and 2006. SUCKED. As in really, really bad.

In 2007 this team was reborn.

Cubs fans are demanding, and that's the way it should be. But at the same time we have to be honest with ourselves and admit that just making the playoffs after having the worst record in the NL last year was an amazing feat.

The only free agent signing that anybody thought was hugely meaningful was Soriano, yet here we are on October 7 chatting about how sad and mad we are that we didnt make the NLCS.

We're going int he right direction. Let yourself enjoy it.

OK, I have to throw in one more thing.

If the only genuine happiness you will ever get out of this team would be after winning the a championship, you are on the wrong train. Actually, that's not a recipe for happiness for any fan of any team other than the Harlem Globetrotters.

Take yourself back to the June Friday that ARam hit that walkoff HR against Milwaukee. That was not only part of the journey, it was one of the 2007 destinations. Let yourself enjoy the good parts, dammit.

If you are sitting on the tour bus, refusing to get off until the bus arrives at its last stop, you are missing out. Let yourself enjoy the big moments, the happy moments, even the glory of making the playoffs only to get swept. This is the good part.

It goes without saying, but I'll say it again. If the only joy you will ever derive out of the Chicago Cubs is after winning a World Series, and you are under the age of 105, you are wasting your time. One day, its gonna happen. But in the meantime, enjoy the fun stuff.

Thanks for everything all TCR folks. You add immeasurably to the experience that is The Chicago Cubs.

I will take my leave now, watch the rest of the postseason with some interest, and try to make it until April when Opening Day rolls around and it is time to plant the new garden. (NBA, NFL, NHL, College Hoops -- Yawn, yawn, yawn).

Go Tribe, I suppose.

5 things i wouild like to see in 2008:

1. an upgrade in the dp combo. theriot clearly wore out the last 6 weeks; maybe derosa did also. but at least one of these 2 needs to be the uber-sub, and play 3 games a week at various spots instread of every day.

2. soriano as the number 5 hitter. with this stunning and rapid exit, lou has a couple of extra weeks to work his sales pitch to soriano."move down in the lineup, and move up in the rbi charts".
except, of course, in spanish.

3. full time work for matt murton. if it is not to be with the cubs, okay, trade him to someone who will use him full-time. he seems to have some tools the cubs need (patience, singles/doubles hitter to feed the rbi guys), but unless he comes out of spring as a certifiable full time rf'er, he has more value as a trade component.

4. trade ryan dempster. now. he will never have a higher value, and he has never been so replaceable (howry, wood, marmol, hart, and wuertz). this is no reflection on his season, other than the likelihood of duplication is a gamble. deal from strength, mr hendry, and rh bullpen is a strength.

5. abolutely 0 posts from the good doctor cubster detailing injuries, surgeries, traumas, contusions, blisters, etc. with a couple of random exceptions (soriano 2 separate leg woes, a dempster dl stint, aram with his knee issues) this club was stunningly healthy in 2007. a repeat of that in 2008 would go a very long way towards keeping this club competitive in a so-far crummy division.

thanks for the year, tcr writers and commenters.

i kind of think i would like to see the redsox and the rockies. just think, 2 teams in denver that would out score the broncos and perhaps even the nuggets. always play the over !!!!!

Boooooooooooooooo.

dc60124 post # 91

Could not agree with you more.
#1 Theriot on a very good team is a super sub.
#2 Murton has one position, left field. He is going to be a successful big leaguer but probably not with the Cubs. Murton is very similar to a player from 40 years ago. A guy named Pinella.
#3 Dempster has worn out his welcome in Chicago. Time for a trade, but I believe he has very limited value.

dc:

I agree with you on #91. In particular the pitching staff was incredibly healthy. Other than Soriano's leg injuries, ARam's wrist, Ward's calf and Blanco's neck the club had few injuries. Even Cliff Floyd who has been a walking infirmary was more disabled by his dad's illness than any of his aches and pains. A blessing to compensate for being crippled in 2006 by just one major injury (DLee) which the club was unprepared to compensate for. Of course moving beyond counting on Wood/Prior was also a key this year...it's gotten tedious to write about their health.

Injuries are a part of the game (cliche) but to overcome them some youngsters from the minors have to come through and we had that for the first time maybe in decades.

Neifi Perez, first guy off the bench to replace injuries to Garciaparra AND DLee? I hope those days are forever gone.

[DeRosa] also ripped pretty much the same pitch the AB before.

Oh, Rob, you can let DeRosa wear his goat horns for a while. He earned them. He could have just stood there with the bat on his shoulder and not been a goat.

In his previous at bat, he was leading off and behind in the count 0-1. He swung at a slider, which at least started out above the knees.

Yes, he's a bad ball hitter and can sometimes hit low pitches.

You know the situation in the fifth: how many out, how many on base, how they got there, and the count on DeRosa. It's a situation where a normal hitter, not a bad-ball hitter like Soriano or DeRosa (and I'm tempted to add Derrek Lee at this point), looks for a certain pitch.

But not the pitch that Hernandez threw, a fastball that was low all the way. It was the same pitch as the low, inside ball that he threw on 2 and 1, which Darling called a sinker.

There are only four hitters on the Cubs that I like right now. I like them because they are normal hitters and can hit a fastball down the middle. They are Ramirez, Soto, Ward and Jones. Jones is a recent addition to my normal-hitter club, but he closed a (low inside) hole in his swing this year, people don't know how to pitch to him any more, and he just rakes.

Since two of these guys didn't play last night, at least I have a theory why the Cubs don't score runs.

For a guy who swings very hard, Ramirez has good plate discipline and should never have a playoff series like this one. Could it be that part of his problem is that Piniella protects him with a no-power guy like DeRosa?

DeRosa's HR numbers are surprising. Surprisingly bad. Last year was his first year, majors or minors, in double digits for home runs. This year he hit ten, but six were on the books by June 3, seven by June 27. Only one was off a lefty. Only one was with the Cubs behind. And only one was after the third inning!

Is it too early to nominate #91 as the post of the off-season?

"You get as old as me and some others here, anything short of a trip to the World Series is a failed season."

Yep - the stench of failure is all the same, whether the club reaches the playoffs or not. It's amusing to see younger fans beginning to reach the same conclusion (as last night's booing attested). Al Davis said it best many years ago - "just win, baby." Close only counts in horseshoes.

VA Phil,

Yeah, you're just wrong. I really don't know what you're watching or if you ever played a game of baseball or actually read or talked to anyone who played baseball.

You don't belong in the majors if you're getting a take sign on 3-1. The team needs a hit there and 3-1 is one of the best hitting counts in the game.

A) It was a strike, definitely with what that ump was calling)
B) It was the exact pitch he tattooed for a single the AB before
C) All we needed was a single
D) Ramirez didn't get a hit because for the most part he swung at bad pitches and let the good ones go by.
E) Go look at DeRosa's numbers this year with runners on, RISP and overall. Then come back and apologize.
F) DeRosa's a bad ball hitter? Seriously what games do watch?

DeRosa�s HR numbers are surprising. Surprisingly bad. Last year was his first year, majors or minors, in double digits for home runs. This year he hit ten, but six were on the books by June 3, seven by June 27. Only one was off a lefty. Only one was with the Cubs behind. And only one was after the third inning!

But Mike Fontenot's full season numbers are all that matters, right? Pick a target pal...

I'd have to say, that in spite of his valiant September, I am really disappointed with Alfonso Soriano.

For every home run, it SEEMS, he gives more of it back with his poor judgement in the field and paranoia of the LF wall. If his speed does not return, and his basestealing acumen revive, we have but a streaky DH in the NL.

And we are on the hook with this guy for many years.

[sigh]

ROB G: You quoted Theriot's BA in 3-1 in the REGULAR season. NOT in the PLAYOFFS. It is a completely different animal where pitchers rule and the small things are magnified 10-fold.

I agree with VA Phil - with a struggling pitcher, and an ez rbi by leaving the bat on the shoulder (much different than hitting with no-one on), you leave the bat on the shoulder and take a pitch.

And yeah, I played HS baseball - 3 yrs as a starter. You?

Yeah played HS baseball too, 4 years, all-conference, big whoop. Would have played some college somewhere but well, decided to work on my majors.

It was DeRosa not Theriot.

Shit happens, he didn't deliver, plain and simple. The guy is probably our most patient hitter, faulting him on a pitch he thinks he could have hit that he already did hit in a place where we could have used a big hit is the epitome of ridiculousness that goes around here.

The guy's delivered all year with runners on, he has a great approach to the plate. These aren't the guys you neuter with a take sign. He worked the count and got the pitch he wanted.

[sigh] Grudgingly, you are right. Its the whole offense (save SOTO).

Yes - to pin it on him alone would not be right. Sitting there, it was over in my mind as of that moment. The balloon went flat right there.

I looked up DeRosa's Playoff stats, and he's performed well at the plate in a limited role. But - he's been on the losing side 4 times!

Eesh!

"It hardly even felt like a playoff game today�didn�t feel like a regular season game either, just weird and tense and quiet."

Agree and somewhat disagree. It didn't feel like a playoff game at times, which was weird. I attribute that to how hot it was. Didn't feel like the cool '03 weather. Young's HR really took the heart out of a lot of the crowd. They were down 2-0 and left the bases loaded and it felt like 10-0. However, it was pretty loud most of the time, and I've never heard it louder than when DeRosa was at 3-1.

On the plus side, I sat behind Murton's family and in front of Doug Glanville and Ron Coomer. Pretty sad when that's the best part of a playoff game.

I can't believe people here want to pin the enitre series on Mark DeRosa for one lousy at bat.

This team suck balls for three straight games.

OH, I forgot...

Don't worry guys, Z if fresh and ready to go for tonight's gam....oh wait. Damn

F YOU LOU!!!!!!!! We lost this series in game fucking 1.

except for a few pen arms and the 2 regulars who hit over .250 on the team (dlee, derosa, all singles for their production) this was a team effort collapse.

there was no turning point...it was never pointing in the cubs direction anyway.

F YOU LOU!!!!!!!! We lost this series in game fucking 1.

The Cubs still only scored one run that game. That wasn't Lou's fault.

Rob said:

A) It was a strike, definitely with what that ump was calling)
B) It was the exact pitch he tattooed for a single the AB before
C) All we needed was a single

A) It was low all the way.
B) That was a slider, this was a fastball. The other one started above the knees and he followed it down. This was below the knees all the way. What was he thinking about, that a pitch like that would trigger his reflex to swing? Pure Cubbery.
C) All we needed was a walk.

He is a bad-ball hitter. Like Derrek Lee, he does his best work on breaking balls just off the outside corner. He does have doubles power to right field on those outside pitches. And like Derrek Lee, he has trouble turning on fat pitches down the middle or middle-in.

Most of the young guys who have been kicking our butts are pull hitters. We only have two of those, Ramirez and Soto.

This is the team of bad-ball hitters and wrong-field hitters that Jim Hendry built.

Shit happens, Rob, is not good enough. The question remains, why doesn't it happen to teams like Florida and Arizona when they play the Cubs?

"He is a bad-ball hitter."

derosa is far from a bad ball hitter even if he does hit those well, everyone does.

he sees righties and lefties well...he's a decent contact hitter. he has no "hole" in his swing you can consistently exploit him with. he dont sit around waiting for some bonds-like mini-zone to get his hits...*shrug*

"Like Derrek Lee, he does his best work on breaking balls just off the outside corner."

that was dlee's hole early...him actually hitting that stuff is him adjusting. that's not where dlee specializes or excels, specifically...its just what he's had to work with.

i have NEVER seen him get so consistently pitched on the outside til this season. he couldnt get lift/power on it...he got pounded there. murton got similar treatment last year for a while until he adjusted.

peace out VA Phil, DeRosa's over 30, we get it, he must suck. If it was the 25 year old DeRosa he would have obviously come through on that situation. That's clear as day now.

The question remains, why doesn�t it happen to teams like Florida and Arizona when they play the Cubs?

I am really not sure that I understand the logic.

Why can't the Cubs be more like Florida? Because they don't want to lose 90 games.

"The Cubs still only scored one run that game. That wasn�t Lou�s fault."

Dave, i get that and its true that we couldn't win by just scoring 1 run. BUT...

1. if it stays one one we may not have to face Valverde behind in the game. Or Lyon for that matter. Sure they may still have pitched the 8th and 9th, but if we don't let the snakes score the game goes on.

2. You play differently tied than you do down two. Both in mentality and game calls. There is a whole lot less anxiety and stree being tied as it is being down. it changes the game 100%.

AND by pulling Z Pinella was not managing for the moment at all and I think that was terrible. He was not managing that game like it was Game 7. I believe that in the playoffs you need to manage every game like its the last.

Onion Headline:

Pinnella's Pulling of Zambrano Insures Full Rest by Next Opening Day.

Since you mention it, Rob, the Cubs do have a bad case of over-thirty-itis. Ramirez is still under thirty (barely) and so he's still quite athletic. (Two years from now may be different.) Ramirez had a strong year defensively, which Lee didn't.

Have you noticed that Lee and Jones can't run any more? I guess Lee has been one tool short of a five-tooler for a while now, but with Jones, it's recent. I forget what inning it was, but it took Jones forever to get to second and then he was out at third on a good bunt. And with the wide turn he takes around third, Jones is usually a good bet to be thrown out trying to score from second on a single.

I don't have a problem with pitchers over thirty, but older position players definitely slow you down.

Even though he's a second baseman, I look at DeRosa's home runs, because they should compensate for his lack of speed. Yesterday he was running on the pitch when Jones singled to right-center. DeRosa should have scored when the right fielder misplayed the ball.

He scored on the next play anyway, right, so it didn't matter? I'm not so sure of that. It's better to score sooner. If Kendall had come up with a man on second instead of men on second and third and nobody out, he might have tried harder to hit the ball to the right side to move Jones over. And then Jones would have scored on the next batter's ground ball. As it is, Kendall hit a grounder to short and the Cubs got only one run that inning.

Whatever with the Z thing, Marmol has been lights out all year. Coin-flip decision and it didn't work. They could have easily scored off Z there and then everyone complains why he kept him in. Yeah I would left Z in for one more inning but to act like we would have won that game because of that one decision is ridiculous.

Torre wins a bunch of titles, he's manager of the century, now he can't escape the first round. You think he forgot how to manage or do you think the nature of the short series contributed to that?

Have you noticed that Lee and Jones can�t run any more?

No, but I have noticed that most your observations are the opposite of reality.

Looked back at the mlb.tv archived game. The exact same pitch to Derosa in the 4th and 5th, just like DeRo said in his blog and just like I mentioned. I will say that it was lower than I recalled, with the wacky ump though it was probably borderline.

"Yeah I would left Z in for one more inning but to act like we would have won that game because of that one decision is ridiculous. "

I can't say we would have won the game. But if he pitches the 7th and gives up a run, no on would question it. But what it did do was set the tone that Lou was not focused on that game and was unwilling to do what it takes to win that game. We lost the series right there.

I can�t say we would have won the game. But if he pitches the 7th and gives up a run, no on would question it.

Haha, where have you been the last 5 years? Of course they'd question it.

DeRosa "should have scored," only he was mistakenly held up by Quade. Or Quadey, as Dick Stockton might say. DeRosa would've scored even if there was no bobble. Everyone in the park saw it.

"We lost the series right there."

No, we didn't. We lost it when the team couldn't score a damn run when they needed to. It had nothing to do with that decision, Lilly's throwing of the glove (which "set a bad tone," right), Bartman, the goat, etc. They just played like absolute crap for three games.

Tito,

If you don't think that a move like Pinella's doesn't mean a thing to a team, then you are fooling yourself. I can't prove that the move was the reason why the Cubs lost the series but I can say with some certainty that Lou's decision had an effect on the entire team.

It was Lou's first year in the playoffs in awhile, I will give him the benefit of the doubt, but he clearly made some bad moves and set a very bad tone in Game 1. I hope he has a chance to redeem himself next year.

THE MISTAKES AND LACK OF BASEBALL SENSE

1. millionaire players are not exempt from bunting and taking walks...guess who

2. all pitchers and positon players must bunt during batting practice

3. LOU AND THE PLAYERS should watch the same game were watching...when a pitcher is at the 101 pitch count in the fifth inning and 3 out 4 batters have been walked and the batters count is 3&1 and the fans have reached a new decibel level at wrigley to shake the failing pitcher....who other the Piniella and Derosa did not expect a ball? duh if the batter doesnt have the sense to take that pitch.. then why the HEC didnt the manager have a take sign on? baseball is energy flow positive or negative and cant the cubs see what everyone in the ball park knew was going to happen on that pitch except derosa and piniella

4.a left fielder should be able to catch a ball that is NOT directly hit at him. NAME ONE over the shoulder catch or catch against the wall our left fielder made..and if you UNREALISTIC DIE HARD fans cant see the reality of our left fielders catching ability then your totally blind, so think logically and not with your heart before you lambast me.

5.Does any one know how to steal other than theriot?

6. EITHER fire the scouts or set a time where lou reads the reports to all the players without their walkmans in their ears. and then read it in spanish

6. The playoffs are not the time to pitch hit with players who have been hitting at 360 below zero the last 4 weeks..COME ON LOU ..i love Fontento and Pie but when we needed a hit and Soto is sitting on the bench WHY???????????

B6 asic things ...bunting.. taking pitches on 3-1 with a bad pitcher (who is known as cy young when he pitches against the cubs only)....i mean geez soriano walks ..theriot has been working full c ounts all year but decides to swing at 3-1 this time.... ill never understand the logic of players ignoring a pitcher struggling to previous batters and then swinging at sh.t.

they had a great summer ...very enjoyable..but apparently the first 2 games of the playoffs all they had in their minds was the home run swing...
and if your a 10 million dollar or over player and that exempts you from bunting and running full out after u hit a deep ball so you can admire your own talent and marvel at yourself then we got the same problems next year.

too many fundamental things the cubs stars cant or wont do but a little leaguer does

I'm not real happy about another guy posting under my name. I've been posting here for at least three years. What's the deal?

Edo, I agree with all of your anger and with several of the points you make.

Soriano has a good arm but an atrocious glove in left. Many converted infielders are wall-shy in the outfield, and Soriano is no exception. But I agree that it's hard to remember a single outstanding catch he made this season; whereas Carlos Lee, for example, made a memorable game-saving catch off of Theriot.

Theriot is a wonderful base stealer. He's almost always safe, and he steals off of any catcher, including Molina.

Most days, he's not just the only guy in the lineup who can steal, but also the only one who can score from second on a single or from third on a fly to medium left.

(Soriano may or may not regain his speed and baserunning skills as he gets older and more injury-prone.)

Rob might disagree with you that "all [the Cubs] had in their minds was the home run swing." He says DeRosa swung at bad pitch on 3 and 1 with the bases loaded so he could hit a single.

I'm not fooling myself in the least. They still could've (should've) won that game despite the move. (And for the record, I didn't agree with the move.) That move also had no bearing on Lilly's shit performance, the lineup's suckage, etc. If they get a couple of hits when it counted (and if Marmol had pitched like he did during the regular season), it wouldn't have mattered. And if you can't see that, you're the one fooling yourself (and bringing your "I hate Lou" bias to the table).

I blame:
Michael Barrett
the gods
Jim Belushi and any other TMOTTBG guest conductor clods- just play Harry or skip it.
Oh man!
Izturis
CB Bucknor/Bruce Froemming booooooooooooo!
the media
DLee- for swing at balls he hadn't in the past. What is going on with him?
non existant bats
lack of mental tenacity
Wendell Kim
society
That's all for now. Let's try again in 2008. hmmmmmm

Make that "swingING at balls." typos feh

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