50-Game Mark TCR Reader Survey: Question 1

I will leave these questions open for voting for two days, and we'll revisit them at games 100 and 150.

How satisfied are you with the performance of the Chicago Cubs ball-club?


who the hell is transmission?

He's just gotten internet permission from inside the pokey.

I'm done with my traveling for the summer, I think.  Now it's just a matter of finding the dough for that new computer....  Would be easier if I hadn't just discovered that my university switched from a 10-month pay cycle to a 9-month, without me noticing until this month's paycheck didn't arrive.  Fun, fun.

You can get a pre-leased Dell, 2Ghz Pentium dual core, 2 GB RAM, Windows XP pro for less $270 on the Dell DFS Direct sales website.

You can get a new Dell with similar specs but a 2.6Ghz Dual Core processor but 1 GB RAM for $360 and 1 GB additional RAM from Newegg for $15.

And if I want something...... good?     :p

As a fellow academic, my two cents: I could be a rare case, but I had a horrible experience with a Dell. I bought a new one right before heading to Michigan for a summer of stats training. It randomly crashed and shut down all the time on me - sometimes right in the middle of estimating models. Tech support was worthless and I sent the thing in twice to be repaired. Despite all of the info they had on file from tech support, it would come back a week later with a note in the box about them replacing something likely unrelated to the problem. It still kep crashing and I finally just got a refund. I bought an HP at Best Buy that night and I have not had a single error in 2+ years.

I'm sure it's all a crapshoot, and others have had great Dells and just as bad of experiences with other brands, but my sense is that those cookie-cutter Dells for $300-$500 are intended for college freshmen.

The new Optiplex comes with 3 year on-site DOMESTIC support. It's a business grade machine.



This team is just a mess. Lamebrain ZAMBRANO missed the plane! That should be a $17 million fine. Maybe he wouldn't miss the next one.

This team reminds me of the 1970 team that really underperformed after the massive disappointment of the 1969 season. That team had a 12 game losing streak in June that dropped them 4.5 games back and also had a massively under-performing formerly great first baseman batting about .240 with only 4 HR by the end of May.

In a more global sense, the Cubs had been a team on the rise from 1967 - 69, led by an older, dynamic manager that suffered a massive disappointment at the end of the '69 season and never recovered the same strength again. It's early to make that kind of judgment about this team but it's got that same crummy feeling.

I think Joe may be right...Don Young

That's right Pat...Ron Santo

Considering all the injuries and struggles, along with some bad luck, well, to be at .500, I'm only somewhat unsatisfied. But at some point, they need to pick it up.

Rotation - I'm fine with our options. Not really an issue.

Pen - I actually feel alright about our options here ... but I'd like to see Angel Guzman be used in more pressure/bigger situations. Also, Waddell's up, use him a bit more. I think he has enough stuff to be a decent LOOGY.

Lineup - With what we have right now, assuming Milton can play, I'd like to see him in the cleanup role, with Lee at 3 and Kosuke at 5. Besides the whole "protection" theory, there's also the extension theory (if there is such a thing). That is, Kosuke at 5 gives the bottom of the lineup a better chance to be productive imo, with his patience and ability to get on base.

There's no ideal situation for our lineup right now, and if Kosuke's out, it looks even worse. I mean, I guess the ideal is Soriano moving down, but c'mon ... who expects that.

This team just isn't clicking. Lee looks like he's phoning it in most of the time. Geo hasn't been the same since the WBC. This team lacks focus among other things.
There are some positives though like the starters, Reed Johnson, etc. I just hope they take advantage of the Reds when they come to Cincinnati. The Reds won't have Votto or Volquez.

Lee looks like he's phoning it in most of the time.

Huh? I don't even know what this means. And do we really need to continue reminding people that Lee has the best OPS on the team since the beginning of May?

Look at it anyway you want, but this team is toast. I was not comfortable during the offseason with all the predictions saying they'll take the division easily, it's just a matter of if they can finally win in the playoffs. I agree with Joe above, and have realized that watching epic futility and mediocrity for just over forty years now has gotten, well, old. Goodbye Cubs.

toast? I'd be much more worried if there was a dominant team in the NL Central (heck ... if there was a dominant team in the NL - still not sold the Dodgers keep this pace up). Definitely concerned, but I'm not ready to concede on this season yet. I admit, I thought this was the Cubs division to lose entering the year, but it was plain as day to me, that the Brewers and Cards would be there. Now, how they've gotten "there" has surprised a bit (I thought Parra would breakthrough, didn't expect Bush to finally put together a solid run - that makes the Brewers quite scary, because if they can swing a trade for a starter and if Parra gets it going, suddenly, their rotation looks solid). But with Lee and Bradley having shown signs of life, with an improving system, with some surprises (Randy Wells), and with pitchers getting healthy, I'm not ready to count us out yet when every team is flawed.

My point is, step back and look at this team. Compare it to last year. Do you really feel good that they have a chance to go anywhere, barring miraculous improvements in the pen and their offense? I happened to turn the game on last night in the eighth, Cubs up 5-1, and really didn't think they were in a good place. Sure enough, fast forward and in comes Gregg and boom it's done. I've seen this movie thousands of times already. I don't know how old you are, but maybe there's a chance for you if you get out now ... life's too short to watch this crap product anymore. Aaron Miles???? Really?

I think last year a whole lot of things went drastically right, as happens on a regular basis. This year, a whole lot is going wrong. I voted very unsatisfied based on my impression that there is a lack of accountability on the part of the players, but I also suspect that injuries have more to do with their poor performance than meets the eye. If Lee's disc is as bad as they say, it could be pressing on a nerve and causing muscle weakness rather than just pain. I've read several accounts where scouts suspect Soto's shoulder is worse than he is letting on. Soriano evidently has a banged up knee although I can't tell how bad from any accounts.

All that is offset by Zambrano's personal rodeo, Bradley refusing to play at less than 100% (sounds familiar - September, 2008, Texas), Soto coming to camp fat. several bullpen guys making statements like "I'm throwing as well as ever, it's just not going where I want it to", and the Hendry-speak we always hear when he's interviewed. (How many "quality, quality" guys make up a .500 team?) So, I voted the worst selection.


The Cubs manager is in charge of who flies. If Zambrano was having problems getting to a plane, all he had to do was call Piniella and tell him why he wasn't going to make the flight. The manager could have signed off on him taking a later plane.

By just blowing off the flight, Zambrano disrespected the coaching staff and the other 24 players.

It's common to get permission not to fly with the team. And according to sources close to the matter, Zambrano's teammate Ryan Dempster asked for -- and received -- permission to fly later to Atlanta in order to help take care of some personal family business.


results should be available soon...

...at this point, who cares? And by that I mean I've written him off.

So far this year alone Day2Day Bradley has missed playing time because of his quad, the flu twice, his hamstring, his groin, his suspension, days Lou just gave him off, and now his left calf.

The list already defies credulity and we still have 2/3 of the season to go.

And just for the record the guys Lou has used in RF when Uncle Milty "can't" play have done very well. In fact the Cubs average right fielder ranks 5th in the NL in OPS, and has put up a line of .275 .387 .455 .842

Nav, when you're right you're right. I give more of a shit about my 12" softball team than Bradley does about the team paying him $30 million.

Unless this fucker is the real life Mr. Glass, I'm convinced it's all about attitude. Some guys want to play and others don't. It's pretty clear MB is among the latter.

MRI on a strained calf? my god...

Whats the odd's the results will come back no structural damage, day to day, and he misses the next 2 weeks cuz he isn't "100%" and never goes on the DL?

I am secretly wishing its shredded and we can end this fiasco of a signing and never have to see him in a Cubs uniform again.

1. You're not secretly wishing, it's been pretty obvious you wanted that as soon as rumors of his signing were made.

2. Bradley is on pace to play in 126 games, which is about what everyone expected. He's also on pace to hit about 15 more homers than Abreu.

He is on pace for 126 games, but that is not including his current injury which will likely keep him out for an undetermined amount of time.

Also, Abreu might have less HR's than Bradley, but has 7 more RBI and is 50 points higher in OPS. And I find it interesting you didn't bring up Ibanez. Let's compare those numbers...

Why don't we bring up Adam Dunn, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez? Oh, because those guys can't play (well OK, Rodriguez could) right field either.

I agree they need to make some changes, but there aren't a lot of roster changes they realistically can make. They can't trade Sori, DLee, Bradley, or Ramirez because of contracts/injuries. Even if Bradley were hitting great, his contract is awful in this recession. His appeal to other teams in the past was as a renegade on a 1 year contract for a reasonable salary. Now he's on a 3 year, 10 mil per, along with being injury prone and having a sometimes questionable attitude.

I can't see them trading for any infield help if they really think ARam is back sometime next month. They won't deal for someone who takes Fontenot's ab's once ARam returns. They love Theriot and there aren't any SS improvements available anyway. And they won't give up on Soto so soon after last year's breakout. Worst case with Soto if he continues to suck is they have to play him into next season before deciding to dump him.

They need bp help in the worst way, and that's the area I would expect them to try and address, it's just most teams aren't eager to count themselves out this early in June.

Let me guess... now you are going to pretend that you know that Raul Ibanez, at the age of 37, would put up MVP numbers.

And of course Hendry shouldn't have traded Marquis. What else is your rear view mirror going to tell us?

Are you asking me? I didn't want Ibanez, I didn't figure he could play RF. I also didn't want Bradley because of his injury history, especially on a multi-year deal. I'll admit I liked Abreu but only on a one year deal. I don't think he's been that great so far for the Angels, despite his avg., his power has disappeared.

The biggest thing I wouldn't have done is deal Derosa. I honestly thought he should have been in the mix in RF with Hoffpauir and whatever other 5th OF they brought in, and Dero would get a lot of games in the INF as well. That still would have gotten Fontenot into the lineup on most days.

I never understood the logic of complaining that a .280 21 hr 87 rbi guy was overpaid at 5 million, then replace him with a 10 million per year guy who had a career year of 77rbi last year who is always hurt. I don't care if Bradley is a switch hitter, Dero was a solid offensive player at a bargain price who doesn't have any injury history and his versatility is priceless, especially on a team that has no backup 3rd baseman.

I would have taken a long look at keeping Wood, but understand his salary demands might have been too high. No way do I trade Ceda for Gregg. Some other prospects for Gregg as a fall back guy if Wood left, maybe. I also thought they needed to add another proven veteran arm in the bullpen, preferably two. I would have looked at Joe Beimal since we needed a lefty and he was out there so long. I wouldn't have traded Wuertz away either.

None of that is rear view mirror quarterbacking. I wasn't happy with Hendry's moves at the time. Some of my moves wouldn't have worked out that well either, but much of what Hendry did I just don't agree with.

He was talking to Manny, but who ever said that DeRosa was overpaid? Hendry and probably Lou that though DeRosa would be replaceable with the Fontenaught and I guess Miles, who make less money than DeRosa, but no one ever called him overpaid. When you want to move salary it's easiest to trade players that other teams want.

Hendry used dropping Dero's salary as another excuse to move him. They wanted to get lefthanded and freeing up Dero's money gave them room to go after Bradley. He pulled the same crap with Wuertz, who is making 1.1 million this year. That 6.6 million for two players is outrageous, especially given the half dozen or more overpaid contracts Hendry dishes out in questionable moves.

Let me guess, Neal, you thought trading Dero for minor leaguers who couldn't help this season was a great move for a team that's supposed to be in contention to win the world series? You probably also thought stashing a rule 5 guy on a contending team was also a great move.

Hendry is a jackass. Even if you forget the past year, he's still a jackass with no clue how to build a team.

3 division titles and a 4th contending team prove you wrong.

I would of taken Ibanez over Bradley.

I would of and have take Ibanez too.

Who would be your right fielder?

Why did you wait until June 1st to state this obvious fact. Why didn't you say it back in November or December?

I said it over and over. If you guys had listened to me, then we'd have him instead of Bradley.

I'd have put Raul in RF. He could play it methinks.

Well, here's the post when Bradley signed, Dusty Baylor can safely say he was against him, most everyone else who commented thought it was great:


If I recall, Rob posted something earlier in the off-season comparing Ibanez, Abreu, and Bradley, among others. I couldn't find it, but it would be interesting to see the comments then when Ibanez had not busted out.

The fact remains that Ibanez hasn't been able to play a competent right field for 9 years. Mike C hated the Bradley signing. That doesn't make the earth flat or Derek Lee able to play shortstop. We needed a right fielder. Ibanez cannot play that position. It's quite simple.

I wanted Abreu and still do, so I don't really care.

But again, everything is not black or white, it's not like he either can or cannot play a position like RF. He would suck out there sure. But I would put an incompetent right fielder out there if he was going to hit .337/.395/.703; and the pitchers wouldn't give a shit either if he was putting up that line. Remember, in 2007 the player with the most starts in RF was Cliff Floyd, defensive extraordinaire. In 2006 it was dirtball Jacque Jones. In 2005, Jereomy Burnitz. This is not a tradition of excellence.

I agree. If Ibanez has a 1.100 OPS playing right field the pitchers would be happy. Now that we're firmly entrenched in Wonderland, let's start working on those Ramirez and Utley deals.

You do realize that he does have a 1.098 OPS currently, right?

Yes. Do you realize he has a career .830 OPS?

Yes. Do you realize we are talking about so far in 2009?

No, we're talking about singing FA outfielders in the 2008/2009 off season.

If we're evaluating how Hendry has done, it's certainly fair to compare guys he could have signed to guys he did, but it's stupid to think of Ibanez as Barry Bonds. He's had a nice start. It doesn't make him the league's best hitter. Bradley's had a rough start, it doesn't make him the league's worst RF'er.

"No, we're talking about singing FA outfielders in the 2008/2009 off season."

Does Ibanez have a nice voice? :)

Ibanez is not a good OF. Absolutely true. Would he perhaps...I dunno...produce some offense? Play in most of the games? Not blame the umpires? Not blame the media?

This whole MB fiasco may right itself, and for the Cubs' sake, I hope it does. But I will not say it's a certainty.

What fiasco?

What has happened here is that a bunch of knuckleheads are taking all their angst about the Cubs rough start and blaming it on Bradley. Bradley has been part of the problem, but so have:


When 2 out of 5 starter pitchers, one reliever and 2 out of 8 starting position players are not hurt or playing under expectations, the team is not going to do well.

Re: Ibanez's defense...

I haven't watched that many Phillies games this year, but from what I've seen, Ibanez has been totally fine in LF. I realize LF is different than RF, but I haven't seen anything that has made me believe Ibanez couldn't be anything worse than league average out there.

He covers decent ground, gets decent jumps on ball in the air, and has a perfectly adequate arm from what I can tell, having made a couple of really impressive assists from LF to home plate. And he hasn't done anything "stupid" out there. Of course, Ibanez benefits by comparing him to Pat Burrell, who makes almost anyone in LF look athletic.

And while Ibanez's offense will eventually return to earth some, I wouldn't be surprised if he hits way above his career OPS because he plays half his games in a hitter-friendly park, and he bats in a stacked line-up, usually hitting between or around Utley, Howard, Werth, Victorino, etc (Bradley's offensive numbers would likely be better if he was a Phillie).

And, almost as noteworthy as anything, the city LOVES Ibanez already, which is rare for Philly to warm up to someone so fast (for example, Philly was cold to Abreu, etc). Ibanez is fun to root for, which, unfortunately, is a little bit rare on the current Cubs roster.

The hindsight game sucks, and it's only part of the way into the first year of Ibanez's and Bradley's contracts, but at this point there is absolutely no doubt over who is the superior player and teammate.

I wouldn't be surprised if choosing Bradley over Ibanez turns out to be one of Hendry's worst moves.


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  • I don't think his issue(s) will have anything to do with it. He hasn't hit since he's been back. Coghlan has the hot hand.

    Tito 1 hour 46 min ago view
  • I'm not a denier but definitely a skeptic on Strop and Grimm, who struggle with fastball control. Strop doesn't go near the ninth inning, and note how Grimm couldn't close the deal even with a 5-run lead. So Felix Pena comes in and gets the 3-pitch game-ending strikeout like it was nothing.

    And how about Almora missing that very catchable ball? That was unexpected after all the hype about his glove.

    When Trea Turner misses balls like that--which he does--I draw conclusions from it. It seems to be the one chink in his armor. But I'll give Almora another chance.

    VirginiaPhil 1 hour 50 min ago view
  • Assuming Soler is good to go, I think it comes down to 3 of the following 4: Coghlan, TLS, Sczcur, Almora. Of the 4, TLS seems to be the hardest to justify, particularly given his behavioral issues.

    billybucks 1 hour 55 min ago view
  • I'm wondering if both Coghlan and LaStella make it. With Javy being able to play all the infield spots and Joe maybe wanting late-inning D when Soler plays (assuming he plays), hence either Szczur or Almora, I think LaStella might be the odd guy out.

    Tito 1 hour 58 min ago view
  • Hendricks needs the win, anyway, plus a couple more.

    My hunch is that Hendricks wins the Cy Young . . . for Lester. That is, without Hendricks tipping the scale toward the Cubs, Scherzer tops Lester.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 11 min ago view
  • Old Cub fans remember when Ken Hubbs died at 22 in the crash of a small plane he was piloting in a storm in Utah in 1964. But Hubbs was not an elite power pitcher like Score and Fernandez. Score lived a long time after the accident but it was (effectively) career-ending.

    VirginiaPhil 2 hours 15 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: Since I've only seen them throw in one game and in one "live" BP session, all I can do is provide initial first impressions.

    Brailyn Marquez is listed at 6'4 but is probably more like 6'5 or 6'6. I would describe him as a younger version of Bryan Hudson, throwing a ton of ground balls but not getting a lot of swings & misses (yet). Because of his size he could eventually grow into more velocity, but right now he's mostly a pitch-to-contact guy. He generally throws strikes.

    Arizona Phil 2 hours 20 min ago view
  • Phil, do Marquez and Ocampo look like prospects?

    Hagsag 6 hours 5 min ago view
  • It helps when your defense has declared war against the H in WHIP.

    Still impressive.

    John Beasley 6 hours 7 min ago view
  • Lackey finishes with a 3.35 ERA. Currently good for 13th in the NL. Not bad for a guy signed to be a #3 starter in a 15-team league.

    He is also 6th in WHIP. Pretty amazing: Cubs have the #2, #3, #5 and #6 starters in WHIP.

    billybucks 13 hours 1 min ago view
  • Completely meaningless game, but Pena striking out Sean the Turd to with the bases loaded was very fun.

    Other than one bad game in SD, Pena has been very good. Even with that game, 9.0 IP, 13 K, 0.89 WHIP.

    billybucks 13 hours 6 min ago view
  • 101 wins...most since 1910 (104).

    neat. ...or sad. pick one. pick both. 'murica.

    crunch 13 hours 21 min ago view
  • Just looked up Grimm's stats -- after a great run, he gave up 2 runs vs. MIL then didn't pitch for 10 days. Don't remember why?

    billybucks 13 hours 24 min ago view
  • Sean Rodriguez's helmet looks like it's taking a dump

    jacos 13 hours 28 min ago view
  • Grimm not doing himself any favors lately re: making the playoff squad. Seems to have lost the feel for his curveball.

    billybucks 13 hours 33 min ago view
  • j.grimm is literally worse than hitler.

    felix pena, your turn.

    crunch 13 hours 34 min ago view