Tough Week for the Cubs and Their Fans

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Tim Souers is the illustrator and author of Cubby Blue and appreciates the opportunity to guest blog here at The Cub Reporter.


A reply from Mr. Jim Hendry:

"We have players who are good enough. We just haven't been able to keep them on the field or click on all cylinders more than a couple of weeks here or there."

Correction: We have some players that are good enough.

Cubs C: 228/319/368/687 92 OPS+
Cubs 2B: 244/299/364/663 76 OPS+
Cubs LF: 248/313/431/743 90 OPS+
Cubs RF: 261/373/389/761 97 OPS+

When you have $16M tied up in just two of the players that have contributed to that, you have a problem. Yes, Milton's been better lately, but that doesn't change the point. You have an even bigger problem when your bullpen is flammable.

You have an even bigger problem when your bullpen is flammable.

MMM. Roasted MarshallMarmols.

Is the plan for this offseason to get more right handed? Or shall we go to an all switch-hitting lineup?

I've got a source on the inside who says that instead of making personnel changes, the Cubs are just going to have all the right-handed batters learn to bat lefty and all the left-handed batters switch to the right side. Switch-hitters are going to learn to throw knuckleballs with their non-dominant throwing hand.

finally, i got a favorite souers comic. thanks for meeting the low-brow 1/2 way. nice font.

i'm tired of people feeling sorry for Cubs fans? what are we a bunch of wussies? NO we have fun watching win or lose. in fact we revel in the fact that we can make fun of an often crappy team.

It's raining like hell in the western suburbs, hurricane like winds at times too (ok, not hurricane like but extremely strong), bottom line, in an hour or so when this moves into the city I would expect a rain delay.

Reds beat writers pile on Dusty...

“I talk to the players about all this, but as manager I don’t have to talk to anybody about anything,” Baker said. “It’s just I’ve always done as a manager. As a player you always like to know why things were done."

ha...welcome to "no shit" CIN beat writers. is it your first year on the job? doesn't everyone in baseball know this for oh...15+ years now? can someone get this guy a TV or a newspaper? wait...

...and no amount of crying about it in print will change it.

baaaaaaaaaaw!!!!! *cry cry cry*

It was just a matter of time before agents figured out that they can use these numbers to advance the cases for guys like Milton Bradley, Adam Everett, etc.

hold on...

an article by math nerds who like baseball calling out baseball nerds who like math being out of their league?

this is an interesting pissing contest.


an article by math nerds who like baseball calling out baseball nerds who like math being out of their league?

Huh? Where in the article did it talk about the players being out of their league? Or even anything close to it?

Did you even read the article?

fine...they're picking on the media for blowing the player's opinions and work out of proportion as bigger than it is.

No... they are picking on the media for having no clue what they are talking about.



I think they're picking on media for treating mathematics like most women treat car maintenance - just throw your hands up in the air and look befuddled until someone helps you out. If you don't use algebra semi-regularly it fades pretty quick.

Cubs with largest winning percentage split against sub .500 and above .500 teams this year...

Thank you, Captain Obvious.

Just kidding. Someone's got to do the leg work.

yeah, didn't mean to imply that was breaking any new ground...but interesting to see the actual numbers and comparision to the rest of the league...

I agree, and you didn't imply breaking news, I'm just being a jerk. Rain delays do that to a fella.

Cards down 5-4 in 6th, Rockies down big in their first game, but that means Marlins will win, Braves tonight, Giants lost...

Stat I would like to see: Attendance figures at parks when Cubs are visitors vs other teams, like how does attendance at Houston go up when the Cubs play there. My theory is, teams are gunning for the Cubs more than ever because: 1) Cub fans are a high percentage of attendance and 2) More of their own fans show up to watch against the Cubs. Does Colorado average 40K when even the Dodgers are in town? What about San Diego? Is there more preparation, player and team aggression when they look ahead and see Cubs on the schedule and they know they will play before a bigger crowd?

What I'm proposing is that fear-factor of losing to the Cubs is higher than most...when the Cubs beat the Nats 4 for 4 after that they went on a freak terror streak and payed us back by vamping the Phils up.

Talk is always about inning management, maybe Lou should evolve a series management plan (I know there is some of that already), like go over a team's last 6 wins and loses, ex-cub factors, etc.

Another stat (and I like this) is to use the plus/minus system like in hockey for defensive purposes. Runs scored against you, while you were at shortstop, for example, minus runs scored during an inning when you had an at bat...

Is this over-analysis at it's best or worst? A rain delay can do strange things to ya!

Attendance figures, I think percentage is percentae filled of capacity for venue which Cubs lead on the road (4th overall).

game postponed...that only took 3 hours.

Re: "Visiting Fans" - this was recently written about - I believe perhaps even in U.S.A. Today - during the Cubs trip in Colo.

In the NL - its the Cubs, then Cards, & Dodgers/Phillies - Braves had more market share during their heyday.

This is off gate receipts I believe.

In the MLB - its Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs - the the rest of the above.

...and STL ties in the bottom of the 9th.

...and walkoff homer wins it.


5-7 final.

Sorry to say it...this is their year.

An all star team at nearly every position, and two Aces.

Wild Card will be the only chance in 2009 in my opinion.

And even that will be dicey.

Yes, they improved drastically at the trade deadline. Of course the Cubs could have also improved, but they didn't. If it's due to ownership issues, Hendry needs to call them out on it.

The Cardinals really are fun to watch. Unless you are a Cubs fan. %#$&%@!

...Colby Fuckin' Rasmus...

Firefox flagged "fuckin'" as a mis-spelling, suggested the following corrections: 'Trucking', 'Luckiness', 'Flocking', and 'Buckingham'. Might be useful as euphemisms...

Gives new meaning to the name of Buckingham Fountain.

Must be on a Windows machine?


Trucking Aaron Miles...

firefox has one of the worst english spell correction dictionaries I've ever used.

it's trucking awful.

Fun facts for today:

Remaining schedule: Opponents' combined records: Stl (.482 Wpct), Chc (.475 Wpct), the Cubs have a slightly softer schedule from here out.


StL record since the ASG: 18-10, Cubs: 17-12


Ted Lilly's (9-7 3.59 ERA) last game was July 20th, returning from injury tonight.


Zambrano's (7-4 3.35 ERA) last game was Aug 1, scheduled to return Aug 25 after rehab start this Thursday.

Three things, A. I think the Cubs need to tighten their game up and figure out how to drive in a run without a homer, B. Stl needs to come back down to earth. If they keep playing like they have this past week there's no way the Cubs can catch them, and C. A-Ram has to be in the lineup. The rain out came at an opportune time.

Wait! You are saying that if the Cardinal continue playing .800 baseball, that the cubs won't catch them.


You're absolutely right, except for the fact that 18-10 is .642 ball.

You're absolutely right, except for the fact that 8-2 is .800 ball.

"If they keep playing like they have this past week"

So unless they played 28 games in a week, shut up.

They played 10 games in a week?

no. but a 10 game sample is much more indicative of how they have been playing for the last week than looking at the last 38 games.

further more if you only want to look at the last 7 days, it's .857.

Sure Chad, I guess it should be obvious if they play 800 ball (or whatever number you guys decided that the cards have played in the last week) that they'll win. I guess my point was not really about their record, it was about how they are playing: Mashing the ball, good fundamentals, fighting back even when they are down runs. They improved significantly at the trade deadline and I would even venture to say they are a better team than the Cubs at this point.

let's see how they do against the dodgers as opposed to us. i think the big difference between the cubs and the cards right now is that the cards show up against good teams while the cubs hide.

"let's see how they do against the dodgers as opposed to us."

Unfortunately, the last time the Cards faced the Dodgers, they beat them 3 out of 4. Better hope the Dodgers wake up for this series. They're 6-9 so far this month. That, my friends, is a .400 winning pct.

Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.

the rain out struck me as odd...sitting at the park while it wasn't raining for nearly 2 hours. It did rain hard right before the cubs were about to take the field, they did get the national anthem in. Then the grounds crew rolled out the tarp but didn't unfold it to cover the infield, then they rolled it back up...until it poured and the umps said to put the tarp back on. Before 2pm it wasn't raining until almost after 4pm...but the radar looked like hell (all the tv screens, viewable in the grandstands and upper deck were showing live weather radar of the area) and the PA announced around 2pm that they expected heavy storms and would be waiting about an hour.

Modern technology and the radar failed someone yesterday. In the 1960's this game would have been least 5-6 innings worth but today they anticipate via radar and don't just play based on whether it's raining or not. Even leaving by 4:45 pm when the game was called, it was a light drizzle and could have continued (it the game had previously started). Of course, it was get-away-day so they probably didn't want to reschedule everyone's flight.

We left the moments the words left the PA guy's mouth - "We are waiting until AFTER the thunderstorm arrives at Wrigley Field in about an hour" or something like that. It was 2:35 or something.

I have seen games (and have sat there - we all have) where the rain was much worse, and still in play. After the initial downpour at 1:15 - there was ample time to get an "official" game in - in my opinion.

It was just bullshit. The team is on a "winning streak", with our "hot pitcher" against theirs - and even with .197 Miles playing, I think we could have had a shot at keeping pace with the Cards yesterday.

Not to mention, it was a waste of a day, and more money, for the 40,000+ fans who sat there for that. Boooooo!

"more money, for the 40,000+ fans who sat there for that."

You mean the Cubs kept charging at the concession stands??

This is one instance where I would let the fans leave and come back if game starts with their ticket stubs.

But then I'm not that greedy.

Freaking San Deigo... a 10 pm start for us in eastern time zone.


The long awaited sale of the Chicago Cubs should finally be signed this week between the Tribune Company and the Ricketts family. The process has been ongoing since April of 2007 but now it is finally about to be completed.

Excellent sources have assured me that there are no more hurdles to clear and the paperwork will be signed by Friday. It will then move on to an MLB ownership committee then a stop in front of the bankruptcy judge and finally it will need approval of the other owners in Major League Baseball. All of this should be wrapped up by the World Series or shortly thereafter and it should pave the way for Tom Ricketts and his family to finally have the keys to the Cubs Kingdom...

There are several agonizing things about this blog entry from Kaplan. Number one I hate it when someone claims to have an excellent source. Even if it is a reliable source, if you only have reliable sources, you shouldn't have to tell us it's an excellent source.

Second, how he says there will be no more hurdles, but then goes on to talk about how after signing the dotted line, they have all these other hurdles to go over. Not only that he makes all these other hurdles sound nonchalant, like "...then a stop in front of the bankruptcy judge..." as if bankruptcy court has a drive-thru or something.

It will then move on to an MLB ownership committee

Actually the deal has to be approved by more than one MLB committee and the vetting process is expected to take weeks

then a stop in front of the bankruptcy judge

Where it may be challenged if Sam Zell loses control of the Trib between now and then

and finally it will need approval of the other owners in Major League Baseball. All of this should be wrapped up by the World Series or shortly thereafter

Well, it's not going to be wrapped up before the WS is over because the owners don't meet again until November 17th.

..then a stop in front of the bankruptcy judge..." as if bankruptcy court has a drive-thru or something.
only works for bankruptcy filings like GM or Burger King

Nice post Ryno.

I don't mind the affable Kap too much, and he was nice to me in the one instance I met him (that's all it takes for most of us right?), but its the same guy who said Crane Kenny assured him that if a move can be made to improve the team at the deadline, the money would be there.

Yeah. Right, Crane.

I don't mind Kap at all, either. I just didn't care for this blog entry much.

Smoltz officially released. I doubt the Cubs are interested but it would be fun seeing him in the bullpen. Well least more fun than... say the brewers seeing David Weathers ugly mug.

Smoltz, 42, does not intend to retire and is open to joining clubs as a starter or reliever, a source told Rosenthal over the weekend.

It's worth the phone call, i think.

this yrs 1st round draft pick is on fire...especially considering how many 1st rounders might not sign at all.

Jackson, Brett CF 6 3 4 3 .320 HR (5), 2B (4);

Chock full of toolsy goodness!

This is what happens when you base your facts on just ESPN reporting, very convuletd list on "worst" fan bases.

I would say if anything wrong about most Cub fans they are overly optimistic.

Where's the White Sox fans? Even the Cardinals one does not make sense.

Under honorable mentions, he should have just listed every sports team in America, then categorized the article as "Asinine Generalizations" instead of "Humor."

Why did I read that?

For what it's worth, I too despise the "woe is me, being a Cubs fan is all about losing, suffering, and being fated to fail," Cubs fan. I also hate that people perpetuate the perception that all Cubs fans are like that.

Every time I read an article about sports printed in newspapers or magazines, or hear a TV report, I think that sports writing probably shouldn't exist. But that's unfair. Just these people shouldn't be doing it, and we should all ignore ESPN.

I would say if anything wrong about most Cub fans they are overly optimistic.
yep I'm optimistic, been down so long it feels like up to me

(...till I met a Cub fan who told me to fuck off and stop feeling sorry for myself)

I liked the Brett Jackson pick, but I can't get too excited about a college player in low A. I don't know where low A compares to a top NCAA schedule , but let's see how he does when he goes up the ladder.

lilly up, berg down.

So it turns out that AUBREY HUFF (.284 .342 .476 .818 career) could have been had for an A level relief pitching prospect. At least that's what the Tigers just traded the Orioles for him.

Huff, of course, bats left handed and can play third base as well as first and was mentioned occasionally as someone Hendry was considering.

Does anyone remember way back when who Rays wanted for Huff from Cubs?

I remember it was like something Cubs would not part with but now looking back....

Pretty "meh" towards the deal. I actually thought the Tigers paid a pretty high premium for Huff given that they assumed his salary for the rest of the season and also lost a pitcher who was rated their 10th overall system prospect and was a 4th round pick a year ago.

Remember, all of this for a month and a half of a guy who, despite having a decent bat, is really inadequate at best at a slew of potential positions. His .725 OPS is a far cry from the .912 he posted last year and his July / August numbers have been nothing short of awful after a respectable first half.

If the Tigers wanted this, they should have just held onto Sheffield. I'll take Jake Fox anyday over the current incarnation of Huff (although certainly not over the 2003 or 2008 incarnations).

Prospects are nice, but when you can get a guy like Huff, who cares.

Is this sarcasm?

Aubrey Huff, who is as likely to be outplayed by Lee, Ramirez, Bradley, Soriano, and Fox as he is to add any value to the team while still earning a pretty considerable salary? I'll hold onto my prospect and my cash, thank you.

For the Tigers he at least can slot into LF immediately, though Clete Thomas has put up a .742 OPS, .011 better than Huff's .731. Of course, Huff's middling performance this year is a big part of why he's still available, and I'm sure the Tigers are mostly hoping they get lucky and get 1 1/2 months of red hot Huff.

hell, i'd put a not-quite-100% guillen in LF before i considered huff, myself.

the idea of huff playing 3rd is about as bad as fox, too.

btw, for the lack of errors at 3rd fox is still playing a pretty bad/iffy 3rd. he catches almost everything off the hip, backhanded, or both at the same time. it's like watching an immobile hockey goalie. he doesn't come up in great position to throw, either. aram used to do this a lot when he got to the cubs. now he gets in front of a lot more stuff and it's let him use that cannon arm a lot better as a result (along with less number of clumbsy looking passed balls).

Hart (0-1 6.35 in 2 starts for the Pirates) facing the Brewers tonight. Just gave up a run on two hits in the first inning.

tonight's game isn't on EI.


Recent comments

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  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 2 hours 6 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 5 hours 4 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 5 hours 16 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 5 hours 25 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 5 hours 30 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 5 hours 49 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 6 hours 25 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 6 hours 42 min ago view
  • Soler BB acumen and plate awareness is excellent. Not unusual for even the best players to react as if they were about to hit them, "even though they weren't that close" from your vantage point sitting on your deck, or wherever.

    The E-Man 6 hours 44 min ago view
  • soler vs inside breaking balls is scary.

    he's had 2 inside curve balls today where he reacted as if they were about to hit him even though they weren't that he bailed out of the box on, it was a called strike.

    crunch 7 hours 2 min ago view
  • j.urias optioned back to AAA...guess we wont be seeing him in the LAD series.

    crunch 7 hours 9 min ago view
  • so is him actually getting 2 hits in a game (2 doubles!)...first time he's even been on base 2 times in a game since 9 games ago on his 3/4, 1bb day.

    im ready for him to at least look like a 2-slot hitter since he's gonna be slotted there no matter what he does.

    crunch 8 hours 5 min ago view
  • That Heyward move to avoid Bryant's ball hit at him was a thing of beauty too.

    johann 8 hours 23 min ago view
  • 9 pitches in and this game already rules.

    HR, double...bryant's turn (who came out to a Kris Kross song for some horrible, horrible reason).

    ...2 run inning...zoobrest hitting streak at 14.

    crunch 8 hours 27 min ago view
  • First time I saw Herrera was yesterday. He took like 100 pitches, fouled off a ton off Lester.

    Very nice young player and perfect leadoff guy.

    The E-Man 9 hours 37 min ago view
  • Obviously not Phil. But he mentioned this on Wednesday.

    "Dominican Summer League (DSL) Opening Day is Saturday June 4th, so probably about 8-10 pitchers and position players presently at EXST in Mesa will be sent to the Cubs Dominican Academy (probably sometime this week) and be assigned to either DSL Cubs #1 or DSL Cubs #2."

    In the comments here:

    QuietMan 10 hours 16 min ago view