Cub-Fan Misery Loves Company
It's not that there is absolutely nothing positive to say about the Cubs right now. It's that the positives are so deep beneath so much raw sewage, I just don't have it in me to go baling through the muck to uncover them.
Instead, I have decided that the best way to get through this latest low spot in this awful season is to find a National League team even more woeful than our Cubs.
There are some solid candidates:
— Our friends to the north, the Brewers, who have dropped three in a row to fall a season-worst 10 games under .500. They lost Monday to the Marlins when Ken Macha, whose job seems to be hanging by a thread, left his starting pitcher in one batter too long, and they lost Tuesday when Macha was forced to pull David Bush because of a blister and replaced him with Trevor Hoffman. Three hits, two walks, and three runs followed. Yes, that's Trevor Hoffman of the 11.65 ERA and imminent retirement party.
Of course, what's really miserable about the Brewers this year is that they're SO bad, they have dropped five of six to the Chicago Cubs.
— The Diamondbacks, who have lost nine games in a row, including a 10-inning, 1-0 defeat at Los Angeles last night in which Dan Haren held the Dodgers scoreless for eight innings, threw a career-high 126 pitches, and had to settle for an ND. That came on the heels on a defeat Monday in which Arizona coughed up a 4-2, eighth-inning lead and lost 5-4 on a walk-off balk, which according to the AZ Snakepit blog, has happened less frequently since 1954 than perfect games. And, oh, yeah—the Diamondbacks' upcoming schedule includes a stretch in which they'll play, in order, the Cardinals, Red Sox, Tigers, Yankees, Rays, and Cardinals again.
Sounds miserable to me. The thing about the Diamondbacks is, they won 100 games and made the playoffs in their second year in existence (1999) and then won the World Series just two years later, so my attitude about Arizona is what it has long been: shut up and suffer. By Cub standards, you used up your good fortune for the next several decades back in 2001.
— The Astros, who are last in the NL Central, 18-34, 12 1/2 games out of first, and 5 1/2 games behind the Cubs. Houston tough guy/poster boy Roy Oswalt says he doesn't want to be an Astro any more. And owner Drayton McLane has established such a record for knuckleheadedness that Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle is pointing to the Cubs (!) and in effect saying, "Dammit, Drayton. Why can't we do business like those guys?"
So who is the most miserable of all? Right now, I would have to give the nod to the Astros. They get special woefulness points for bringing up the rear in baseball's most woeful division. On the other hand, they did take two of three from the Cubs when the teams met back in April here in Chicago, and the two clubs will be meeting again in Houston over the next few days.
Who says the Cubs won't have anything to play for in 2010?
I think while I get you're saying with moving around a lot of baseball is very rhythm based and for many players moving around a lot could disrupt that. It's the same reason many players aren't cut out for phing or dhing since they need to be in the rhythm of the game to hit.
Of course then you have players like LaStella who are terrible as starters and should only PH. Really hope Madden doesn't get enthralled with him starting too much.
KKVG: Among the players at Extended Spring Training, Isaac Paredes is the most-impressive position-player from the Cubs 2015-16 IFA class (I'm not including OF Eddy Julio Martinez, because he skipped EXST and began the season at South Bend). Paredes has legit game power and handles himself well at SS, although I think he will likely eventually end-up at 2B or 3B (maybe not this year, but down-the-line). It is possible that Paredes will get assigned to Eugene (and skip AZL) next month, and I would say he's the only one of the Cubs 2015-16 IFA position players who could.
Having been a mediocre HS player, I would think at a professional level - and in their 20's - doesn't it sound actually FUN to have a chance to play different positions in a 162-Game, uber-long season?
It has to take some of the monotony out of the job and keep you on your toes.
In fact, the best manufacturing floor job satisfaction training theories include job rotation as a way to improve employee satisfaction.
I hope Maddon can keep it going.
(It's usually KK, because his DNA is more like ours.)
Not just Maddon, but the organization as a whole. If the rumors are to be believed, they did a good job of letting Baez learn that he needed to change his approach, and Baez has done a good job listening to their instructions an adapting. Hopefully the same is true of Alomar, who is ripping up AAA.
Previous management teams haven't been as good at this (e.g. Corey Patterson).
Man, this team makes you greedy. Going into Pittsburgh -- with Cole vs. Hammel Game 1 -- I was hoping for 2 out of 3. After winning the first 2 games 14-3, I now want a sweep. Same thing happened in STL. Very, very fun.
Repeating myself, but I give Maddon a lot of credit for Baez's success. Instead of talking about monster HRs and high K totals, he has talked up his defense, versatility and being a "special" player. The kid seems to have responded.
BOB: The attendance has taken a big hit since you left.
K-DUB: I think the Cubs might consider skipping Dylan Cease past South Bend and starting him at Myrtle Beach next season, especially if he gets some time at South Bend this season and pitches well there. As a southern kid with TJS history, pitching at Myrtle Beach in April is probably a lot more attractive than pitching in South Bend, but Cease can't go to Myrtle Beach if he isn't ready for Hi-A.
His story makes him someone I completely root for to succeed but it's interesting that he's not succeeding in the way anyone thought when he was just a prospect. Great defense and contact instead of power. I think failing so glaringly and getting sent back down might have been the best thing for him and his ego.
He still swings at too many balls out of the strike zone but he's making a lot more contact on them which I think is helped by the less violent swing. So we might not get all the HRs we were expecting but I'll gladly take what he's giving.
"KingKongVsGodzilla"? So - was there a winner?
Baez is looking like a pretty special player.
Love checking TCR for your writeups. Quick question - any of these 2015 positional IFAs stand out to you yet? I'm most specifically referring to Kwon, Sierra, Paredes, and Amaya, but I know there's a couple other guys from that class in EXST as well.
bored...looking at stats for the hell of it...
felix pena (26yo) moving to the pen in AAA is looking like an insanely good fit so far in a smallish sample size
13ip 4h 3bb 20K
remembering back to spring training he was regularly hitting mid-90s (though he didn't have a good spring stats-wise). as a starter in the minors he usually worked low-90s.
this could be an arm worth keeping an eye on even if he's only a 1-inning guy who was "demoted" to the pen to start the year.
Phil, historically this front office has been patient with their prep pitchers keeping their IP low and moving them one level at a time. I know I'm getting ahead of myself, and you may not be able to formulate an opinion on this, but you've seen a lot of pitchers over the years, so...
also, after tonight's loss, STL is 13-14.
also also, the wsox are 19-8.