A toast to Don Zimmer

As far as dirt kicking and arm flailing and eyes bulging and just overall knowing how to get in an umpires face, there was nobody more entertaining than Don Zimmer.
Just the other day I was talking about how charm left the game when instant replay became a baseball reality.
Zim was the first guy I thought of when I imagined what IR would do to the game.
How it'll erode that passionate baseball sideshow that I enjoyed so much - the manager freak out.

This season, when I watch Ricky Renteria (or any manager) run out onto the field not to argue, but to waste time while some guy can watch the replay and tell Ricky that he should either appeal or not, well you know.. that's the price of technology.
Bland.
Video gamish.
Reduced to arguing balls and strikes.

Anyway, Zim was the absolute best at... displaying passion. 
Lou Piniella?
He mostly lost that particular fire by the time he came to the Cubs.
Zim also managed the '89 Cubs, the year they played the Giants in the NLCS.
Joe Girardi's first year as a player.
Andre, Grace, Dunston, Sandberg, Luis Salazar, Vance Law, Sutcliffe, Scott Sanderson, Assenmacher. 
Mike Bielecki won 18 games that year and had a 3.14 ERA.
That other guy Maddux had 19 and 2.95.
Mitch Williams on the mound with the line shot bouncing off his temple and the noise even out in the bleachers making me want to hurl.
They lost to the Giants in the NLCS.
But what a great year to be a Cub Fan.
Zim got canned a couple years later, and never really left the game.

Anyway, here's to Don Zimmer, pretty much a Cub immortal.

(the watercolor is from a photo I found online from some memorabilia site)

Comments

nice one.

...and MLB really needs to do something about managers coming out to stall while someone else in the dugout calls their video room to see if they should protest or not. it's leading to many "uncounted" delays of games whether they do or do not decide to challenge a call.

Capt Happy got tossed again last nite for arguing strikes

ugg...ready for this draft to be over with...well, round 1/2/3 anyway.

the amount of round 10+ talent linked to the cubs #4 pick is kinda scarey...a lot of light hitting guys and fat LF/1st (maybe RF) types that most people wouldn't pick #4 in this draft class. if they do go with some guy like this i'll care a lot more about what's going on in rounds 2/3.

i'm still in a bit of self-imposed disbelief believing they're going to go for aaron nola if they dont get aiken/rondon/kolek.

I agree. Kyle Schwarber? Seriously?

From May 17-June 1 Olt started and played 9 innings in 11 of 14 games. He responded with a .114/.195/.257 line and struck out in nearly half of his PAs (19/41). Meanwhile Valbuena has an .815 OPS which is second on the team to only Rizzo. I'm still holding out hope that Olt will adjust and become a serviceable starter, but if I were the manager I would be getting Valbuena at-bats too and trying my best to play matchups with Olt to get him some confidence somehow.

What's Barney's #'s vs Olt?

Put Valbuena at second

Barney over the same time has a .154/.179/.192 line. He has just fallen off a cliff the last two years. 2011-2012 were solid and I was hoping he'd fill the position decently for a few years, but I'd have to imagine he's a candidate to be released at some point. Alcantara is putting up solid numbers at AAA so far and they are almost identical to his AA numbers last year, with a bit more power and better defense. I expect if he keeps everything up he will be called up later this summer.

^this

Well put Wiscgrad! I like Olt...and I hope he can be serviceable at 3B...but he's got to make some contact.

the power is there...the D is decent...the walk rate isn't bad...the lack of quality contact and Ks are horrid.

olt needs to play everyday to see if he's worth playing, whether at AAA or the majors. valbuena is under club control for 2 more seasons and i still don't understand why he's not seeing a majority of playing time at 2nd with a great need there + a pipeline full of 3rd basemen stretching from A ball to the majors. valbuena isn't a GG 2nd, but he seems to play better than average/passable 2nd...seems to be good enough to be a regular there.

Barney is robbing Olt's chance, not Valbuena.

Thanks for this perspective, but now I'm confused...I thought we were supposed to hate "Capt. Happy" 50-whatever games into the season because of the crap team he's trying to manage and how he's treated Olt.

In all serious, I like Olt, too, but those numbers don't lie.

send him down or play him if you don't think he has anything left to learn

Once they're done trading Samardzija and Hammel (any mayber Sureouts), I want to see Baez and Bryant and Alcantara called up on the same day, Barney will be gone by then, Olt can be sent to AAA and Villanueva demoted to AA.

#pieinthesky

Olt batted around .278 in spring training with 5 HR and seemed confident and in a groove. Granted it WAS spring training. That said in April he was allowed 3 magical stretches of being able to play 2 days in a row and 1 three day stretch in the final week of the month. (He had 1 HR and 3 RBI over those three days.)

In May 2014 Olt was allowed an almost unheard of 6 days in a row starting at 3B. From May 7-12 he of course hit 4 HR had 8 RBI and 7 K's. The last day of this stretch he hit his team leading 8th HR and tied for the team lead in RBI. He was benched the next day. The next time he started 2 days in a row was the 17th and 18th ... he homered on the 18th and was benched the next day.

On May 20-23 he was allowed 4 precious starts in 4 days. He had 4 RBI against the Yankees (3 in the victory against Tanaka). Two ofers against SD and he was benched. The 27th and 28th he started back to back against SF and has been riding the pine since even when Bonofacio started at 3B when Valbuena was injured.

The above constitutes all instances where Olt played back to back days or more. It seems to me that the numbers DO kind of lie. I can't see where this kid was allowed to get into a rhythm and he was arguably benched on 5/13 when he was the hottest he's ever been ... Certainly at the MLB level.

1.Lake, LF
2.Ruggiano, CF
3.Rizzo, 1B
4.Castro, SS
5.Valbuena, 3B
6.Schierholtz, RF
7.Barney, 2B
8.Whiteside, C
9.Wood, P

yet another in a series of "well, then...whatever" lineups thrown together from the collective vomit pile of talent known as the 2014 chicago cubs.

Callis mock draft from today;

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/mock-draft-jim-callis-picks-for-the-...

OF Michael Conforto

The Cubs covet pitching, but if Aiken and Rodon aren't available, they likely will take a position player over Kolek or Nola. The Cubs would bypass Jackson to take Olympia High (Orlando, Fla.) shortstop Nick Gordon if they consider only talent. They're also mulling a discounted deal with one of four college position players, then using the savings to sign pitchers taken later in the Draft. Conforto and Kennesaw State catcher Max Pentecost are higher in Chicago's pecking order than Indiana catcher/outfielder Kyle Schwarber and North Carolina State shortstop Trea Turner.

Caliis, Law and Baseball America have Conforto, Mayo says Schwarber and a few have Gordon

Navin (Pasadena, CA)
You mentioned the Cubs are the floor for Aiken. About how likely would it be he falls to 4?

Klaw (2:06 PM)
20%.

Recent comments

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  • Chapman shouldn't be reserved anymore on 40 man.

    chitownmvp01 22 min 31 sec ago view
  • Interesting split on Heyward according to ESPN. As a CF, his slash line .292/.363/.375/.738. At RF: .212/.204/.300/.604. 21/72 as a CF, 58/273 as a RF.

    He's also been better when batting 2nd, but he had a nice start in the 6 hole, but has slumped ever since. He was heating up before the All Star break, but is only hitting .108 in the 2nd half.

    chitownmvp01 30 min 30 sec ago view
  • When we played the Reds with Chapman, I always thought of it as an eight-inning game. So now other teams have eight innings to try to get a lead against the Cubs. Should be a challenge, assuming three or four Cubs ever start hitting again.

    I don't really try to get to know and like these players personally. I'm rooting for laundry, for the most part. Exceptions might be when a player makes trouble in the clubhouse or in the dugout. (Zambrano and Bradley come to mind. Also Papelbon.) But I don't think Chapman is one of those jerks.

    VirginiaPhil 4 hours 3 min ago view
  • Unfortunately, a pretty good summary. It looks like next year Heyward will be getting yet another batting stance adjustment.

    The recent good news has been Baez. I'm afraid about the next league adjustment on him, though, which is probably right around the corner.

    Bryant I don't worry about too much. Just not seeing the ball well right now. He'll turn it around. Russell's been good with men in scoring position all year and he's 22ish. He'll be fine but next year is likely to be his breakout year.

    Old and Blue 6 hours 6 min ago view
  • If Travis' back-to-back-to-back walks cost Hendricks the ERA title, that would really suck.

    billybucks 15 hours 9 min ago view
  • Edit: "A lifeless loss to a lousy Sox team."

    billybucks 15 hours 51 min ago view
  • This place is a real downer after a loss to the Sox.

    Charlie 16 hours 2 min ago view
  • I expect they will go 5-9 games above .500 the rest of the year. 96-98 wins will win the Division.

    They should have one more 2-3 week hot streak in them.

    However, several players are just "average" for the last month: Zobrist, Ross, Russell, Ceasar. Montero is terrible, plus he cannot throw anyone out. -WAR. Heyward is abysmal at the plate, but a plus in the OF. Still with RISP he has been terrible. KB has not been driving in runs as of late. But Apparently the team is still above average with RISP according to S Sahadev.

    The E-Man 16 hours 9 min ago view
  • I came to that realization tonight. I kept expecting them to play better, but now I realize they aren't going to. They are a .500 team now.
    - They have one reliable starting pitcher. Jake's magic is gone, and it doesn't look like it's coming back. Lester has been lousy recently. Lackey's ERA goes up every time he pitches.
    - Heyward has been dead weight all year. I can't remember a single series where he was a significant offensive contributor. Not one. Great defense, but but if he were hitting .270 with 10 HR and played average defense, the Cubs would be better off.

    billybucks 16 hours 12 min ago view
  • new rule...no one's allowed to throw k.bryant a changeup

    crunch 16 hours 23 min ago view
  • Team is .500 since early May and is playing like a .500 team. Lack of offense seems to be putting a lot of pressure on the pitchers...and they aren't handling it terribly well.

    .500 the rest of the way still may win the division though.

    blockhead25 16 hours 29 min ago view
  • ...i hate espn.

    nothing like settling into a cubs game to get a few minutes cutaway for an ortiz AB in the 6th inning of the det/bos game.

    oh, at least they're doing split screen now...i guess.

    crunch 16 hours 45 min ago view
  • I'm liking this rookie Nathan.

    CTSteve 16 hours 46 min ago view
  • Richard DFA'd. Meh...

    The E-Man 19 hours 37 min ago view
  • Throwbacks with fashionable cutouts would be a nice touch.

    Charlie 22 hours 9 min ago view
  • The next 2 games are nationally televised. I think we dominate tonight, hitting 3 HRs off Shields. Great night for KB to end HR drought facing HR prone pitcher in one of the most hitter friendly parks in the league.

    chitownmvp01 22 hours 42 min ago view