Is There A Doctor in The House?

GAME 108 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (54-53) @ PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES (56-52) CITIZENS BANK PARK, 12:10 pm CDT, TV: WGN, CSN
Brett Myers, RHP
9-5, 3.21 ERA
135/41K/BB, 18 HR in 140.0 IP
Mark Prior, RHP
7-3, 3.26 ERA
105/20 K/BB, 14 HR in 102.0 IP
LF *Matt Lawton SS #Jimmy Rollins
2B *Todd Walker CF Jason Michaels
1B Derrek Lee 2b *Chase Utley
3B Aramis Ramirez RF *Bobby Abreu
RF *Jeromy Burnitz LF Pat Burrell
SS #Neifi Perez 1B *Ryan Howard
CF #Jose Macias 3B David Bell
C Henry Blanco C Todd Pratt
P Mark Prior P Brett Myers
The paramedics are coming tomorrow in the form of Nomar, Wood and Williamson, although I'm not sure if you can resuscitate a smoldering corpse. Today's game was a fantasy conflict for me, as I have both Myers and Prior on my team. Normally I root for a 1-0 victory by the Cubs in these cases, with the winning run scored against the opposing teams bullpen. But, more first inning shenanigans by Prior and now I'm just rooting for us to save our season. I do my best not to label anything a must-win game before September but this is about as close as you can get. Go Cubs!!!!
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Comments

2nd & 3rd w/ no outs...the Phils have us just where they want us. Our penchant for leaving this situation scoreless is incredible.

...nothing like lighting a fire. Hey, I'll take it!

so the ball doesn't even make the wall like Lee's and Ramirez thinks he can make it, even though he's slower then Lee who just barely made it?

We are team of simple minds....

this is killing my fantasy team, I'll take one for the team if it means a Cubs win

So how catch-able was that GS by Abreu? The Trib blog made it sound like Macias easily could have made a jumping grab and perhaps had a shot at robbing him. Apparently not only did he not make an attempt, but he ran into the wall? Seriously, this guy needs to go.

Under 8.5 = no good. Now win this goddamn game please.

now it's a one run ballgame...mark my words:

MACIAS to the RESCUE.

Trib sports headline Friday:

MACIAS clutch hit in 9th saves Cub season

Was Ramirez thrown out after a throw to the plate or did he just get nailed at second?

Abreu's on my team. Unfortunately, I needed those RBI.

I hear ya, Rob, but if Ramirez keeps hitting 2-run singles, I'll take him being thrown hit trying to stretch them into doubles! At least he's showing some hustle!

Sorry make that "thrown out".

I'm kind of shocked that there hasn't been a huge uproar over Macias starting in center? What is wrong with Murton, Burnitz, and Lawton? Sure, Macias gets a hit, but that is not enough to convince me that he is our best option in center.

Aramis was nailed on a straight throw in to second.

I'd give him credit for "hustle" but knowing ARam, I doubt he was running full speed out of the box.

hustle is good, stupidity, not good. Wasted an out, there's no way he was going to make it. And he got thrown out at 2nd.

Hey, Dusty, Prior doesn't have it today, time to move on.

Matt Cook,

Sadly, I think we've all grown to expect this kind of loonacy from the incompetent boob in charge.

Neifi 3 for 3 with an RBI and a run scored.

Nomar's not playing tomorrow boys.

How many straight starts is this now that Prior has struggled? What's the deal? Is he going through a bad stretch like Z did in June-July?

Macias in center is Dusty Baker's subtle way of telling Jim Hendry that the hole in the outfield is behind second base not third.

Is Mitre dead? Wuertz in the game....

and there's an uproar over Macias, it's just building silently within us all. It's about as dumb a move as you make to start him over Murton.

Prior's last outing (Friday vs. AZ) was quite good, until Dusty left him to rot after he'd clearly run out of gas in the 8th.

That's right Blue, I forgot about that one. He's had several bad ones of late though.

This is interesting bringing in Wuertz here. Does that mean he's going to Iowa? Or does it rather mean Mitre is?

Nomar is playing Friday/Sunday,....Neifi on Saturday.

I thought Wuertz was going to get sent down tomorrow but he seems to be pitching well lately, wonder if that will save him.

If Dusty had double-switched Hairston with Macias when he brought in Wuertz, then Wuertz's spot would not be up second this inning.

I guess Hairston's out. Oh well, if Macias can play there, so could almost anyone else, I would guess.

It will be einteresting when Dusty does not manage the Cubs anymore, how much this site will bash the next "boob of a manager". If he is let go after thisyear, who will be the person everyone wants to blame when teh Cubs lose next year?

You guys are relentless. I get told i have Dusty colored glasses on, becuase I think he is a good manager, but when people CONSTANTLY rip on him for every little move that is a 50/50 coin flip, they are not dustybahsers or drinking the Dusty haterade. DOUBLE STANDARD...

But I give you guys fcredit you are consistantly relentless....CONGRATS!!!

Hairston isn't available today. IIRC, he's getting an MRI.

Hairston's flying back to Chicago for an MRI.

Now if he would have double switched Murton and moved either Burnitz or Lawton over to CF...

He's had several bad ones of late though.

He has? He has one bad inning of late, and that is about it.

Mazzilli got fired by the Orioles today. I think if Baker was to leave this would be a perfect fit for him. Its a mid-market (meaning no mean media people), have alot of vets (which is how he likes his team), and best yet it is in the AL and he can sit on the bech and just chomp on his toothpick.

Mazzilli got fired by the Orioles today.

right, Dustbuster and Sammie. Locked at the hip.

FWIW, including today, here's what Prior's prior starts looked like, since coming off DL:

8/04, @PHI, 4.1, 6H, 6ER, 3BB, 7K
7/29, ARI, 7.1, 7H, 3ER, 2BB, 8K
7/24, @StL, 6.0, 5H, 3ER, 3BB, 2K
7/19, @CIN, 6.2, 7H, 3ER, 2BB, 8K
7/14, PIT, 8.0, 2H, 0ER, 3BB, 10K
7/07, @ATL, 4.2, 7H, 6ER, 4BB, 5K
7/01, WAS, 5.0, 6H, 3ER, 0BB, 7K
6/26, @CWS, 6.0, 6H, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
Totals
8 starts, 5 "Quality Starts" (if you believe in that)
47.1 IP, 46H, 17BB, 50K, 27ER
5.13 ERA
1.33 WHIP
2.94 K/BB

That was a Hairston-esque catch by Macias and I don't mean that in a good way..

Baker is a better fit for the AL, I agree.

You're right Manny,

We should be grateful that the Cubs are consistanly underperforming (remember your guarentees that the cubs would be in the playoffs last year???).

We should jump for joy every time we see a double switch that moves the pitchers spot up in the order or see a batting lineup with guys whose OBP is under 300 hitting 1st or 2nd.

Open the champaign, because Neifi and Macias are in the lineup again - we wouldn't want any rookies (or even Nomar) to threaten their precious playing time. Afterall, 260/261/300 batting lines are what take you to the post season.

Don't blame Dusty for the bullpen, He had no choice but to use LaChoke as a closer, even though he's failed in the role time and time again. Its not like there is anyone on the team... like Dempster for example... who could do better.

Blame Hendry, Blame the Players, Blame the fans! Whatever you do, don't blame the man in charge of controling the team.
Its always someone else's fault.

Blue:
""remember your guarentees that the cubs would be in the playoffs last year???)."

Actually I don't, please find them and I would be more than willing to say I GUARENTED they would make the playoffs. Don't recall that though. Thanks!!

See, you are the exact opposite of what you are complaing about me with. You BLAME dusty for everything, but thaqt is OK, right? I di agree Dusty has to be held accountable for some of this if they don't make the playoffs. he is the manager and the man in charge, but I don't hold him 100% culpabale like many on here do.

What are the chances that Remy gets DFA'd tomorrow instead of Wurtz being sent back to Iowa. Mitre being optioned is a forgone conclusion.

What are the chances that Remy gets DFA'd tomorrow

Remy is going to be the winning pitcher today after Macias hits a 3 run bomb in the 9th.

DFA? Dusty Favorite Stooges

or toquote Curly: "whoob, whoob, whoob..."

the A was changed to protect the innocent

Cubster,

Sosa is a FA at the end of the year and they will not re-sign him.

Another bad-f**** call that goes against the Cubs. I'm sure I'm bias about ths but it really seems we've been screwed this year. Neifi made the tag on the steal before Utley hit the bag....blah.

Scott Williamson IS Shaggy. Anyone disagree?

3 games in Coors East and we haven't hit a homer yet....

2 batters need to reach if Lee and Ramirez hope to get another shot..

Macias 2-4...MY HERO

Just call him the regular CF for the Chicago National League Ballclub

God.

Why not pinch hit for Blanco with Barrett? It isn't like there aren't enough pinch hitters on the bench.

Yahoo is stuck...the last thing it shows is the bottom of the 7th...what is the score and what inning is it in?

Top of the ninth. Cubs down 6-4. Macias singled in the top of the eighth, Blanco popped out on the first pitch.

It was then decided that optimal strategy involved double-switching the eight and nine slots with Novoa and Barrett.

Make of that, combined with my post above, what you will.

Oh, and even though Murton can't hit lefties, he's batting for himself against Wagner. Liner to Utley. Down to Walker, 2 out.

Game.

Time to go buy an A's hat.

to paraphrase Bob Dylan:

It doesn't take a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows.

the wind blows south, same direction they are heading in the standings.

It is time to put the wreaking ball to this team. Put Burny,Dempster, Lawton, Maddux and Neifi on waivers and see what you could get for them. The more I think about the Lawton trade I hate it. LET THE KIDS PLAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

this just announced...

The Chicago National League Franchise is immediately transferred to the NL West Division.

This is due to the fact that I've just realized that division only had 4 teams (and I've sold my financial interests in the Brewers)

That's about the only hope us cub fans have, A MIRACLE, at this point.

*even though Lawton can't hit lefties, it should read. Murton, of course, ends the game on the bench.

Nice performance by the pen keeping the game reachable in spite of Prior's HR-laden outing. I didn't see Aramis get thrown out, but whether out of lack of hustle or lack of brains, that's the kind of play this team can't afford to make. His GIDP also didn't help. Burnitz is now 4/36 since July 26, albeit with 4 walks.

Now that I've gone through all that, the decision to go down with

Blanco
Barrett
Lawton
Walker

instead of

Barrett
Murton
Lawton
Walker

is not the one I would have made, if I was going to bring Barrett into the game anyway.

I'm sure some of you feel differently.

Is There A Doctor in The House?

to quote Bugs Bunny: What's Up Doc?

...although Iím not sure if you can resuscitate a smoldering corpse.

Where do I sign the death certificate?

After 108 games, we are 54-54.

Some believe the season is over, some are still on the fence and others remain buoyed by the games we have left with Houston(10).

Because I do not want to add the downcast tone and pessimism of the posts here and in other locations on the web, lets do this.

Make a prediction of what will happen between now and the end of the season:

Playoffs: Yes or No
Player moves/trades, etc.:
Change is Dusty Status:
How will the Cubs finish?

Have it.

I will weigh in as well, once I sort out my OPINIONS.

JK1969

I was on BCB and Al had this good article on Pawelek up.

http://www.azcentral.com/sports/diamondbacks/...

Apperntly there is talk of moving him up to Peoria.

JK 1969,

1. no

2. not this year, but trades that could happen in the off-season:
Wood for Soriano or Wood for J.Vazquez because ARI and TEX are the only 2 teams he would accept a trade to that we would want to send him.
Barrett and Pinto for I-rod.
3. It matters on where we finish.
4. 4th place, Baker gets fired he goes to BAL and I hope Pendleton is hired here.

I thought Sosa's option vested upon the trade to Balto?

No, Sosa gave up any future options as part of the deal with the Orioles. He'll be a free agent.

I'm pretty sure Sammy waived the vesting option as part of the deal.

I thought Sosa's option vested upon the trade to Balto?

I thought the same thign...can anyone clarify this?

I'm pretty sure Sammy waived the vesting option as part of the deal.

Whoops, sorry for the double post.

1. No, though I still have typical Cub-fan (non-negative version) hope.

2. No deals this year, too early to tell for next year. But I think it's safe to assume certain gusy (Remlinger, Macias and Hollandsworth, for starters) won't be back.

3. Dusty will be the manager in 2006, and I actually think he'll get an extension at some point. Sorry, bashers.

4. I don't really care where they finish once they're eliminated. I'll say third.

The option was voided. The O's almost assuredly wouldn't have traded for him otherwise.

Link here.

"As part of the trade, Chicago will pay Sosa $3.5 million in severance within 30 days. The $18 million 2006 option in his contract was eliminated, and the $4.5 million buyout was converted to a $4.5 million assignment bonus, which the Cubs must pay by March 15. He also agreed to eliminate the $19 million option for 2007 that his contract said would be added if he was traded."

Bad day for Prior. :(

Let's go beat up on the Mets.

the bats showed up, the pen showed up, the replacement players showed up...the umps werent too nice, but you can blame the loss on them...mr. prior you hurt us, ow.

baseball...sigh...

...but you CANT blame...

hehe

"3. Dusty will be the manager in 2006, and I actually think he'll get an extension at some point. Sorry, bashers."

BOB, you are out of your friggin' mind.

torn ligament for hairston. heading to the DL

My answers:

1. Playoffs: No.

2. Player moves/trades, etc.: Aside from shifting players between the minor/major league rosters, none. Hendry is going to be busy in the offseason.

3. Change is Dusty Status: He'll finish out the season with the team, and there will be an "amicable" parting of the ways in November. I think Dusty is as sick of Chicago as most of us are of him.

4. How will the Cubs finish? 3rd in the division, well back (5th or 6th) in the wild card.

its a proven fact that firing dusty will suddenly make the bullpen better, will result in macias getting fired, will help matt murton play CF, and if we did it weeks ago it would have helped jason dubois become a preimeire slugger.

and prior definately wouldnt have done so bad today...and barrett sure as hell wouldnt have done what he did yesterday...

god knows its not the players...

besides, its easier to blame the manager than to figure out the skills and limitations of 25-40 players...1 person who doesnt have any in-game field activity is a whole lot easier to keep tabs on.

DBT - do you have a link for that?

and about hairston.....

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARG

hey, c.patterson...dont blow it....and welcome back...

This is what I've heard from WSCR. No link yet.

Crunch, you're confusing us "blaming the manager rather than figuring out the skills of 25-40 players" with "blaming the manager for not figuring out the skills of the players he has and deploying them accordingly."

Cause the latter is, like, what we're actually doing.

crunch is manny's alias

If Hairston is indeed out for an extended period of time, I'll welcome the return of Patterson -- if only to keep Macias as far as humanly possible from CF.

people the cubs were counting on that didnt/havent fullfilled their purpose:

hawkins, borowski, fox, the kids (bartosh, leicaster, wellemeyer), m.remlinger, c.patterson, n.garciappara, k.wood, t.hollandsworth

people the cubs were counting on the came through:

d.lee, aram, burnitz, zambrano, prior

...the rest of the crew is pretty much on the cusp of ordinary or expected output...i would add todd walker if he didnt miss about 100-150ab's to injury.

bleh...that's a lotta eggs in the basket gone bad, there.

Brewers win they are only a .5 game in back of us when will they catch us?

i think you miss the point im making that this manager's impact on this club is very minimal compared to the lack of tallent on the club.

i dont see any other manager making a non-magical mess outta this.

this is a bullpen that's blown about 20 games and 3 hitters with .350+ ob% supporting a cast of fools this year.

just cuz people want a buncha players to play possitions they dont know how to play or cant play just for the sake of thier bats, it dont make them players of that possition.

tomorrow's lineup-
Lawton-LF
Macias-cf
Dlee-1b
Burnitz-lf
Rameriz-3b
Neifi-2b
Nomar-ss
Barrett-c
Any takers?

Playoffs: This year? Are you KIDDING ME?!?!?!? Not just NO, but HELL NO!!!!

Player moves/trades, etc.: Hairston, Walker, Remlinger, Burnitz, Rusch, Ohman, Wurtz, Nomar and Hollandsworth gone; Kerry Wood traded (contingent on his health and whether Hendry can find a sucker to accept his huge contract).

Change in Dusty's Status: Lame-duck manager in '06; contract not renewed after it expires in '07.

How will the Cubs finish? 4th or 5th place, behind the Cards, Astros and Brewers.

The fact of the matter gang, is that we pissed away far too many games earlier in the year while stubbornly experimenting with Hawkins as a closer, Hollandsworth as our everyday LF, and C-Pat as leadoff man. Those decisions are squarely laid at Dusty's doorstep.

Hendry didn't address the bullpen issues during the off-season. After the way the bullpen melted down during the end of last year, you'd have thought he'd have done more to address those issues, but he put far too much faith in the young arms in the system. They failed and, as they go, so goes the team.

As we've seen, there really wasn't a lot out there in the way of GOOD bullpen help (Benitez, Percival, Kolb, Urbina, etc), and retooling a bullpen is a crapshoot at best, so I'm willing to give Hendry a 2nd chance.

Our vaunted farm system has to produce, but those players will never get the coaching and instruction they'll need at the major-league level with Dusty around. He's much more comfortable with a squad full of proven veterans, but that's only acceptable if the mandate is to win NOW.

If our goal is to win now AND keep Dusty around after '06, then we'd really have to look at trading virtually all of our minor-league talent for proven major-leaguers, because it's clear that Dusty's not comfortable playing/coaching the Murtons and Cedeno's of the world. They " have to earn their strips" as he recently stated. I don't get the sense that Hendry is willing to do that so he's likely going to say the right things publicly to support Dusty for a while, then give it the old "philosophical differences" spin when he doesn't renew him.

Rothschild is probably gone, if not this season certainly before next. If the pitching fails to perform, the ERA remains high, and the Cubs go in a prolonged losing streak, I honestly believe Hendry will ditch him in-season, this year.

By the way, we should all take a look at what's happening in San Francisco with Dusty's former club. SF Giants GM Brian Sabean is getting hammered locally because the Giants suck this year, and there's no help on the way because their farm system is barren. One talk-radio host lays the blame on Sabean because "for more than 10 years the focus was on acquiring proven veterans to play along side Barry Bonds" and under Dusty Baker as manager.

Well, the Giants got what they wanted; sell out crowds almost every night and the headlines that Bonds brought. Those chickens are now coming home to roost.

Bonds is injured, might not come back this year or next, the farm system isn't producing quality players, and they have no one on their roster who'll bring much in the way of a trade (except Jason Schmidt).

This is PRECISELY what happens when you mortgage the future to win today.

Yes, its true we've gone almost a century without a championship, and haven't been to a World Series since '45. Lord knows Cub Nation has suffered. But no one will ever convince me that some of our rookies aren't at least as good, if not better, than the regulars we struggled with.

Giants manager Felipe Alou was recently quoted as saying "Hey, were losing with our veterans; I might as well see what some of these kids can do, they can't be any worse!"

Yes, I'd love to see all-stars at evey position, but that doesn't workout too well either (ask Steinbrenner and the Yankees). We'll never know if some of the rookies might have been the spark we needed to get over the hump.

The season is lost and only a damned fool thinks we have a SERIOUS chance at the wild-card. We've lost back-to-back series with the Phillies and Diamondbacks. Does anyone REALISTICALLY think we're going to do better with the Astros and the Cardinals? Or the Brewers either for that matter?

We have to go back to the drawing board, rethink our organizational philosophy (load up strictly with veterans or nurture and develop some home-grown talent), then go from there.

If we stick with the former, re-sign Dusty, trade minor-league talent for vets that can help us NOW, and pray that what happened to the Giants doesn't happen to US.

If we go with the latter, we'd have to jettison Dusty and get a manager who has proven that they can consistently win with veterans AND develop rookies along the way.

That would seem to be what we Cubs fans should be discussing today, and in the future.

sabean is a damn fool...

the only time he ever "pushed" a rookie was when he got on this pedro felix kick...he practically staked his reputation on this kid years ago.

i still cant believe there's a GM that makes brian cashman look good, but sabean is definately one.

how ANYONE is his possition can trade away williams AND foppert in the same season and not get a replacement starter in return is just amazingly stupid.

If Hairston is on the DL, what is the rational for playing Macias in CF when we have Lawton?

Play Murton in LF until he fails. Holly was given every possible chance to succeed, and he did not. Give Murton the same chance and see what happens.

BTW, here in Atlanta, the fans and press love Mr. Tightpants.

did you see lawton play RF late yesterday?

that alone should tell you why playing lawton in CF could be quite an ugly thing.

the guy was a CF...2 surgeries ago...

good rant, btw 4thandinches...well thought out thought i dont really agree with the whole "baker dont play kids" thing at all.

no he dont run the team like it has a $40m payroll and he does make promises of commitiment to existing players and gives them a chance to fail or succeed before they're scrapped...to some that's still unacceptable and the best #s should be played at all times leading to 100 lineups a year.

One more question...

If Dusty leaves or is fired, who is out there to replace him? What proven managers would be available and would want the Cubs job?

"did you see lawton play RF late yesterday?"

Nope, I had to read the game online and in the chat. I have not seen Lawton as a Cub.

Do you think Macias is the best option for CF then?

Do you think Macias is the best option for CF then?

Dusty does.

dave miley's a FA!

he'll play kids...and also piss off every single person in the clubhouse he has to deal with and lose the trust of everyone he manages by answering directly to the GM rather than gaining the trust of his players.

and lee mizz. sure is lost without someone telling him what to do every 10 seconds...he has the authority respect of spongebob squarepants.

those guys would rock... =p heheh...

I was just speculating/making a prediction, "Stud." But thanks for playing.

our best CF option *is* macias cuz he's the only guy who can play there without butchering it. lawton in CF would be a hell of a butcher job, but if he wants to take it, might as well march his ass out there for a few laughs.

actually, the best option now is to callS, up patterson immediately.

look, hendry stocked this club.

hendry provided the backup SS, C, 3rd, CF, LF to this club.

blame the players, blame hendry, blame dusty...there's enough blame to go around but when everyone's done blaming the cubs still got exactly what they got to work with.

this team can only produce with what they got...and a lotta these "replacement" theories plug such small gaps if plugged at all.

its just frustrating, but the club has what the club has.

people the cubs were counting on that didnt/havent fullfilled their purpose:

hawkins, borowski, fox, the kids (bartosh, leicaster, wellemeyer), m.remlinger, c.patterson, n.garciappara, k.wood, t.hollandsworth

And how Dusty used these people had no impact on their inability to 'fullfill their purpose??'

Maybe if Hawkins hadn't been named the closer again the bullpen wouldn't look so bad.

Maybe if Holly had been the bench player he should be we would have won a couple more games,

Maybe if we hadn't kept 12 pitchers all year some of 'the kids' wouldn't have failed after Dusty went weeks at a time without having them pitch.

Maybe if Dusty gave Cedeno a chance after Neifi clearly lost his April magic, the loss of Nomar wouldn't have hurt so much,

Maybe if Dusty would stick with Rusch as a starter the loss of Wood wouldn't hurt so much either.

The Brewers will probably pass the Cubs by the end of the weekend. While Milwaukee's got an underrated team, you can't possibly tell me they've got more talent than Dusty has had to work with this season. Sure some players haven't performed to expectations, but its Dusty's job to find a way to overcome those problems, and he's only made matters worse.

"One more question...If Dusty leaves or is fired, who is out there to replace him? What proven managers would be available and would want the Cubs job?"

Johncan,

My choice would be Terry Pendleton. He has done an excellent job as the Braves hitting coach. We as an organization need to start devloping players who know how to play the game like the Braves do. Also if your going to apprintice under any MLB manager Bobby Cox would be the one to do it. If your looking for a proven guy your options there would be Jim Leyland or Cito Gaston.

I really think Rothschild needs to go. It just seems like something is very wrong with the pitchers game preparation, endurance, and mental ability to head off disaster before it gets out of hand. I don't know if it solves problems, but it seems like the most obvious area where we have not performed to expectations, and a changing face might shake things up. I generally like Rothschild and it seems like he has a good relationship with the staff, but something just ain't working.

As for Dusty, I really have trouble seeing Hendry boot him before his contract is up...unless there is a mutually agreed upon deal to let him seek out another position in the off season.

So assuming Dusty stays, and something needs to be shook up...Rothschild seems to be the obvious choice to be shown the exit. He'll probably find a job in 3 minutes somewhere else, and all the power to him.

our best CF option *is* macias cuz he's the only guy who can play there without butchering it.

Are you serious??? Have you ever seen Macias play outfield? He makes Sosa look like a gold glover.

Other than CPat, with Hairston gone (and maybe even when he is in) both Burnitz and Lawton are better options. I don't know why you're so convinced that Lawton can't do the job, and Center was Burnitz main position last year.

"Playoffs: This year? Are you KIDDING ME?!?!?!? Not just NO, but HELL NO!!!!"

http://tinyurl.com/4kkbv

bleeding blue...a lotta that rant i see as no impact, period...

this pen is awful, hawkins or no hawkins..and ya know what..it still is

1 guy pitching 1 inning 2-4 times a week over 19 innings didnt kill this club...hawkins, btw...

no amount of shuffling wouldnt make hawkins not suck no matter where he put those 19ip in...big deal...

and the whole hollly/dubois/neifi/cedeno/e.wilson is a bunch of nothing...the whole damn lot of them sucks as starters, period. none of them are gonna produce enough to even comment on in 05 and that's how it is.

if someone worth a damn is getting blocked, that's one thing...but trading scrub for scrub...no matter the *FUTURE* upside...you still got scrub

and did i hear a call for Rusch to be a starter over wood as a savior point? rusch? glendon rusch? he's not garbage, but gimmie a break...he's rusch...

to clairify, I wasn't saying Rusch should have been named starter over Wood, rather been the 5th starter all season. Rusch isn't nearly as effective in the pen, but Dusty seems to think its more important to have another lefty down there than it is to have a steady starting rotation.

on burn/lawton in CF...i covered lawton above...and burn plays RF cuz...HE'S THE ONLY GUY ON THE TEAM WITH EVEN A REMOTELY ABOVE AVERAGE ARM...in fact he's got a + arm...not playing him in RF would just be a hell of a risk.

outta off the wildass theories having burn in CF would be a HELL of a lot better option than lawton, even with the loss of the arm, though...though we'd see the sting of having lawton out there the first time a single with a man on 1st turned into a standup 1st/3rd situation on a blooper to RF...

Dusty has certainly been willing to use the young pitchers this year...and they have, almost uniformly, failed to rise to the challenge except for very brief spurts. In addition, I thought, and still do think, that Hendry was being relatively smart by not spending a lot of money for relievers (see Hawkins, Remlinger) and go with the youth movement. It hasn't worked out well, but that aspect is certainly not Dusty's fault.

It's also not Dusty's fault that Wood has been injured or ineffective most of the year, that Garciaparra slumped terribly and then got injured, and that Prior has been hot and cold (and injured), that Patterson not only failed to improve his game as expected but that he took a real nose-dive, that Walker misses 6 weeks, and that Maddux is finally pitching like a has-been.

These events, in my opinion, account for 90% of why the Cubs are .500 right now and the rest of the issues, dumb double switches, using Holly over Dubois, pinch-hitting decisions, batting orders, are very minor in comparison.

Whether the former factors acount for 90% or 75% or whatever, is obviously an impossible calculation but to me it is equally obvious that these factors, and not the micro in-game decisions that are carped about incessantly on this site (not that there's anything wrong with that...that's part of what this forum is for), are the underlying cause of the Cub's maladies.

Playoffs:

No way. The only realistic chance we have is if the Astros fall off a cliff and Prior, Zambrano, and one of Maddux/JW/Hill pitch like the 3 headed monster in Houston (Rocket/Oswalt/Pettite)

Moves:

I expect that at least one of Walker, Rusch, Hairston, Remlinger, Williams will be traded to a contender. Looking at it another way - only Lee, Ramirez, Prior, Z, Wood, Nomar and Murton are safe on the ML roster. Anyone else can be had, if the interest and trading partner materialize.

Dusty change of status:

Safe through the rest of 05. A bad start in 06 will seal his fate early.

Cubs Finish:

No playoffs, so what does it matter? Well, since I started this, I'll venture a finish of 82-80, 3rd place in the Central.

amazing really...4 bigger gambles taken coming into this season...

1- hollandsworth/dubois can cover LF
2- the bullpen comes through w/ vet/kids mix
3- garciappara stays healthy
4- wood/prior gets in their 400+ip
5- burnitz can still hit to compliment his D

1- fail
2- fail
3- fail
4- 1/2 credit...
5- pass

...there's probally a few more player specific points, but i think its safe to say those 5 were well thought of gambles no matter how any of felt the outcome was gonna fall on.

and add to that the bullpen not only failed, but totally melted down...and c.patterson decided he forgot how to play baseball in an incident not too many worried about...and the 05 injuries (t.walker missing 100-150ab, wood, etc)...ow. just ow.

Sammy hit one out today, I believe he needs 12 more to hit 600 for his career. I'm thinking he needs to do it this season cause I can't imagine anyone spending money on him next year.

Look, I realize that the Cubs were screwed talent-wise with all the injuries. However, most of those can't be prevented.

What can be prevented, however, are the lameass tactical moves. Nothing forces Baker to do what he does; no wet ground tweaked his hammy, no high school pitching coach minced his arm. It's all solely him.

He's the one who puts 300 OBPs at the top of the lineup, who apparently doesn't realize Burnitz can play center (especially in Wrigley), who views Derrek Lee and Neifi Perez as making equal offensive contributions to the team, who prefers Blanco to Murton, who idles Ronny Cedeno, who took a full 2.25 years to get the memo on Remlinger, who devoted 65% of the leadoff space to Corey and Neifi, who forced Hawkins to do something he obviously wasn't capable of, ad nauseum.

Unless I'm missing something, and these were all the correct things to do. Please. Enlighten me. I haven't been on a baseball diamond since I was eight years old, after all.

It's no great secret that this team wasn't all that great to begin with, and that injuries screwed the pooch. Yes, those are the big factors. None of that excuses what's as close as feasibly possible to an absolute contempt for reason and sound strategy, which is at least 50% of that fool's job.

As I've said repeatedly, I never expect the Cubs to win. I do, however, demand that my team uses what it has in ways that give them the best chance. Like I alluded to earlier, if Lee falls an RBI short of the Crown, then it'll be perfectly apt that it'll be due to Baker getting a 300 OBP out of the leadoff spot for the year.

Johncan:

Good question, and that's kind of why I threw it out there for consideration. Honestly, I'm not sure who else is out there, but I do like what Ozzie Guillen has brought to the south side. That fire, that grit, and determination. And he's doing it with a smaller payroll.

I also remember a young Tony LaRussa hired to manage that same south side team which I can't name.

Other teams find good, competent managers... why not US?

Crunch:

I based my comments on what I saw of Baker's management style out here in SF BEFORE he came to the Cubs.

People had the same criticisms of Dusty out here that they're having of him now in Chicago. The preference of veterans over rookies, in-game strategy, that sort of thing.

The thing was, the media out here isn't anywhere near as aggressive as it is in Chi-town. Some talk-show hosts out here predicted Dusty would run into trouble in Chicago because he's stubborn and hates criticism of any kind. Looks like they were right on target.

As I've said before, if my attitude towards Dusty seems unduly harsh, its only because I've lived in the Bay Area since 2000 and I had a chance to see all of this up-close-and-personal for 2 or 3 years. I watched him manage the Giants and he was fine as long as Sabean kept the veterans flowing.

No one could understand why he kept trotting Marvin Benard and Shawn Estes out there, but its kind of funny that he's showing that same kind of loyalty to Macias, Hollandsworth and Neifi now.

The critical observations I read here regarding Dusty are pretty much old hat for me; its almost like watching a bad movie, knowing what the end is going to be, still hoping that somehow, someway, the outcome will change.

A leopard doesn't change its spots because it grows older; the spots just get bigger, that's all.

Sorry, but my perspective on Dusty is based on his past performance, not just on what he's done with my favorite team. When his teams struggled, he could always count on Barry Bonds to take over a game and bail him out.

We don't have a Barry Bonds yet, though Derrek Lee is coming pretty close!

IMHO, that's the missing link, here. One guy who, on any given night, can SINGLEHANDEDLY turn a game around... like Bonds could.

all im saying is people need to start putting some blame on the players and lack of decent backups...

some people wanna put guys in possitions they dont even play just to put a bat in the lineup...some think some even-tallented rookie somehow makes the team better for the sole fact he has a future insted of what he can do now...

as far as dusty's managing of his bench/etc. i suggest people look at the 29 other teams and notice their managers pull the same "unaccpetable crap" as much as dusty.

yeah dusty's screwed up...that whole patterson/neifi thing went on too long...

but i see games where managers we're playing against make moves that people would be WTF? about and NO ONE says anything...sometimes its not solely just about what set of #s match up to another set of #s...if that was the case we wouldnt have to worry about managers, we'd just have a set of algorithms to decide what should happen next.

i could care less if dusty stays or goes, but to piss away 4m on dusty and spend more on a "replacement" is just a bit over the top. the guy isnt a moron, let him play his last season out and go elsewhere...its juts a manager.

for those that still care...

dubois optioned to AAA

How many ABs did he get in Cleaveland? 3?

10 games, 33ab 8h 2hr 5bb(wow) 17k...no doubles/triples/sb

.242/.342/.424

3 games started in LF, rest DH

The season is over..lets look ahead to 2006.
I will not argue with Crunch, or Manny, about the shortcomings of Johnnie B. Baker. It is futile to continue to do so.
Here will be the lineup next year
1)Patterson CF
2)Walker 2B
3)Lee 1B
4)Burnitz RF
5)Ramirez 3B
6)Hollandworth LF
7)Perez SS
8)Barrett C

Great...can't wait for another 82 win year...

Playoffs: Yes or No
as noted before, HELL NO

Player moves/trades, etc.:
More playing time for Murton and Cedeno, possibly try to clear some guys through waivers to trade with other teams who are in contention and can give us a few propsects for future years.

Change is Dusty Status:
He'll finish out contract unless there is a mutual decision to let him look for another job this offseason.

How will the Cubs finish?
3rd place 82-84 wins, UNLESS we go into full selloff/call up mode in late august/September and thn we'll finish with 77 wins or so.

Crunch,

Yes, this team has played managers who have royally screwed up during the course of a game (Felipe Alou trotting out FIVE pitchers in one innning comes to mind!) and a lot of us here have commented on them.

But that's a GOOD thing, when the opposition screws up! Isn't that PRECISELY what we want? For THEM to screw up and commit one error after another while WE play error-free?

When our opposition's managers committed more errors in strategy than Dusty did in any given game, I'm guessing we won most of those encounters, right?

I think it was General George S. Patton who said (and I'm paraphrasing): "The object is not to die for your country; the object is to make the other poor sonuvabitch die for his!"

Same thing holds true in sports. That's what we want; to play against more totally clueless managers! And all the while, our manager and coaches continue to make a plethora of good calls!

WOO-HOO! Now that's winning baseball!

Yeah, Crunch, I've watched Bobby Cox do some really weird things managing the Braves this year... and I've seen Ken Macha of the Oakland A's do some things that would make you scratch your head. But, overall, they've made far more GOOD moves than questionable ones. Oh, and, whatever they're doing, its working because their teams are winning!

Somehow, their players are BUYING INTO IT! They believe they can win! Unfortunately, for some reason (2003 playoffs?), our guys don't and it seems like we're burdened by 90+ years of futility!

IMHO, the idea in life, whether you're managing a baseball team or anything else... is to make more good decisions than bad ones. You sort it out at the end and, where you end up in life is directly attributable to the RESULTS AND OUTCOMES of those decisions, both good and bad.

The players aren't holding up their end of the bargain. Dusty's not the one grounding into TWO double plays in one game (Todd Walker), or getting picked off base (Burnitz), and a number of other really boneheaded plays by our team.

But in the end, just as we saw with Lee Mazilli and the Orioles today - are you going to fire 25 guys, or ONE MANAGER?

It's Hendry's decision, but I wonder... what's it gonna be? The 25 guys?

I doubt it.

Dusty Baylor,

Hey, wait a minute! Isn't that THIS YEAR'S lineup?

Oh, my bad... you said 2007...

Hey... we've been ROBBED! Where's my wallet?

"It's Hendry's decision, but I wonder... what's it gonna be? The 25 guys?"

Let's trade the entire roster, get a Million in cash from each team we trade with, call up our AA West Tennessee team and let them play for the final 2 months. Then we can just rebuild from scratch next year, and use the money saved this year to increase payroll next year. Sure, we lose Aram, Lee, Prior and Zambrano, but then we are freed from maddux and Wood for next year, so we can buy a bunch of players back.

I really see very little chance of Hendry outright firing Dusty before his contract ends.

I've commented that since the All-Star game Derrek Lee has looked more like Derrek Lee than MVP Lee at the plate. It's like he's stepped into a time machine.

Well it's August and here's what's happened.

Since ASB .275 .376 .525

Career .275 .362 .496

#1 reason managers get fired...they loose the trust and direction of the team theyre managing.

unless the city truely explodes with dusty-hate or dusty loses his clubhouse's trust it probally wont happen.

if nothing else, the players know their roles and accept responsibility for their actions. the only blip of dissatisfaction this year has been with hairston's early-season temper tantrums and corey patterson's personal headcase issues.

there's SS/OF to decide on next year...maybe 2nd if the cubs are weird enough to let walker walk....aside from that there's the 5th starter and bullpen to deal with...not to mention the cubs free up a good chunk of loot. i doubt seriously we're gonna have 3 rookie position players up here next year...murton/cedeno are the only guys close enough to consider starting currently, anyway.

I really think Lee is either gassed or injured. I think the whole team is exhausted considering our sudden drop in power. We just went through a whole series in a hitters park without a home run, and didn't do a whole lot of power damage in Chicago before that...even on the day when AZ hit 5HR

wonder where/if murton will play winter ball, btw...

i mean, to even be taken seriously, he's gotta show up next spring or establish this winter that he can hit for power...he's just not gonna play everyday til he develops consistant pop.

he should be a lotta fun.

I don't really like Macias as a player. He seems like he would be a good clubhouse guy to have, but he just doesn't produce. I'm not sure you can take Burnitz out of right when we're home. Everybody and their sister knows that's its the hardest RF to play in the ML. Lawton, maybe. But he does only have one good wheel. Although he probably is the best option if Hairy goes on the DL. I wouldn't be surprised if Greenburg were called up if Hairy went on the DL. We still haven't seen this kid swing a bat at the big league level. He's certainly not going to play every day, but he could be some help.

I can't remember if I read it here or somewhere else, but word was, if the Cubs had lost a couple more games during that last 8 game losing streak, Hendry would have fired Dusty THIS YEAR.

That was around the time they brought up Murton and Greenburg and sent down CPat and Dubois.

If the team goes into ANOTHER prolonged slump, I wouldn't be surprised if Hendry pulled the trigger in '05. After all, they did get rid of Sammy Sosa, and Hendry is supposed to be a man always moving, always plotting, always in motion.

And, no one is REALLY discussing this, but SOMEONE will have to take the blame for this team's performance which is, by all descriptions, underachieving.

I don't see Jim Hendry firing HIMSELF, do you?

With a 100 million dollar roster, coming in 3rd or 4th place is gonna be awfully hard to justify.

Someone's going to be held accountable for this mess.

Yes, players make or break a manager, and there might be wholesale roster changes after the season, but you better believe some of these coaches will be getting the old heave-ho as well.

4thandinches.....
"are you going to fire 25 guys, or ONE MANAGER?"
Last night I posted a very similar comment. I agree with your observations.
The problem this year is not with one or two players consistently failing in crunch situations. Almost everyone failed consistently doing the basics right and now we find ourselves in a miserable state. Now in my opinion all 25 players cannot be collectively underperforming (of course there are 1 or 2 exceptions) unless they are all from hollywood. I dont put the blame completely on Dusty..but its time to realize the fact that HE IS A SQUARE PEG IN A ROUND HOLE. We saw that in 2004..De Ja Vu in 2005 and we would be stupid to let it repeat for one more year. Hendry should let Dusty go after this season. If not then he should come with a great explanation about how we MAY not repeat the same next year.

I don't understand how Jim Hendry can be blamed for this. $100 million payroll. We've got the talent. This line-up should BY FAR score enough runs to cover our below-average staff/bullpen. But it's not. Hendry has brought in all the pieces this team needs to succeed. He's pulled the trigger at the deadline the last 3 years, and look how much we are than we were before Jim was GM. It ain't Jimbo's fault.

I think Jim Mora said it best-

"PLAYOFFS?!?"

Give Sarge the job. Or just give it to Santo. Hell, he wants to win so bad that he'd have to be good.

well...this is technically an 80-85m roster with a 100m payroll...16+ million of it is sitting around baltimore.

having 20m of your payroll in garciappara/wood screw away 1/2-2/3rd of their seasons dont help in ANY way.

missing walker for 100-150ab didnt help when there was already a SS issue and a CF that just isnt hitting.

bullpen..self explainitory, no matter how you wanna shuffle it, there has been 1 effective guy all year and he's not much himself. that's beyond sickening seeing that this is august and there has been ***1*** guy in the pen even remotely producing well and he didnt even start in the pen.

we got bats that for one reason or another can hit for average and smack homers, but cant drive anyone in...and if they do, the bullpen cant hold it...1/3rd of the cubs losses are from the pen...ugg

Dubois was sent down because Travis Hafner returned.

As for Murton, Baker said before todays game that he can't play Murton more because we are in the playoff hunt.

I just find that an incredibly piss poor excuse not to play a rookie. If he gets the job done, it shouldn't matter what his level of experience is.

This is why I can't complain about getting Matt Lawton. It finally ends the LF nightmare of Todd Hollandsworth.

Todays game Dusty should of trotted out his Burnitz in CF game plan but nooooooooo it has to be Jose freaking Macias. Burnitz or Macias defensively in CF? Sounds like a wash to me, hell I think Burnitz is probably better.

ya know...just about everyone who deserved a shot to do something got that shot...especially when it came to "revolving closers"

this has been a season of getting shots and failing...it just hasnt come fast enough for some people.

the only people left are cedeno/murton...and while its kinda obvious cedeno is still learning, murton got his shots in exactly the role he was told he'd see it.

" don't understand how Jim Hendry can be blamed for this. $100 million payroll. We've got the talent. This line-up should BY FAR score enough runs to cover our below-average staff/bullpen. But it's not. Hendry has brought in all the pieces this team needs to succeed. He's pulled the trigger at the deadline the last 3 years, and look how much we are than we were before Jim was GM. It ain't Jimbo's fault."

Overall I absolutely think Hendry has done a terrific job and I think he can get the job done and hope he is around for awhile.

However, I don't think we had the tools going into this season to get us over the top. We were replacing Alou's huge offensive numbers with an average veteran or unknown rookie, we were replacing someone in right who put up 35 Home runs with a guy who all we really knew was that he stuck out a lot. We didn't know what to expect at center, we certainly didn't expect Lee to be as good as he was, we were pretty comfortable in Walker but knew that losing Grudz weakend our bench, short we assumed would be much better, and catcher we were hoping for good things but didn't know.

I looked at the starting lineup we had and saw this as an 85 win team...there were just too many question marks at the beginning of the season in my mind. I thought it was a mistake to think that Dubois/Holly could replace Alou, and we didn't really strengthen ourselves at any other position. I didn't think we more well rounded because we improved in other areas, I thought we were more well rounded simply because we lost a lot of power...that's not a good trade off in my opinion.

The bullpen was a big question mark and big weakness in '04 that was barely addressed at all, and we were losing Clement for an unknown 5th starter...again, not a great trade off.

I think Hendry didn't do nearly enough in the off season to take this team to the next level. Now obviously his hands were tied by the Sosa situation, but still...I strongly disagree that this lineup was built to score enough runs to make the playoffs.

ya know...just about everyone who deserved a shot to do something got that shot...especially when it came to "revolving closers"

Hawkins, Fox for one game, Hawkins

yeah, that's just about everybody

hawk..fox..weurtz..dempster all got shots..i believe remmy got a shot before his injury but not sure..

fox for 1 game...ummm...yeah, he blew out his arm after that, maybe if he could pitch with his other arm, huh?

they got their shots...they failed...

Weurtz and Remmy got shots at closer? When??? Unless you can close a game in the 7th or 8th inning you're way off on this one.

The only person who got a shot and failed was Hawkins. He tried Fox, and when Dusty couldn't use him again, he went back to Hawkins.
End of story.

"As for Murton, Baker said before todays game that he can't play Murton more because we are in the playoff hunt."

This takes the cake of dumb things Baker has said. Dan Marino led the Dolphins to the Super Bowl in his rookie year of 1983. If a football team can go to the SB with a rookie QB, then a baseball team can go to the playoffs with a rookie LF. If Shula was like Baker he would have talked Bob Griese out of retirement and they would have gone 5-11.

...well, dempster didnt fail...heh

but seriously, we've had 1 consistant arm in the pen all year, 1/3rd of our losses are from the pen.

the bats havent been all that awful, but having garciappara out and issues with t.walker stretching the IF further while CF was stinking and the only backup being macias...well damn, its a hell of a possition to be in.

macias's 22ab's a month average isnt really something to bitch about either considering how much more work players like him are getting on other clubs. no one likes him on this club but he is the 3rd/CF backup...esp. now that hairston is gone.

i dunno how popular this idea might be cuz some people are convinced we dont need burnitz's arm in RF even though no one else on the team can throw and some are convinced lawton can still play CF...but, corey probally needs to get up here asap...

wuertz got a shot in april and may...and i dunno if remmy ever got a shot, i said i didnt know

I didn't say that Dempster failed, I said the only person who got a shot and did fail was Hawkins.

Crunch, what is it about Lawton that has you so convinced that he can't play CF? I'll put it this way, he can't be worse than Macias.

Miguel Cabrera was the only thing holding the Marlins back from sweeping the playoffs and world series in 2003.

Freakin' rookies!

Wurtz has 0 saves and 2 blow saves. Those 2 blow saves actually came in 7th and 8th inning "hold" situations, not in the 9th inning closers role.

He was never ever given a chance to close.

(Come on, you think Dusty would EVER trust a rook in that spot, it just defies commmon sense)

yeah, i was just backing myself up on the dumpster comment cuz i said they all failed, but dempster was just the last link on the chain...just wanted to clarify in general...

and lawton just isnt the same player he was 3-4 yeras ago and he wasnt all that even then...his basestealing #s are deceptive to his true speed and he takes really screwy routes to the ball...CF is just too much field for him. if his arm was a bit better he wouldnt be too bad of an option in RF, but that isnt the case...

its almost at a time where they need to throw anything out there as long as the player who wants it actually wants it...cuz unless patterson is taking over there is no solid CF...macias cant go on for 2 months playing CF, its just not reasonable to even suspect it.

"wuertz got a shot in april and may...and i dunno if remmy ever got a shot, i said i didnt know"

Crunch,

Wuertz was never given a shot to be the closer. The only saves are from Dempster, Fox, and Hawkins.

Cubby78,

I totally agree, but Dusty is always going to be Dusty. He's not explaining jack-shit to anybody. What you see is what you get. Most of Chicago doesn't get that yet, but that's just the way he is. You have to accept it... or leave him be! Chicago's just not a good fit for him.

Its not fair to Dusty for any of us to think he's going to suddenly change the way he manages and does business. He's what, 56 years old?

Kind of hard to change at that stage of your life, especially with what he's been through (experiencing blatant racism in the South as a child, surviving cancer, unfair expectations of being the next Hank Aaron with the Braves, etc).

I sincerely hope Dusty takes over in L.A., though I hear the media there can be just as brutal. The fans are more laid back though, and I don't think we'd ever hear them chanting "so-and-so sucks" for a complete inning, so that ought to sooth his nerves a bit!:-0

true. thnx.

honestly, I think Dusty has been managing pretty good lately.

why does anyone care about the manager and spend so much time on dusty? he's a lineup jockey who plays with the tools he's got and let's face it...he's not been holding back any superstars...no one's stepped up to pimp it out for a failed player except for 1 person, the dumpster...who also happens to be the only guy in the pen all you the cubs could count on...

almost NO ONE has been outraged at any point this year about this pen or the fact 1/3rd of our losses came from it...

do you realize after may nearly 1/2 the losses were from the pen?

garciappara getting injured sucked, wood getting injured sucked, macias sucks, missing walker 100-150ab while patterson was screwing up CF sucks...but damn...for all the calling of this and that how about recognizing this craphole of a bullpen that has been a rotating experiment in suck that has cost this team a whole lot more than any 1-4ab's a game.

"almost NO ONE has been outraged at any point this year about this pen or the fact 1/3rd of our losses came from it..."

I don't think that's true at all, I think many have placed a ton of blame on the pen...just that a lot of it is blamed on Dusty's use of the pen versus the players.

I have been arguing along your line a lot lately as I think the criticism of Dusty has been over the top and ridiculous, and it does detract from the real problem which is the talent on the field. But at the same time, I think you underate some of the areas where Dusty is clearly lacking. I think it's more than just lineup shuffling, I think it's about setting the tone for a whole team. With last year's constant off field distrations along with the on field problems with umps, and then this year's significant mental errors, it seems that some reasonable blame needs to be placed on Dusty. And to play devil's advocate, it is true that the GM can't fire the players, so if you need to shake something up...Dusty would be a good place to start.

But getting rid of Dusty alone, does not come close to solving the problem with this team....and that's where people need to start talking more about the players and less about scapegoating the manager.

I am a Chicago transplant living in Atlanta... been here since 1990. This year the Braves had no outfield except A. Jones. They signed two vets for nothing to see if they could perform. They failed so the Braves brought up rookies and played them. Some of the rookies have performed well and the Braves on in 1st place again. Bobby Cox gave each one of them a chance to shine. Dusty has yet to really do that with Cedeno or Murton. I would love to see them play.

The baseball fans in Atlanta are finally showing up for games. The Pirates series was packed. The fans are enjoying seeing the new energy and the new faces. It is exciting here right now. I want that for the Cubs more than every couple of years.

I would like to see Lee, Walker, Ramirez, Burntiz play everyday. I would like to see Cedeno releive Perez every 2 or 3 days... let him have 3 starts a week. Perez could use some rest. But them we got to get Nomar in the line up as well.

Give Murton a few starts a week. Play Barrett 5 days a week and Blanco 2. I don't know what to do about Macias., but right now he is batting .289.

Let's see...Ned Yost (500,000 a year or there about) has a team with less Talent than the Cubs...and has them 1/2 game behind the Cubs.

Dusty Baker has a 4 million a year contract and has his 100 million payroll club 1/2 game over Yost's team....

I think that speaks volumes.

do you realize after may nearly 1/2 the losses were from the pen?

What do you know, the number's been falling since LaChoke left town.

http://www.iowacubs.com/aspx/roster.aspx?pid=206

Activated--CPat, Wood, Williamson, Garciaparra and
Mike Quade brought up to manage from Iowa

Baker send down with Mitre, Cedeno. Remmy DFA. DL for Hairy.

Dusty will get a chance to work on managing suicide squeezes and getting pitchers to cover first.

no matter how you shuffle this pen...or its use

no one is anywhere near good...no one...

except the dumpster

the losses may have gone down, but the ERA has barely budged since hawkins and his 19 innings left...its been a bad pen all year that has cost this club a lotta headache.

as far as telling 30-40 year olds how to execute fundamentals...this is something they learned 10-20 years ago...THEY screwed up...THEY accepted responsibility...

you dont teach men like that stuff like that...they know it...

dusty isnt running some wild and free clubhouse where the players step all over everything and try not to get too upset so they can be one happy family...

i dunno why some of you think a manager just squeezes ability outta junk like magic...it just isnt like that.

you need to look at who's been here...not who other teams have....what the bench was, who failed, how many failures...

managers dont make players just perform...players perform...

and that payroll is 100m...but 16+m of it is sitting in baltimore...85m is a more fair assesment of what's on that field.

sending Johnny B to Iowa would be a DISASTER! That is the farm system you know...where players need coaching! That would be nuts! set the organization back decades

Crunch,

To answer your question, like it or not, Dusty's the manager of this team, the captain of this ship. He's the face of this team, not Hendry... he's the one who makes out the lineup card and the one who manages the team from day-to-day.. and... as such, he's the person most likely to be held accountable for the success or failure of that team.

If the Cubs had won in 2003, he'd be hailed as the SAVIOR. Right now, he'd be basking in the glory that success brings.

He didn't win in 2003, the Cubs failed to go to the playoffs in 2004, and its looking like we're not gonna make it in 2005 either.

In short, the entire freaking TEAM (manager, coaches AND players) has failed to live up to the expectations raised by Dusty's hiring and first year success, and he's taking a beating for it.

No one EVER said life was fair.

Yes, we all know the bullpen sucks, many of us said it last year and this year. We know about the injuries. And we also know that we've trotted out some mighty strange lineups that are open to question too.

And if I had a penny for every criticism of Macias or Neifi on this site...

We're not just picking on Dusty Baker, Crunch, it's just that he's the manager and a much larger target.

If I managed a team... and I was successful... I'd expect the lion's share of the credit BECAUSE I'M THE DAMNED MANAGER.

If, on the other hand, I fail or the team doesn't respond, WHO SHOULD I BLAME?

Who is ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PLAY OF THIS TEAM... OR ANY OTHER TEAM IN PROFESSIONAL SPORTS?

Who was ultimately responsible for the sinking of the Titanic? The first mate who failed to see the iceberg in time, or the captain who left him in charge?

When the Exxon Valdez ran aground in Alaska years back and spilled millions of gallons of crude oil all over the pristine coast, who was ultimately responsible? The person on the bridge or the drunken captain asleep in his cabin?

WHO IS ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUCCESS OR FAILURE OF ANY TEAM OR GROUP, BE IT MILITARY OR CIVILIAN?

ANSWER: the person in charge, that's who!

If your company has a good year, the CEO get's a big bonus... if they fail to meet expectations, and the stockholders bitch and moan because profits are low, eventually that same CEO will be launched faster than you can say "Jackie Robinson."

Who is the MANAGER OF THE CHICAGO NATIONAL LEAGUE BASEBALL TEAM? WHO is the manager when that team wins? Is it the same person in charge when they lose?

Get my drift?

There are ALWAYS winners and losers... as John F. Kennedy said, "Success has 100 fathers; failure is an orphan."

That's the way of the world, you take the good, you take the bad, or you stand back and get the hell outta the way.

When did we as a nation stop accepting RESPONSIBILITY FOR OUR BAD DECISIONS? WHY IS IT ALWAYS SOMEONE ELSES'S FAULT?

Why are we so adverse to owning up to our mistakes and blaming every damned body else, except ourselves? WHY IS THAT SO HARD TO DO?

25 men on this team have, at various times, fucked up beyond belief. IT'S A COLLECTIVE EFFORT. But it's the captain of the ship who is going to take the fall.

Crunch

85 million should get more than a 4th place team after that is exactly what the cards payroll is, and 5-10 mil more than the w.sox.

well then your beef is with garciappara/wood for stealing 20m of that payroll or hendry for signing who he signed...cuz if you look at what's here i see a bad pen, a shakey bench, a series of failed rookies, injuries, and a couple weeks of patterson/neifi stupidity...

personally...im a bit more pissed this bullpen was left to the wolves than other thing this past offseason...in case its not evident...there is no reason to trust the game to anyone all season past the 6th inning and nothing has been done. im also pissed garciappara was brought on board and given 9+m bucks, but he never got a chance to even make a fair impression given his past before blowing out his leg.

granted, no one was trading many relievers, but i hope hendry learned something this year...

sending Johnny B to Iowa would be a DISASTER!

It will give him some time to work on shortening his stroke (oops that's cpats line)

...he did want to work with some veterans like Calvin Murray who are still capable of helping for the stretch run.

...and he can work with their catchers on rundowns between home and 3rd.

"managers dont make players just perform...players perform..."

Then why have one? Then why pay $4MM for one.
At first I read your comments and thought we were on the exact same page...now you are moving further and further away from where I stand. Ultimately, the manager has to hold some responsibility for how the team performs. The inconsistancy is what gets me most. I don't hate baker, and in the scheme of things, I don't think our team is significantly better without him. But at somepoint the captain has to go down with his ship, and a reasonable amount of blame needs to be placed on his shoulders for the inconsistancy and poor fundamentals this team has shown throughout the season.

4thandinches...

that's a fundamental difference between me an you...i see no point in making minimal-impact replacement for any reason.

cuz it doesnt solve real problems.

i like it to all this airport b/s crap...we wanna make everything all safe and spend all this money, but as ANY computer security expert can tell you...until you lock those cockpit doors, everything is non-secure by nature, period. yet they still dont like the doors or reinforce them...go figure. (btw, yes, i know there's other issues like cabin explosions and etc..but seriously, part of security is securing the controls, period).

i'm interested in change, but it sure as hell doent involve the manager for me cuz 1- his troops understand their role 2- he's not that bad of a manager esp. compared to his peers.

i wanna see changes take place in places it matters...players.

i think its an absolute joke to look at the production of this team and its injures and pin so much of it on dusty...esp. when there's real obvious holes in this team you can point to and go "look at this! wtf?" and to say dusty is doing these things to these players just blows my mind...these guys arent children.

That would be nuts! set the organization back decades

hmmm...lets try the 1930's. Gabby Hartnet would be my first pick.

Crunch,

Okay, fine, we replace 20-24 guys on the team, or the last 10 guys to fuck up, keep Dusty, and come up with another 24 guys to replace the one's we just canned.

Is THAT what you're advocating?

Hell, its never been done before, but there's always a first time... lets fire the team, retain Dusty, and give him another shot.

Wow. Just typing that boggles my mind...

Did it make sense for Baltimore to fire Lee Mazzilli today, Crunch? Was he the problem or was it the fact that the team failed to produce?

Discuss...

4thandinches...

umm...no

and that's a pretty wild ass assumption...lemmie walk you back to earth...

there are no "cancers" on this team, but there is no one in the pen but 1 guy all year. does this seem odd? 1 guy in pen worth a damn? is that a problem? hmmm...i'd say 'yes'

all the guys returning next year are great...they have their limitations, like barrett...but unless they decide to toss t.walker SS/OF/starter/relief/bench are the holes to fill.

how about a RELIABLE pen insted of a dice roll..maybe 2-3 guys you can count on without as much of a gamble to help the kids....how about a bench that isnt populated by .300 ob% guys...

etc. etc. etc.

this isnt a 50 million overhaul here...this team isnt in the gutter...this team has a few obvious flaws being bullpen, health, ob%...all 3 of those factors have screwed this team a lot more than any dusty influence...

4th...i made a comment on mazzilli earlier

"and lee mizz. sure is lost without someone telling him what to do every 10 seconds...he has the authority respect of spongebob squarepants."

Team might not be significantly better without Baker as manager...but they aren't significantly worse without him either...

4 Million to a manager is nuts.

4m to a manager is nuts...imo, 10m to a closer is nuts, too...but that's another post conversation hehe...

no manager is worth that much loot...no manager has that much skills or manages his tallent or their personalities that well. a lot of what a player is has to do with their own personal ambition and what he was taught coming up through whatever system he came up in.

some guys are just awful, some are good..but so very few are great. dusty's just ordinary...his only + tallent being he can manage headcases as well as level headed people

Well it looks like Hairston has suffered his annual serious injury. I told you since Monday I had a funny feeling Patterson would be called up by Friday. I didn't expect Hairston to get injured though.

Hairston left Wednesday's game in the seventh after injuring his left elbow an inning earlier while making a diving catch. Hairston flew back to Chicago for an MRI, which revealed a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow.

Cubs athletic trainer Mark O'Neal said Hairston is likely to miss 10 days to two weeks, but the team has not yet made a decision whether to place him on the 15-day disabled list.

Funny during the Cubs broadcast today they said he had an MRI that revealed no damage. And Hairston was quoted also that he would only miss a few days. Now suddenly he is DL material? Kinda fishy.

Crunch,

Just wondering... what COLOR is the sky in your world?

Its sounded like you believed that, with a few additions to the bullpen, this team can be successful. And that's obvious.

But where are you going to go to get that help?

Just a reminder: reliable bullpen help doesn't just grow on trees. Sometimes, it has to come from in-house. And THAT means your coaching staff has to get the most out of what's available on the team. The staff's not performing up to expectations; Hendry's expectations OR the fans.

I'm aware of your earlier post on Mazilli, i just wanted to remind you that, when the team falters, its usually the manager who takes it in the neck because it's easier to fire ONE manager than 25 guys, no matter whether manager is getting paid 4 million or 4 dollars.

I tried to break it down for you, but obviously, I failed in communicating to you life's little realities. Most of the lucid world understands; a few people (like you) don't.

Hey, that's okay, you're entiltled to your opinion, even if it isn't grounded in reality.

So be it, then...

uh yeah, having 2-3 arms in the pen you can count on would have helped this team a ton...and having bench that didnt consist of 3 .300-ish ob% guys would be nice, too...this can easily be done for 10-15m, but it wasnt...

i never suggested they go out and pick them out of thin air...once the season began, there were no real big reliever trades...3 worth mentioning, really...i know there wasnt a market, i also said i hope hendry learns a lesson this offseason about leaving his pen to such a huge gamble.

you can say this and that about a manager, but i see a lot more problems with the tools available, not how the tools are used.

Crunch:

"some guys are just awful, some are good..but so very few are great. dusty's just ordinary...his only + tallent being he can manage headcases as well as level headed people."

Refresh my memory... wasn't Sammy Sosa a "headcase?" How well did Baker manage HIM?

Some might say Kent Mercker would qualify as a "headcase." Did Baker do a good job managing HIM? How about Moises Alou? Yeah, the same Alou who went ballistic at the drop of a hat (or flyball, especially if Bartman is in the vicinity!).

Yeah, Alou and Mercker, those same "headcases" who went after Steve Stone and Chip Caray... oh, you're right, Baker did a REAL good job managing them...

Just wondering...

Mikec,

Len and Bob were talking about Hairston's x-ray being negative. Also I thought C-pat would be back soon, but he was in the line-up tonight. If the Cubs were going to recall him I think they would have held him out of the game tonight so he couldn't get hurt.

It was the MRI today that showed the damage on his elbow.

Come on guys. There's plenty of blame to go around here. Players, coaches, managers, general managers etc. The players are always the first to get the axe and then the manager followed by the GM. Some players have already gone and more will go this season. I'm not sure if Baker will go or not, but Hendry will get the chance to fix that before he goes. If changing managers fails, Hendry will then get canned. It's how it works. And they are all to blame.

I think its better when we are mathematically eliminated in May.

Winning in the 80s is the best path towards mediocrity.

Phil Rogers has a column worth reading in the trib tomrrow about how if they do not play well that Dusty will be encourged to interview for other jobs. He says they probably won't fire him. The only stupid thing Rogers has is him maybe going to Oakland! Billy Beane would never hire Baker, I mean could you see this one morning if that did happen.

(9:00 AM Baker in office, and phone rings)

Dusty: Hello
Beane: Why are the walks down this year?
Dusty: I am tellin these kids there here to hit not walkin I mean i dont see the walkin stats in the paper.
Beane: yes you do it's called OBP.
Dusty: What does that stand for?
Beane: On-base percentage it is bascalliy how much you get on base.
Dusty: Shouldn't it be called CBP?
Beane: What?
Dusty: Clogged bases percentage, because Billy you know that is all those walks do.
Beane: Whatever
Dusty: Before you hang up I got a question to ask you.
Beane: What?
Dusty: Why haven't you got me Macias or Neifi yet. There verstile and fast plus the best thing about them is that they got expirence which makes them better than Crosby and Swisher. I mean dude how do you expect me to win with a bunch guys under 30 it is like impossible man.
(Beane hangs up phone in disgust)

Seriously if Hendry wants him gone at the end of the year like Rogers suggest just fire him. Why waste a season. I am sure Ryno would take the job for cheap for a year and then get payed good after that.

2006 Starting rotation of Zambrano, Prior, Wood, Williams and Maddux is simply not good enough taking into account health dependability. I think we need another front line starter to really get to the next level...which gives us a little margin of error if one of the big 3 goes down.

I think we underrate the problems our starting rotation has caused this year due to injury and inconsistancy.

I just read that Rothschild took Prior out today. What's that all about?

Adam,

I agree We need a top line starter. The best way to go is to trade Wood for Soriano to clear a spot in the rotation. Then send Hill, Mitre, and Fontenot for Zito. Also a defensive minded catcher like Irod or Damian Miller would help the staff too.

Chifan you have to be kidding me, trade hill and mitre and fontenot for zito? Hill will be the equivalent of Zito in about two years at 10% of the price. He's pitched very well so far this year. Fontenot will be a useful bench player if not better.

God, I hope Hendry doesn't trade for Soriano... we already have one... we call him CPat!

I thought the object was to get guys on base ahead of our thumpers. What's Soriano's strikeout ratio these days? Can he bunt or execute the hit and run? No, he swings at EVERYTHING, be it high or low, inside or out.

Do we actually need another guy like that? Everyone's crying about K this and K that, rally-killer this and rally-killer that... and then you turn right around and advocate going out and getting the king of all strikeout artists?

Look at what the team on the south side is doing. I don't see a lot of thumpers there, or on the Oakland A's, Angels, or other teams WHO CAN MANUFACTURE RUNS when necessary.

And that's what we need gang, because were not going to play 162 games a year in Wrigley with the wind blowing out every day. We've gotta learn how to create runs... and that's why I said Hendry and McPhail have to objectively reassess the organization's overall philosophy, because what we have now... and what we've had over the last 90 years... has clearly failed!

For once in my lifetime, I'd like to see the Cubs get a few guys who know the strike zone and can work a count... and that sure as hell wouldn't describe Soriano.

Something new for Lou: Never let it be said that Rays manager Lou Piniella is too old to try something new.

Currently the Devil Rays use the tandem of Joe Borowski and Danys Baez to finish out the games; each is designated an inning -- Borowski the eighth and Baez the ninth.

Of course none of this would have been possible if Borowski hadn't been signed July 11 during the All-Star break. Since joining the team, the righty has pitched in 10 games and not given up a run in 9 1/3 innings.

"This is the best our bullpen has been all year," Piniella said.

Bill Chastain column, MLB.com

Nice that Borowski is useful somewhere else, because he served absolutely no purpose for us anymore. No team in the playoff hunt can afford to carry a pitcher who gave up 5 Home runs in 11 outings and was scored upon in 6 of 11 outings.

The low pressure job of pitching for a team with no playoff hopes in a market with no media pressure is serving him well. He's a good guy and I wish him well and am glad he is pitching in another uniform.

Isn't this fun Pennant? Why don't we save eachother the trouble and just copy and paste these posts every time instead of repeating this same ridiculous discussion in every thread. You are the only person who saw Borowski pitch for the Cubs, including Joe Borowski himself, that doesn't understand why he is pitching in a different uniform.

4thandinches, I completely agree with you. The thing that I find most alarming is that while we all know that Dusty doesn't believe in working the count or walking, Hendry is the one actively seeking out hitters like Soriano. You would think Hendry would know better, but then again he's refused to face the facts and fire Dusty's incompetent but.

to think that dusty is actually telling players to hack at the ball and not take a walk is beyond insane...all batters swing at balls they, in their minds, think they can hit unless a hit/run is on or a few other very obscure reasons.

also, getting upset about a soriano rumor is pretty useless right now for more than 1 reason...let's at least get to the offseason before soriano is rumored to be traded to play a possition here in chicago that he's refused outright to play for NY and TEX...

Cap'n Crunch
"how about a RELIABLE pen insted of a dice roll..maybe 2-3 guys you can count on without as much of a gamble to help the kids....how about a bench that isnt populated by .300 ob% guys...

etc. etc. etc."

Hawkins, Borowski, Dempster, Remlinger, Fox
and a slew of kids to chose from...
That's a good mix of vets and youngsters, bullpen's are a crapshoot and no one knew these guys would all virtually blow ass. I wonder if the pitching coach should be held liable for pitcher's performing so well elsewhere?

Dusty wants guys like Neifi, Macias, Ramon Martinez & Tom Goodwin. They make him happy, dude.
Hendry made his manager happy and he also dumped Sosa because the "player's manager" wasn't able to control him. The chickens still jumped around even with the player's manager in the clubhouse.

"Dusty wants guys like Neifi, Macias, Ramon Martinez & Tom Goodwin. They make him happy, dude."

uh..okay..

"Hendry made his manager happy and he also dumped Sosa because the "player's manager" wasn't able to control him. The chickens still jumped around even with the player's manager in the clubhouse."

again..interesting..

the whole point of this and the things ive said (if you'd go up 600 posts to read) is that through noone's fault but the players...the players havent come through...no manager would make that bullpen not suck...no manager would make dempster the sole guy in the bullpen who's even close to above average...no manager could have made nomar not miss 3/4 of the year or wood go into august with 50-something pitches under his belt or have his CF suck ass while his 2nd baseman is busy missing 100-150 ab's....

the players have done far more to hurt this team collectively than any manager could do..and in some cases like having 3+ known .300 ob% guys on the bench and a patchwork pen...could have been avoided. personally, i knew the pen would be an experiment, but i sure as hell expected at least 2-3 of the guys to be stable...they werent...

from Bruce Miles/Daily Herald:

If the Cubs donít recall Patterson, itís possible they could purchase the contract of center fielder Calvin Murray from Iowa. Murray, a veteran, played last September for the Cubs.

I knew it was coming, this is Dusty's #1 Favorite Guy

Crunch, and who is responsible for making sure the players are prepared to do their job? Hadn't Hawkins failed enough times as a closer. Wasn't he brought here as a set-up guy. Patterson, a lead-off guy? Pitchers covering first?

scooterÆ

4th and inches:
"but SOMEONE will have to take the blame for this team's performance which is, by all descriptions, underachieving. "

Is it really?

I recall many a person on here saying all year, even before th season started this was a .500 team. The HIGH end of wins perdicted was 90. With about teh average being 85 or so. So if this team neds up with 84 wins, is that underachieving? It shouldn't be as a majority of Cubs fans thought this team was a .500 team or only a couple games over. that is right in line to what they are doing, so how is the team underachiving. And they lost Wood, Prior, and Noamr for long periods of time. Did you think this was a 95 win team coming into the year? This team is eperforming to what most people thoguht the talent would do. And maybe slightly better considering the major injuries.

Bleeding Blue:
Crunch, what is it about Lawton that has you so convinced that he can't play CF? I'll put it this way, he can't be worse than Macias."

He can't be worse than Hairston either...

http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-c...

Some of the "highlights":
"The Cubs will put outfielder Jerry Hairston on the 15-day disabled list today with a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow."

"...That doesn't necessarily mean center fielder Corey Patterson will be recalled from Class AAA Iowa to take Hairston's place"

"The Cubs could stay with their current position players and retain shortstop Ronny Cedeno...Or the Cubs could bring up Iowa outfielder Calvin Murray for defensive purposes. "

"Asked if Patterson might get the call, manager Dusty Baker said: 'You would think he would be the likely choice. If nothing else, you need somebody to catch the ball.'"

Almost sounds like Dusty's implying that he doesn't have any input. Hmmm...

Cubfan:
"Let's see...Ned Yost (500,000 a year or there about) has a team with less Talent than the Cubs...and has them 1/2 game behind the Cubs.

Dusty Baker has a 4 million a year contract and has his 100 million payroll club 1/2 game over Yost's team....

I think that speaks volumes."

Let's see...
NYY - $220 million dollar payroll (Torre multi million $ salary)
TOR - $45 million dollar payroll (Gibbons less than a million $ salary)

Speaks volumes....

Oh yeah, TOR and NYY are only seperated by 2.5 games.

For those who have been discussing who is responsible for the players not making fundamental plays, here are Dusty's thoughts:

"After pitchers Jerome Williams, Glendon Rusch and Mike Remlinger all failed to cover first base, Baker said he and pitching coach Larry Rothschild will be certain to emphasize those shortcomings, among others, to their players.

"Somebody is going to have to pay,'' Baker said. "Somebody is in trouble. It was like doo-doo on the mound or something.

"Don't ask me. Larry is going to address it with them. That's Larry's department. I'm in charge, but a manager is in charge of certain functions.

"It has to do with responsibility in your department. There's a chain of command. Don't worry. It will be addressed. Contrary to the popular belief, I don't let nothing pass. Nothing. I'll address it sooner or later. I can address it calmly or I can address it very aggressively.''

DON'T ASK ME...THAT'S LARRY'S DEPARTMENT.

Whatever.

Sorry, I forgot to include the link:
http://www.suntimes.com/output/cubs/cst-spt-k...

JJ-
I think this is setting up the clear answer for the offseason. Larry is the only coach from ther prior regime on the staff and Hendry will fire him instead of Baker to send a message.

Many on here have questioned Rothschild and how good he is with all the injuries and some relievers going on to other teams and doing well. Well, this might be Larry's last stand...

Manny, you're right about Hairston's Defense in the Outfield, he's not very good out there.

Apparently St. Dusty thinks converted infielders are better suited to play the most important position in the outfield than natural outfielders are.

Hmm, the great Dubois got less of a shot in Cleveland. I wonder if Cleveland fans are up in arms over it and calling for Wedge's head.

Blue-
I agree with you here. And against Dusty (everyone please take note). I think it should be Murton, Lawton, Bunry in the OF. I would try lawton in CF and see how he does. Can't be worse than hairston.

Bob-
I doubt it since Wedge and Clev fans saw enough of those 17K's in 33 AB's. Wedge and Dusty saw the player Dubois is right now and know he is not MLB caliber right now.

But we should stop talking about this as it is all in the past...:)

Dubois got even less of a shot in Cleveland? Are you sure? Did Dusty ever give him a 3 week stretch were he started everyday? I know there was a brief period where Dusty did let him play (and he went and out hit both the other 2 Cub starting outfielders) but I don't know if it was 3 weeks.

And the bigger point, There's a big difference between being replaced by Travis Hafner - a legitamate big league hitter - and Todd Hollandsworth - who's a super scub at best and is hitting even worse than Dubois did in Cleveland.

Yeah, Manny, there were a number of people on this board who thought this team was a .500 team or not much better. And they said so.

But, from what I read on this board, MOST of the comments were optimistic and more than a few posters (like me) thought this team was capable of 88-94 wins this year. And most of the comments I read here were of the opinion this team would certainly compete with the Cardinals and the Astros for the NL Central title.

Question: Who in their right mind would think this team could compete for the wild card or NL Central title being "a .500 team or a little better?" That wasn't the tenor of the comments I read here before the season started.

Did anyone think that .500 was good enough to win the damned division, especially if we're competing with those two teams (Astros and Cards)?

Did you Manny, in that warped, deluded mind of yours, or what passes for one, actually think playing .500 ball was good enough to compete for the division?

What, did you think we moved to the NL West? Apparently, .500 there might actually win it!

Was the general tenor here that the Astros and the Cards would suck to the point that ".500 or a few games over" would be good enough for the Cubs to win ANYTHING?

HELL NO! On the contrary!

I sure as hell didn't see "the majority of Cubs fans" on this board think that this was no more than a .500 team. Hell, if that were the case, I wouldn't be reading all of the strong, passionate remarks I've read here this season from day-1.

If "a majority of Cubs fans thought this team was a .500 team or only a couple games over" I wouldn't be reading all of these posts from pissed off people on this board.

Bottom line: this teams has not met expectations, for the second year in a row, for whatever reason. And, as such, they have UNDERACHIEVED.

And there's no guarantee they're going to FINISH "a .500 team or a few games over."

Hell, if the Cubs continue to LOSE 2 of every 3 games they play, if they continue to lose series after series, if they continue to lose to teams they probably should beat, if they continue to show a glaring lack fundamental baseball skills, like plate discipline and covering first base, they'll be labelled UNDERACHIEVERS, and rightly so.

Your interpretation of comments here is striking, but we've come to expect that of you. You've never let the facts stand in the way of a good story.. or post..

You're wrong, but you'll never admit it, that's just not your style. In fact, I've never seen you admit an error here. You strike me as a person who thinks they haven't been wrong since, oh, lets say, 1963, when you THOUGHT you made a mistake.

Your comment Manny, as usual, makes no sense whatsoever. But hey, this is America and everyone is entitled to their opinions, be they right or wrong.

Blue:
"Did Dusty ever give him a 3 week stretch were he started everyday?"

Dubois was given the starting everyday LF job on May 10 - June 4 (over 3 weeks).

During that stretch he played in 22 of 23 games:
15-62, 6 runs, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 3 BB and 20 K's (.241 avg & .277 OBP)

And of course that's not counting his GG defense though.

"I know there was a brief period where Dusty did let him play (and he went and out hit both the other 2 Cub starting outfielders)"

- Bunry during May 10-June 4: 21-93, 11 runs, 3 HR, 14 RBI, 8 BB, 14 K's (.226 avg. & .287 OBP)
- CPat during May 10-June 4: 24-85, 11 runs, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 5 BB, 22 K's (.282 avg & .322 OBP)

He did out hit Burny by a few points, but Cpat out hit him during that stretch.

"Todd Hollandsworth - who's a super scub at best and is hitting even worse than Dubois did in Cleveland."

- Dubois in Clev was: 8-33 (.242 avg)
- Hollandsworth in 2005: 62-247 (.251 avg)

So actually Holly is "hitting" better than Dubois...

I think you basically need to recant the entire post as it was mostly wrong.

4thandinches...
Maybe I am wrong, but I know Cubfan said it early on that this was a .500 team and I don't recall many that argued very much with him about that. Like CWTP said (maybe you should attack him too), that 85-87 wins was about the average guess for wins with this team. But I do know that I have heard 1000 times on here that this is a .500 team.

You know man, you could be much nicer than personally attack me with your post. Just state what you think and there is no need to throw in all the persoanl attacks, but I guess I shouldn't expect that from you, huh?

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