50 Games of Misery Left

GAME 113 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CINCINNATI REDS (50-62) @ CHICAGO CUBS (54-58) WRIGLEY FIELD, 1:20 pm CDT, TV: WGN
Mark Prior, RHP
7-4, 3.64 ERA
112/35 K/BB, 17 HR in 106.1 IP
Aaron Harang, RHP
7-10, 3.90 ERA
118/41 K/BB, 12 HR in 145.1 IP
SS #Felipe Lopez LF *Matt Lawton
C Jason LaRue 2B *Todd Walker
CF *Ken Griffey Jr. 1B Derrek Lee
LF *Adam Dunn 3B Aramis Ramirez
1B *Sean Casey RF *Jeromy Burnitz
RF Austin Kearns SS Nomar Garciaparra
3B Edwin Encarnacion CF *Corey Patterson
2B #Ray Olmedo C Henry Blanco
P Aaron Harang P Mark Prior
Looks like they're still playing games at Wrigley, I mean the Cubs stopped playing baseball about a week and a half ago, but they still dutifully put on the uniform and sleepwalk through 9 innings so as to pretend to make an effort. Well at least seeing Corey back up gives us something to watch for the remainder of the season. It would bring me great joy if he would return to being a useful part of this team. If we could only ship off Matt Lawton or Jeromy Burnitz and get Matt Murton some regular playing time and then find a way to get Sergio Mitre back in the rotation (I'm looking at you Maddux), we can start working on next year. In due time I suppose. And can we give Derrek Lee a day off? Is Dusty just waiting for him to actually collapse on the ballfield before he realizes he could use a day of rest? Because I would very much like for him to muster up one more hot streak and make a run at the Triple Crown. Harang made us look silly last time and a look at his peripherals say that he's a MUCH better pitcher then the ERA and win/loss record show. For you folks who play fantasy baseball, keep an eye out for him next year. Chances are that ERA is a result of a whole lot of bad luck and bad defense which tends to equal itself out in ensuing seasons. Prior tries not to suck as much as he did in Philly and maybe he's got another 16 K game in him like last Septemeber versus the Reds. Amusingly enough the opposing starter that day was Aaron Harang. Go Korey!!!
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Comments

"If we could only ship off Matt Lawton or Jeromy Burnitz"

Lawton I can agree with. So far I'm not impressed, but Burny? No way I want to see him go anywhere especially if the alternative is Murton. I'd like to see Murton play more, but in LF not RF

I assume only one of the two would go between Lawton and Burnitz and if it was Burnitz, then Lawton would slide into right.

I guess it's up to who Hendry thinks he wants to keep around beyond this season. I think a guy who's about as close to a legit leadoff hitter as there is in the bigs these days is more valuable then an over-the-hill slugger. Burny's defense is much better though. It's a tough call, but I'd pick Lawton if I had to choose over the two.

Prior tries not to suck as much as he did in Philly and maybe heís got another 16 K game in him like last Septemeber versus the Reds.

That game, given the stakes involved, was worse than anything in this stretch. I still can't believe they lost it. Ugh.

Rob,

I have seen enough of Mitre to know he is not anything more than a 4 or 5 starter. I would much rather see what Nolasco or Pinto can do.

this is what I wrote after Prior's game last year on my old blog:

Prior though found his groove.....what an absolutely outstanding big game performance. Every Cubs player needs to go to his locker and give them their apologies. He deserved that win today.

What a shame.....nothing to do at this point but win your games and hope some teams help you out.

How a team loses that game with such an outstanding pitching performance is still beyond me...

I agree that Maddux is going to be a tough issue next year because of his contract kicking in when he exceeds 200 innings this year, but blocking Mitre is not the problem. Mitre has had plenty opportunities to prove that he will be an effective major league pitcher, and he has failed to succeed each time. One good start against a lousy team like Toronto isn't enough. I'd be shocked if he was still in the organization by 2007.

And, please, stop the Glendun Rusch talk - a rotation spot is better used to develop a young starter than to give Rusch more starts. Rusch was lousy his last couple of starts before going to the bullpen, and there was a reason why he was 1-12 with the Brewers a couple of years ago.

"You only fail when you fail to succeed."

well a 4 or 5 starter is all we need assuming Wood's shoulder surgery is enough to get him through next season with the quality we all expect from him.

If for some reason the Cubs feel Wood isn't healthy enough (although I hear the problem he has and surgery that he's expected to have are very similar to what Matt Morris just went through and he seems to be doing quite well this year), then I'd like to see the Cubs make a run at A.J. Burnett. He's the only FA pitcher who I think could be worth the contract he'll demand.

Hell, if HIll, Mitre, Guzman and Williams can be spun for some offensive upgrades then I'd still go after Burnett cause Maddux will be gone after next season (how I wish it was sooner) and we'll need someone to take over his spot in the future and someone possibly to take over Woods after next season as well.

2006 starters
Prior
Z
Wood
Burnett
Maddux

Whoever is left over from the trades in the bullpen and waiting to jump into a starting role when/if Wood goes down.

Bullpen possibility:
Williamson
Dempster
Wuertz
B.J. Ryan or Wagner (doubtful the O's will let Ryan go though and Wagner's contract demands are going to be hefty for a 34 year old)
Hill or Guzman (whoever doesn't get traded)
Novoa, Welly, Van Buren or Aardsma (whoever wins the spring training battle)

And the bullpen should have DEFINED roles unless there is AN OBVIOUS matchup advantage.

7th - Willamson
8th - Dempster
9th - Wagner or Ryan

Wuertz, Hill, Guzman, Novoa, Van Buren, Aardsma or Welly(whichever 2 are left over) are the long relief, mop-up, pitch when the other guys are overused players.

Don't ask me what to do with Rusch, if we don't sign Burnett I'm more then fine with him in the starting rotation. Someone has to want this guy though. Him and Maddux could make a killing by moving to the NL West.

Maddux' contract for next year is guaranteed if he reaches only 187 1/3rd ip this year, not 200. It's still not a lock, he'll have to average close to 7 ip per start to get there.

http://www.all-baseball.com/ref/cubscontracts...

If Williamson stays healthy he should have no problem beating out Dempster to be our closer next year. Williamson is a stud pitcher, Dempster is having a career year. I just hope they don't give Dempster much of a contract because you have to figure after 10 years of sucking he will go right back to that next year.

There's no way Hendry will give Wagner the 3 year deal he will demand, at something like $8-10 mil per, or even more.

The amazing thing about the Sept 30 Prior start last year was only one walk!

I missed Ruz's "Will Dusty be Fired" Thread until this morning, and I have one observation to post: the fact that both Hendry's and Dusty's contracts with the Cubs at the end of next year makes it far more likely that Dusty will be gone in the next month or two. (In an MLB.com article, Dusty points to this fact as evidence that he isn't going anywhere right now!)

We may never know the extent of the personal dynamics between Dusty and Hendry, but I think that Dusty has hamstrung Hendry in a number of ways. In my view, the key weakness of this team is the woeful bench and player utilization -- simply too much Macias, Hollandsworth, Neifi, Enrique Wilson, etc. that any penant winner can tolerate. My gut tells me that those are player personnel moves that Dusty essentially demanded that Hendry sign. And I think I heard Hendry's gagging with the last two lineups that Dusty has put out. Particularly Sunday -- you know GMs and agents talk to one another and I wonder how much ribbing Hendry received for nationally-televised lineup of Lawton-Macias-Hollandsworth OF and Neifi at 2B.

I think the kooky lineups of late are Dusty's way of lashing back at several of the roster moves Hendry has used in the last two months to reassert control over the team. Remember that Hendry is a coach and a scout, and a pretty darn good one at that. Hendry is using the roster to box Dusty in to the line-up that will make sense and Dusty is refusing to comply. There is no pretty solution to that, and while I hate to write this, a 10-game skid that ends in Dusty's release may be the best thing that could happen to this team right now.

I don't think so Jason...sorry.

He needs to pitch 400 innings over this season and last and as I spelled out in the org report...
http://www.all-baseball.com/cubreporter/archi...

he only needs 37.2 IP this season and has about 9 starts left to do it, which means only 4 and 1/3 per start (actually less). He'll make it easily.

Mitre as a starter this year had 3 great outings and 4 poor ones. No one's expecting him to be an ace, and he should be serviceable at the back end next year, if they choose to go that route.

I agree that there isn't much point in starting Rusch now, but the reason for 2003's 1-12 was a .387 BABIP. Indeed, without year labels, you could barely differentiate his 2003 and 2004:

123 IP, 45 BB, 93 K, 11 HR
130 IP, 33 BB, 90 K, 10 HR

Jason,

Maddux is on pace to get another 10 starts, which means he only needs to average 4 IP per start.

Also, Williams will be in the rotation next year. He's young, has a load of talent, and makes little money. The Cubs would be idiots to jump into the pack and throw money at another injury-prone and underperforming starting pitcher. Didn't anyone learn anything from the Carl Pavano signing last year? Or watching Kerry Wood?

If Wood shows he is healthy next Spring you have to trade him.

Rob G:

Maddux threw 212.2 ip last year, he needs only 187.1 this year to reach the 400 over 2 years.

And do the math, he won't get 10 more starts.

This is a crude caluclation, but doesn't doing the math result in (162-54-58)/5 = 10?

Right...Maddux needs 187.1 innings. He currently has pithed 147.2, which means he only needs 39.1 innings. The Cubs have 50 games remaining, which will probably be 9 starts for Maddux. That means he needs to average 4.34 innings per start the rest of the year.

Jason...what math did you do?

His next start is the 11th. Assuming he makes all of his starts for the rest of the season (and his record indicates he will), he'll make 10 starts:

Aug 11, 16, 22, 28
Sep 3, 8, 13, 18, 24, 30

So ten starts would mean that he would only need 3.91 innings per start to reach the magic 400.

Jason...please explain your math.

In "actual game" news... ugly. Anyone see that error?

I haven't figured it out on the calendar but he had 33 starts last year, which means he should get at least 9 more starts this year (has 24 so far this season, 33-24 = 9).

the option is for 400 innings pitched over the 2004 and 2005 seasons..

(212.2IP + 147.2IP (what he's pitched so far) = 360.1 IP so far)
(400 - 361.3IP = 39.2 IP to reach option)
39.2/9 = 4.40

espn has it listed at 148.2 IP this year, yahoo 147.2, so I may have been off by an inning in my org report. Either way it's between 4 and 5 innings a start.

Ron Galt's right about Mitre, although I'd say he had 3 good starts, 3 bad ones, and 1 good one that turned very bad after a Neifi Perez error. Mitre's not an ace, but he's certainly serviceable for a 4th or 5th starter.

BTW, Those 3 good starts hardly came against "lousy teams." He beat Houston, had a 2 hitter against Toronto, and a complete game shutout against Florida. All of those teams are above .500.

Meanwhile, Prior continues to struggle in the 16-30 pitch range. Opponent splits for the season going into today

Pitches 1-15: .220/.264/.440 3HR, 3BB
Pitches 16-30: .245/.364/.491 3HR, 11BB
Pitches 31-45: .169/.222/.305 1HR, 4BB

Regarding Maddux, Anyone think we can find the t-ball coach who paid a player to "take out" a handicapped kid on the team and see if he can find a way Mad Dog from reaching 400 IP?

Nice bunt, C-Pat.

What a guy!

Hmmm... if everyone who's posted here over the last month each chips in $100,000, maybe we could buy him out.

Wow, that puts things in perspective.

Fearsome one-two punch of Patterson & Blanco.

I'm confused. The Cubs have a larger number next to their name than Cincinnati does.

My set's had that problem before. Give it about 20 minutes; it usually goes away.

Jason LaRue absolutely has Prior's number - he always hit well against him, even when Prior was in dominant form. Hopefully, Prior and dominance will one day be synomonous again.

Yep, there it went. Your TV should be fixed now.

for those watching the game - does Korey's swing look any more compact?

Is Nomar going to be on the team next season, and if so what position will he play?

No matter what team he's on next year, he'll be playing shortstop.

What's up with Prior and the long ball? it's a little scary how many he is giving up these days.

Christian do you think that is because of ego or because he can still play acceptable defense?

"Christian do you think that is because of ego or because he can still play acceptable defense?"
You are the first person I've heard talk about having Nomar move positions...I'm just curious where that is coming from? What position would he move to?

There was talk last offseason about Steinbrenner wanting Nomar to play second for the Yanks...don't know how true it was, though

I am just spit-balling here, but given his limited range maybe he would make or sense at 3B or 2B.

11:0. Nice.

Somebody please tell me the HR to Encarnacion was on a hanging breaking ball and not a first pitch fastball anywhere close to the strike zone. If the latter, that is some real poor game planning on the part of prior/blanco for a raw hitter like Edwin.

Just like their Ivy
Which blooms and brings hope and joy
Cubs wilt in August

After the seventh
No booze is available
But boos still abound

Ok...so who are all the available players by position? Time to think about next year!!!

Holly over Murton?

The market is thin
Less of the vile patchwork
Build for 07

It was for defense

That's right, because Gold Glover Todd Hollandsworth needs more playing time. Nothing like getting your proven vets more playing time in meaningless games.

1 of 2 things will have to happen before Murton gets to play again. Either Hendry DFAs Burnitz, Lawton, Holly, AND Macias or Hendry DFAs Baker.

as cubs fans vomit
it cascades down the brick walls
like snow in winter

It was for defense

Are you serious? You really think Holly is that much better defensively than Murton?

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

These losers have no soul.

good. if we get swept dusty might get fired before TLR and company touch down at ohare.

"Are you serious? You really think Holly is that much better defensively than Murton?"

I'm not saying I do or do not think Holly is better than anyone else, I was simply answering the commenter about why Holly came in instead of Murton, Dusty thinks Holly is his best defensive outfielder that was on the bench. Whether or not he is the best defender is not the question.

This is the Cubs' third losing streak of at least 7 games this year. This is a bad, bad team.

So Nomar is back...Williamson is back...Wood is back...2 of the 3 used today...lineup is basically intact....injuries aren't much concern right now....

And we have this mess....Me thinks McPhail is about ready to lay the hammer down.

Hendry did give Dusty ANOTHER 'vote of confidence' today, without saying Dusty will stay through the end of the year.

Think Dusty is listening to "The End" by the Doors on his drive home tonight?

re: 57

Dusty wants to fuck his mother?

"If for some reason the Cubs feel Wood isn't healthy enough (although I hear the problem he has and surgery that he's expected to have are very similar to what Matt Morris just went through and he seems to be doing quite well this year), then I'd like to see the Cubs make a run at A.J. Burnett. He's the only FA pitcher who I think could be worth the contract he'll demand."

As much as I like Burnett I think in terms of production matching the contract Matt Morris would be better. How about Javier Vazquez, he has a clause in his contract that says he can demand a trade to a east coast team at the end of the year. I am sure ARI would take Wood for PR value (he lives in ARI) and one pitching and Mitre.

"Driver where are you taking us, ..dude?"

and one pitching is a typo. Hill, Mitre, Williams, and Wood need to be put on the trading block to get a premier starter or bat. two trades that could be made are the Vazquez trade I mentioned above and Williams and Hill as center pieces for Dunn. Then go out and sign a relever either a closer (Ryan or Wagner) or a set-up guy (Baez, Dotel, Wickman) to tag team with Dempster. I know Wood's value is reaaly low right now but the D-backs could be desprite if Vazquez triggers that option in his contract.

Matt Morris is 3 years older then Wood and Burnett and has had almost all the same injuries as Wood. His peripheral numbers are very unimpressive as well. Pass.....

Burnett has had one TJ surgery, which is cause for concern, but his peripherals are drastically better. Vaszquez is nothing special and other then reliability, I don't what else he provides the team. His numbers are okay at best (and last time I checked Chicago wasn't on the East Coast)....

If those were the only 3 options I'd go
Burnett
Vazquez
Morris

I'd be looking for someone who could be in the rotation for the next few years to replace Maddux and/or Wood. The Cubs should have PLENTY of money next off-season although they'll have to start considering signing Prior and Z to extensions.

Chifan, are you sure about Vazquez's east-coast contract thing? I always heard it was the other way around, that he hated pitching for the Yankees and wanted to go to the west coast, hence the trade to the D-Backs.

Morris would cost 6-7 Mil and Burnett 10 mil. Morris will give 75-80 of the production that Burnett will. I would rather take Burnett too since 3 or 4 mil is not much for the trib, but on a pure "bang for your buck" factor Morris is probably better. On Vazquez I guess it would matter on how "east coast" is defined in his contract. It could be stated as spefically the atlantic seaboard or as loosely as something like ''East of St. Louis". I would take Vazquez because of his reliablity which is something this staff lacks. Exactly why we are in the 3rd big losing streak of the year.

There seem to be no fire comming out of the dugout, Derick Lee our most consistant hitter is a little burned out at the plate, but lost nothing a defense, is still a mvp candidate, and should win for what he means to the entire leage someone should tell the best team in baseball(the CUBS)to get thier heads out of their rearends play ball and learn to have fun again the winning will come, we are playing like little leagers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two young pitchers with potential for Adam Dunn? Maybe we can get Soriano, too, and set a major league record for K's in a season. The last thing the Cubs need is another all-or-nothing power hitter who strikes out a lot. Lack of home run power is the least of the Cubs problem, if it is at all. Low OBP, inability to make productive outs, and failure to work the counts in the hitter's favor are the key issues. While Dunn takes walks, his strike-out ratio is not worth taking on.

Bob,

Here is a link about Vazquez sitution http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/gammons/story?i....

Mojodc,

Hill does not have potential he is a one trick pony and hopefully Gendry realizes this before it gets too late, I like Williams but to get something you need to give up something. Dunn is a .400 OBP player. Who cares if he doesn't hit sac flys. The man just mashes and would probably be the one of the fastest guy on the team actually, and as I said before is a .400 OBP player as long as he gets on 4 of 10 times I could care less if the other 6 times are K's at least there not DP's.

I have been a hendry fan BUT after 3 losing streaks this year and a PROFESSIONAL team playing this bad ***IF HE DOES NOT FIRE DUSTY I THINK HE SHOULD BE FIRED IMMEDIATELY AND THE NEW GM TO FIRE DUSTY> This is horrible horrible baseball.

How about if we don't commit any large money to areas where we're already reasonably solid, or where it won't produce commensurate rewards? I know it's a novel idea, but it might be worth a shot.

And yeah, really, when you're a ridiculous hitter, it doesn't matter what kind of shimmery, gutsy, media-friendly take-one-for-the-team veneer does or doesn't get put on your failings. Whoever the Cubs' LF is next year can and likely will do much worse than work the count, get on base all the time, and hit the ball hard and far on frequent occasions.

It's mid August, we are 5 games under .500 with 6 or 7 teams ahead of them in the wild card race, the quality of players simply are not playoff caliber across the board. This team is not going anywhere with or without Baker. I do not think it serves any purpose to fire Baker now, and I think Hendry has made it pretty clear he won't. So why don't we move on to the real problems with this team.

- Why is Prior giving up 2-3 home runs per game?
- Why does Maddux have one good outing for every 3 appearances
- Why are the 3, 4, and 5, hitters not able to advance runners or knock runners in in the last 2 weeks.
- Why does our bullpen consistantly suck?

We need to find the answers to those problems...because if those problems aren't fixed, whether we play Macias, Perez and Holly over Lawton, Nomar, and Murton...it won't matter one bit.

We came into this season depending on starting pitching and a few key sluggers...for the first half of the year we got away with that as some unexpected offense kept us in the race. Now that the pitching rotation and the sluggers have cooled down tremendously, it doesn't matter what else happens..because this team is not capable of compensating for a sucky middle of the order and poor rotation.

#70 post--

Why is Prior giving up 2-3 home runs per game?
- Why does Maddux have one good outing for every 3 appearances
- Why are the 3, 4, and 5, hitters not able to advance runners or knock runners in in the last 2 weeks.
- Why does our bullpen consistantly suck?

Well my theory is it's organization philosophy and attitude. When starters realize they are going to lose because no matter how perfect they pitch...if the offense can't score runs, they won't win...that's some hellish pressure.

3,4,5 hitters....again organizational attitude. Cardinals can move em over...Cubs can't..

bullpen sucking? least of our concerns really....because the bullpen is totally irrelevant when offensives can't score for you.

Organizational attitude and philosophy...it sucks....Go to school--get good people from the Braves, Twins, A's, and Cardinals organizations and send the current crop(ap) of yayhoos packing.

- Why is Prior giving up 2-3 home runs per game?

Not sure about this one. But it honestly is the least of my concerns

Um...because he is old and his little velocity that he had has dropped. He just isn't the ace that he used to be. Sometimes he can still be great, but he just doesn't have it every time out anymore. And typically his other two outings are average, which is much better than bad!

- Why are the 3, 4, and 5, hitters not able to advance runners or knock runners in in the last 2 weeks.

Because they are in a slump. it just so happens that they are all in a slump at the same time. It may be related to being tired. Or maybe they are just slumping. Again, I am not overly concerned about this one.

- Why does our bullpen consistantly suck?

They don't. Look at the numbers. Over the last month or so they have actually been pretty solid.

Cubfan. You really do live on a different planet entirely. It's an organizational attitude that is leading to a 2 week slump from our 3 best hitters? Is that a joke? That has to be one of the more irrational things I've seen you write, and that says a lot considering you rarely use your brain when posting.

Dave, I think you enitrely missed my point (Which is probably my fault). My point is not that these are long term problems, my point is that that is why we are losing now...not because we are playing Macias over Murton. And if we don't fix those problems it won't matter who else is on the field if Lee, Ramirez and Burnitz combine to hit less than .200 in a 2 week period and 4 of our 5 starters put up poor performances.

And no, while Maddux has had a couple great outings, and several average ones, he has had more than his share of bad outings.

Adam,

You are living on a different planet if you think the Cubs are in a temporary lull. Do you not see the organization is a perennial loser with anomaly years every 25 or so on average?

When you consistently have men on 1st and 2nd with no outs and fail to move them over...fail to try to move them over then it IS an organizational philosophy and attitude....that attitude is WAIT FOR THE HOMER....don't you dare run yourself out of the inning and don't you dare waste an out.

You say of the club "the quality of players simply are not playoff caliber across the board."

Well there is your answer....plain and simply....if they are not playoff caliber across the board that should answer your own question. Your post and consecutive answer leads me to believe you just want to hear yourself talk...or see the words you type....because I gave you an honest opinion--Now why is it irrational to think the Cubs sucking (this year and next) is not an organizational attitude....it is NOT a winners attitude--watch the attitude of everyone involved with the Braves, Cards, Twins, A's.....it's an incredibly winning attitude...the Cubs are lost--they know how to cut the 100 million dollars in checks..but that's about as far as they go....their organization is about as successful as 20 other organizations in the MLB who haven't found the right attitude and philosophy for winning championships.

You write--"the quality of players simply are not playoff caliber across the board. This team is not going anywhere with or without Baker."

If that isn't the reason for 2 week slumps, pitchers not being effective, offensives not being productive.....then heaven help this team. You clearly state they aren't playoff caliber across the board....but the REAL problems are "- Why is Prior giving up 2-3 home runs per game?
- Why does Maddux have one good outing for every 3 appearances
- Why are the 3, 4, and 5, hitters not able to advance runners or knock runners in in the last 2 weeks.
- Why does our bullpen consistantly suck?"

UMMM Adam? Maybe because the players are not capable of playing winning baseball in August (as playoff teams are) because they are (in your words) not playoff caliber across the board. When your quality is not playoff caliber across the board you general have bullpens (part of the board) that consistantly suck... You have 3,4 and 5 players not able to move runners across or bring them in...and pitchers like Mark Prior realize no matter what they do--if the team doesn't score they won't win.....

Now I suppose to hear yourself again you will once again say how irritating and irrational this post is.

The Cubs organization is the problem.

Adam,
You're right. The reason the cubs suck is because Dlee is hitting .350. Aram has 30+ hrs. We have a catcher hitting almost .300. We have Mark Prior giving up (Unbelievable 3 runs). We have a closer with over 20 saves. We have a rightfielder playing better than expected, etc, etc.......

COME ON

ATTITUDE is everything and the Cubs orginizational attitude SUCKS. On paper this team is better than the Whitesox, yet in reality we are going to struggle to play .500 baseball????? Quit taking money from Dusty and admit that he needs to be canned! And hendry needs to be next if he doesn't take control of this team.

Adam, if they are not long term problems, who cares? As you said, this team isn't going anywhere. Fixing the short term problems won't really solve anything,

This is exactly why its important to start playing the Murton's and Cedeno's and even the Patterson's of the team. We need to figure out what, if anything, these guy will be able to bring to the table next year.

This is exactly why its important to start playing the Murton's and Cedeno's and even the Patterson's of the team. We need to figure out what, if anything, these guy will be able to bring to the table next year.

YES exactly...and we need our upper management to provide the General Manager, minor league instructors, coaches and Field Manager and Coaches who have a winning attitude and know how to win throughout the organization and win with longevity. The answer certainly is not Dusty Baker relying on broken (or ready to break) down overpriced and underproductive veterans.

"You're right. The reason the cubs suck is because Dlee is hitting .350. Aram has 30+ hrs. We have a catcher hitting almost .300. We have Mark Prior giving up (Unbelievable 3 runs). We have a closer with over 20 saves. We have a rightfielder playing better than expected, etc, etc"

urgg, We are 0-7 and have lost 9 of 10. Prior to that we were a competitive team a few games out of a playoff spot. In that time that we fell completely out of the race, Lee has underpeformed, Aram has underpeformed, Prior has underperformed, and Burnitz has been absolutely terrible. When they were going well, so were the Cubs.

I absolutely agree that it is now time to throw in and play Murton and whomever else gives us a taste of what we need for the future.

But the comments here over the last week have been about winning today and what makes this team win or lose today. The team wasn't 1-9 because Macias was playing over Murton or because Neifi was batting 2nd instead of 7th. The team was 1-9 because the key pieces that were holding the team together stopped performing. And not just coming back down to earth, but all mirred in terrible slumps. It happens to everybody in a season, just usually not all at one time.

People;

You can have all the organizational happy-face stickers, positive clubhouse vibes, and people skills you want. None of that changes for every hitter in this game, from Jose Macias to Albert Pujols, stretches arise where they just can't hit.

Updated through today, the Misery Chart for four important hitters stands at:

Lee 220/303/322, 625 (62)
Aramis 196/241/275, 516 (54)
Lawton 235/257/294, 551 (31)
Burnitz 143/200/173, 373 (60)

It's awful luck to have all of this happen at the same time. That's all it is. Unfortunately, it also comes at a high-profile time of year, where we ended up on the "break" end of "make or break." No matter who has an easier time writing copy by suggesting it, this club didn't lose character, fight, hustle, gumption, baseball intelligence, or pick-your-intangible, it lost almost its entire offense. One of the items on this list is actually needed to compete, and when it's missing, things get ugly.

Adam is correct: this slump didn't happen because of Dusty Baker. It didn't happen because of a "curse", it didn't happen due to the Cubs being treated like a personal toy for decades, it didn't happen because TRB has made a bundle of money owning a baseball franchise.

It's a slump. It happens. Soon enough it'll end, and the Cubs can start moving down in the draft, where Gary Hughes no doubt has his eye on some toolsy high schooler.

I think its fair to say this team looks lethargic, they're playing uninspired ball, and it would appear they're just going through the motions now. Season's over for them, they're just playing out the string.

Prior didn't win today, and that was, realistically, our best chance to win a game in this series.

Either they're tired (no excuse, all MLB teams have pretty much played the same amount of games by now) or they're simply giving up, quitting on Dusty... and Hendry (they're professionals, and pride should kick in at some point... but again, we're talking about the Cubs here).

If they have quit on Dusty, its time for a change at the helm, because they're not responding to his leadership.

Hell, if the Cubs spent as much time hitting, running, fielding and pitching as they did bitching and moaning about what's being said or written about them, or overreacting to one perceived slight or another, this team could have easily overcome the obstacles in their path.

That DIDN'T happen, and management is DIRECTLY TO BLAME FOR THAT. Hendry, Dusty, the whole lot of them.

Its obvious that Dusty, Hendry, and Cubs management have NO answers to snap the team out of this tailspin. Otherwise, they'd have tried them by now.

I PREDICT: One of the coaches will be gone in the next two weeks, but I think Hendry would prefer Dusty seek employment elsewhere over the off-season. I think he's agonizing over launching Dusty in-season, and I don't think he has the stones to do it now, but if the Cubs don't win a game and this losing streak goes on for a few more games, he might have no choice.

This team quit during the tail-end of last year because they knew Dusty would cover their asses. They're doing the same thing now!

In fact, if excuses could be translated into winning baseball games, the Cubs would lead the majors!

For example: Atlanta lost three of their five starters to the DL, Chipper Jones has been in-and-out of the lineup and on the DL with one injury after another; the two VETERAN corner outfielders and closer they acquired over the winter didn't pan out; yet they're sitting on top of their division. How'd that happen?

Last year, it was all of the injuries.. and all the games that piled up at the end of the season due to the hurricane... and before that it was playing all of those day games at Wrigley... and before that it was something else... and something else... and something else...

Sure, we played 15-18 games in a row.. so did St. Louis, Houston, and every other fucking team in the majors. How is it THEY get pumped up for the brutal part of their schedules and we NEVER DO?

How does that happen? What excuses can we use for that?

Question to all: Why is it the Braves, Cardinals, Astros, A's and other teams are successful over the years despite injuries and declining production from veterans, while the Chicago Cubs National Baseball Club seems to latch on to one excuse after another for failure?

Why is that? And, futhermore, why do we as die-hard Cub fans allow management to get away with this, year-in-and-year-out?

Wasn't that the reason why we wen't out and got a top-notch manager? Isn't that why we're paying that manager 4 million per year? Hell, you can give ME 100-thousand a year, and I can steer the team through 3 or 4 seven game losing streaks! I can give you the same results at a MUCH cheaper rate! HENDRY - CALL ME!

When Wrigley Field stands empty as it did in the late-70's early 80's, when absolutely NOBODY comes out to games and the stands are bare, THAT'S when we'll get serious about fielding a team, and building a farm system, and hiring a manager who knows how to utilize and maximize the talent at hand.

My God, if I fucked up at work like the Cubs coaches and management (and yes, I'm including Hendry in that indictment!), I'd be fired... ASAP! No excuses, just gone. escorted out of the building, right this minute.

This is inexcusable and all of us Cubs fans should be ashamed at what's happening now.

I didn't feel THIS bad about the state of the Cubs during the really bleak times, when Lee Elia gave his now-famous rant.

This is bad and, as we Cubs fans well know, it'll get a lot worse before it gets better. I really have no faith in Hendry to correct this mess, and the fact that he's a sight better that his predecessor (McPhail) is nothing to cheer about.

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss...

It's a slump. It happens

And it happens to the Cubs year after year after year after year.....

This year's Cubs team reminds me very much of the 1973 Chicago Cubs. That team finished with a record of 77-84.

They had a very good starting rotation of Rick Rueschel, Milt Pappas, Burt Hooton and Fergie Jenkins....an adequate catcher in Randy Hundley...All-Stars in Ron Santo and Billy Williams...others like Rick Monday, Jose Cardenal, Paul Popovich, Kessinger and Beckert.

They were not lacking for talent...the 73 team didn't look too much different than the 69 team (looked a lot more like the 69 team than the 2005 Cubs look like the 2003 Cubs) and well thank goodness the 69 team didn't choke otherwise we wouldn't have that World Series trophy on Clark and Addison.

On paper the 73 team was much better than the 77-84 record....just as many think the Cubs are better than 6 games under .500.....bottom line is it does take more than decent players filling out the lineup card...it takes an organization who knows how to draft solid young players..who know how to develop them into fundamentally sound players offensively AND defensively.....and once at the majors know how to manage, play and dominate in a 162 game season.

Do you really think Atlanta's success is mere luck? or the Twins? or the A's? NO...it's a winning organization...they know how to win.

The Cubs don't know how to win. In fact when the games really matter these guys look like they are trying to dissassemble a nuclear bomb with a countdown clock ticking. They are scared shitless (as evidence in the 2003 collapse) when the pressure is REALLY high and when they are anywhere near close to real success. Winning is so foreign to them they freak out when they get close. It's really pathetic and the organization needs a complete overhaul.

Ron Galt:

Luck? Its just our crummy luck? Hey, how about teams that actually make their OWN luck! You know, those teams sitting at the top of their divisions or leading the wildcard races.

How about we try to emulate THAT for a change? To hell with luck, lets see a game plan, something more than just crossing our damned fingers for luck!

Tell me, anybody, how did the Mets score most of their runs during our last series with them? Was it luck, or was it the fact that they wisely analyzed our weaknesses and took advantage of them?

Now THERE'S a novel idea! Let's play to the other teams' weaknesses, not their strengths! Hey, why didn't we think of that SOONER?

Or was it simply due to the fact that the Mets were able to actually go out and MANUFACTURE a few goddamned RUNS? Something we haven't been able to do in DECADES?

Is THAT the kind of luck you're referring to?

Good teams... like good, successful people in life... make their OWN damned luck! They don't usually sit around and wait for things to fall into their laps!

Hell, this time of year, everybody is tired, everyone has had to overcome adversity. What the Cubs have cornered the market on is having a ready-made excuse everytime things go wrong.

THAT'S the problem, not our "luck."

That's the biggest damned cop-out I've heard since that bullshit billy-goat! Let's not buy into anymore Cubs management bullshit than we have, oh let's say, for the last 90 freaking years, okay?

Luck is the residue of good planning, and that's something the Cubs haven't had since Dallas Green was running things.

4thandinches,

You are too tough on Hendry. He turned Todd Hundley into Karros and Grudz. He turned Matt Brubeck, Bobby Hill, and Jose Hernadez into Aram and Lofton, Choi into D-lee. He is the best GM in this club's history along with Dallas Green. Despite being handstrung by Sosa he put a team capable of winning 90 games with some midseason trades on the field. This team would be in more deep shit if was replaced and his successor was not named Billy or Theo.

he put a team capable of winning 90 games with some midseason trades on the field.

And 90 games is not going to win the division. A GM shouldn't be playing russian roulette with the wild card but rather putting the best team on the field to dominate in the division. 90 wins should be the goal by September 15th not by October 3rd.

I also don't think Hendry's only job is fielding the 40 man roster. I think there is an organizational philosophy and attitude that needs to be incorporated throughout the organization. (Such as like Houston has done with fining their players for diving head first into first base) or how about fining players who walk down to first base on a fly ball to the outfield with their bat still in their hand AND the manager will get fined by the club whenever the players get fined. I bet the attitude changes.

I wonder if McPhail sits back and watches Minnesota consistently win with a much lessor payroll than the Cubs...or how about Oakland. I realize the Braves and Cards payroll is growing, but still isn't near the Cubs....it has to be downright embarassing for the Tribune to be fielding a consistent loser on such a valuable payroll.

Too many day games?

If you are looking for excuses.

"This team quit during the tail-end of last year because they knew Dusty would cover their asses. They're doing the same thing now!"

No way they quit last year. They were at the tail end of playing 29 games in 27 days which is unheard of, they came into the final 10 games with a wild card lead...they were up 3-0 with 2 outs in the 9th of 1 game, 2-1 with 2 outs in the 9th in another game, and lost a 3rd in the 12th inning of a 1-1 game. The team was completely and totally gassed. Sure, one can argue it's no excuse (Although I think playing 26 games in 24 days at the end of a 162 game season is a very good excuse)...and that's fine, but there is no chance that you could have looked at that team who was not eliminated from the playoffs until the 2nd to last game of the year, and say they quit.

You talk about how you are sick of excuses...but I see the argument that they "quit" as another excuse for a simple slump.

You ask why the Cubs don't get pumped for big games like other teams do? Look at 2003, we came out of nowhere with an awesome September to capture the division.

In 2004, this team that you say "quit" and doesn't know how to get up for games was 15-6 to start September including a 13-3 stretch. Why the hell would a team "quit" when it's the last week of the year and they are within a game of the playoffs"

In the period last year where the Cubs had no days off and played 2 double headers in the final 27 days for 29 total games.

30 Games - Marlins (3DH, 0 Days off)
29 Games - Cubs (2DH, 0 Days off)
26 games - Houston (1DH, 3 days off)
26 games - Cardinals (0DH, 2 days off)
26 games - Dodgers (0DH, 2 days off)
23 games - Giansts (0DH, 5 days off) (WTF?)

IS it really a complete coincidence that the two teams that collapsed entirely at the end of the season were the Cubs and Marlins? Did the Marlins just give up too right after winning a world series?

Again, Cubs were 19-8 in September 2003, 15-6 in September 2004 before the collapse. Whether the team just hit a slump, had terrible relief performances by Hawkins, were tired, or just played bad baseball...they didn't quit.

While I don't think the Cubs "quit" this year...it's much much more reasonable to argue that they have this year than last year.

Chifan,

You're right, and Hendry's also the same guy who hired Dusty and stood idlly by and watched him throw out one mystifying lineup after another, watched him lose control of the team and the clubhouse (a player-calling the broadcast booth in the middle of a damned game? WTF?), and a host of other issues I won't even go into here.

Hey, I'm one of Hendry's biggest defenders... but it looks like Baker has him cowed, otherwise we wouldn't have seen the crap we've been watching out of this team for the last two years.

Baker was hired to get us to the promised land, not merely to finish a couple of games over .500 every season.

Is that what its come down to in Cub Nation? To be satisfied because we BROKE EVEN?

What happened to winning a CHAMPIONSHIP or two... wasn't that the goal? In fact, isn't that the goal of EVERY sports team and franchise?

As Herm Edwards said: "You play to win the game!" That is, unless you're in the Cubs organization. In that case, you're just looking to finish 81-and-81. And, if you do better than that, you're hailed as a savior! UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!

If Hendry doesn't have the balls to fire Baker, if Baker has him so cowed that he's incapable of doing what's right for the team... and the organization... they they need to fire Hendry's ass too, because he's of no use to ANYBODY!

Do the job you were hired to do, without the excuses... and every damned body goes home happy!

No way they quit last year. They were at the tail end of playing 29 games in 27 days which is unheard of, they came into the final 10 games with a wild card lead...they were up 3-0 with 2 outs in the 9th of 1 game, 2-1 with 2 outs in the 9th in another game, and lost a 3rd in the 12th inning of a 1-1 game. The team was completely and totally gassed.

These are multi-millionaires getting paid to play a 2 hour game.....yes they work out (who doesn't work out before or after work and I'm talking an 8 hour day grinding away at a much lower wage?). These are men in fantastic physical condition. I'm sure glad the doctor who treats ER patients during a 72 hour straight shift doesn't use the excuse, "I'm gassed....I haven't had a day off in God knows how long...I'm sorry I used a dirty needle on you and screwed up your incision."

Give it a break...it's a game they play...and so what if they played 27 games in 29 days--it's their job. I too don't think they quit--they simply didn't know how to complete a full 162 game schedule completely and successfully....they do not know how to close the deal.

I am referring to the fact, which I may have made a mistake in terming "luck" above, that if you are a .300 hitter and you play enough games, every now and then, you're going to hit .200 for a long time. I am referring to the fact that if a team plays enough games, eventually this will happen to mulitple people at once. That it hasn't happened to any notable teams this year (with the exception of Oakland) does not mean they aren't susceptible to it (although we have to consider the possibility, however remote, that some teams may have assembled a group of 25 players better than our group of 25 players). I decidedly reject the notion that it's possible to play baseball without ever suffering probability's fouler moods, and I'm not terribly eager to sit around and beg the question of why the team doesn't have the heart or the will or the smarts or the productive outs to win when the far more basic requirement, which has been sorely lacking, is baserunners.

3/4 of the group causing the problems of late cannot be explained by lack of motivation or desire. Lee should have plenty of motivation in trying to win an MVP award, and Burnitz and Lawton have the biggest motivation possible: their contracts are about to run out.

Also, I'm not "crossing my fingers for luck." I'm waiting for these players to bounce up, way up, to their means. There's a bit of a chasm between the two.

I agree that the Cubs need to develop and stick to some kind of plan that doesn't involve making piecemeal changes to try to field an 85-win team every year, because this is what happens when you hit the low end. However, if Hendry goes out guns blazing and drops a bunch of dollars on the crap coming on this market, then we'll be due for another tiresome bout with the highest-payroll blues.

"Tell me, anybody, how did the Mets score most of their runs during our last series with them? Was it luck, or was it the fact that they wisely analyzed our weaknesses and took advantage of them?"

While I don't think "bad luck" is the right term....and while I do think the Cubs played some of the worst baseball I have seen over the last few years...a good reason that the Cubs got slaughtered in New York had to do with the fact that in the final 2 games our top 5 hitters had 1 hit...COMBINED. Yes, 1 hit for your top 5 players over 2 games. And in 2 of the games, the starting pitching gave us little chance.

Now tell me something...do you think Aram has quit on the team? Do you think Lee has quit on the team? Burnitz? Walker? Prior? Those are the guys performing worse than Macias, and Perez over the last 2 weeks.

No, I don't think it's bad luck when your 4 top players slump at the same time...but I also think it has nothing to do with pressing. I think it has to do with any of the following:
1. Gassed (Which means our condition program needs serious evaluation, and the manager has to take some blame.
2. Team is pressing too hard and trying to do too much
3. Players like Aram and DLee are fighting through injuries.

I can blame some of the hideous mental errors on Dusty and management for not getting heads in the game....but I think saying the team "quit" is just as illogical as saying the team is having bad luck

Is that what its come down to in Cub Nation? To be satisfied because we BROKE EVEN?

Good point. You know one or two mediocre seasons every once in a while will happen to any great organization....and success sometimes finds crappy organizations every once in a blue moon....but it's what usually happens year in and year out that most clearly defines an organization. There are clear winners who fit that mold (Atl, StL, MINN, OAK). Sure they will have a medicore year every now and then....but by and large they are division leaders and playoff teams year in and year out.

The Cubs are not that type of organization. They aren't even capable of doing what Florida did...that is not even being a MLB team....then becoming one and within 5 years winning a World Series....THEN dismantling the team for financial reasons and rebuilding ANOTHER championship a few years after that. That has to be a total embarassment to Cub Nation. Other teams know what the Cubs have been longing and searching for--knowing how to win year in and year out.

It isn't just one championship season...or one anomaly year....but rather being the best year in and year out and the Cubs organization has a long way to go.

"but I also think it has nothing to do with pressing."

I got ahead of myself....Should read:
"but I also think it has nothing to do with quitting"

"Give it a break...it's a game they play...and so what if they played 27 games in 29 days--it's their job. I too don't think they quit--they simply didn't know how to complete a full 162 game schedule completely and successfully....they do not know how to close the deal."

That's fine if you don't think being gassed is an excuse. Although there is little way to prepare for 29 games in 27 days...It's fine that you think there is a conditioning problem and the players should have been in better shape....but the fact is, they didn't quit...which was my argument and you seem to agree with it.

As for "they do not know how to close the deal." That is an odd statement that I don't even know how to argue...to me that's similiar to saying ther team is cursed. The Cubs "closed the deal" the season before...they went 19-8 in September after being 3 games over .500 at the end of August.

I mean I can take that literally as to mean the Cubs didn't have a closer who could get the final out...that probably hurt them more than anything else.

I don't know when a team full of sluggers suddenly stops being able to hit a home run as happened last year in late September, and this year in early August...it makes me think that something is wrong with their strength and conditioning team wide. I think it's one thing if all facets of the game suffer (Which is why I buy the quitting argument this year much more than last year) but when you all of a sudden, as a team, stop being able to power the ball out of the park....that to me is a sign the team is gassed. There is no reason the team should be gassed this year...but last year there was...and both the Cubs and Marlins suffered because of it.

Adam,

See, that's precisely my point... you... Dusty... Hendry... Trib management... and a host of other people... always have an excuse why we don't -or can't- meet expectations. A ready-made excuse for over 90 years of failure, an excuse for why we don't win.

That's just plain unacceptable.

Other teams don't bellyache, they don't fold like a house of cards in a 90 mph wind, they just go our AND GET THE DAMNED JOB DONE.

Its called professionalism. The Cubs might want to look into it sometime.

Oh... and for the record... the Cubs didn't go to the 2003 playoffs because we "came out of nowhere with an awesome September to capture the division."

As I recall, Houston and St. Louis faltered down the stretched... we survived and overcame our deficiencies to win. That season was a 26-mile marathon, and we won, with St. Louis and Houston breathing down our necks.

I damn sure wouldn't characterize it as you have here. Our competition slumped at the wrong time AND WE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF IT.

That's something we haven't since 2003, and that's my reason for the frustration I'm feeling. Just one damned excuse after another. You'd think we as Cub fans would have developed zero-tolerance by now for all of these excuses, but I guess it takes longer for some.

St. Louis and Houston didn't slump last year... they're not showing signs of slumping THIS year... and if Hendry thought lightning would strike twice and we'd outlast them again (some people on this board have said Hendry miscalculated that they be worse and we wouldn't have to do much to improve the team) - if that's TRUE, then Hendry is an incompetent abd should be canned before Dusty!

As Charles Barkey would say: "I could be wrong, but I doubt it!"

"Is that what its come down to in Cub Nation? To be satisfied because we BROKE EVEN?"

What the fuck? Going 30 games over .500 for two years is breaking even?

In the past we have indeed been happy with .500 records. But no one is happy with a .500 record now...and Baker lead us to our first 2 years over .500 in a row in the last 30 years or so.

There is a huge difference between winning 81 games and 89 games...just as there is a huge difference between winning 89 games and winning 97 games.

This year is not satisfactory and no one is satisfied if we end up with 81 wins....so I don't have the first clue what you are talking about?

Adam,

I don't know your background....how many people do you work with in your job? Have you ever worked somewhere that someone in the organization was just a problem and it negatively effected most people there? If production at your place of employment took a serious hit and the manager didn't have any answers do you not think the manager would be facing a lot of questions by his/her immediate bosses?? possibly a visit in person to find out what the problem was.

I worked somewhere once where the manager was excellent...everything flowed very smoothly-EXCEPT if people had personal problems that effected their work. He refused to address the problems of low productivity or poor morale because the source of the problem was a personal issue. This didn't happen often but when it did it was really ugly.

Who knows what the Cubs problems are...but obviously as you said almost everyone seems effected by it. Baltimore canned their coach after a unexpected rise to the top this season...and then a free fall--probably falling back to where they should have been all along. The Cubs have failed all year to reach their expectations and have been free falling even worse the past week. Now when Baker tells the press, "I don't have any answers, sometimes there are no answers" it makes him look terribly ineffective. The manager has to take the blame for poor fundamentals...the manager ultimately is responsible for his teams performance and record.

I'm not so sure the Cubs are gassed..more likely they have lost all confidence. Looking at their body language and low heads I'd suggest they have reached a real blow of confidence and they simply have lost all confidence...not only in themselves but in all their other teammates..coaching staff and manager..

The Cubs went 19-8 in September of 2003 and you are saying we "survived".

And Yes, Houston has slumped the last two years...they slumped badly in the first half of both years...but they have been on two of the hottest streaks anyteam in the last decade has had going 36-10 at the end of the year last year, and I think 36-8 up to last week this year or something like that

Honestly, there is no one who is unsing an excuse more than those who are calling for Baker's head on a platter. Blaming everything on Baker, and not paying attention to what is going on on the field, is the ultimate cop out excuse. Firing baker does absolutely nothing to make this a 100 win team. I can appreciate those who are frustrated that Hendry didn't do a better job improving the 2004 team in the off season...but those that blame every fucking thing wrong with this team on Dusty and those that think the Cubs "Quit" last year...are really nothing more than bitter fans with little grip on reality.

We were a team with what, a .450 winning percentage in 1999-2002? Maybe even less...and then we go on to a .550 winning percentage...then the next step is .600 which isn't going to happen this year and no one is happy.

But to rewrite history and start talking about how Baker wasn't brought here to break even, when we did not just break even the last 2 years and act like we have sucked since he got here is ridiculous.

FWIW

Mike Remlinger 0IP 2H 4ER 1BB 6.00ERA

Cubfan, I appreciate your last post a lot as it had a lot of thought to make a point, and didn't involve just sour grapes and bitter fandom. I agree to an extent, when things don't meet expectations, sometimes you have to make a change. And again, I do hope Baker moves on in the offseason.

BUT, I think pointing the finger entirely at Baker misses the crux of our real problems with this team.

At the beginning of the year, I thought this team was a few games worse than the 2004 team, and I was dissapointed that we didn't take some steps to improve that weren't under the guise of "addition by subtraction". And then, once we suffered a string of injuries, I realized we were nowhere close to built to compensate for losing our top line guys....our 25 man roster was not deep enough to keep us in contention if any team got hot (Like the Astros).

Now I do think when things begin going south, and staying south, that there needs to be a change in management to shake things up...but in this case, I don't think it solves anything to do it at this moment...I think with the rotation we currently have, and with an outfield that is not close to playoff quality, that we should just play out the rest of the season, allow Dusty to go his merry way and then see if we can rebuild a winner.

Hey gang,

Lackadasical play = quitting.

Forgetting the BASIC fundamentals of a relatively simple game, a game that you've likely played since you were a child = quitting.

Throwing fastballs down the middle of the damned plate with a 0-and-2 count = lack of concentration and/or flat-out stupidity.

They're professionals, getting paid a lot of money for playing a simple game... no, when you fail to consistantly execute... when you lose SEVEN OR MORE GAMES THREE TIMES IN A SEASON BEFORE THE MONTH OF SEPTEMBER... THAT'S NOT "BAD LUCK," THAT'S QUITTING IN MY BOOK.

You saw the task before you was daunting... you had a choice... either you play your way through it with vim, vigor and energy... or just go through the motions, hoping for good luck while making a half-assed attempt to play the game.

I saw today's game... IMHO some players actually looked like they we're trying... while some of their teammates looked like they were just playing out the string.

When you have more of the latter on your team than the former, in my book, THAT'S QUITTING!

Hope that clears it up a little...

Adam-
Great post #86....

I'm curious...who do you think has quit in today's game? I didn't see. There is one player who I have questioned his motivation over hte last few weeks...It's not Lee, but it would surprise most people...I have been told he is injured and I can buy it...but he doesn't look like he wants to be on the field, his defense has been terrible since the all star break and his offense has slowed down a lot in the last 2 weeks.
I'm curious as to who else sees that.

your comments make some bit of sense when applied to this year...but not last year or the year before, which you had previously been lumping together. If you can seperate this year from the last 2, then I can follow everyone's argument more clearly.

Cubfan,

No, in Adam's world, no one quits, but no one excels. Mediocrity reigns. And, as usual, he straddles the fence and has it both ways. UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!

And yeah, you're going to have do better than one freaking 88-win season to impress me. Baker's mandate was not just compiling winning seasons, but TO GET US INTO THE PLAYOFFS AND THE DAMNED WORLD SERIES.

Lesser coaches might have gotten us as close as Dusty did, without the TRIBUNE shelling out 16 million dollars over four years (as we did to reel in Dusty).

That's Tony LaRussa-type money. We're sure as hell not getting Tony LaRussa-type RESULTS. And that's beyond dispute.

"In the past we have indeed been happy with .500 records. But no one is happy with a .500 record now...and Baker lead us to our first 2 years over .500 in a row in the last 30 years or so."

No. Baker didn't lead US to anything. An extremely talented pitching staff in 2003 combined with a weak central division lead the Cubs to the playoffs with 88 wins. ANY manager could've managed the highly talented 2004 Cubs to 89 wins. Baker had nothing to do with it... he couldn't even keep the team focused last year. The media relation problems became an out of control sideshow. Dusty Baker is not the long-term answer for a team looking to build on young players. He's a dinosaur who ignores stats, thinks walks aren't important, handles pitchers poorly, prefers less-talented vets to youngsters and likes to sit and wait for the big inning. He's overrated and the sooner Hendry admits to himself that Dusty isn't the right guy, the better off the Cubs future will look.
Baker is a good manager if his team is stacked with talent. If he has to overcome ANY adversity or depend on actually "managing" a game, his brain turns to oatmeal and he makes excuses for everything.

Adam:

Lawton 2-for-4, runs scored, 2 RBI's, showed some hustle.

Walker 1-for-4, 0 runs scored, one long loud out, looked like it had a chance to clear the fence.

Lee 1-for-4, with 1 double, no runs scored, looked good in the field, but is obviously struggling. Looked tired, needs a day or two off... and THAT'S where you could play Holly for a game or two.

ARam 1-for-4, no runs scored, has looked lost in the field since the All-Star break, says he's hurt, rarely hustles, which was the book on him in Pittsburgh. Looks to be falling into the same bad habits.

Burnitz 1-for-4, no runs scored, 2 K's, didn't work many counts, looked ready to pack it in. And the error didn't help any, either.

Nomar 1-for-4, with 1 homer; 1 error in the field, but still looked like he gave a damn... hustled even though he's coming off of major groin surgery!

CPat 1-for-4, no runs scored, 1 K, should have stayed in Triple-A to work on that swing. Still looked lost at the plate.

H. Blanco: 1-for-3

The entire team: 6 K's, 5 LOB, NO WALKS...NOT ONE!

So... now it's YOUR turn fence-straddler! You figure it out, you determine who played well and who didn't in this game... and during this last losing streak... and the other two lengthy losing streaks we've had...

4thandinches,

On post 87 he did get rid of the whiny a** players on this team last year in Alou, Mercker, and Sosa. He stopped some of Baker's insanity on the staff with Wavin wendell and Nick Riveria (Grosechner). He should have done something with sargeines as the hiiting coach (the combination of sarge and clines) and brought in Rudy Jarmillo who was a FA and considered a good hitting coach. He could have elevated Listach or Joshua. The time has passed to fire Baker for a playoff run. Baker will not get fired until the off-season unless the fans turn on him publicly like shout Baker Sucks for an entire game or its time to bring up the kids like Pie and he finds ways to put in Macias over him. My guess is he is gone by the end of the month because I feel one of those things or both will happen.

Big John Stud-
Great post #105... that's says it all.

ChiFan-

You're right, of course, in all fairness, Hendry has done far more good than harm to this club and organization. I'd just like to see him lay out a rational plan to get this team to the World Series!

Hell, I'm not asking for much, just to GET to a World Series and I'd be happy!

Big John Stud-
I might add to your post #105.... "Baker is a good manager if his team is stacked with talent... and if Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa (in their primes) are on the club."

"No, in Adam's world, no one quits, but no one excels. Mediocrity reigns. And, as usual, he straddles the fence and has it both ways. UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!

And yeah, you're going to have do better than one freaking 88-win season to impress me. Baker's mandate was not just compiling winning seasons, but TO GET US INTO THE PLAYOFFS AND THE DAMNED WORLD SERIES."

What the fuck is your problem? First of all, people can read without capitals, assuming you are overall 12 years old, grow up and type like a normal person...second of all, I am not what is causing this team to lose, so fuck off with the "UNFREAKINGBELIEVEABLE 2 year old crap.

I'm not straddling a fence. I'm being realistic. When a team is in playoff contention until the last weekend of the season, and was previously 15-6 to get them into that position...Quitting is not a logical explanation

The Cubs didn't have one 88 win season, they had 2.

Overall, while I hoped for a bit more in 2004, I thought that was within a game or two of their talent level. This year, I definately think the Cubs have underachieved, and have looked bad in the process, and am ready for a change at the end of the year.

But getting rid of Dusty alone does not solve our problems. We are deficient in 3 outfield positions, 3 positions in our starting rotation, and half of our bullpen and virtually all of our bench. You can not make athe playoffs with that many holes...and firing Dusty doesn't solve the problem.

Virtually everyone here calls for Dusty's head every damn game. It's truly a joke....their bitter hatred and dissapointment is turns Dusty into a scapegoat for everything. And I'm sorry, I don't buy into that crap. I think Dusty does deserve a reasonable share of the blame, but I don't think the vast majority of our losses are because he batted Neifi in the 2 spot, or Holly instead of Murton...we've lost because overall, we are deficient in more areas than many other teams.

I'm sorry I can't be as bitter and nasty as you? I'm sorry I don't share your complete and total irrational hatred for Dusty, I'm sorry if you think that me placing the blame on the players and Hendry as much as Dusty is "riding the fence"

But you know what...if you get your way, and Dusty is fired today, and no other changes are made. Then who are you going to blame when we continue to suck?

Chifan,

Ah yes, I can see it now...

"Okay Cub fans... lemme hear ya... Baker sucks, Baker sucks..."

Now THAT'S funny!:-)

"Baker had nothing to do with it"
Silly me, I forgot that every win is in spite of Dusty, and every loss is because of him. You guys have truly lost all grasp of reality in regards to how much the manager controls. Your wake up call will come in the form of the 20th new manager in 25 years in Chicago, who also fails to win the world series.

4thandinches,

Me too although I trust him to get us there then some hack that the trib would hire. Hendry's contract is up at the end of next year so he needs to win next year. I am sure he is plotting out how to do that. In the next few weeks we'll start to see the plan in my opinion. Glad to see Rem got hit wicked hard tonight. I bet he would like to have Wrigley fans back because I am sure the Fenway faithful let him have it tonight.

Adam:

Go F*** yourself! I write what I want... when I want... and I don't answer to you, nor will I conform to your dumbassed trains of thought!

We've had this conversation once before, fence-straddler... lets keep it talking about baseball, the game, or Dusty.

WHETHER I MAKE A POINT IN CAPS IS IRRELEVENT AND BESIDE THE FUCKING POINT.... AND YOU MUST BE SOME KIND OF P****Y TO ARGUE ABOUT IT.

Dont you EVER tell me how I should conduct myself on this board... just who the fuck do you think you ARE, ANYWAY?

Adam,

Since you seem to think that the manager is irrelevant to a team's success -- and anyone who disagrees is an irrational zealot -- why don't the Cubs save the millions spend on a manager's salary and just let the players play the game?

It really grows tiresome "hearing" you say over and over and over again that everyone but you is an insane moron.

"So... now it's YOUR turn fence-straddler! You figure it out, you determine who played well and who didn't in this game... and during this last losing streak... and the other two lengthy losing streaks we've had..."

Who has not played well during this streak is easy. Lee, Burnitz, Aram have hit combined under .200 with very low slugging and OBP. Prior and Maddux have been medicore to bad.
Out of those 5 players, I don't think 4 of them have come close to "quitting". The player I was talking about earlier, who I am beginning to question, who does not look to have his head in the game at all is Aram.

When your top 5 players are shut down completely, including a few people in a contract year, including Lawton...I tend to think that other factors are involved aside from "quitting"

BUT again, quitting is a far more reasonable description for what is going on this year than it is for last year.

4thandinches,

Post 111 is hillarous. Maybe we should get Stoney to do the 7th inning strech he would start it. Jeff Kent or Jim Tracy could do it to when LA is in town.

"Go F*** yourself! I write what I want... when I want... and I don't answer to you, nor will I conform to your dumbassed trains of thought!

We've had this conversation once before, fence-straddler... lets keep it talking about baseball, the game, or Dusty."

Wow...first of all, you are the one who got personal and started going after me outside of baseball, which is why I responded the way I did.

Secondly, this is the Cubs. It's a sport. It's an internet message board. If anything I said made you get that upset, I strongly suggest taking a look at some of your priorities. Nothing that could be said about the Cubs or on here is worth that vile anger, and I'll leave it at that. If you don't treat me with any semblance of respect, I'll send it right back at you, and I can't be concerned if you are uneequpped ot handle it.

Adam-
"You guys have truly lost all grasp of reality in regards to how much the manager controls."

Oh, yeah, he's just the manager... when the team does well and nearly makes the World Series, he's the world's greatest manager, he controls everything, he has the Midas touch, and everything Dusty touches turns to gold.

When the team does poorly and can't execute the simple fundamentals of a child's game then all of a sudden, hey, its everybody else's fault but Dusty's.

Yet, you're the one who's looking at things rationally... yeah, and where is that kind of logic rational... on the BIZZARO WORLD?

Adam:
"But you know what...if you get your way, and Dusty is fired today, and no other changes are made. Then who are you going to blame when we continue to suck?"

Good question. I say it will finally be Hendry. People will then say, yes he has done great things via trades and stuff, but he still isn't providing a WS winning team.

It is sad people can't get past their dislike of baker to see the bigger problems. It is like if there was a differnt manager this team would of won a WS. There are unfortunately too many flaws on this team that haven't been properly addressed. Hopefully Hendry finally addresses them this offseason as the Sosa excuse can't be used. Lots of money is freed up with no Sosa, Remmy, Hawkins. So he needs to go out and make trades, get FA's, and properly evaluate the young "talent" we have to put together a team that can get into the playoffs or he should be gone.

"Adam,

Since you seem to think that the manager is irrelevant to a team's success -- and anyone who disagrees is an irrational zealot -- why don't the Cubs save the millions spend on a manager's salary and just let the players play the game?

It really grows tiresome "hearing" you say over and over and over again that everyone but you is an insane moron."

I don't think a manager is worth $16MM over 4 years...I'm not sure where you think I've said otherwise.

No, not everyone who disagrees with me is an insane moron. The ones that go completely over the top, kick, scream, and cry over every single move that is made by a manger, throughout a season, claim that a manager is only responsible for losses and has nothing to do with wins, claims that a team quit in the last week when they were in a playoff position, and claims that a manager doesn't know how to get it done, when he has something like an .650 winning streak in September lacks logic, and is filled with so much hatred, they are forgetting how baseball works.

I really invite anyone to argue that this team is a playoff caliber team with a rotation of Zambrano, Prior, a falling Maddux, Williams, and Hill, and an outfield of Lawton, Burnitz and Holly/Murton (or macias or Patterson or whatever"

All that goes on here is a bunch of "fire Dusty" "I can't believe Dusty is so fucking stupid to use A instead of B" All I want, all I am trying to do, is to get people to look past the manager, and realize our problems are MUCH MUCH broader than that.

Anyway, you claim you are tired of me saying the same thing over and over again? Do you not think that calling for Dusty's head on a platter is even more warn out then that. I'm trying to get into people's brains to realize that Dusty could be fired tomorrow, and we still have a shit load of problems...so why don't we talk about that. But, I certainly have no intention of getting into a very personal fight and rubbing people that way...so I will take a look and think of better ways I can make my point.

I'm kinda out numbered here in case you didn't realize...It would be nice if some of you would realize that if my comments in response to other people's comments are old...then maybe those comments that I am responding to are older than mine?

Hey Adam,

You don't tell me what my priorities are... EVER... got that?

You don't tell me what to type... or what case to use... or make comments like "What the fuck is your problem? First of all, people can read without capitals, assuming you are overall 12 years old, grow up and type like a normal person...second of all, I am not what is causing this team to lose, so fuck off with the "UNFREAKINGBELIEVEABLE 2 year old crap."

Now THAT'S what got the ball rolling, and why I'm all over your dumbass like ugly on an ape!

You are not the conscience of this board, though you try mightily.

You're the jackass who started with the personal attacks, comments which I've quoted above. That's when it got personal... and it's liable to stay that way.

GET THIS STRAIGHT, FOR THE LAST TIME -You don't tell me WHAT to say... or WHEN to say it... or HOW to say it.... this is the United States of America, not communist China. I'll say and write what I damned well please.

A lot of good men and women died so i could have the RIGHT to say... and write... what I want.

Don't you DARE presume to come on here and chide me... or anyone else... about their use of caps!

You come on this board and expect that everyone who agrees with you is cool... and anyone who doesn't is an asshole.

I repeat - WHO DIED AND LEFT YOU IN CHARGE OF THIS SITE?

You get what you give... we've had this conversation before, about you getting your panties in a bunch and high-handing those who'd dare to disagree with you.

You want respect? START EARNING IT.

"Oh, yeah, he's just the manager... when the team does well and nearly makes the World Series, he's the world's greatest manager, he controls everything, he has the Midas touch, and everything Dusty touches turns to gold."

I never said that. In fact I'm arguing just the opposite. I'm arguing that if you are going to blame him for the problems this year, you need to credit him for things in other years. I don't think the Cubs won in 2003 because o Dusty...but I think he deserves reasonable credit for keeping that team together and brining out the best baseball in them in September...which we hadn't done any time before.

Again, for the 400th time, I want Dusty to move on at the end of this year.,,I don't think he is going to get this team to the next step with where they are now...so obviously I do hold him accountable for some things this year...I'm just saying firing him and thinking that that solves this team's problems is kidding yourselves, and setting yourselves up for further dissapointment.

Manny,

Yeah, I agree, this mess is not totally Dusty's making... I don't know how often I have to make that point before it sinks in.

I've had strong criticism of Hendry too, especially over the last month on this board, but all everyone focuses on are the shots I take a Dusty.

People see what they want to see, i guess...

4thandinches.
I don't know what to say. I don't have any control over this board, nor do I pretend to. But as you yourself said, this is indeed a free country...so whatever possesses you to talk about me in the 3rd person to other people in the third person, and talk about what goes on in my brain, and how I play both sides or whatever...equally possesed me to tell you to cut the bullshit and grow up.

Do you need to listen to me? no. Am I forcing you to listen to me? no. I'm telling you how I feel about the way you were talking to me. I don't find YELLING AND SCREAMING AT ME IN THE THIRD PERSON to be anything less than a personal insult.

I'm sorry you feel so threatened by me. I'm sorry that you feel it's worth swearing and screaming and throwing a temper tantrum on a message board, over a sports team we have absolutely no control over....and you know what, there is nothing I can do to stop it....except, call it out when I feel you crossed a line. I did call you out, for where I thought you crossed a line, and you called me out, which in turn crossed a line, and I crossed your line again...such is life on an internet message board. I don't feel at the moment that I owe you any apology whatseover, and I don't expect one from you. I'd hope that you wouldn't choose to handle things the way you did...but this is indeed a free conuntry, and if the moderators want to deal with either one of us, or both of us, they can and all we can do is choose to continue to use the site or not.

Adam:

To paraphrase Rummy "you play with the team you have not the one you want" This team does have weaknesses. A good manger hides his teams weaknesses not expose them. Playing a guy that sucks in Macias five straight days is something that shows this. His D cost us. A Murton-Burny-Lawton outfield was better in terms of D and O. His reasoning for playing Macias was stupid. Burny was a CF in COL where the CF is tough to play. Lawton was a RF in PIT nobody would out of postion. Yes it didn't matter in the end because no one hit on the trip, but in a close game it could have. I do not think Baker has the critical thinking skills to win a WS. Remember he used Shawon Dunston as a DH in the 02 series. If you don't have a real DH on your bench take your worse defensive regular put him at DH and you at least can upgrade your defense.

and if you want to know where I felt the personal non baseball stuff started, you can look here.
"No, in Adam's world, no one quits, but no one excels. Mediocrity reigns. And, as usual, he straddles the fence and has it both ways. UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!"

How was that anything other than a personal attack on me? But you know what, when that happens I call you out on it and move on...Nothing, and I mean nothing on this site to me is worth a bunch of "Fuck you's" and "who the fuck do yuou think you are"

All I know about you is that you have a screen name that is "4thandinches" and the words you type here. Hell, you could be a co-worker of mine for all I know, or a cousin of mine. I don't pretend to know anything else about you...and so I told you I don't find what you said ok, I told you to "grow up". Maybe you are 12, maybe you are 50...I don't know...and likewise you know nothing about me.

So we all need to keep a perspective, have it out if need be...and then go home and realize that we are nothing but an internet screename to eachother.

wow.

that game really sucked.

are we ever gonna get it together?

are we just doomed to eternal suckatude?

Chifan3887...again, there is a post I can completely understand where you are coming from. Those are some of the reasons I have been ready since the all star break to see Dusty leave this team...But while I hear a bunch of FIRE DUSTY NOW, and "This team has quit" I haven't seen much acknowledgement for the weaknesses of the team or the fact that we lost not because of Macias, but because the whole team slumped hardcore.

I want Dusty gone at the end of the year...you all seem to say that you understand that the problems do indeed go beyond Dusty. So maybe we are all making progress.

Adam,

You don't like what's being said on this board, or the over the top, hateful crticism fo Dusty that goes on here?

Make ALL our lives better by NOT LOGGING IN!

Threatened? By a p***y like YOU? God you're full of yourself!

You name the place and the time, son... I'll be back in Chicago the end of August... name the place and time and we'll settle this quick, fast and in a hurry, tough guy!

What's that? You'll pass? Yeah, I thought so.

And... only a complete A-hole with a guilty conscience would think someone is referring to him - in the third person, or any other person.

Face it Adam, this board is as good as its going to get in your worthless little life. That's all you can do, not worth anything else... but you're really great at bitching and moaning about everybody else, then you'll talk out of both sides of your pathetic neck, obscuring whatever point you may have had.

Oh... and go fuck yourself! There, I said it! I feel much better now, you arrogant a-hole!

Go fuck yourself...and your apologies...

Adam-

Re-read your posts... in almost every last one, you come down on BOTH sides OF EVERY ISSUE.

You did it tonight... and you have for the year or so I've been reading this site.

You don't want Dusty fired, and you're pissed off at those of us who come on the board and scream for his ouster... then, almost in the same breath, you end up agreeing with everyone and say you'd like to see Dusty gone (and its almost always with a ton of conditions).

That...why...its...hard....to...have... and... intelligent...conversation.... with you!

If you're THIS indecisive in your personal life, you've got bigger issues than anyone else on this freaking board.

And yes, you can consider THAT a personal attack.

And, at some point, you're going to get enough of calling people out and inflaming passions around here. This board's not that anonymous, ya know.

4thandinches...you have gone way beyond the line man.

Hopefully TCR finally starts doing something about this.

John Hill,
Newcastle. I like it. I hear rumors that you guys are courting Michael Owen, my favorite player--I hope you guys get him. He would be the striker you were pining for, one of the best in the world and England's very own. And he's only 25 (like Corey). If you get Owen, I think you could give Chelsea a run for their money.

Sorry to everyone else for the football talk, but I really can't stand talking about the Cubs anymore. I hate them, but really I hate myself for following them.

"You don't want Dusty fired"

nope, never said that today. I said Firing dusty doesn't solve the problem with this team.
It's not talking on both sides of an issue, it's talking in the middle of an issue. And yes, there is a middle ground between those that want Dusty fired immediately because he's the reason the team sucks and they'd make a run for it if he is not...and those that trust Dusty to pull the team out of the funk.

"And... only a complete A-hole with a guilty conscience would think someone is referring to him - in the third person, or any other person"

When you use the name "adam" in talking to Cubsfan about my "world". You are the first person, he is the 2nd person, I am the 3rd person.

"You name the place and the time, son... I'll be back in Chicago the end of August... name the place and time and we'll settle this quick, fast and in a hurry, tough guy!"

I can tell how much you like me, and I'm sure we'd make wonderful friends off the board...but I think it's best that I remain "Adam" and you remain "4thandinches". However, I will happilly forfeit a fist fight, and declare you the winner if you would prefer.

When I said threatened, it was in regards to how worried you appeared to be that I was trying to force you to do something....not that you were threatened physically by me. It would be amusing if we could threaten each other physically over the internet...I could press a button to give you a shock...and you could press a button that causes my computer screen to fly at my face...that would make us all think twice about what we say on the internet

Anyway...I find it unfrotunate that it went this direction, and if I made an ass out of myself, so be it. I will apologize as I never, ever, intend to upset someone on the internet so much that they want a fitst fight...so I'll take responsibility for my words, and apologize for what I said to you that you felt was out of line and now that I know what sets you off, I will be careful not to do it again.

take care.

#132...we both can live by our words. I don't believe he could easily find out where I live, nor do I think he has any interest in doing so...therefore it's just words, and the mods don't need to do anything about it.

If however, it was clear that someone was attempting to trace my IP, and find where I lived...and then threatened physical violence...that would be a good legal reason for the mods to step in. As it is, If people agree with 4thandinches that I am a horrible member of the board, so be it...then I suffer the consequences....if his words lead people to scratch their head than he suffers the consequences.

We learn from our mistakes...I don't see a reason that the mods need to do anything about his posts, or mine for that matter.

Did anyone stop to think that it's everyone's fault? It's Dusty's fault for running Holly/Macias out therean double-switching the pitcher into the 2 hole when he's 1st up in the next inning. It's Hendry's fault having to resort to that for not resigning Dusty's boy Moises because we couldn't dump Captain Quit's gigantic salary and thinking that JoBo and LaTroy could save us at the end of ballgames. It's A-Ram's fault for jogging 10 feet down the 1st base line with a bat in his hand on a pop-up. It's Maddux's fault for being 75 years old. It's Kerry Wood's fault for being taught to throw like a sissy-girl and screwing up his arm/shoulder for the rest of his life.

You want to fire Dusty? We've still got players who don't (right now) have any heart. You want to trade for better players? We've still a manager who wouldn't play Ted Williams if he was a rookie. Want to fire Hendry for a guy who will do better? As said earlier, he better be from the House of Epstein or Beane, or we're downgrading. It's not as simple as canning our dunce manager or trading stud minor leaguers for Jesus to hit in the 5 hole for us. It's why we haven't won in 97 years. We don't have even half of the pieces in place.

Manny, I know you've taken an oath to defend Baker to the death, but seriously, you've said before several times this team had the talent to do great things. You expected them to make the playoffs last year (and ripped anyone who said otherwise) and at the very least you expected upper 80s in wins this year. Now suddenly, when the team isn't coming close to living up to even the lowest end of expectations, its Hendry's fault for not getting the talent? Come on!

I'm not saying Hendry is without fault, mind you. He certainly needs to be blamed for being an enabler by signing proven mediocre veterans who everyone knew would be misused by Dusty (Its like Hendry didn't learn the lessons of Lenny F Harris). Hendry also didn't upgrade the team from 2004 to 2005, but as I said many times last year, the Cubs are not likely to have a team as talented as the 2004 team anytime soon, if for no other reason than you need to have some young talent to keep your payroll within even a 100 million dollar budget. The young players of 2003 are now starting to get expensive and we simply don't know if we've got anyone to replace them because Dusty would rather trot out Hollandsworth, Neifi and Macias than give a young player a chance to play.

And yes, if Dusty Baker hadn't been manager for the past 2 years, I think we would have had a much better chance of seeing a world series. 2004 was our year, and it was pissed away by our bumbling baffoon of a manager who's showing his true "skill" now that he doesn't have a all-time great on the roster or a pitching staff to run into the ground.

"2004 was our year, and it was pissed away by our bumbling baffoon of a manager who's showing his true "skill" now that he doesn't have a all-time great on the roster or a pitching staff to run into the ground."

I was with you on most of your post, until here...in 2004, was Sosa an all time great? Did he run the pitching staff into the ground? Didn't we lose because we stopped hitting as a team over the final 10 days, and because our closer couldn't get that 3rd out in the 9th?

No, we lost in 2004 because in July and August, when we should have been pulling away and beating up on our competition, we were playing mistake filled crap-ball that kept other teams in the race. I won't go through the details, because they were well documented in the comments at the time, but one of those big mistakes was sticking with a closer who clearly couldn't get the job done in the 9th, and oddly enough still couldn't get the job done this season either.

*looks around* Baker sucks.....thats all I got......*yawn*.

P.S. Hendry blows also.

this should put the term "moron" in perspective for those of us who throw that term around here over views on the team.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2...

The reasons why the Cubs collapse is NOT Jim Hendry's fault.

1 - He provided the talent. Its not overwhelming talent this year, but many teams have done much more with much less.

2 - He provided the talent without signing people to bad contracts. Sure it would be nice to have the 20 million owed to Maddux and Wood next year back, but he has resisted the temptations of giving out rediculous money and long term deals to questionable players that will hurt the team for years to come.

3 - He's might be the best in the biz at pulling off a trade. Even this year, the biggest deadline deal in baseball was his acquiring Lawton. (albeit, I'm wishing he would have been a seller this time around)

Ladies, Ladies, Ladies, My how you do carry on!
Mostly, you're all correct. I'm too tired to read the complete rant, but highlights I've picked up are: (1)It's Dusty's fault. Correct Absolutely the worst managing job I've seen in 50 years. The claim that he does not have the talent in the corner outfield spots is unproven. We don't know what talent Murton has. All we know for sure in a small sample is he gets on 50% of the time and hits around 400. The fact that we don't know anymore is Dusty Bakers fault. The fact that Perez batted second with a low 200 OBP and we had a kid who hit 370 in AAA on the bench is Dusty's fault. The fact that we don't use a steal sign a squeeze bunt or hustle is Dusty's fault. He controls the line up, he controls the playing time and he controls the in game strategy. DLee is dragging his ass. He hasn't had an inning off all year. Tight games, blowouts, no matter. ARam is a great talent and he dogs it. Patterson needed his manager to manage him. Make him bunt, make him hit the other, way make him steal. You think Bobby Cox would say "these young kids they have their own ideas"? In fact would he or La Russa, or Guillen accept any of this bullshit?
Thats all on Dusty.
(2) The organization is at fault. To an extent. When you bring in any manager from outside your organization, you do not have continuity in your organization. You can teach fundamental, situational, move the runner, hit&run, small ball throughout the system; and if your manager is a 3 run homer guy, you're screwed. You develop young players and if your manager doesn't like to play them you're screwed. Hendry went after the big name, with the media rep and got burned. If he'd have asked question as to why he was available, he might have made a different decision.
(3) Pitching. Guess what. Happens all of the time to every team. Pitchers break down, go through slumps, whatever. Depending on the day you need to outhit your bad pitching and outpitch your bad hitting.
Most importantly, you cannot expect different results by doing the same thing over and over.
They stay with the same people regardless of results. Perez at short Hollandsworth in left, Macias in center, how much do you have to see?
Cox has (had) 4 rookie in the lineup due to injuries. He didn't go lefty/righty/lefty, he just put them out there and managed them. If they didn't cut it, he went to plan B. But if they hit .400 they played, until they hit .200.
The organization's job is to provide the best players they can. The manager's job is to put the best players on the field. Organization grade C
Dusty grade D. Overall F as in failure

Adam,

Okay, apology accepted... and I'm sorry I went ballistic... but you have got to remember what buttons you push with some of us on this board.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and i never want to lose sight of that. I've worked seven years in a TV news room, and I'm extremely sensitive to any attempts at censorship, be they intentional or otherwise.

We're going to agree to disagree, obviously, but that doesn't mean another person's viewpoints are totally without merit.

That being said, according to the latest reports, Hendry is now turning the blowtorch the player's way...

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.js...

I believe a manager is a very important piece of a team. I know some people on TCR don't believe in that. *looks at Crunch* I couldn't resist dude.

Anyways Steve Stone sums up exactly what I believe....

On Dusty Baker's demeanor and how you judge a manager:
"Dusty chewing on his toothpick has no bearing on what happens on the field. Every manager has a different style. ... What's a reflection of the manager is when you take a look at a baseball team and they can't execute rundowns and they can't hit cutoff men and they can't make relay throws and they can't lay down a bunt when they have to and they don't hit-and-run particularly well and they don't do all of the little things that it takes to win baseball games when you either don't throw a shutout or don't hit the ball out of the ballpark. That is a reflection of the manager more than what he's doing on the bench during the inning."

This team reflects its manager. Steve Stone says it perfectly.

Guys, Guys... there's no crying in Baseball.

As a die-hard Cubs fan it kills me to do this but please observe. If you want to see how winning teams actually win, simply look at the following...

1)Smoltz
2)Hudson
3)Ramirez
4)Davies
5)Sosa
CL)Reitsma

And also look at this...

C Estrada
1B LaRoche
2B Giles
SS Furcal
3B C. Jones
RF Francoeur
CF A. Jones
LF Langerhans

And finally look at this...

Payroll: 85 Million

Atlanta should not be better than the Cubs! This is a team that had zero expectations. Looking at the roster, even factoring in injuries to Hampton, Thompson, Jordan, etc... nobody can seriously argue that the Braves should be performing better than the Cubs. Yet they have 65 wins (2nd best in the NL) and a comfortable 5.5 game lead over Washington in a much tougher division.

The difference? MANAGEMENT!

Bobby Cox and his coaches have their team ready to play and win everyday. No matter the age, health, or psychological disposition of the team. And especially NO EXCUSES! The result? 13 going on 14 consecutive division titles.

The fact is Dusty couldn't manage his way out of a paper bag. Despite underperformance, you can't fire all the players. Steinbrenner would have had Baker scrubbing toilets by the end of May if he were running the Cubs. A good manager gets the best performance out of what talent he has. Dusty cannot, therefore he must go. Bring on Girardi!

4th...even with the apology, you need to know that you very much crossed the line. He is arguing about the Cubs. And you changed the argument to be a foul rant on about Adam. That is competely uncalled for.

Christian? John? Rob? Are we going to continue to allow this crap?

A few years ago my dad said to me, "You still a Cubs fan?" I said, "Hell yes." He said, "You'd better get on the D-Backs bandwagon, they'll win a championship before the cubs do." That day I was so pissed at my dad. He is from Chicago, 45 year old man. I've lived in Tucson all of my life, raised loving the Cubs. I'm supposed to give up on them just because they suck? He was right. I HATE the Diamondbacks with every fiber of my being, almost as much as I hate the SUX. How could my Dad just give up on the Cubs after so many years? I didn't understand. I still don't. He is the most knowledgeable person on baseball that I know, possibly he just couldn't take it anymore. All I know is that next year always looks good. But, it just seems to hurt more the older I get. I'm 27 now. I just figured we'd get better, but damn, maybe he is right, what if we are cursed? Go Cubs.....

I gotta agree with Dave on that, 4th. The more you scream and hurl personal invective at people, the more I tune you out as just some ranting foam-at-the-mouth lunatic who offers nothing worth reading. And that's a shame, because you actually tend to make great points when you're calm, cool, and collected. Adam kept his cool and I think that in large part it's why he got the better of you today -- and I say that in spite of the fact that I tend to tilt a little closer to you in terms of how much blame Baker deserves than I do towards Adam's side.

The weird thing is that I don't think you and Adam were all that far apart in this discussion. Neither of you is a Baker fan, that's for sure. And you're both astute enough to realize that the Cubs as currently constituted are full of holes. It seems to me that the biggest dispute that Adam was having with you and Cubfan (whose reference to the 1973 Cubs certainly took the "TCR Obtuse Post Of The Day Award") was over how much credit Baker deserved for the 2003 and 2004 seasons -- or, alternatively, how much those teams were worth giving credit for in the first place.

That's an entertaining topic, although one that's not all that germane to the current situation of the Cubs. But it certainly didn't merit such a massive explosion of hostility on your part.

Again, you can do or say whatever you want here, as long as the moderators allow it. Nobody's saying otherwise. All I'm saying is that you hurt your own case in a disagreement when you fly off the handle like that.

i know this much:

a guy gets divorced, people say "too bad". he gets divorced a second time, they say "he might need to make some changes". he gets divorced a third time they say "he's the problem"...the third 7 game losing streak says on awful lot. Moves/lineups out of the equation, for Dusty to allow his team to go in such absurd tailspins tells everyone how little control he has. firing dusty is the obvious. if they do it now and promote speier, they'll answer alot of questions in the last 6 weeks. one of which is rothschild-he's not on the same page as dusty, clearly.

now about the expectations of this team. the team is built around Prior and Wood. Based on 2003, they're supposed to be Johnson and Shilling. The past two years they've been nothing close to that. i think now that everyone realizes that wood is not capable of being a reliable 200 inning per year ace, we can adjust our expectations accordingly. if wood, prior and zambrano were to give them 200 each/30 qualtiy starts apiece our bullpen would look alot better. our bullpen is a ragged mess because maddux, williams, hill and zambrano have all gone about 5 innings per start in August.

dusty sucks but this team has alot of gaping holes. they haven't developed any young talent the past two years because dusty thought they were on the verge of winning it. as a result, they've taken several steps backward and don't have any young developed talent to show for it.

Manny...
I cant help but laugh at your comment..
"4thandinches...you have gone way beyond the line man.

Hopefully TCR finally starts doing something about this."

You know what probably 4thandinches is just in a "verbal slump". Its not his fault..happens to everyone. He just has to put those comments behind him, come back tommorow and post some comments in shakespearean english and all will be forgotten.

You can't withstand 2 or 3 out of the line comments from 4thandinches then how do you expect us to be patient with all the ridiculous lineups Dusty has coming up with for the past 5 months. Cant you see the analogy.????? If some action needs to be taken against 4thandinches for this so called 'out of the line' comments then it should happen only after Dusty gets fired.. (not the analogy)

-C

Cubby78:
"If some action needs to be taken against 4thandinches for this so called 'out of the line' comments "

If you are going to quote me at least try and get it right. I didn't say [out of the line], I said [beyond the line]. I don't see much difference, but you the point is you used quotes to make it like I said exactly that, but I didn't. Since 4thandinches works in a newsroom, you can ask him about the importance of getting a quote right.

From Cubs.com:
"Pitcher Angel Guzman, who has been sidelined with a strained right forearm, was scheduled to start Monday for the Mesa rookie team. It will be Guzman's first start of the season. Fleita said he wants Guzman to play in the AFL as well."

FINALLY, the guy hasn't pitched in a year from a uspposed nagging injury. Anyone hear how he did?? I look forward to this guy taking up a spot in the bullpen next year, after he has barely pitched the past 3 years...WOO!!

Adam,

I agree that Dusty is not all that is wrong with this team. Before Baker was hired, Hendry publicly said his first priority was to rebuild the farm system--make the farm system a top notch learning and training ground for our ball players and rely more on developing our own talent rather than totally giving up on it in favor of signing veteran free agents.

Hey, I thought we were on to something with this strategy, philosophy and attitude. Finally someone was watching great organizations like the Braves, Cardinals, A's, Twins and realizing what the key to their success is--developing your own talent and being successful throughout the farm system will yield consistently good results over and over again.

Then Hendry hired Baker. I didn't know much about Baker's management style while in SF--all I knew was SF had done well under his management. I welcomed Baker as a positive addition to the team. After watching him day in and out...along with seeing how Hendry has stocked the 25 man roster day in and day out....I see Hendry getting away from his original mission statement in favor of getting veterans with at least several years of experience. The problem I have with this is very simple....and it's 2 points:

1. You are almost guaranteed to overpay for talent AND that talent is likely only going to be relied upon for a very short term period (usually 1-2 years) and then each individual player will sign elsewhere on another team--or resign with the Cubs for even more money.

2. You have to have a trade off--If you are getting proven vets with years of service--What do you do with all the young talent you have in the farm system? Do you make a goal that they should succeed at the AAA level for 3-5 years? Do you trade them for more proven veterans?

At some point Baker's philosophy will drain or strain the farm system--OR worse, make it totally irrelevant. The farm system and the entire Cubs organization will not have a winning attitude and approach. You will be playing russian roulette with aging players...over your own talent who you have trained and coached to play the game on a good solid fundamental level.

To me it isn't rocket science. Baker's philosophy is not in the Cubs long-term interests...it's for Baker's own short term interests. He wants to win whereever he is at...at any cost-including the farm system...to win now. He won't be around when the farm system is totally depleted and the Trib refuses to spend 12 million a year on Jeremy Burnitz type of players. He will be on to his next endeavor in LA, Washington..who knows?

One thing Hendry did right this trade deadline was not to seek any high impact player. I'm sure Baker tempted him with that thought....and I think Hendry is realizing that Baker's philosophy and his own philosophy is not working (just look at the misfortunes of Corey Patterson--Baker couldn't work with him on his swing)....and I think eventually Baker will be relieved of his duties.

But you are right the problems are deeper than Baker....Hendry had a good start going with the farm system...he needs to keep improving on his original mission and seek managers and coaches willing and advocating that approach by playing the talent when they are ready rather than sit them or give them so little opportunity failure is almost guaranteed for them.

from suntimes.com

Dusty Baker seemed to absolve his team when asked before Tuesday's game if he thought Cubs players were making mistakes because of a lack of concentration.

''There were a couple games there, but all in all, I can't chastise them for not focusing and concentrating,'' Baker said. ''I can't say that. When things are going poorly, it's a little bit more difficult to concentrate than when things are going great. We're just not getting it done, that's all.''

But interviewed 10 minutes later in the dugout by a reporter for WSCR-AM (670), Baker gave a far different answer when asked if his players were concentrating properly.

''We've had a total letdown in that area,'' Baker said. ''It bothers the heck out of us. It bothers my coaches and it bothers the players when it happens to them. We have to be more aware and more alert.

''A lot of them are mistakes we should not be making, not having the foresight and being prepared before that occurrence happens.''

Baker said modern players don't ''police'' one another the way they did when he played.

''When we came up, we policed ourselves,'' Baker told the radio reporter, ''but guys aren't apt to get on each other now as much as they were in the past.''

Okay....so concentration isn't really the problem...then 10 minutes later it is a "total letdown there".

My next concern is in "his era" players policed themselves (code word for "managed themselves") and he obviously thinks they should be doing that now....obviously he isn't. I guarantee one thing--in his "day" Lasorda would have been chewing serious butt if players weren't policing (managing) themselves.

Dusty summed up his problem--Players are not policing themselves and if they won't, he can't....

Your basic weak-spined management style...totally ineffective.

Today's *Trib* ran a story that was note-for-note a parallel to that *Sun-Times* story, Cubfan. It's a pretty ominous development for Baker. The two papers in town are beginning to show less patience with Baker's various philosophical ruminations on baseball, and they're now calling him out when he contradicts himself.

The relationship between Baker and the Chicago media is about to get a lot uglier. Make book on it.

Okay, seems like things got a bit heated. Let me read the thread...

Manny, Angel Guzman will be starting in Mesa next Monday.

I don't know if it bothered any one else but it did me and that was Nomar getting booed after he struck out in the 9th. Since he has been the best hitter since he came back. Not to mention he worked his a** of to get back from his injury and turned down a multi year offer from his hometown Angels to return here. Maybe they were booing the call because that pitch he struck out on a called strike looked like a ball , but if it was directed at Nomar those fans were stupid. I not aganist booing but they shouldn't boo guys that don't deserve it.

In the scary rumor department - from the suntimes today:

Two potential free agents -- Boston Red Sox center fielder Johnny Damon and Washington Nationals center fielder Preston Wilson -- could fill the Cubs' need for a leadoff hitter and their desire to knock Patterson completely out of the outfield picture.

I'm sorry - PRESTON WILSON as a leadoff hitter???? Are there 2 or three Preston Wilsons?? I hope this isn't one of Hendry's infatuations where he just has to get a player he likes.

I don't buy the Preston Wilson rumors; Hendry could have picked him up in a trade this season if he really wanted him.

In the Baker is a two faced liar segement...

Baker told WSCR-AM on Tuesday he didn't mind criticism from Cubs broadcaster Bob Brenly, and added he never has problems with broadcasters who "call it like they see it" during games.
"The truth is the truth," Baker said, "just as long as it's the truth."

Lets see Steve Stone told the truth and was run out of town. One of Baker's "boys" tells the truth and it's cool. Hmmmmmm, what a wonderful double standard world Baker lives in.

Maybe the Sun-times should get a new baseball expert if Deluca thinks Preston Wilson can be a leadoff hitter.

Okay, since you guys need to be baby-sat. Here's what I have a problem with...

Adam--"That has to be one of the more irrational things I've seen you [Cubfan] write / and that says a lot considering you rarely use your brain when posting."

You should have stopped at the /. The rest is best left unsaid.

4th--"No, in Adam's world, no one quits, but no one excels. Mediocrity reigns. And, as usual, he straddles the fence and has it both ways. UN-FREAKING-BELIEVABLE!"

I have no idea how you came to the conclusion that Adam was straddling fences, I thought his perspective was reasonably clear, but, regardless, it's here that the tone of things starts to go downhill. Too close to the bone.

4th--"now it's YOUR turn fence-straddler!"

This is quickly turning into a personal attack. Whether it's maliciously intended or not, calling people names isn't a good way to get them to agree with you.

Adam--"What the fuck is your problem? First of all, people can read without capitals, assuming you are overall 12 years old, grow up and type like a normal person...second of all, I am not what is causing this team to lose, so fuck off with the "UNFREAKINGBELIEVEABLE 2 year old crap."

"How to make a bad situation a lot, lot worse", by Adam. Unacceptable post.

Adam--"I'm sorry I can't be as bitter and nasty as you"

Cautiously worded personal attack.

4th--"Go F*** yourself! I write what I want... when I want... and I don't answer to you, nor will I conform to your dumbassed trains of thought!

We've had this conversation once before, fence-straddler... lets keep it talking about baseball, the game, or Dusty.

WHETHER I MAKE A POINT IN CAPS IS IRRELEVENT AND BESIDE THE FUCKING POINT.... AND YOU MUST BE SOME KIND OF P****Y TO ARGUE ABOUT IT.

Dont you EVER tell me how I should conduct myself on this board... just who the fuck do you think you ARE, ANYWAY?"

Not so cautiously worded personal attack.

And I will tell you how you should conduct yourself on this board, 4th. Who do I think I am? In charge.

This kind of a post is entirely unacceptable.

And I'd prefer if you did turn off the caps, personally, though I'm not enormously bothered if it's just isolated words.

4th--"You don't tell me what my priorities are... EVER... got that?

You don't tell me what to type... or what case to use... or make comments like "What the fuck is your problem? First of all, people can read without capitals, assuming you are overall 12 years old, grow up and type like a normal person...second of all, I am not what is causing this team to lose, so fuck off with the "UNFREAKINGBELIEVEABLE 2 year old crap."

Now THAT'S what got the ball rolling, and why I'm all over your dumbass like ugly on an ape!

You are not the conscience of this board, though you try mightily.

You're the jackass who started with the personal attacks, comments which I've quoted above. That's when it got personal... and it's liable to stay that way.

GET THIS STRAIGHT, FOR THE LAST TIME -You don't tell me WHAT to say... or WHEN to say it... or HOW to say it.... this is the United States of America, not communist China. I'll say and write what I damned well please.

A lot of good men and women died so i could have the RIGHT to say... and write... what I want.

Don't you DARE presume to come on here and chide me... or anyone else... about their use of caps!

You come on this board and expect that everyone who agrees with you is cool... and anyone who doesn't is an asshole.

I repeat - WHO DIED AND LEFT YOU IN CHARGE OF THIS SITE?"

More of the same.

I disagree with your assessment of just who started this. I've chronicled the offensive comments here, and you started the name-calling, Adam started the gratuitous swearing, and you're both culpable.

Furthermore, you're right, this isn't communist China, but neither is it the United States. This is the internet, it's international and your rights are such as is decreed by those that run the site, not by such and such an amendment. Furthermore, no good men or women died in the founding of this website.

You do have the right to say what you please, but there are three conditions to that...

1. It's relevant
2. Your language is proportionate
3. No personal attacks of other users

Three simple rules. Abide by them.

4th--"Make ALL our lives better by NOT LOGGING IN!

Threatened? By a p***y like YOU? God you're full of yourself!

You name the place and the time, son... I'll be back in Chicago the end of August... name the place and time and we'll settle this quick, fast and in a hurry, tough guy!

What's that? You'll pass? Yeah, I thought so.

And... only a complete A-hole with a guilty conscience would think someone is referring to him - in the third person, or any other person.

Face it Adam, this board is as good as its going to get in your worthless little life. That's all you can do, not worth anything else... but you're really great at bitching and moaning about everybody else, then you'll talk out of both sides of your pathetic neck, obscuring whatever point you may have had.

Oh... and go fuck yourself! There, I said it! I feel much better now, you arrogant a-hole!

Go fuck yourself...and your apologies..."

If you look back behind you, you might be able to spot on the horizon the line you crossed. Completely unacceptable post, and I have a good mind to ban you for it permanently without protest.

Adam--"I will apologize as I never, ever, intend to upset someone on the internet so much that they want a fitst fight...so I'll take responsibility for my words, and apologize for what I said to you that you felt was out of line and now that I know what sets you off, I will be careful not to do it again.

take care."

This I will take as an apology from Adam.

4th--"Okay, apology accepted... and I'm sorry I went ballistic... but you have got to remember what buttons you push with some of us on this board."

This I will take as an acceptance of Adam's apology.

I will not take it as an apology from 4th.

Here is what's going to happen.

4th is going to make a much more unconditional and unmistakeably clear apology before today is out, and that apology will be devoid of the kind of excuses for the unacceptable of which he ironically accuses the Cub organisation. He has to take full responsibility for his own actions, he has to retract a lot of the things that he's said, and he has to vow that this will not happen again.

Adam will then accept that apology.

If that doesn't happen today, I will be left with no choice but to ban 4th from commenting for 4 weeks.

I value his opinion here, he usually has some good things to add, but I think his transgressions here have been by far the worse and they will not be tolerated.

If an apology is made, there will be no repurcussions, though I will be monitoring the pair of you closely in future, and if anything like this happens involving either one of you again, I will not be so lenient.

Who needs Soap Operas, we got TCR...

Thanks John for FINALLY doing something about the personal attacks. It might be a very small step, but it is in the right direction. I hope you and the other moderators use this and more stringent steps in the future for ALL personal attacks, not just selected ones.

Since this is a baseball related website, I think we need to have an arbitration hearing before any such suspension can be handed down. An arbitrator might feel that John Hill overstepped his authority by issuing a 4 week suspension and reduce it down to a more reasonable level of say 13 days. Also, if 4thandinches were to lose any posting-related incentive clauses he might have, perhaps those missed days should be taken into account?

I'm founding the TCR Commenter's Union, Who's with me???

I was going to say something John about how I felt Adam's high and mighty attitude led to this. I think my exact comment was going to be, "OMG 4th called Adam a fence straddle! Ohhhh the horror, lets ban him quick!" But at 3:00 AM in the morning I thought who gives a damn what I think.

P.S. Not blaming you Adam at all, not taking 4th's side either. But I can understand 4th's reaction. He felt he was insulted first and the gloves were off after that point.

But don't worry. Next week on Fox they are having TCR Celebrity Boxing! You too can soon join the ranks of Screech, Manute Bol, and Tanya Harding in fame! Woooo...........lets get it on!

I think what we're seeing here is a clear example of 'roid rage. What this board needs is stiffer steroid regulations!

To futher Blue's point we also need an arbitrator to determine if 4th said those things w/o knowing he said it just like Raffy did not not he was using roids.

"Lets see Steve Stone told the truth and was run out of town. One of Baker's "boys" tells the truth and it's cool. Hmmmmmm, what a wonderful double standard world Baker lives in."

This is sadly true. People seem to have forgotten that it was most likely Dusty Baker and Jim Hendry--not Cub players-- who ran Stone out of town after an incident at the end of the season when Dusty took offense at Steve Stone's criticism.

Baker was upset Stone questioned some of his strategy during a postgame analysis Sept. 30. Baker griped to the media and Hendry later said Stone had crossed a line.

It was announced that Stone's contract had been picked up and he had rented an apartment for this year two weeks earlier. But after Dusty went to the media to blast Stone, he abruptly resigned.

Manny, don't be such a kiss-ass.

And let me add: apologies Manny, for calling you a kiss-ass.

Big John Stud:
"Manny, don't be such a kiss-ass."

Well you are 3 for 3 in breaking John's new rules....good job.

John's rules:
1. It's relevant
2. Your language is proportionate
3. No personal attacks of other users

People seem to have forgotten that it was most likely Dusty Baker and Jim Hendry--not Cub players-- who ran Stone out of town

Name one person who was following the Cubs in 2004 who has forgotten this?

Chifan3887, When watching the game yesterday, I don't think the fans were booing at Nomar. I took at more as booing at the ump's call and our general plot in life as fans of a worthless ballclub. But I'm with you, and hope they weren't booing Nomar. And I hope is doesn't get to that point, when players are booed simply for the sake of booing (lie the Philly fans). Boo when it's necessary, but of if it is.

Those have been the rules for a long time, Manny. They're not new.

Things are looking up! Rich Hill has a normal looking picture on the Cubs.com site. He no longer looks as if he's getting slowly devoured by an aardvark while simulataneously having a seizure.

Bold prediction: The Cubs will come close to winning today!

Oh, OK John. But it still is nice to see actual consequences to those old rules, as there really haven't been anything enforced.

Watching Baseball Tonight, and Kruk is ranting about the shortening of Kenny Rodger's suspension. I want him as a coach. And Grace. And Morandini.

#1 Johnny Damon-CF
#2 Nomar Garciaparra-SS
#3 Derek Lee-1B
#4 Aramis Ramirez-3B
#5 Adam Dunn-LF
#6 Corey Patterson/Jeromy Burnitz/Murton/Free Agent RF
#7 Todd Walker/Free Agent 2B
#8 Barrett/Blanco C

I would not mind seeing this lineup next year, as it seems very possible that Nomar will sign aanother deal, be it one year or more, and Lee, Ramirez, and Barrett will still be around. This leaves us short a CF leadoff spot,(unless Hairston continues to fill this hole for us next year, which he did an adequate job of, IMO)Both corner outfield positions, (could be filled through free agency or keeping Burny around or usind CPat)and second base. I would love to keep Walker around, although it seems he may not be in the Cubs long term plans. I think Getting Damon is possible, but it all comes down to the $$$. I think Dunn has one year left on his contract(correct me if I am mistaken) and could be used in a trade for Mitre(GB Pitcher), Rich Hill, and maybe welly, but who knows. I don't really know the '05/'06 FA list at all, so I am just throwing this out there. If Wood gets surgery he could be starter #3(behind Prior and Big Z) with Maddux, Williams following up(although I would like to see see a mid/big-name pitcher added to the roster. If we continue the bullpen with the youth movement, it can't be too much worse than this year once LaTroy moved on and Dempster started closing. Hairston, Neifi, Blanco on bench. I feel good if Hendry can make a couple of big moves.

"Name one person who was following the Cubs in 2004 who has forgotten this?"

That's easy, Chris Deluca, but what's with the question mark?

If you had bothered to follow the link and had someone read it to you, you might have notice the first paragraph reads...

October 29, 2004

BY CHRIS DE LUCA Staff Reporter

It's the only battle Cubs players won in 2004, chasing popular broadcaster Steve Stone away from the team he loves.

In fact, I'd bet most people think it was the players who chased Stonie out of town.

Does this sound like anyone we know?

An Internet "troll" is a person who delights in sowing discord on the Internet. He (and it is usually he) tries to start arguments and upset people.

Trolls see Internet communications services as convenient venues for their bizarre game. For some reason, they don't "get" that they are hurting real people. To them, other Internet users are not quite human but are a kind of digital abstraction. As a result, they feel no sorrow whatsoever for the pain they inflict. Indeed, the greater the suffering they cause, the greater their 'achievement' (as they see it). At the moment, the relative anonymity of the net allows trolls to flourish.

Trolls are utterly impervious to criticism (constructive or otherwise). You cannot negotiate with them; you cannot cause them to feel shame or compassion; you cannot reason with them. They cannot be made to feel remorse. For some reason, trolls do not feel they are bound by the rules of courtesy or social responsibility.

Perhaps this sounds inconceivable. You may think, "Surely there is something I can write that will change them." But a true troll can not be changed by mere words.

So how do you deal with the trolls of the world...

The only way to deal with trolls is to limit your reaction to reminding others not to respond to trolls.

When you try to reason with a troll, he wins. When you insult a troll, he wins. When you scream at a troll, he wins. The only thing that trolls can't handle is being ignored.

But how do they create problems?

One technique used by trolls to generate chaos is to pretend to be a well-liked person.

Again, Sound like anyone we know?

So this is what you should do...

Next time you are on a message board and you see a post by somebody whom you think is a troll, and you feel you must reply, simply write a follow-up message entitled "Troll Alert" and type only this:

The only way to deal with trolls is to limit your reaction to reminding others not to respond to trolls.

For more information check out....

http://members.aol.com/intwg/trolls.htm

#171, #164 ****Troll Alert****

The only way to deal with trolls is to limit your reaction to reminding others not to respond to trolls.

John Hill,
Let's see if you stand by your rules...

I was at the game yesterday and there was a lot of booing directed at the Cubs- some ok in my book and some not. There was short-lived and isolated booing at bad plays - when Lawton failed to make an attempt to catch a bloop hit in the ninth, when Lawton kind-of misplayed a bal off teh wall in that same inning. These weren't obvious error but since they happened in the same inning they were pretty frustrating. Nomar was also booed after his error - it was short lived so not that big of a deal.

BUT - Nomar and Corey were both booed just for making outs on a number of occasiosn - which I just don't understnad - its not like hey had sloppy or careless at-bats - they just made outs (which happens the great majority of the time anyway).

It was a frustrating day in a very frustating week-plus so its not a big deal but I hope fans won't continue the latter type of booing as its just booing to boo.

BOO!

Bluewater Pennant, See you forget, or I guess I should say since you weren't following the team in 2004, you don't realise that It was Dusty and Hendry who pushed Stone to resign because they were defending their players were the only ones in a position to do so. But the whole incident started with players like Kent Merker calling the booth during games, so saying it was a battle that the players won isn't inaccurate either.

Google's a great way to learn about Cubs History, but its really much easier to just to follow the team for more than 5 months.

WSCR says Murton will bat leadoff and CP 8th. Again Baker just cannot just have CP bat in one spot. He is a 7 hitter Dusty you IDIOT!!!!!! Nice through he has Murton leadoff.

Thanks John...that is appreciated.

And I agree with Manny about MikeC - that is another uncalled for and unprovoked personal attack on Manny. This is just getting ridiculous. Yes...I disagree with almost all that Manny thinks about the Cubs - I don't feel the need to personally attack the guy. If I lived in Chicago, I would go get a beer with him!

Can we please just talk about the cubs...or at least baseball?

CP 8th. Again Baker just cannot just have CP bat in one spot. He is a 7 hitter Dusty you IDIOT!

I really don't have a problem moving Patterson from 7th to 8th and then back if he decides to. His approach should be the same, and his place in the lineup (especiall if it is 7th or 8th) should not matter.

Dave (Big Low):
"And I agree with Manny about MikeC - that is another uncalled for and unprovoked personal attack on Manny. This is just getting ridiculous. Yes...I disagree with almost all that Manny thinks about the Cubs - I don't feel the need to personally attack the guy. If I lived in Chicago, I would go get a beer with him!"

Thanks man!! I understand some might not agree with my takes, but like you said the personal attacks go to far. If you do make your way to Chicago, we can go get that beer and we can use my seasons to catch a game.

#143 (BFT): Great post.

When a team who many thought were a 95 win team in the spring has several long losing streaks and is currently in 4th place in the division and even worse 7th place in the wild card race and 5 games under .500 does anything that results in outs, errors, HR's given up...fans are going to boo and boo and boo....

Then they will sarcastically cheer anytime something good happens....and REALLY cheer when the team wins.

The booing may be seen as uncalled for by some...but most booing is the result of fans letting the players know it's time to pull their heads out of their.......and start playing baseball the way it was meant to be played.

I don't think you can really say Mercker and Alou won anything considering the GM ran them both out of town.

Alou "won" a very nice contract and is having a real good year.

"There's never been any attempt from him not to stay here and never any implication from me that he wouldn't be here this year and next year," Hendry said."

So Hendry is sticking with a guy who flies in an opposite direction to his original mission statement on how he wants the Cubs to gain long-term success. I simply do not get how Hendry thinks Baker is the answer. He is a short term manager...the makeup of all Baker teams is "MUST win this year" because we don't know what the makeup of the team will be next year.

I just don't see how some people are equating this show of confidence as a death blow to Baker and a clear sign Baker will be fired. Anyone care to elaborate on why they think Hendry's confidence in Baker means he will be fired?? I'd love to hear why people think this.

"WSCR says Murton will bat leadoff and CP 8th. Again Baker just cannot just have CP bat in one spot. He is a 7 hitter Dusty you IDIOT!!!!!! Nice through he has Murton leadoff."

I'm confused, Dusty is an "IDIOT!!!" because CPAT is batting 8th instead of 7th?

I think Dusty needs to throw out this lineup just for the hell of it. It can't do any worse than the other lineups of late.

1. Murton
2. Hill
3. Barrett
4. CPAT
5. Lawton
6. Nomar
7. Walker
8. Aram
9. Lee

#190 --

Totally agree. Hell, the cubs were down 9-0 on Monday, and a ton of fans were still there and cheering during the 4 run rally in the 9th.

Here you are in the middle of an awful losing streak getting hammered and the cubs fans were cheering for you to win. The fans haven't quit on this team yet.

If anyone thought this was a 95-win team, they forfeit their right to boo. Not realistically, of course, just karmically. This was never a 95-win team.

[i] just don't see how some people are equating this show of confidence as a death blow to Baker and a clear sign Baker will be fired. Anyone care to elaborate on why they think Hendry's confidence in Baker means he will be fired?? I'd love to hear why people think this.[/]

I was confused about this also...to me it's a clear sign that Dusty is with us through the end of this season...however, I think he can allow Baker to meet with other teams, and take another job while saving face...saying it was a mutual agreement, versus a firing.

Any word on if Nomar is playing today?

Lots of Johnny Come latelys on this season.

I took a lot of heat for saying the 2004 team was an 87 win team....and heat the 2005 team was a .500 team..maybe 84 wins tops.....

Now no one can argue much with me (though they'd love to be able to).....

Lots of revisionist history because many thought this was a 90-95 win team this year.

i think the booing of decent AB's resulting in outs is a byproduct of having tons of fans at wrigley who don't have a clue as to what constitutes good/bad w/respect to the Cubs and game of baseball.

The Cubs won 88 in '03 and 89 in '04...then clearly got worse (on paper). Again, if anyone honestly thought 95 was easily in the picture...wow. Of course, a team with X amount of talent *could* conceivably get on a roll and win 95...I guess...

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