Looks Like Rain…

...but the radar shows it should clear soon. GAME 123 IN-GAME DISCUSSION THREAD [PARACHAT] CHICAGO CUBS (60-62) @ COLORADO ROCKIES (45-77) COORS FIELD, 7:05 pm CDT, TV: WGN
Aaron Cook, RHP
1-1, 5.16 ERA
9/5 K/BB, 0 HR in 22.2 IP
Glendon Rusch, LHP
5-5, 4.28 ERA
81/42 K/BB, 10 HR in 101.0 IP
LF *Matt Lawton SS Luis Gonzalez
2B *Todd Walker 2B #Aaron Miles
1B Derrek Lee 1B *Todd Helton
3B Aramis Ramirez LF Matt Holliday
RF *Jeromy Burnitz 3B Garrett Atkins
C Michael Barrett RF Dustan Mohr
SS #Neifi Perez C Todd Greene
CF *Corey Patterson CF *Larry Bigbie
P *Glendon Rusch P Aaron Cook
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Comments

I don't feel comfortable with Rusch as a starter...he had to pitch over 30 pitches in this first inning...he walked too many players...gave up valuable hits and we are now down 2-0...the error by Walker didn't help either...Yet, Rusch is having real trouble with his command and control - he just can't seem to throw strikes when he needs to....Our offense needs to kick into gear since we have our worst pitcher out there and we're clearly going to need more runs than we normally would to win this game...It's time to bounce back.

I have learned that I clearly assume too much when I assume that at least a few here read the Trib. This statement was made by Phil Rogers in his column today, not by moi.

"Streak-proof

While the Cubs have had three losing streaks of at least seven games this season, and Kansas City has endured the mother of all skids, 1980 was the last time a Bobby Cox team lost as many as three games in a row.

That's 25 years, which is simply amazing. Having Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz helped but don't overlook Cox's steady hand in the clubhouse. His teams always seem to remain clam, seldom pressing."

Not that I'd be educating anybody on this board but....

Why the Cubs suck...
2 on, nobody out, Perez grounds into a DP
Next batter Patterson, first pitch fly out.

Patterson in 2 ABs tonight has seen a total of two pitches!!! That's right, 2! I swear that if there were a way for a batter to get out without seeing any pitches, Patterson would lead the league in that category. Send him back to AAA and put Hairston in the lineup and recall the ever so patient Murton, NOW!

The Cubs seem to have a patent on stranding runners on base...They can't seem to bring them home...Dusty needs to get after Patterson about ALWAYS swinging on the 1st pitch...We need patience and discipline by the Cubs batters. Maybe Dusty should bench patterson and play Hairston for the rest of the night...The Cubs have had players in scoring position in EVERY inning...It's time to start following through...Any team could beat the Cubs the way they have played so far tonight. It's time for the Cubs to WAKE UP.

Dusty is a reactionary manager....if he was proactive he'd move the runners over and they'd score more often in those situations...Dusty would rather wait and see what his bats will do instead of automatically given up outs.

Dusty waits for things to happen rather than make things happen...just like coaching young players (if he has to)...he's going to wait until something goes wrong before he addresses anything.

Right, cubfan. Does anybody feel like the Cubs offense all year has been a crapshoot? I mean, it's like they sit on the bench all night and tell eachother "it's cool, dude" while they all wait for that one pitch to hit it out and hope and pray that someone might possibly be on base. they do not score without the long ball.

Once again, another crappy pitcher looking like Cy Young material versus the cubs. I think I have it figured out though. Good pitchers like Pettitte, Oswalt, Morris etc stay around the strike zone which plays right into the cubs hands because they swing at everything. it's just a bonus if it's near the plate. Then they struggle against guys that most teams pound because they aren't around the plate and so where they would walk most hitters the cubs hit weak ground ball after weak ground or K.

CWTP:
"I have learned that I clearly assume too much when I assume that at least a few here read the Trib. This statement was made by Phil Rogers in his column today, not by moi."

Next time include the link. And also, many people on here live all arouind the world, they all don't all live in Chicago and can, or do, read the Trib. Thanks!

I now refuse to talk about the WC anymore this year. That's it, no way it's going to happen because the cubs don't WANT it to happen. Does this look like an urgent team tonight? How many times can you walk down to first base instead of hustle?

Holy s*&t!!!! Patterson took one pitch! Then he lined out to third. 3 ABs and four pitches. Wow, all I can say is wow. Unfreakingbelievable!

Holli has an RBI -- what a miracle...the Cubs are finally on the board....Lets see IF Lawton can follow through and get an RBI too.

For anyone who wanted Macias on the team instead of Murton --- if Lee gets on here, do you still feel the same way?

Damn.....

had our chances tonight. 11 hits and 2 BB and we only get 2 runs?? No timely hitting. bad baseball by CPat and neifi not getting runners on 3rd with less than 2 outs in.

The only good thing is the rest of the WC hopefulls also stunk tonight.

-FL lost to LAD
-HOU lost to MIL
-WASH lost to NYM

Only bad game was PHIL beat Pitt

So right now, with 39 games to go, the Cusb are 5 games back in the loss column, just like when they entered today.

PHIL - 58 losses
HOU - 58 losses
FL - 58 losses
WASH - 58 losses
NYM - 59 losses
CHC - 63 losses
MIL - 63 losses

Damn, Rusch looked bad early but kept teh Cubs in teh game and the offense could not get teh timely hits. Tomorrow is a HUGE game again. Gotta win series'....GO CUBS!!!

There is one person to blame for the loss tonight Dusty. We probably would have scored at least a run if he PH Nomar for Neifi or Hairston for Cpat. I swear there is no reason to watch this team until September. This will begin 8 gm losing streak number 3.

Manny Manny Manny....

We started the day off like this in the Standings..

Houston 5 back
Philadelphia 4.5
Florida 4.5
Washington 4
New York 2 1/2

We were ahead of Milwaukee by 1/2 game

Now it looks like this

Philadelphia 5.5
Houston 5
Florida 4 1/2
Washington 4
New York Mets 3 1/2
Milwaukee 1/2

So we now have 6 teams once again to overcome (actually have more teams to overcome than we did a week ago)...the team closest to us yesterday is now 1 game further ahead...AND they all play each other much more meaning ONCE AGAIN we don't gain ground on teams ahead of us for the remainder of the year.....

Anybody have any forks?

So Nomar was available to pinch hit but this situation wasn't right with the bases loaded down by a run in the 8th?

If Dusty's still here in 2006 it'll be wait until next year to wait until next year.

He's only a proven winning manager when in close proximity to both Balco and Bonds.

While the Cubs have had three losing streaks of at least seven games this season, and Kansas City has endured the mother of all skids, 1980 was the last time a Bobby Cox team lost as many as three games in a row.

I've read this sentence 20 times, and I'm either missing something, or Phil Rogers doesn't know how to do research at all.

Am I correct, that after reading that, another way of saying that same sentence is "Since 1980, the longest losing streak any Bobby Cox team has had is 2 games."?

If so, that's just ridiculous on so many levels.

Didn't the 1996 Team lose 4 straight to the Yanks after leading 2-0? I guess I could look it up on this handy internet thingie..

Yeah, in this instance at least, they did lose more than three straight. Difficult to overlook this small slide as it cost them a championship. I'm guessing Rogers was only looking at the regular season. Or maybe his statement was wrong. If that were the only instance of a streak greater than three games, it would still be a creepy stat. Also, I hate D. Baker.

A Bobby Cox team hasn't been swept since 1980!?!?!?!

Or maybe his statement was wrong.

His statement is very wrong. They lost 4 in a row back in May.

Yeah, so Phil is officially wrong.

In the last two years (2004 and 2003), the Braves' longest streak has been three, and they have had several of those.

In 2002, they had a four-gamer (April 13 to April 16).

In 2001, they had a six-gamer (August 8 to August 14).

What the hell is he talking about?

His statement is wrong...

In 2001, they lost 6 straight from Aug 8th to Aug 14th...

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ATL/2...

they got swept by the D'Backs

They also lost 4 straight in 2002

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/ATL/2...

And I'm sure there are more instances, but I don't see the point of going any farther back. God, I hope he meant something else in that article,otherwise that's some of the most hack journalism I've ever read.

Damn, Rusch looked bad early

The defense looked bad, Rusch was just fine. A matter of fact he bailed out his defense on Neifi's one-hopper on the 3-6-1 DP.

oh sorry, what aqc said....

"If Dusty's still here in 2006 it'll be wait until next year to wait until next year."

if this offseason's biggest problems after filling holes is the manager, be happy. be very very very happy. be estatic. throw a damn party to celebrate the offseason's moves. i'll bring the beer.

gimmie a bullpen without a 4.50era...gimmie a bench that dont have 4 .300 ob% hitters on it (not to mention 2-3 .300 ob% starters at points)...gimmie health...i could care less who manages the damn team if they fill real holes that effect this team.

i think the *10+* bullpen+bench failures this team has carried all year at ANY given point far outweighs any lineup jockey...imo...

actually, i guess with wood/williamson/garciappara here it might be below 10 at this point...still...

yeah, dusty's not walking brilliance, but i dont see anyone turning this pile of crap on the bench and the pen into anything worth saying anyone is wasting.

turd polish $1.99 a gallon.

05 cubs..so far..

6 dependable players (not counting the 100-150 ab's walker missed...im throwing him in just for the hell of it)...lee/aram/walker/barrett/hairston/burnitz.

some wouldnt include burn in that list, but hey, im just being general here and he's not been awful.

starters...good enough...the wood thing sucked, but prior/zamb/maddux...hey, good enough

bullpen...ummm...well...dempster was good for 2 months or so. EVERYONE ELSE = FAIL.

bench...well...hairston is part of the "6 dependable hitters"...outside of that...you got ummm nothing...well, if you want macias you got that and that is very sad in itself.

sigh...

the bullpen having so much failure is beyond weird...to have all those arms and not a single one work out.

at least novoa/wuertz seem to have some future worth even if theyre not cashing it in 05.

rough year...

Hairston is NOT a dependable hitter. This year has been all about Z, Prior, Lee, and Ramirez with Barrett and Burnitz being serviceable.

Crunch, I know you're frustrated by Dusty does deserve a lot of blame tonight. He needs to get in KPat's grill, it is absolutely pathetic. Did you see his AB's tonight? He had three RBI opportunities and saw four pitches (total) in three ABs. Isn't it the manager's job to correct that kind of BS? Why not PH Nomar in the eighth when, with one swing, he could've put us ahead?

Korey's THICK HEAD needs to be in Des Moines or West Tenn until he figures it out. Honest to God, I feel like Hendry and Baker sent him to "time out" to learn a lesson and then kind of gave in to him when he went on a three or four game hot streak in Iowa. I think he feels he deserves to be in the bigs and HE DOES NOT!!!!

Like I said before, 2003 may have been the worst thing for KPat because he has lulled himself into believing that he's in a slump and that he can pull out of it and that his way really can be successful in the major leagues.

Reality to Korey, you look silly at the plate and no major league pitcher respects you right now.

I meant "but Dusty" in the previous post

k...i just took a look at some team #s to check up on what i typed and the pitching is even worse than i expected.

there are 5 sub-4.00 pitchers on the whole damn team!! 2 are starters...novoa/ohman/dumpster the others...hell, hawkins has this team's 3rd lowest ERA he's gone after putting in 19 innings.

yeah, relievers generally have low ERAs cuz they inherit other's problems...but that leaves the team with 3 sub-4.00 relievers which dont help the cause too much.

there isnt a single reliever with a sub 1.30 whip...

there's only 1 reliever with a sub 1.50 whip...ohman

borowski/remlinger/hawkings had sub 1.50 whips...but well...they're gone cuz the hits they did serve up tended to fly 400ft.

this is pure pain.

"I need some speed," Baker said before Saturday's game, looking ahead to the long-term needs the team will need to address in the future. "I love speed, you know me. But loving speed and having speed are two different things."

from cubs.com

No crap, Dusty. Wanting and having are two different things. Hmmmm, brain buster, thanks for clarifying. So one fast guy is all this team needs, right? Or was it a lead off hitter? or a bullpen? or defense? It's like pick-an-excuse.com with Dusty

gabe...i just see a lot more problems than a manager with this team. especially when it comes to major problems.

i could care less who manages, but i'd like to see players worth managing before i worry about who gets to pencil them in.

"if this offseason's biggest problems after filling holes is the manager, be happy. be very very very happy. be estatic. throw a damn party to celebrate the offseason's moves. i'll bring the beer."

I don't think there was anyone who said this team was without flaws. To say the manager is not a flaw is idotic. In the off-season we need a domiant pitcher, and an accomplished leadoff hitter. Also a new bench would not hurt to.

Its good to see more evidence that Phil Rogers might be the worst writer in baseball history.

Speaking of Bobby Cox and the Braves, anyone notice that today they used a pitcher who was drafted in 2005!

It sure makes Dusty's quote in the sun-times (via Scott in the last thread) even more rediculous.

Comparisons have been made to Braves manager Bobby Cox being willing to show more confidence in young players. But Baker said his old Braves teammate Ralph Garr, who keeps close ties with that organization, gave him some insight about Atlanta's philosophy.

''He said they bring them up a year later vs. a year early,'' Baker said. ''So when they get here, they know how to play the game.''

Again, Dusty said this about a team that today used a player who they drafted 2 months ago!

i feel carrying 4-6 .300ob% guys, a bullpen that has no arms, and injuries are a bigger concern, honestly.

im not about to get all bent outta shape about batting a .300 ob% guy over a .330 ob% guy when the cubs got what they got to work with. but..but..crunch, youre supposed to play with the best posibile player! but...but...crap is crap.

the bench has been pure crap for most of the year. you get injuries, guess what you get...crap...you need a hitter in the 7th guess what you get...crap...

that pen...is pure...crap. 2 months of dempster being good does NOTHING for the overall look of one of the worst bullpens in baseball.

this team's problem hasnt been dusty's 1-4 ab decisions a game. the most idiotic thing ive seen dusty do is the cpat followed by neifi thing, but ya know what...ive seen a lot of other teams do similar stupidity. go figure.

Rob G.:
"The defense looked bad, Rusch was just fine."

Were you ewatching the same game as I?

He gave up 6 hits and 1 BB in the first 3 innings. So that is "just fine"? Maybe for you, but not for me.

blue...actually, that proves the braves scout he talked to is full of it.

that should concern atl brass more than it should concern cubs fans. besides, its just press fodder. at worst it means dusty isnt paying much attention to 20 year olds the braves have in AA.

if anything, the braves rush their youth lately...cox really dont like to play them either.

besides furcal/a.jones everyone had to fight their way into the lineup the past decade or so...how quickly people forget klesko-gate.

i saw the ATL game today...if anythign people should have noticed some real similarities at various points between dusty/cox.

not to say cox/dusty are awful..they play with what they got and are pretty damn ordinary imo...

dubois back to AAA for some reason, btw...no idea wtf for...probally gonna recall a pitcher or something.

unless someone's injured it dont make much sense no matter how much he's "sucking"...its just too close to sept.

"if this offseason's biggest problems after filling holes is the manager, be happy. be very very very happy. be estatic. throw a damn party to celebrate the offseason's moves. i'll bring the beer."

Thanks Alex, I'll take "Angry Posters Who Serve Up More Red Herrings Than A Russian Buffet for $1000."

Crunch. All I'm saying. Is. Dusty. Keeps. Us. From. Winning.

We have big holes in our lineup, bullpen, and starting pitching. No kidding. Major work needs to be done by Hendry in the offseason. Step 1: Fire Dusty.

Crunch, I've been seeing you carry on this one-sided argument for weeks now, but no one's arguing with you buddy. I don't think a single poster on this site has stated that the only difference between us and the 1927 Yankees is Dusty Baker. I simply want the best shot at winning every single game. Right now, Dusty Baker is the single greatest obstacle for posting the W on a game-in, game-out basis.

ah...dubois down, andy brown up...bullpen fodder.

"Thanks Alex, I'll take "Angry Posters Who Serve Up More Red Herrings Than A Russian Buffet for $1000."

Crunch. All I'm saying. Is. Dusty. Keeps. Us. From. Winning."

1- im not angry, it doesnt take much effort to see that bench and bullpen for what it is...

2- dusty's did that to the pen and bench? damn...i didnt know he was 10+ people that sucked all at once...i dunno if that awful or just tallented to be 10+ people at once.

3- its not a 1-sided arguement...it speaks for itself. you tell me what manager could make that pen work. you tell me what manager could make all but 6 of these bats work.

...seriously, how can you say dusty is takign some pros and turning them into crap...or is it they were crap to begin with?

Crunch-
I guess those 3 K's today and defensive blunder were finally enough for CLEV. So much for the theory that Baker was putting too much pressure on him and not giving him enough playing time.

And to think people were screaming to give this guy a shot. Add him to the list woth Hee Sop Choi and Bobby Hill.

one more thing about this whole me and dusty thing...

my point is...let's worry about real issues like the players here before we put someone in charge of making them work.

you dont need 25 pimps, but when 1/2 of your team literally isnt even league average what do you want out of that team and what do you expect?

here's a lotta what i see with dusty complaints...

complaints about why player 1 isnt batting over player 2...in a lotta cases player 1 vs. player 2 stats are so close its not worth bitching about...or its about a lighter hitter being brought in early insted of saving the bigger hitter for later, i cant argue with that one its just a managerial trait for when a manager likes to use their bigger bats...i dont wanna defend or bash it, honestly cuz i dont see it as a huge issue in many cases.

complaints about why player 1 isnt starting over player 2...in most of these cases injury or day off is to "blame"

complaints about why pitcher 1 isnt being used over pitcher 2...they all suck...and in some cases like remlinger bitching about him coming in to "face a lefty" he wasnt brought in to face a lefty, he was brought in to pitch an inning

of course there's legit beef...like the 2 weeks of cpat/neifi 1/2...that was odd and useless.

i just wish people would see a lotta things dusty is busted around for is being done all over the league on almost every team almost nightly.

no, dusty isnt a top manager, but if you had to pool together all 30 mlb managers and ask their fans to make a top-10, barely any team's fans would put their own manager near that top10 cuz they see their own manager make "confusing" moves a whole lot more than they see other team's managers pulling the stuff.

Dear Rusch Haters,

6 ips 2 ers 6 ks 1 bb.

I'd take that. The O-fence let us down today.

He gave up 6 hits and 1 BB in the first 3 innings. So that is "just fine"? Maybe for you, but not for me.

First guy reached base on a play a good 3B makes and then scored, 2nd guy scored that inning on a Walker error.

Should have been 0 runs.

2 inning he cruised.

3rd inning, Lawton missed a very makeable play that allowed the 3rd run to score. Rusch then bailed out Neifi on a bad throw with a remarkable scoop considering he was still moving on the play.

See what I did was actually WATCH the game and noticed that OFFICIAL SCORING is a joke and with a good defense, hell an average defense, Rusch wouldn't have given up any runs.

A couple of singles in Coors Field is good pitching, especially when in 2 of those innings he was victimized by his defense and should of gotten out of there on 4 singles and no walks.

I think this is funny. Yesterday it was baserunning. Today it was defense. Tomorrow it will be the starting pitching. Monday will be the bullpen. Tuesday will be the bench.

See a pattern?

There is so much wrong with this team that changing managers isn't going to do a lick of good.

I'm all for getting rid of Dusty Baker. If there's a dotted line for me to sign, i'll put my name there. BUT, I don't care who you give THIS team to, they are not going to be very good. This team all year long has been slightly below average with a few exceptions of bright spots and some awfully low spots. They'll end the season with around 75 wins. Those young guys will kill us in mid-September after Dusty finally accepts that we're out of it this year.

And one last thing...anyone who thinks Bobby Cox might even think for one second about using Matt Lawton, Jeromy Burnitz, Corey Patterson, Jose Macias, or Corey Patterson above Matt Murton simply because he's young needs to get help right NOW. The best guy will play and that would mean Murton would be in there. You can argue all you want about the other 2 spots, but it's been as clear as day that Murton has been our best OF since he was called up.

I'd also like to know when people will start calling for Hendry's job like they are Baker's. Sure seems to me that Hendry was the man who put this "team" together and, well, he did about as shitty a job as any GM in baseball can do.

I'm more than willing to listen to excuses. Will at least be entertaining.

Imagine where we'd be without Matt Lawton.

Lawton was the biggest trade deadline move this year. I like the fact that he's quit clogging the bases since becoming a Cub. Dusty-ball, dude...

Re Dusty and rookies: the Cubs can't afford rookie mistakes in the race for a play off spot. From the Southtown Economist:
"Since Matt Lawton has joined the Cubs, he has shown a tendency to turn somewhat routine plays into scary adventures with his wobbly approach in the outfield. That susceptibility was on display in the third and cost Rusch a run." Sure glad we don't have that rookie Murton in LF to screw-up these plays by catching the ball. Where's the challenge to winning games in that.

Memo to Jim Hendry: Please do not resign Matt Lawton (who apparently Phil Rogers has not seen play since he was with the Twins).

Re: CP, after reading the papers and the views on the blog, Corey better have the earplugs ready come next week's homestand. Some folks on this blog like to blame the current Cub coaches for CP's problems. But CP has been in the Cubs' organization for 8 years. He is what he is. He is a 26 year old professional ball player and not a 12 year old little leaguer. If he is swinging at first pitches, it is because he wants to swing at first pitches, not because Dusty forgot to tell him to take a pitch or two. Hopefully CP can be traded. If not, I certainly hope he is non-tendered arbitration. I think Hendry's hands will be forced by the fans' treatment of Corey over the next six weeks (which will be nasty - not that Corey does not deserve it).

I'll agree with Crunch....if Baker was the only problem we have in 2006 I'll take it...

But replacing Baker with someone who executes the game with the opportunity for maximum return for the talent on the field should be an easier hole to fill than the many that are on the field right now.

Starting pitching starting pitching and starting pitching should be the first concern...

OFFENSE should be the next concern. SS, 2B, RF,CF and LF are very problematic.

The bullpen would be a notch better with the offensive holes plugged and with starters you didn't regret seeing their turn in the rotation coming up every 2 of 5 days. I'd keep Wood in the bullpen...use him when the game is on the line..whether it is the 5th or 6th ...or 8th or 9th....he should be our go to guy when we need to win the game....if it means he steps on Dempsters toes every once in a while so beit.

This reactionary style of management...(waiting for the HR with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs) HAS to stop.

On another link, Scott accused me of undue pessimism about the Cubbies' playoff chances. Certainly I will root that they overcome the probabilities of the current situation, but as I stated in that link, this outfield (& SS when Nefi starts), is an offensive black hole where scoring opportunities will disappear into a void of outs. There really is strong argument that right now the Brewers are a stronger team then the Cubs. My problem is not with combinations and perambulations about other teams wins and losses, but with the fact that it is hard for me to see a team like the Cubs finishing much better then 83-79, even if they had Joe McCarthy as their manager.

Re Phil Rogers: Please, someone, take away the weed Phil is smoking. He wants the Cubs to pursue Preston Wilson, resign Matt Lawton???? Oh, the humanity!! We Cub fans just could not survive that if they did something that idiotic. And of course there is the absurd column he just wrote knocking Dusty (nothing wrong with that) by saying B. Cox's teams don't have losing streaks (which of course was an easily fact checked absurdity).

1- im not angry, it doesnt take much effort to see that bench and bullpen for what it is...

The fact is you agree that Dusty's not a good manager, but assume that when other people point that out, they're inherently saying positinal weakness doesn't exist. Red herring.

2- dusty's did that to the pen and bench? damn...i didnt know he was 10+ people that sucked all at once...i dunno if that awful or just tallented to be 10+ people at once.

Actually yes, I think a reasonable argument could be made that to an extent Dusty did do that to the bench. I think faced with a choice between Murton not getting regular playing time in the bigs and getting regular playing time AAA, Hendry chose to protect his commodity. Regarding the pen, you better believe Dusty has heavily impacted the performance of his relievers. Q: Do all the players that succeed upon leaving do so only because "the pressure is off?" JoBo 16 1/3 scoreless innings for TB? Hawkins with a 2.5 ERA in July and 1.0 ERA in June? Farnsworth with a 2.37 ERA overall? Is the pressure off in Atlanta? Is this just a bum rap that coincidentally fell on Dusty in Chicago when it was also his MO in SF? How about all of the pitching injuries? Sure, I would spread that blame around to the trainers and Larry Rothschild, but Dusty has a share in that with his horrendous use of both startes and bullpen.

3- its not a 1-sided arguement...it speaks for itself. you tell me what manager could make that pen work. you tell me what manager could make all but 6 of these bats work.

Teams do not have an on and off button. There are many degrees of proficiency, some of which are under the influence of the manager. So yes, I believe that another manager could make the pen better, could make the bench better, coud make the offense more consistent, and make the players' relationship with the media less hostile and less paranoid.

In this comment, it's not a one sided argument because I joined you in the discussion; however, most of the time, it's simply you providing your standard answer to a completely unrelated question. Regarding your appearing angry, I'm not sure if it's just incidental tone, but as of the last couple of months you've begun coming off as enormously combative. I used to really enjoy your comments. Can't say I'm the biggest fan of late.

Take it for what it's worth (very little).

Things that Dusty can't be blamed for:
1) the lamentable talent (or lack thereof) in the outfield. In 2003 the Cubs had an outfield of Sosa, Alou, and (at the end) Lofton. Lofton was allowed to leave because we had Patterson coming back (big mistake No. 1). Sosa's meltdown was unexpected, not the slow decline from his high peak, but a fall off of a cliff, made worse by his temper tantrums, his "me" attitude, his actual cheating ("corked bat"), and suspected cheating (steroids). Letting Alou go would not have been a bad decision (given Alou's age - see health problems this year in SF) if a replacement free agent had been lined up (like Kenny Lofton). But Hendry (and McPhail who controls the budget) made a bad situation worst by not doing that and waiting until Sosa was traded, for budgetary reasons, to try to upgrade the outfield (mistake no 2). Then they sign the aging and Coors field enhanced Jeromy Burnitz was the best outfielder still available and not trying to make a trade this spring to solve LF (mistake no 3). And of course they made a fundamental mistake 4 years ago that they could teach the athletic Patterson to become a ball player as a solution for CF.

2) lack of position player talent in the minors thereby requiring the Cubs to pursue free agents. In the mid to late 1980s the Cubs produced five position players who either became stars and good major league ballplayers through the 90s. Mel Hall, Joe Carter, S. Dunston, M. Grace, and R. Palmeiro. Now that Patterson has turned himself into a fifth outfielder, can anyone think of a position player that the system has become a star, or even a consistent regular, in the last 15 years? There is Choi, who shows flashes, but that is about it. Hendry's and Hughes' bias toward toolsy athletes over guys who actually produce runs seems to have given us a barren system as far as position players are concern. Looking at the minors, Pie has not played since June and has a lot of the same weaknesses as CP regarding strike zone judgement and poor base running instincts. The other Cub players with good stats all seem old for their level (Brandon Sing 24 years old in AA, McGhee 23 years old in high A, etc.). Corey's younger brother, Eric, as a 20 year old in Class A, actually looks like a prospect who could become as star. Unlike Corey he is demonstrating strike zone judgement in the minors. Corey never did. But at low level Class A he is at least two seasons away from the majors. That is about it so there in no help for the outfield or SS or 2B (if Walker is let go) for next season that would overwhelm Dusty with their talent from the minors.
3) not resigning Matt Clement when Wood's and Prior's health are obviously iffy propositions (I think 2003 is the only year Wood has not ben on the DL and Prior has been on the DL each of his 3 full seasons with the team) unhinged the club's strength, depth and talent at starting pitching.

Things that Dusty can be blamed for:

1) carrying 12 pitchers which leads to a thin bench (if Cedeno had been on the bench, they could have pinched hit Nomar for Nefi in yesterday's game, but since Nomar can't play the field due to injury, Nefi had to hit). Also, two of those pitchers are now so seldom used (Wuertz and Mitre currently) that they cannot be expected to be effective when they pitch.

2) I am not a big fan of "little ball," especially at Coors field, but you need to adapt to what you have. I don't think you can hit and run with Corey, or bunt, because you are asking him to do things he can't do (the things Corey can't do on a baseball field are legion). But Nefi can make contact so the hit and run and bunting are good plays to make when he is at bat, especially since the alternatives are ground outs. Dusty should try to use "little ball" when the Cubs are in these offensive funks, especially with Nefi, Walker, and Lawton and he can be blamed for not changing his style to adapt to the team's talent level (which is lower than last year's and far lower than the 2003 team).

3) it is not exactly as if he has not been playing Albert Pujols or Alec Rodriguez or even Jeff Francouer type players, but Dusty will take a marginal veteran over a rookie any day. Murton, who is really out of the Boston system, could have solved at least the LF problem if given the opportunity, but playing once a week is not a good way to keep oneís stroke.

here is a trade rumor I'm starting:

CPat for Ernie Broglio (at least dusty will use him since he's a veteran pitcher with a bum flipper)

nix to that trade...the Cubs still own the rights to Ernie Broglio

so I say, why hasn't dusty asked for his callup?

To defend Rogers the Lawton/Wilson thing was fanball.com's idea. On the braves thing does the trib have fact checkers. I mean if that was true wouldn't Cox have at least 15 world series titles right now. CFIG your post 58 is on the mark. If this team can add one more domiant pitcher, a proven leadoff man, a no.5 hitter, and a new bench. The only bench guys who should stay are Blanco and Hairston. then we got a WS caliber team.

Good comment in the Sun Times today...I swear he was talking about many TCR commenters...

"An inability to make plays and come up with clutch hits has burned the Cubs too many times this season. These weaknesses were responsible for a three-game winning streak coming to an end and the Cubs actually losing ground while believing they are in a period of playing good baseball."

Yet we here from those eternal optimists how yesterday was a good day because Houston and Washington lost (like losing a 1/2 on the first place team is a good thing....and how when one loses the other wins...making it impossible to overcome the deficit entirely.

39 games left...when we had 46 games left we had 5 teams to overcome....7 games later (and more wins than losses) we now have 6 teams to overcome...

Some say that's good progress. lol

Rock:
"I'd also like to know when people will start calling for Hendry's job like they are Baker's."

I have been asking this for weeks, if not months now. People get too enamored by a couple of trades he has made and of course use Dusty as a scapegoat, but yet Hendry hand picked Baker as his manager.

I think Hendry and Baker should be tied together next eyar as both contracts are up and if they can't make teh playoffs and move the team in a better direction TOGEHTER, they both should be gone. And then it will be rebuilding time again as Wood, Prior, Lee, Walker, etc. contracts will be up.

Big John Stud:
"I like the fact that he's quit clogging the bases since becoming a Cub. Dusty-ball, dude..."

Actually John Hill awhile back showed players walk more playing under Baker than other teams/managers. Nobody knows the causation for sure, but those are the numbers. Interesting, huh??

CUBFANINGERMANY:
"Also, two of those pitchers are now so seldom used (Wuertz and Mitre currently) that they cannot be expected to be effective when they pitch."

Actually Mitre is not with the team anymore, Wellemeyer is.

"The fact is you agree that Dusty's not a good manager, but assume that when other people point that out, they're inherently saying positinal weakness doesn't exist. Red herring."

no...i see 123748924789247 posts daily about how dusty is running this team into the ground yet no one wants to call out the "tallent" on this team.

in fact i see a lot of excuses made for the "tallent" by shifting blame to dusty.

like ive said many times...i could care less who runs this club until we fix the player issues.

things like this distract from real issues keeping this team from winning.

you'd think all this team needed was 2-3 different players and a new manager.

macias and dusty share a lot of blame for a team and i think its just ignorant to ignore real blaring issues and have 23827895723895 posts talking about how dusty is doing this and that when there's real player issues to deal with.

its like complaining about the color of the car when the thing wont run more than 10 miles before breaking down.

Thanks for the correction Manny. I forgot about that change last week. But Wellmeyer has not been used since he was lit up last Monday by Houston in relief of Rusch, so the point remains the same.

Is it your understanding that Dusty wants 12 pitchers because Scott Williamson and Wood can only be used for one inning most at a time and he wants a couple guys who can come in if a starter gets knocked out early? Dempster is the closer and Ohman is the lefty specialist. Novoa is the righty/set up man who can pitch back to back days. But with them skipping Jerome Williams start, and Nomar "day to day," you would think they could send Wellemeyer or Wuertz down and bring Cedeno up for a few days since 3 mop up guys in the bullpen seems kind of excessive to me. Also rather pessimistic.

Most every team carries 12 pitchers anymore. We discussed this a couple weeks ago and came to the realization that it's not just the Cubs. Go check out the rosters. 12 pitchers is the norm anymore. Why? The pitch count police. That's why.

No one has answered the question I asked quite awhile back about the deterioration of the Cubs farm system. Baseball America tried to say it was the result of some solid trades. Bull shit!

bobby hill, hee seop choi and co. weren't what made the Cubs system as good as it was a few years ago. It was pitching. What's happened to it? Almost every single one of the guys we were told would be a great pitcher sucks. It's absurd. How can your minor league system fall so fast without trading away any of those key prospects? It's beyond me. And how can Hendry not be held accountable for this?

It sure seems to me that most Cubs fans want to give Hendry a pass regardless of what happens. As I said yesterday, i'm all for getting rid of Dusty, but he's not the only problem. In fact, i'm not sure he's the biggest problem.

People say Dusty doesn't want to play young players and that's correct in a sense, but neither does Hendry. Once Murton started getting a few starts in a row, Hendry acquires Matt Worthless Lawton pretty much guaranteeing Murton would not play hardly at all. Yet everybody blames Dusty for Murton not playing. That's bullshit as well.

We'll see who the problem is this offseason. If hendry goes and acquires 2 or 3 worthless OF's then I think it's time people stop bashing Baker and focus more on Hendry. I expect he'll go sign a couple of worthless OF's. Maybe even as ridiculous as bringing both Burnitz and Lawton back. Then it wouldn't even surprise me to see Hendry sign Preston Wilson as well so we can have an OF of Lawton, Wilson and Burnitz. yee haw! And then everyone will blame Dusty for not playing Murton and Pie next year.

Rotoworld:

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Corey Patterson just doesn't really understand the big scheme of how to play baseball.
Dusty Baker has pleaded with him to go to Vince Coleman for help, but it appears Patterson isn't listening. ''He needed an overhaul of his whole game. It was baserunning. It was getting jumps on balls [on defense]. These are things we wanted him to go down and work on. That's why I wanted him to talk to Vince -- baserunning and what to expect, what the situation is,'' Baker said. ''I don't know if he has ever been involved in a squeeze play. We instruct guys in spring training, but the thing about teaching at this level, you assume they already know and were taught. They might have been taught, but it's not applied.'' Nothing symbolized his lack of understanding and execution better than when he went past second base on a fly ball to left field last night, getting doubled up at first. If he doesn't get it done next year, he'll probably fall into the category of ''what could have been.'' Aug. 21 - 10:33 am et
Source: Chicago Sun-Times

Rock,

Would it make sense for Hendry to stock the Cubs full of players he knows will never be played by Baker--or will be set up to fail by Baker?

I honestly believe Hendry was moving in the right direction with the farm system and his attitude toward it...but I believe with Baker the farm system will always be used as trading bait and nothing more.

And yes the Cubs have always been more hype than realism. Hendry and Co. are really great at hyping young talent. That hype seldom becomes reality. Mark Prior is probably the only exception. We knew who he was in college..how he performed in college etc and every college scout had him pegged for where he is now. Carlos Zambrano is a pitcher who succeeded by accident--meaning the Cubs didn't even see him on the radar enough to hype him. He came up his first year in September and did a fair job and many scouts were interested in him and Carlos did excellent from there on. They didn't even know enough about him to hype him.

Yep the farm system is a mess....that is a huge reason this club will always be like Cubs of all the years past. They will get an anamoly year where they get to the playoffs...but mostly the team won't look much of anything like the team 2-3 years ago...because they have such a high turnover rate and fail to use rookie and younger players...they have a recipe for disaster and Hendry will eventually go down with Baker when Baker is out of town and any of the Cubs farm system talent just didn't pan out because everyone gave up on them or traded them before Dusty hit the road.

Rock,

The farm system is not bad. If you want bad look at STL or HOU. The reason that it went down from 02 and 03 was the elevation of Prior and Z. Injuries to guys like Nic Jackson and Angel Guzman. Guys falling off the map like Bobby Hill, Hee Seop Choi, Sergio Mitre, Bobby Brownlie, Luis Montontez. Half the MLB would want our system. My guess is Murton will be in LF, a stud in CF or RF, and a average vet in the other spot next year.

And another thing about Patterson. Before his gaffe, he should have been trying to steal. Instead they were trying to bunt with Blanco. I'm guessing Patterson missed a sign or wasn't aware how many strikes there were...My point, Dusty doesn't manage to his personnel. Managerial change needs to be the first priority.

"Actually John Hill awhile back showed players walk more playing under Baker than other teams/managers. Nobody knows the causation for sure, but those are the numbers. Interesting, huh??"

Do you mean Barry? I don't understand your perverse fascination with Dusty, but he's been exposed as a poor manager since coming to the Cubs. Hendry's done much more for the Cubs than Baker has, and his biggest mistake is his loyalty to Dusty.

As I recall it John Hill's analysis controlled for the Barroid... not saying that the study was right or anything I'm just saying that he did consider Barroid's effect on walking.

I'd be interested to see that study updated with this year's stats; I'd be willing to bet that the statistical significance of the results would be pretty much eliminated, at a minimum.

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