Q’s Scuffling Crew … and Other Cubs Notes

Was Wednesday a turning point or just another in a long line of dramas that always surrounds the Chicago Cubs?

Prior to Wednesday, the biggest news was all of the errors and miscues over the first three games. But that changed after three more errors in the first inning that led to a scuffle in the dugout between Carlos Silva and Aramis Ramirez.

14 errors in four games, Spring Training or not, that is horrible defense. To put that into perspective, the offense has scored only four more runs (18) than the 14 errors the defense has committed.

Mike Quade is expected to meet with his team before Thursday’s game against the Rangers. Quade said he would address the scuffle in the dugout and the sloppy play on the field.

Here’s the update …

Mike Quade on the Scuffle and the Sloppy Play
Mike Quade said he will address the team prior to Thursday’s exhibition game. Quade indicated he talked to the team after the scuffle between Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Silva.

From Carrie Muskat:

“You’ve got two [ticked] off people. It was a brutal first inning, plenty of blame to go around, and people get frustrated. Maybe that’s what we frickin’ need. Maybe we need to get [ticked] off. It’s day four of Spring Training and I have no business getting fired up after four games. Today was tough to watch. It hasn’t been fun to begin with but today was tough. Guys get upset and we’ll handle it in-house.”

“Silva was frustrated and made a general comment defensively, and I think ‘Ramy’ took issue with it. Ramy had a bad inning and he knew Silva was upset and decided to tell him, ‘Hey, I don’t need to hear that.’ It was an unfortunate deal but it’s not a big deal.”

The Cubs said there would not be any disciplinary action taken against Carlos Silva and the incident would not affect his chances of making the rotation.

Quade said he was happy with the way camp went but is not happy with the way the games have gone.

Quade appeared frustrated watching the game against the Cubs and Brewers and admitted afterwards it was tough to watch.

According to a report from Bruce Levine, Quade is ready to get back to baseball.

News and Notes
According to a report from the Tribune, Aramis Ramirez called Wednesday a misunderstanding between him and Carlos Silva. Ramirez said he’s never had a problem like that with a teammate, not even in Little League.

Matt Garza will make his first start and second appearance of the spring Friday. Mike Quade announced Garza would face the Royals in Surprise. The A’s hit Garza pretty hard in the spring opener. Garza threw only fastballs and changeups in his first outing.

Andrew Cashner will get his first start of the spring Saturday against the Padres. Cashner gave up a pair of runs to the Brewers in his first game Monday. Cashner said he felt he had good stuff, the ball just did not go where he wanted it to.

Angel Guzman was excited about his results throwing BP on Wednesday. Guzman said he still needs to throw more but he was able to throw all of his pitches … fastball, changeup and cutter. Guzman threw 20 pitches in Wednesday’s session.

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Well, there’s the update … and the Cubs infield just booted another ball!

Quote of the Day

"Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow." - Albert Einstein
  • studio179

    Some may think it is too early for Quade to address the team, but not me. He needs to reel in these guys and get them focused. I shake my head that it has to happen with only a few spring training games though.

  • Bryan

    Headline in today Tribune…”Despite 14 errors in 4 games, manager ‘thrilled’ with spring”. Really? I’d hate to see what would upset our manager.

  • Ed S

    New Manager, same old Cubs….little leaguers don’t make this many physical errors, spring training or not!! And i thought the mental errors would be fixed when piniella showed up, they weren’t, and i thought Quade would fix this problem, but apparently he hasn’t either…There is no chemistry on this team and no real leader…Hendry should be fired and the whole thing blown up.

    • Tony

      Maybe they should use the same “punishment” my team uses with our 13 yr olds. Push-ups and laps for errors. Of course, when we are doing push-ups for errors in practice, its a team game, and the whole team does the push-ups for errors. It is absolutely amazing how many fewer plays are botched. They give maximum effort, to keep from letting their teammates down.

      Maybe Q should start having the guys drop and give him 20, in the middle of the innings!

      Could Silva even do a push-up?????

      • BillyFinT

        If Hendry holds in front of big ol’ Carlos a string with a big chocolate candy bar tied to its end, with “Yours in the rotation” written on it, then he can.

        Sorry, I needed to say that out loud.

        Should I watch more Bulls game just to ooze my bleeding Cubbie Blue? Because sooner or later, this kind of team will drain me dry, whell I’ll need a refill.

    • Aaron

      Actually, if you’ll recall, when Piniella showed up, the fundamentals actually got better. They were so bad under Baker, and they still weren’t good, but they showed significant improvement.

      There were a lot of guys that showed up early under him, working on the small side field by Fitch Park that only has an infield, working on ground balls and double plays. And the defense, actually improved. Problem was, they didn’t sustain that improvement. A lot of the complaints though early on with Piniella (which was more a result of Hendry’s idiotic signings), was that the Cubs range wasn’t really good anywhere. In 2007, we had so many guys playing out of place like Soriano in LF (just his 2nd season there), Jones in CF, and Floyd and Murton in RF. Under Piniella, who was more of a disciplinarian type of coach, they got better right away.

      Some might ask why that is…..The only thing I can gather is that players under Piniella, whether veteran or not, were scared to lose their jobs, so they shaped up.

      Did the team still have fights? Zambrano fought twice under Piniella if you’ll recall. First was the punch to Barrett, and the second was last year with Lee. So, obviously, you can’t say the team was well-behaved under him. But what you can say is that in 2007 and 2008, when it was abundantly clear that Piniella had a great amount of influence on signings, etc., that he was given a great amount of authority to bench even underperforming veterans, and Hendry would either trade, option, or DFA them.

      But in 2009, Jimbo started making more of a mark on the team, and you saw it. And here’s why I think that:
      1) Piniella was not a fan of Bradley’s to begin with (Hendry was, and tried to acquire him long ago when he was with the A’s)
      2) Piniella can’t stand relievers in general, and when Hendry traded for Gregg, who was coming off knee surgery and an MLB leading 9 blown saves, you knew Piniella’s stamp wasn’t on that one
      3) While Piniella couldn’t have been happy with DeRosa’s comments after getting swept for the second year in a row in the playoffs about the team not being prepared, you still have to wonder why Piniella, who was always quick to point out his valuable versatility, would want to trade him. It just doesn’t add up.
      *All that being said, Piniella always bitched about a lack of speed, and he didn’t like Pie, so we got Joey Gathright, who can’t even buy a hit.

      I just feel awful for Cubs fans everywhere, including myself, that we have to watch this train wreck unfold this year…furthermore, I feel awful for Ryne Sandberg, and the Sandberg family that they had to endure 4 minor league seasons under false pretenses that he’d be given a real shot

      I remain frustrated at the Cubs hierarchy, but at the same time, I’m excited for Sandberg. He is now with a world class organization that wants to win championships and more importantly, knows how to do it.

      The 2011 Phillies:


      Their lineup will dominate ours, but in a 3-4 game series, I believe Cubs Nation will be sweating bullets as a couple of their starters will have no-hitters going into the latter innings, and quite possibly, might finish some off.

      Our lineup, and our team in general, is embarrassing. Consider the fact that most of our lineup is nearing mid-30’s or already there (Pena, ARAM, Soriano, Byrd, and Fukudome in particular)
      Our back-up catcher can’t hit, and couldn’t even throw anybody out last year either (which was supposedly his strong suit). Our 2B couldn’t hit upon his arrival to the Cubs, and now can’t seem to hit OR field, for that matter. Our likely back-ups for IF and OF (Ojeda and Johnson are also mid-30’s), and in Johnson’s case, an injury waiting to happen.

      I guess Hendry not only doesn’t pay attention to stats in general when evaluating talent, but he also doesn’t have a clue about the history of the game, and the years of research done by Bill James, suggesting that players above the age of 32 are declining….which means that their eyes, muscles/bones, and bat speed don’t improve. They can’t recover as quickly from minor injuries, and while they might have one good year (in HOF players at least) after the age of 32, it is never the same as when they were in their primes.

      That means that hoping for ARAM, Soriano, Byrd, and Pena to all of a sudden return to the numbers they had in their primes, is absolutely ludicrous to suggest. Post steroids-era, you’re just not going to see players improve when they’re in their mid-to-late 30’s as we saw before.

      This is why it was vitally important to the future success of the franchise that Hendry went after low-cost, younger players like Milledge, Franceour, Cabrera, Fields, and Chris Carter among others, because if our own young talent wasn’t ready yet, then we absolutely
      had to have some young guys ready to step in.

      I said at that time that if those guys produced at a decent level, we could then make a decision come July if we were in the race, or out of the race. If we were out of it, we could then trade them for more prospects, or sign them to extensions if our own prospects didn’t progress as expected. It was a win-win-win situation in that sense, because you could trade, hang onto them, or cut them (and they still would’ve cost less than the veterans we signed)

      • Mark

        Honestly, Franceour? You think that guy would have been worth signing? And you suggest that after citing Bill James?

  • Patrick_Schaefer

    Maybe we can get all the drama we usually have in the season over with before the season begins. That would be really nice, and all the Cubs players can stand shoulder to shoulder and put their arms around eachother and sing Kum ba Yah, Kum ba Yah LOL.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Well, the Cubs have proved that if there is any disagreement between a big contract and a small one, the small contract goes to another team. But what about two players with huge contracts, both underperforming, and both at the end of their Cubs’ line? Well, it will come down to which player the Cubs need more for 2011, and that player is . . . ARAM.

    So Carlos, you better shut up if you want to remain a ChiCub, or else you’ll be gone, gone, gone the Michael Barrett way.

    • paulcatanese

      Think about it Rip,Quade said in so many words he condoned the fight and it might be what they need. What kind of logic is that? Now we have two expensive prize fighters on the team. And whats next? Of course chew out Castro,right? And if someone strikes out,when he gets to the dugout take turns punching him out(could be a long season for Pena). The mentality that Quade is endorsing belongs on the Bears. And don’t forget ,”cut off a finger for each error) where they going to get custom gloves for the wrist only. I swear this is becoming a joke, and Rip I forsee a lot of your’e clever humor in the future

      • Ripsnorter1

        I’m not sure my comments qualify for clever or for being humorous, but you can bet I’ll be posting if I have to watch this garbage all year long.

  • Michael

    I know its Spring Training and you can only take a small sample of information from your team, but, when you look at the Cubs they still are not a fundamentally sound team. They cannot do the basics of the game, starting with defense. Its not the same as a SP who is working out a new pitch or making his sinker better, with defense its not something that looks like the Cubs will be able to fix overnight. You look at the Giants last year, they were great on defense and hit in key spots, the Cubs last year couldnt hit w RISP and made a ton of errors. This spring, same story and looks like it will be a long year for Chicago faithfull…..

  • Richard Hood

    Haven’t commented in a few days but I think I need to on this one. Silva should be GONE. Point Blank history. You do not start blaming people for errors behind you and then in the next breath say it is the first outing of spring to describe your own problems. It shows a lot about his lack of character. Cut bait on this loser now before he becomes a cancer on this club.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yeah, Silva shouldn’t talk with his mouth full. That double chocolate shake with a triple burger and extra large Supersize fries in his hands, with a blotch of ketchup dripping down the front of his uniform, doesn’t inspire confidence.

      Still, if he can just keep his mouth shut for another three weeks, he is your #5 starter. They are NOT going to just release his hide. So what if his ERA is 7.84 or higher. They are committed to playing the players that they have to pay.

    • Cheryl

      Not only should Silva be gone but if they really want to shake things up get rid of Aam. See if you can trade him. I doubt his heartis inthe game anyway. Get some of those youngsters in that show they know how to play. Ticket sales should tell Rickets something in terms of the fans views of the current team.

      • Cheryl

        P.S.: I like Aram but he’d bebetter off elsewhere.

  • Christian2334

    Haven’t posted in a while, just been busy with work and such but let’s be honest here…silva needs to go. We were able to dump one bad contract for another in Bradley for silva but what’s the point in keep this idiot on the 25 man roster let alone the organization?!?! Yea he had a great 1st half of last season, but just as we all suspected he imploded and couldnt get right after the all-star break. And rip, I wouldn’t say both are underperforming cause after ARAM bleak start last season he came back after the AS break blazing hot and came into camp a little heavier with muscle and has been working hard with jarmillo, something we couldnt say for good ole DLee last season who just flat out wouldnt work on his swing or approach at the plate, but for some reason alot of ppl loved him! Guys, this is what? The 4th or 5th spring training game and we are already getting upset cause some guys haven’t had great outings and are doing poorly at the plate in their 1st several ABs? Give me a break, let’s wait a few weeks and then see we are at! We don’t have a team full of silvas that you can just write off!

  • SuzyS

    I’m glad I havn’t had to watch or sit through a game so far…Neil, I don’t know how you do it without an UZI at the PO or a bottle of valium to go with the beer.
    It is ridiculously early….but a really bad start might be exactly what the doctor ordered for Ricketts to wake up and find a real GM.

    On a positive note…I’m thrilled Angel Guzman is excited with his throwing.
    He’s had every bad break in the book and once was a huge talent.
    Against all odds, I’m still rooting for his comeback…it would be great to see him get a few good years in before he has to retire.