Marmol Implodes … and the Hack-tastic Cubs Lose at Home Again – Cubs 3 Astros 7

Game Fifty-Three – Cubs 3 Astros 7
WP – Fernando Rodriguez (1-0) LP – Carlos Marmol (1-2, BS 3) Save – None

Tuesday night was arguably the Cubs worst loss of the season. The Cubs offense was non-existent for the first seven innings of the game. Q’s squad swung at everything Jordan Lyles threw up and made it very easy on the 20-year old making his big league debut. Lyles entered the eighth with a 1-0 lead and was working on a four-hit shutout. Lyles had thrown a Maholm-esque 84 pitches in the first seven innings.

The Cubs scratched out three runs in the eighth after a leadoff double by Geovany Soto, an error by Jordan Lyles and RBI doubles by Darwin Barney and Aramis Ramirez. The Cubs took a 3-1 lead into the ninth and for all of the problems this team has, the Cubs were 19-1 before Tuesday when going into the ninth with a lead.

Carlos Marmol gave up six runs on five hits with a walk in a third of an inning. The only out he recorded was on a sacrifice bunt by Angel Sanchez.

The bottom of the Astros order fought back against Marmol. Brett Wallace started the inning with a single and ended up at third after a double by Chris Johnson. Matt Downs pinch hit for Robinson Cancel and tied the game with a double to left. Following the sac bunt by Sanchez, Michael Bourn knocked in the eventual winning run with a single to left center.

After a walk to Clint Barmes, the only free pass of the inning, Hunter Pence put an exclamation point on the comeback with a three-run homer to left center … the first longball hit off Marmol in over a year (May 15, 2010).

Sean Marshall was finally summoned from the pen and retired two of the three batters he faced to end the inning.

Carlos Marmol’s worst outing as a reliever came at a horrible time for the Cubs. The last time Carlos Marmol allowed six runs in an outing was on August 13, 2006 when he was a starter in Dusty Baker’s rotation.

The Cubs lost their 30th game of the season Tuesday night and finished May with an 11-16 record. The Cubs are now a season-low seven games under .500 with a 23-30 record …

The Chicago Cubs offense made it very easy on the 20-year old Jordan Lyles, they swung at everything he threw near the plate. Not to take too much away from the rookie, but when will the Cubs stop tipping their cap and start looking in the mirror? Every once in a while a big league team is going to have a bad night against a pitcher they are unfamiliar with but when it seemingly happens on a regular basis it is time to make changes and acknowledge it is not the opposition.

The Cubs managed only four hits in the first seven innings … three went for extra bases and two were leadoff doubles, but Q’s squad could not push across a single run against Jordan Lyles. The main reason is because they did not allow him to work. Once they put pressure on Lyles, he reacted like a rookie … too bad they waited until the eighth inning.

Tuesday night was a pitcher’s duel until the eighth inning. Carlos Zambrano made only one mistake … a solo homer by Brett Wallace leading off the fourth inning.

Carlos Zambrano was very sharp and was in line for the win after the Cubs scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth.

With the Cubs down 1-0, Geovany Soto led off the eighth with a double, the third time the Cubs led off an inning with a double. Mike Quade went to his bench and sent Brad Snyder to run for Soto. Tyler Colvin pinch-hit for Carlos Zambrano and dropped a bunt to the third base side of the mound. Jordan Lyles picked up the ball and made an ill-advised throw to third.

The ball was high and went off of Chris Johnson’s glove into left. Snyder scampered home and tied the game at one. Brad Mills went to the mound to talk to Lyles before going to the pen for Sergio Escalona. Kosuke Fukudome sacrificed Colvin to third.

With one out, the go ahead run at third and the game tied at one, Brad Mills went back to his pen and brought in Wilton Lopez to face Darwin Barney.

Darwin Barney ripped a 2-0 pitch into left center. The ball hit off the top of the vines and just missed ending up in the basket. Colvin scored the go ahead run and the Cubs were up 2-1. Starlin Castro struck out swinging for the second out.

The Astros intentionally walked Carlos Pena to face Aramis Ramirez with two on and two outs and Ramirez ripped the first pitch he saw into left. Barney scored and gave the Cubs a 3-1 lead.

With runners on second and third with two outs, Brad Mills went back to his pen for Fernando Rodriguez. Blake DeWitt grounded out to second to end the inning.

The Cubs entered the ninth with a 3-1 lead and were 19-1 this season when taking a lead into the ninth inning.

Carlos Marmol was not right from his first pitch … it was obvious to anyone watching the game.

Brett Wallace led off the inning with a sharp single to right. Marmol fell behind Chris Johnson before evening the count to 2-2. Marmol hung a slider that Johnson deposited down the right field line. The ball landed just inside the line and the Astros had the tying runs in scoring position with no outs.

Matt Downs hit for Robinson Cancel and tied the game with a double to left. Angel Sanchez hit for Rodriquez and sacrificed Downs to third. Sean Marshall began loosening up at that point … what was Mike Quade waiting for?

Michael Bourn ripped a 1-1 pitch into left center to drive in Downs with the go ahead run.

Clint Barmes worked a walk and with two on and one out, Hunter Pence completed the onslaught against Carlos Marmol. Pence launched a 0-1 pitch into the bleachers in left center … 7-3 Astros. Houston’s second home run of the game and sixth of the series.

Pence’s home run was the first hit off Marmol since May 15, 2010.

Sean Marshall finally made his way in from the pen and retired two of the three batters he faced to end the inning.

The free-swinging Cubs went down in order in the ninth on just seven pitches. The bottom of Q’s lineup did not put up a fight.

The Cubs keep finding ways to lose …

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

It is up to Doug Davis to salvage the final game of the series and of the homestand. Davis will face Brett Myers on Wednesday afternoon.

Quote of the Day

"When you play, play hard; when you work, don’t play at all." – Theodore Roosevelt
  • Romberg Rabbit

    Ya know, like most of you, I’ve been a Cub Fan since my dad first took me to Wrigley.  That happened after seeing THE 61 YANKEES at Comiskey.  My Dad said, “Wait ’til you see Wrigley!”  
    I was ALWAYS`Santo, on the sandlot.  I saw Koufax and Drysdale pitch a double-header, at Wrigley.  Santo homered.  I was a Jr in HS in 69, when Santo was clicking his heels.  Heard Jack call Ernie’s 500th live!
    We’ve suffered through a lot while watching Mays, Clemente, Wills, Bench, Rose, Schmidt and the days of “Kong” Kingman.
    I can’t be a “fan” of this crap! 
     After a lifetime of Brickhouse, Harry and even Stone, we get that jerk Len and his yes man, wanna-be, partner.
    Hendry is the Karl Rove of baseball..He is a disgusting puke.
    Quade, what a genius, for 30 games in 2010.  They could have brought some life back with Sandberg.  THEY RAN HIM OFF!
    Sorry-Oh-No (RIP) gets an 8 year contract to hit only when it doesn’t matter and they send Colvin down, then back-up to sit the bench.  They sign Pena.  Colvin could have played first.  They trade the future away for DL Riders.
    Rickett’s is a needledick…

  • Aaron

    I’m not going to sit here and make excuses for Quade, as I believe he deserves all the criticism he gets…and then some, because he’s quite overmatched on the field, and you can tell that by the decisions he makes on the field.

    However, after tonight’s game, it became very clear to me that organizations with smart management at the top that think strategically, and involve their frontline managers in decision-making, almost always succeed. Why? Because everyone is invested in the process.

    In MLB, it’s even more apparent. The Phillies, Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals, Twins (aside from this year), and Braves are almost always in contention, and not surprisingly, they seem to have a definitive organizational plan, and a certain type of player they usually go after in trades or free agency, and even the draft. 

    Meanwhile, the rudderless Cubs seem to keep throwing the proverbial sh$t against the wall, hoping it’ll stick.

    I’ve always disliked Hendry, and everyone knows that on here…and I don’t need to rehash all the reasons why, but now, I have even more evidence that he, alone, is the reason for most of the Cubs’ problems right now. 

    I don’t agree with 99% of Quade’s decisions, it seems either, but consider who game him the position to begin with when he wasn’t qualified to lead change (considering he was already with the club as a coach and thus would have trouble demanding accountability), or who saddled hi with a bunch of one-dimensional players, and is likely forcing him to play certain players. Here’s a list of overpaid, underperforming veterans:
    ARAM-$16 million
    Soriano-$19 million
    Pena-$10 million
    Fukudome-$14 million

    Combined, they have 22 hr, 75 RBI. Bautista leads MLB with 20 hr, and AGON leads MLB with 46 RBI. Combined, they “earn” just under $60 million.

    In general, you won’t find many owners that would approve eating all of those salaries. However, what you would find, is several GM’s that would be creative enough to know the limitations of such players, and plan accordingly with pre-emptive trades

    Nobody could’ve predicted ARAM’s decline in my estimation. He was the model of consistency…a sort of Adam Dunn type…but his shoulder injury derailed his consistent career, so I can’t blame Hendry for not dealing him sooner, especially since Vitters hasn’t produced as expected.

    But as for the others…

    Soriano is an annual injury risk and underachiever after signing his big contract. He can no longer play the OF, and he refuses to lay off sliders 2 feet outside and in the dirt.

    Pena was signed for HUGE money, even though he’s been declining the last 4 years consistently, and had an abysmal .196 average last year

    And Fukudome is perhaps the worst of all…”Mr. April” as we all know him. 

    A good GM sends these guys packing, and gets approval from ownership to eat whatever salary necessary in order to improve the future of the team.

    Right now the Cubs have several players in the minors that are mid-20’s and need a shot, as they’re running out of time. Guys such as Flaherty, Ridling, Clevenger, M. Smith, etc. need a shot. Additionally, they have/had guys like Castillo, Colvin, Snyder, Montanez, and now LeMahieu just rotting on the bench at the MLB level.

    And given Hendry’s reluctance to get rid of guys he acquired via trade that haven’t produced and mostly been miserable failures such as Stevens (since released), Berg, DeWitt, Smit, etc., it complicates matters even more for whomever the manager happens to be.

    I believe Piniella realized this, as Hendry forced him to play his guys, and Piniella couldn’t do a damn thing and play the mos tdeserving players. And while I totally agree that Piniella had checked out long ago…maybe he did so with good reason. 

    I’m starting to reconsider my harsh criticism of Piniella in light of recent developments with the roster and team made by Hendry. You can clearly tell that Hendry’s hands have been all of the roster and everyday decisions to play certain players.

    And the reason I am reconsidering my criticism is if you look at the 2007 and 2008 seasons, Piniella was NOT afraid to change things up with veterans if they weren’t producing, and he gave rookies a chance. But after 2008, things changed. It seemed like after the Bradley signing, which he was not in favor of to begin with, and seemed to be out of the loop on much of that offseason with decision-making, he sort of gave up on the team…..or did he? Was Hendry forcing his hand? I believe we all know the answer to that question now.

    One thing we all should know by now, is that if you’re in rebuilding mode, you do NOT want Hendry at the helm, as he doesn’t have a single creative or smart bone in his body.

    I am NOT saying that guys I want brought up are the answer to get the Cubs over the hump, but just like last year and even in 2009 when I was saying the same things….I believe they could do no worse than the veterans are doing, and would be gaining valuable experience.

    And if anyone read the Verducci article, the Cubs are in the club of 96% of all teams from the inception of the Wild Card over 15 years ago, at 5+games under .500 and 5+games out of playoff contention, that are near certain to miss the playoffs no matter who comes back from injury, or what amazing trades they might make. 

    I know this is about as profound a statement as “water makes things wet”, but it’s worth noting that the more Quade and Hendry talk about turning things around, it makes me want to punch them in the face, and plaster those facts right on their foreheads.

    • Bryan

      Aaron….I agree with the majority of your post with the exception of your new outlook on Piniella.  Lou’s a quitter…he was in Tampa, and he was in Chicago.  I used to refer to him as “Diaper Boy”, as the little baby who when he didn’t get his way packed up his marbles, ran away, and pouted.

      Now in Quade we have a whole new level of incompetence standard.  I am still so shocked that this guy got a managerial job based on a 30+ game trial basis when the games meant nothing….and that there were followers here that drank that kool-aid as his supporter.  Every game, this guy brings a new meaning to the word absurd.  I love his quote in today’s online Tribune.  When asked about the potential abundance of pitching once Garza returns, Quade states “If I think about that, one of them will get injured, So I’m not even thinking about that. If we have seven starters, I feel great because then I know we’re covered on two injuries.”  Now that’s professional speak from your MLB manager.

      I’m personally still a fan, but now tend to watch snippets of the games for comical relief.  Thank goodness they can lose during the afternoon today, and not ruin our evening. 

      • Ripsnorter1

        Lou–Diaper Boy, as you call him–quit at the All-Star break of 2008. I don’t know why. Was it the Barrett/Z fight in the clubhouse that caused it? Was it Hendry–dealing Barrett instead of Z (the real hemroid in the clubhouse) that caused Pinella to realize that he was managing for a buffoon? Did Diaper Boy finally and fully realize that Jim Clueless didn’t know how to run an organization or how to handle a mental 4 year old millionaire ballplayer that never grew up–for the good of the team? I don’t know. But something happened, and he went from being a real, bone fide manager to “what can you do?” Frankly I got so sick of hearing that slop out of him I could have puked. And that’s when I began rooting for his demise. Junk managers like that need to be shown the door as quickly as possible. DeRosa was right: he didn’t have this team ready for the playoffs because he had quit 3-4 months earlier. He was just going through the motions. 

        IN-credibly, we now possess a manager that far exceeds the failures of “Sweet Lou” the Diaper Boy. I can hardly believe my eyes when I consider that a franchise that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and which has a nation-wide fan base (not an exaggeration), which automatically sells 2.6 million tickets before the first pitch is even thrown [compare White Sox who will think they have had a great year if they can sell 2.2 million], is run by obvious incompetents like Jim Clueless and Quade. AND THEY HAVE JOB SECURITY.If someone opens his mouth for a few seconds to suggest they missed a chance to help the Cubs, they are quickly shown the door–just ask Mark DeRosa. 

        Do you all realize what a power house the Cubs could be with a real GM (Walt Jocketty/and a real manager (like Tony LaRussa)? The Cubs would be a perennial playoff team. They would have more success than the Cards, the Braves, Dodgers, Giants, Rockies, etc because they have more money and opportunity. 

        Lovable Losers? Losers–that’s quite the case. But if anyone wants to suggest to me that Quade or Jim Clueless is loveable–I would want to question their sobriety.

        • Rom Rabbit

          “Lovable Losers” is a generational thing that hasn’t applied in awhile, certainly not to anything Hendry.

        • Aaron

          Well….let’s not be revisionist here…The Barrett/Z thing was Memorial Day 2007, which sparked the Cubs’ comeback. The day after that, Lou had his epic tirade at 3B, and the Cubs went onto an improbable playoff run.

          I agree that Lou is a quitter, just as he was in Tampa, but like I said, 2009 was so out of character for him, and it’s been documented that he did not want Bradley on the team… you have to think that Hendry was pretty much calling the shots the whole time, as he was probably pissed that Piniella couldn’t win a damn playoff game, and DeRosa came out, saying the team wasn’t prepared, which didn’t look good at all on both of them.

          Either way, my point was mainly that no matter who you had managing the Cubs that year, in 2010, and this year, they likely could not have won. In 2009, the Cubs were saddled with horrible players like Gregg, Heilman, Miles, Gathright, and Bradley. They replaced the likes of Wood, Wuertz, DeRosa, Pie, and Edmonds. It was a disaster from the get-go, and I went into a huge analysis at the time, stating exactly what they gave up stats-wise and what they got in return, and why it wouldn’t work.

          The thing is, this team has become so predictable under Hendry’s watch, and other GM’s know it. It’s why Hendry didn’t get good value for Lilly. It’s why he got hosed in the Gorzelanny trade as well. Why? Because just like free agency, he tries to catch lightning in a bottle, hoping to prove himself to the baseball world as a genius when he’s far from it.

          For Lilly, he thought DeWitt would turn it around after being a huge disappointment for the Dodgers, and he thought Wallach would fulfill his potential that the Dodgers were waiting for upon his switch to pitcher. 

          With the Gorzelanny trade, he thought Burgess would finally fulfill his potential, even though he had a huge hole in his swing, and had scuffled trying to put the bat on the ball for several years in the Nationals system. 

          With Bradley, he averaged 85 games per season, and was an inconsistent performer even without that fact….and yet Hendry saw fit to give him a 3 year deal without any clauses to protect the team with his character issues and durability concerns. In fact, he gave him a clause, guaranteeing him a 3rd year that was ridiculously easy to achieve.

          The list goes on….and on….and on….even to this year with the Pena deal, a guy he gave $10 million, who was coming off a year in which he hit just .196

          The point is, ANY manager is saddled with his decision-making, and it’s downright dreadful. You can’t have good change in an organization with a renegade GM running around, doing things that are counterproductive to the future of the organization.

          When the Garza trade happened, most pundits were confused, and writing articles saying basically, “…I thought the Cubs were rebuilding and planning for the future….so does this mean they’re ‘all-in’ for 2011?” They were right…It was absolutely confusing. On one hand, they had their owner, who should really be the one in charge, saying that he saw prospects playing a huge role next year (2011) and in the future, and the future was bright….and on the other hand, they had their GM, basically flushing that idea down the toilet, going his own way, trading at least 3 top prospects when they weren’t even expected to compete this year, and it was supposed to be a transitional season, getting rid of huge contracts.

          Lo and behold, Guyer and Lee come out guns ‘a blazin’ this year, and the Cubs suffer injuries to their staff where Archer could’ve helped (yes, I know he’s struggled in the Rays organization, but perhaps the Cubs could’ve straightened him out prior to his arrival). Soriano, Baker, and Byrd have missed time, and Guyer sure would’ve been nice to have. Then, with LeMahieu and others moving around, Lee possibly would have been at AA by now, and the future would look even brighter.

    • Beau Burnside III

      I agree with your opinion on “Lou”.  He has a body of work way beyond The Cubs.  “Quitter” is one, simplistic, way of looking at it, but how long is a MAN going to beat his head against the big, hard, arrogant, stupid, granite wall, named Hendry.
      Hendry, the deluded freak, actually thinks/thought he can be the hero that breaks the 100+ year drought.  With his “free”-agents.
      He didn’t hire Sandberg, cuz Ryno would have taken the limelight.  Is Quade even there?

  • Tony

    If only this lost season, would have been able to be predicted in the offseason, or even during last season…

    Then moves could have been made for the long term good of the team, to win a World Series.

    But, instead, short term, win in 2011 moves were made, and it will delay the rebuilding of this team and strip it of it’s future.  Who knows, if JH stays in charge, there may not be a next winning team, with a chance in the Playoffs to go to a World Series.

    What if this is the normal “It’s a Way of Life”?

    • Guest

      This season was predicted by many to be a lost season.  A majority of the experts and even general public had them pegged at 4th in the division at best.  It was just the blind optimism of the Cubs organization and fans that thought otherwise.

      • Tony

        Yes it was, by myself and many more on this site.  We were calling for this team to be blown up and rebuilt last season, knowing full well, that 2011 was a rebuilding year.

  • Tony

    The WRECK at Wrigley is HARD to Watch
    by Jon Greenberg –

  • Tony

    Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesThose aren’t buzzards but the bleachers were somewhat desolate terrain on the Cubs’ recent homestand.

    “And to think, you doubters thought Mike Quade would be out of his league managing this club. It’s more like Triple-A than ever.”

  • Disgrunteld Cubs Fan

    2003, 2004,2007,2008 seem soooooooooooooooo long ago.

    This is pathetic. There is NO reason why the Chicago Cubs should not be contending every year for the division title.

    Look at the St.Louis Cardinals. Every year they contend and you look at their team and wonder how?! They don’t have big name players all around

    Just disgusted

  • Rey Ordonez Cub JERSEY

    When Jim Hendry gets fired his claim to fame will be hiring Mike Quade over Ryan Sandberg.

    Here’s the way I see it. Quade is like the new girl that you like but you just aren’t sure about her. Sandberg is the girl you have known for awhile. You get along great, you have always had a crush. But here comes the new girl (Quade) and she is better looking. Who do you pick? The New Girl. It doesn’t turn out  great and next thing you know you have lost the one you should have pick (Sandberg)

    • Aaron

      I don’t know about that one…Quade being better looking. I think he looks more like Sloth from the Goonies than anything…..LOL…..but I get your point.

  • Mike1040

    Oh the pain. We have become the Pirates.

    • Aaron

      Well, I guess if you’re referring to both teams beating the Cubs (meaning the Cubs are beating themselves most days), then you’re right….but the Pirates are a better team, and have a better future thanks to their ability to play deserving young talent, versus having them ride the pine in favor of veterans with outlandish contracts.

      • BillyFinT

        With all due respect to the talents playing on that beautiful Pittsburgh ballpark, I must say the Pirates had been more than miserable. A recent fangraphs article had shown how the Pirates owner simply scavenged on the revenue-sharing since the 1995 Players Strike. Nobody in that organization really cared about winning, and that satisfies their owner, cheap and greedy.

        It’s like Slave Think. There’s no way getting out of it. Why the effort? I think since 2007, there has been a lot more effort. The Pirates rejuvenated their Carribbean scouts and facilities, which they deserted for more than a decade, after being the first baseball organization to start an academy there, I think a long, long time ago. They hired Dan Fox, a respectable analyst who came up with the BRAA (value for running bases) system.

        Most importantly, they fired their last incompetent GM, Littlefield.

        You know what? The league tried to improve since 1995, but not the Pirates. I see the Cubs tried to improve as well. The problem here is that they tried the wrong way. And if they were serious about competing, then they would tried something new, as soon as possible.

        Unfortunately, GM Hendry is still the Great Wizard enchanting Prince Ricketts. And we little people of Cubs Nation are stuck with a relentless effort of reluctance to change.

    • cubtex

      I hear you but at least the Cubs will have a totally different team next year with many contracts coming off the books. The Buccos have finished below .500 every year since 1993. Every year since 1993! Limited payroll and not many free agents would go there evev if they had the money. This year has been brutal so far but with the Cubs that could change quickly….with the Pirates it can’t!

  • SteveGu

    The sad part is that even though we SHOULD HAVE swept this series against the Astros, we now are scrambling to avoid a sweep and with Doug “I’m a Scrub” Davis taking the mound, the chances are very VERY slim.

  • RoughRiider

    Like Romberg Rabbit I’ve been a Cub fan since the first time my father took me to a game.  My first favorite player was Walt Moryn because the fans would do the MOOOOSE when he came to bat. I too wanted to be like Santo.  I had to play 3rd even though my best position was 2nd. I probably played in close to a thousand games over the years.
    I never expected the Cubs to do well this year and I am not surprised at the Cubs record. I have been a Hendry apologist for quite some time. I believed that some of the trades and signing were made under duress because the Tribune was trying to make the Cubs look attractive to any prospective buyers. I fully expected that the Cubs would be in a rebuilding mode this year.
    Today, I will say that Hendry must go. He has proven to me that he is innept.
    I thought the Soriano signing was rediculous. I thought the signing of the kook Bradley was just plain crazy. Trading Gorzalany this year was just plain short sighted.   The Cubs have no chance this year yet they keep sticking to the same tired formula of failure. They should be looking at what the young players can do, not what the old has been or never was veterans can’t do. I get that Ramierez, Pena, Soriano, and Hill are good guys. However thay are not the future. As much as it pains me because I really like Ramierez thay have to go.
    I’d rather see young players show some energy and learn from playing and yes probably losing than the same old tired formula that’s being used now. I like that Castro and Barney are doing so well. Barney forced the issue. They are probably the bigest reason Cub fans are watching today.
    The only way things are going to change is for true Cub fans to send a message that the “Lovable Losers” era is over. Don’t go to games until the Cubs show they have a clue as to how to develop at good solid major league organization.
    Having said all of this I will say that I like the way that the draft and development has gone for that last few years. It could be better though.

    • Richard Hood

       I agree with most of your statement but ARAM can not go without someone else agreeing to pay him 16 million for next year. His option automatically vests if he is traded. So now the question is why is he at 3rd base? When we trade Pena he should be moved to first for the rest of this year so we can look at who is going to be playing 3rd next year.
      I do have to say with the way he pitched of late that we need to move Zambrano this year because he has shown he is still a good pitcher. If he becomes availiable he is going to be very valuable. Lets move him before his value tanks again.

      • paulcatanese

        Agree Richard,I have been an advocate of Aram to first base for a long time and it was common knowledge that he would not move. But I thought he would never hit out of the 4 spot either,so maybe there is hope for that one. On big Z, i was taken aback when they said on the air that he was just 30 yrs old, and that would make him a good candidate for a trade.

        • Richard Hood

          It is hard to believe he is just 30. This is the time in most pitchers that they stop throwing and start pitching. Z has show alot of learning to do just that. His days of throwing high heat and loosing control seem to be almost over. The question should be at this point is can we win in the next 18 months with Z or do we go to him now and ask to lift his no trade and get top value out of him. I think that we are not going to contend next year either without a lot of work in the trade and FA markets so lets see if we get blown away from an offer. 

  • Jeff in AZ

    Aaron (and others)-

    Well said over several posts on this thread. I find myself not commenting as much over the past season and a quarter as I just cant beat a dead horse anymore, but, I still follow all you guys with regularity and agree with most of the comments.

    I think you are providing a service to young cub fans so they don’t run around with those blinders we all had on in our early years. What this organization has done in the past 3 years is inexcusible and does not resemble the actions of any other MLB club.

    I totally agree with you on Quade. I don’t support him, but, I find it nearly impossible to blame him for the horrible baseball of 2011. I also do not see the cubs organization being run by professionals let alone winners. The offseason moves were never more obvious to me as epic failures. I have been a fan in the past of trading “prospects” for ready made mlb talent, but, I did not agree with the the Garza trade simply because (as you said in the offseason) it is not like the cubs were a starter away from contention.

    As for trading players before a drop off, I agree again, but I also see a GM that l painted himself in such a corner with heavily backloaded contracts that he can’t move these guys even when they were still performing (lets not forget that other GM’s from professional organizations have some form of baseball instincts and  anticipate a drop-off from a 34 year old player with a heavy backloaded contract. Oh, also, lets not give hendry a pass on the no-trade clauses either.

    I actually think Hendry would still be running Sammy Sosa out there each day if the fans did not demand action after he walked out on us in 2004.

    As for Hendry “throwing shit at the wall and hoping it sticks” ypu are right on again. I’d like to add that what makes Hendry extra special is he picks the same shit back up off the floor and throws it at the wall again. The real romantic tragedy is that we all are stuck between the shit and the wall.

    From an organizational approach, I would like to see the cubs fire Hendry (Duh). Crane Kenny ( Duh) and bring in professionals with baseball instincts to run the club. Ricketts needs to disappear behind the replacements and allow them to run the club. Quade must go, but no reason until after hendry is terminated. Quade has demonstrated (in my opinion) why he is coach with 1800 minor league games under his belt, he does not have good instincts, he has poor talent evaluation, and he often looks clueless while trying to manage a starting rotation let alone a bullpen.
    In closing, I think one thing we all can agree on is that the Ricketts are in this for the money (the bullshit about him being a lifelong cubfan is far from believable anymore). That being said, as more and more seats come up empty, and the merchandise doesn’t jump off the shelves anymore (anyone in the  market for a Jeff Baker or Carlos Pena jersey?) he will make some changes, because, while he does not love the Cubs like we do, He loves money and has a strong desire to make it. Hopefully he hires guys who can run the club while he sits back, keeps his mouth shut, and counts his benjamins.

    Stay strong Cub Fans.