Rambling While Trying Not to Throw Things at My Television

Back in the ’80′s, Old Milwaukee Beer used to have a tag line that said, “Boys, it just doesn’t get any better than this.”

Well, “Cubs fans, it just doesn’t get any worse than this.”

And the sad thing is that it can get worse, but that just doesn’t seem possible at this moment. The two games in the Queen City were gut wrenching, vomit-inducing atrocities. Wednesday night’s game provided a brief respite.

I am an optimist, but this team is taking it out of me. So, with that said, let’s go rambling.

  • That crap on Tuesday night was like little league. Seriously, I thought this team was going to be fundamentally sound.
  • Sometimes, closed-door meetings help. Sometimes they cause players to press, press, and then press some more. And that is what it looked like out on that dirt diamond behind the American Legion Hall in Cincy.
  • OH, that wasn’t a little-league field?
  • I think I am undecided on the handling of Tyler Colvin. He should have been sent down sooner, but I don’t know if I believe that a team can ruin a player.
  • This is analogous to the guy saying he would have made it to the Bigs if his high school coach hadn’t cut him.
  • If you do not like Reed Johnson, then I assume you do not like cheeseburgers. Or pizza.
  • If you are good and talented, that should come through. If being yanked around and sent back and forth ruins one’s career, I don’t think that career would have been much.
  • In all walks of life, one must be of strong mind to succeed. Someone with a strong mind would get over and move past the yo-yo action.
  • Then again, maybe I am wrong, but I feel talent will always find a way.
  • And in NO way I am defending the Cubs handling of Colvin. I am NOT defending the Cubs. Repeat, I am NOT defending the Cubs.
  • I am saying that if Colvin is the real deal or even an average major-league caliber player, he will still be able to prove it.
  • Seven unearned runs. SEVEN. Ridiculously disgusting.
  • Matt Garza has had some back luck. Last night was one example, although he is partially to blame. Both of Marmol’s blown saves would have been win for Garza.
  • Oh, and he got traded to the Cubs.
  • Serious man crush forming on Darwin Barney. What a player. He’s smart. He’s driven. He hustles. And BB really likes him. And it is never a bad thing if BB likes you.
  • Hey, Marlon Byrd got an RBI. Way to go, Marlon. Proud of you, buddy.
  • Soriano is fast, always hustles, never dogs it, …
  • I am sorry, I couldn’t even finish my joke.
  • I mean, just once, will you please bust your rear end out of the batter’s box. Please. Is that too much to ask? No! And it is starting to or already has had an affect on Starlin. And that is simply unacceptable.
  • Well, hello, Carlos Pena. Nice to have you on the club. I feel the need to let you know that the season goes until the END of September. You seemed to have difficulty grasping when it started. This is why I wanted to end any confusion.
  • Poor Andrew Cashner. It just makes me sick to my stomach. Here’s hoping he bounces back and doesn’t experience the similar fate of other highly-drafted pitchers.
  • I am starting to get a little excited about the draft. I would love to hear your thoughts below on whom the Cubs should pick. I know many of you follow it closely, so have at it on the draft.

Well, I think that is it for now. I hope the Cubs can win another game this week. And I mean that.

Also, I hope that each and every one of you is having a fantastic week despite the play of our beloved baseball team.

Until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans

Quote of the Day

"Love all, trust a few. Do wrong to none." - William Shakespeare
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  • Kcmgallo905

    I am really hoping the Cubs get Sonny Grey or Bubba Sterling in the Draft. 

    • Aaron

      The Cubs drafted Gray a few years ago, and he decided to go to Vandy. I don’t like re-drafting players, especially that high, but it is what it is. Gray throws mid-90′s, with one of the best curveballs in college baseball. If he’s available at 9, I believe the Cubs will draft him, which is unfortunate, because they could use someone like Josh Bell (who is a power hitting, switch-hitter that is expected to go late 1st round….but Simpson was expected to go 3rd round, and the Cubs still drafted him in the 1st round). I really don’t like drafting pitchers in the first round, as evidenced by a huge amount of injuries, etc. that are mounting, not just for the Cubs in the past, but with other teams as well.

      Since 1995, the Cubs have drafted 9 pitchers: Wood, Noel, Garland, Christensen, Prior, Brownlie, Pawelek,  Cashner, Simpson.
      *only Wood, Garland, and Cashner (DL) are in MLB right now, and given injuries, only Garland could be considered a successful selection.

      They’ve drafted C. Patterson, Montanez, Harvey, Colvin, Vitters, and B. Jackson as position players.
      *Patterson, Montanez, and Colvin have all played in MLB with Patterson obviously having the most success and Colvin recently demoted. Montanez is currently tearing it up in AAA, but he’s nothing more than a quad-A player at this point, or 5th OF at the MLB level, despite his scouting report at the time that compared him to AROD as a high school shortstop (seems like the Cubs were the ones putting out that scouting report, huh?).  Vitters still has a very good future ahead of him if he continues to add muscle, and B. Jackson has probably the best future of all of them.

      The Cubs are terrible at drafting in the 1st round, so if it were like the NFL, I’d recommend the Cubs just trade the picks for multiple 2nd and 3rd round selections, but whatever. While the Cubs got a few good years out of Prior, he was injured a lot, and is now fighting to get back in AAA. Noel didn’t make it out of A ball. Christensen didn’t make it out of AA, and Brownlie had 2 terrible stints in AAA for the Cubs and is now out of baseball, just like the other 2. Pawelek is also out of baseball, and only reached high-A.

      I would much rather go after a position player with a good arm (ie.-Kyler Burke) and plus bat, than a pitcher-only in the first round, because if he fails at one, he can always try the other, versus wasting the pick altogether.

      That’s why I’d throw out all the stops to get a guy like Starling. He reportedly can throw about 97 mph as a pitcher, but his bat is what a lot of teams are interested in. He also runs a 4.45 40-yd dash, so the guy can do it all, plus plays a good CF, making him a true 5-tool talent.

      However, the Cubs have a multitude of things working against them with Starling. First of all, he’s not likely to last beyond the Royals, who seem really intrigued by him. Secondly, it’d be a HUGE risk for the Cubs to draft him in one of the deepest drafts in history, as they have their choice with so many other guys that would be easier to sign. 

      Supposedly, his parents what him to go to school, and he’s got a QB scholarship to Nebraska, as well as a spot on the baseball team if he wants it. Nebraska is pretty good at both sports, so it might be hard for him to turn down, even if a team offers $5 million or whatever. And for those who are questioning his decision (if he goes to school), consider this….if he ends up being a stand-out QB at Nebraska, he could earn somewhere along the lines of $20-40 million in guaranteed money if he’s a 1st round pick in the NFL. Furthermore, if he goes to Nebraska, and lights it up on the baseball field as well, he could still enter the draft as a junior, and likely command even more money than he’d get this year, as polished college prospects can often demand a MLB-style contract such as Samardzija, Prior, Strasburg, and others have received, and those deals would earn him  around $10 million. 

      So…that’s the “pro” stance for waiting. The “con” stance would be if he just looks at another athlete….albeit, slightly lesser athlete, and NOT a 1st round MLB pick (5th rounder, rumored to have been offered $250k to sign by the Angels), but a would-be teammate Khiry Cooper at Nebraska, he’d see that not only is Cooper failing at baseball with a .267/.385/.333 slash line, and just 6 SB, but in football, he’s down at the bottom of the WR depth chart, which, granted, is a different position than Starling would be playing, but don’t think for a minute that fact has been ignored by Boras. He’s probably already in Starling’s ear about Cooper’s plight, and that he should take the money now.

      But Starling will be off the board in my opinion, several picks before the Cubs select at 9th. 

      • paulcatanese

        Aaron,anyone that gets a QB scholorship to a Division 1 school and is in their plans is going to be hard pressed to be allowed to play Baseball as well. They may tell him he can,but the bottom line is the football team has his name on the scholorship. As you know, those are numbered, and if he has talent and not one of two or three QB’s in front of him,football will never allow him to play baseball. The injury factor alone would dictate that.
        When Div 1 schools are involved that player will have to make a choice, of course after he attends the school.
        And true Baseball scholorships a few and far between and if he could do it it would be a feather for the baseball team.
        I speak from first hand experience on both,as one son attended on a football scholorship and both sports promised to him. Just before entrance or attending that school he was told football only. The other son attended a school on a baseball scholorship that only offered two in that sport. Would be happy to expand on that if you like.
        The fact that he has a scholorship in hand is good as I believe the baseball draft is before he attends school in the fall so he will know exactly where he stands. And if both are really interested in him, baseball will allow him to play football in the fall and vise versa in the spring. That would only last about one year and then he will have to make that choice. Again this is from 1st hand experience. 

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

          The idea of playing baseball on a football scholarship at QB is not new. Lockert for Washington did it this last year. Hudson did it for Illinios as a WR a couple years ago but he quit football to be full time baseball after his JR year.
          Most scholarships have some clauses to do both if that is what you want to do. I know you said your grandson just signed a football only scholarship with Oregon St. but not every school makes you do that. Remember Deon Sanders was actually a 3 sport star at FSU (track, baseball and football).

          • paulcatanese

            Get what you are saying Richard as a QB that would be rare John Elway for one. WR is a multiple player pos.as was Sanders. The oldest son was a QB and did play both for one year,baseball,Twins org. And football at Tulane after transfer there . Second son had the baseball scholorship also at Tulane. The oldest son and the present manager the Az Diamonbacks,(Gibson)              were the first in those years to do that, Pro ball and football at the same time. Every case is not the same,but at the skill positions,very difficult to do.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

        There is talk that Arizona and Pittsburg are both really high on Bubba. I got a friend that is involved with the AD’s department at Nebraska that is sold that Starling is coming. I know that doesn’t mean much at this point but he gets his info from somewhere. So if he is there draft him. If he is not there (which is really the likely case) go with the best prospect that is on the board.

         I think with the record of the Cubs in the first round that Chicago needs to get the best player there and not reach. Heres to hoping the week after the draft we get a JH press conference announcing his retirement on July 1st.

  • Joey U

    The only thing positive about the Chicago Cubs Organization is that do have some minor league prospects.J.H . and his so called advisors  have no clue when it comes to putting a winning ball club together. Quade has no clue this guy is showing his true colors and they are not BLUE. Ricketts family get heads your ass before you a big drop in attendance.

    • diehardcubfan

      That is unless the Cubs leadership continues to find a way to ruin these young prospects. As Aaron pointed out, look how few high drafts picks that have succeeded with this team.  Not good at all.

  • Ripsnorter1

    RE: Tyler Colvin

    Ronnie Eugene Santo repeatedly said, “Talent gets you here, but confidence keeps you here.” MLB is a very, very difficult profession.  At any one time we are looking at the top 750 baseball players on the planet –out of 6.5 BILLION prospective players. In this environment, not just confidence, but supreme confidence is essential. Even in a less difficult profession, the army–(they’ll take anybody!)–morale makes a HUGE difference. 

    Let’s remember a 3B who played for the Cubs, who performed pretty well his rookie year, but who also had a confidence problem. The name: Kevin Orie.
    Rookie stats (1997): 364 AB…23 2B…5 3B…8 HR….44 RBI….275 BA….350 OBP…431 slugging.

    But he had a severe confidence problem.

    Thereafter: 
    1998–.181 BA and looking like Colvin. Dealt to Marlins midseason.
    1998 Marlins–.263
    1999–.254

    I believe trash management (apparently, the only kind the Cubs will hire) makes a HUGE difference in teams and ballplayers’ performances. Tony LaRussa against the current joker, Quade (whom I frankly consider to be the worst manager I’ve seen since Jim Essian, and even worse than Dusty Eugene Baker), would win another 20 games with THIS roster.

    • Brp921

      Would that be Dusty Eugene Baker from the first place Cincinnatti Reds? 

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Touche on that.  I never understood why Dusty was viewed so harshly.  It was time for him to go but his track record speaks for itself.  Teams overachieve under him…

        • Ripsnorter1

          Dusty was viewed harshly because a manager’s main job on the field is matching players up to situations whereby they can succeed. Dusty’s philosophy is simply “let the players play.” He played his best friends (eg. Neifi Perez/Enrique Wilson) over better performing and rising stars (Theriot). He burned up bullpens and pitching staffs. I remember Steve Stone commenting that “if Dusty goes with the LHP here, the Reds have a player on the bench hitting .400 vs. LHP, and he’ll win the game here off of Wil Ohman.” In comes Ohman, in comes the PH, and the Cubs lose. 

          Next to Tony LaRussa, he knows nothing about the game of baseball.

          He’s called a “player’s manager” because the theme of his management is “I”ll get you the money.” Players like more money. 

      • http://theboardridersuite.wordpress.com/ Theboardrider

        Touche on that.  I never understood why Dusty was viewed so harshly.  It was time for him to go but his track record speaks for itself.  Teams overachieve under him…

      • Ripsnorter1

        That would be the same Dusty Baker that won’t have his team in the WS despite having a great deal of talent–more talent than any team in the NL Central or West. Only the Phillies rival the Reds talent level. But he’ll burn up the arms–Chapman is already on the DL–and they may not even make the playoffs, despite Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips, etc. 

    • paulcatanese

      The association with Orie is a good one. Waited for some time for him to succeed and it never happened. Colvin may be the same, time will tell.

      I will say and agree with the Cubs management is totaly inept and has been since the hiring last year,how this team of JH and Quade can destroy and 
      demorilize a team so quickly is unreal.

      But lets face it, the buck stops with the owner Ricketts, if he chooses to do
      nothing then he deserves the loss’s, attendence, and in the standings.

      On a side note Rip,I think Dempster now has the same confidence problem
      and unfortunatly may not come out of it. Sad after 13 years.
      He needs to start thinking in terms of 3-4 innings at a time, long relief?

      • Ripsnorter1

        If he weren’t making $70 million, he’d be demoted. But he is making the big $$$$, so what do you do? [I stole that quote from Lou].  

    • diehardcubfan

      Alright, Rip, I got to differ with you here.  The Army is a lot tougher profession.  I do not recall baseball players getting shot or being blown up by IEDs, dodging mortars and rockets, etc. along with spending up to or in many cases over a year away from family and friends.

      Baseball players make a large amount of money, rookies make $380,000, and don’t put their life on the line, while the average Soldier only makes between $15,000-$30,000 (E1-E5). 

      I would definitely prefer to be a baseball player which also includes an ungodly number of perks. 

      I should know, I spent 23 years in the Army to include 3 tours in Iraq. 

      Do it a few times and you will understand.

      • Ripsnorter1

        You misunderstand me, DieHardCubFan. Let me explain:

        1. I love the US Army, Navy, Marines, USAF and Coast Guard.

        2. BUT–look at it this way: you could not play MLB. You are not capable of hitting enough to stay in the league. Do you not agree? BUT every MLB player could join and succeed in the US Army. They are fit enough to do it.
        Don’t you agree with my view point?
        3. Or look at it this way: the US military has over 1 million men under arms. There are 750 MLB players. Those 1 million men would not have the talent to play MLB–perhaps only 3 or 4 would. But those 750 MLB players could all be in the army. Agree?

        • Dorasaga

          I’m sure the Armed Forces drafted you 25th overall while there’s 30,532 athletes eligible. LOL

          It’s a lofty comp., but it’s an interesting brain-teaser. Hmm, I say a Major Leaguer who stays for three or more years, whatever his role, is more like a captain in the Army. He needs a combination of different skills, the will (determination), track record (three years of success from minor league toil), and a bunch of good luck to get there.

          But beyond that, it’s impossible to compare. How can we compare Derrek Jeter to a US Army Colonel? A colonel doesn’t need to lead his team for FIFTEEN YEARS, going after the World Series year after year, and outperform tens of thousands of his peers with a batting title. Jeter, on the other hand, doesn’t need strategic planning to make sure his brigade of 5,000 men are fed, alive, and combat-efficient in various harsh environment from Afghan to the Arctic Sea.

          Completely different set of skills was required. No lofty comp.

  • cubtex

    I would love to see Bubba Starling fall to the Cubs. He is a Boras client and has the football scholarship to Nebraska as leverage but he is a legit 5 tool prospect. He has been compared to a more polished Drew Stubbs. That’s pretty good!

    • cubs1967

       sure he is……..another high school kid like vitters who has gone from stud prospect to prospect to major suspect if he’ll ever be a MLB starter.

      no thanks……….done w/ the high schoolers……..they need to draft college kids and be done w/ it.  the cubs have no success w/ high school kids ever being all-stars…..the closes was dunston.

      • cubtex

        Look at the 2007 draft when the Cubs took Vitters. And be the way….it is way too early to call Vitters a bust. Here are some pretty good high school kids taken that year….Jason Heywood, Madison Baumgardner, Rick Porcello and Mike Moustakis. Pretty good group wouldn’t you say?

        • cubs1967

          how many are Cubs?

          like I said……..the Cubs have NO success w/ high school hitters.

          and Vitters is closer to a bust than a prospect…….

          and no more pitchers………they all turn into dust like Cashner just did. He’ll be a reliever if he even pitches again this year. 

  • studio179

    If you are a young, low salary player with options, you better produce to stay. That sounds fair enough. If you are an older vet with a big salary, play 3B and hit 4th, you get a pass. ‘Producing’ is a double standard with the Chicago Cubs.

    • paulcatanese

      I guess the Cubs are kind of looking at it the more they play him the less they have lost in dollars,makes no sense, but I compare it to watching the Cubs on pay TV so far has cost $1.25 a game But it is a double standard— Big Time. 

  • Cloycub13

    The Best Hitter in the draft!!!!!!!!!
    The Cubs desperately need a Longoria, Cargo, Heyward type in this draft…
    Cubs need power, they need it all throughout the system, especially at the MLB level.
    Sounds like Sterling is the guy, signability issues and a football option could make teams leary, and perhaps he can fall to #9.

    I wish you could trade up in the draft…that would be cool, and make the MLB draft that much more intriguing.

    • paulcatanese

      I agree that the football option could drop him a bit or so and even if he decides on baseball it could cut his bonus. It’s a toss up. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-Hood/100000706523521 Richard Hood

    Good Ramble as always Brian. 

  • paulcatanese

    I see the lineup is posted,the only difference is Johnson in left,thats a good move as we can all relax when a ball is hit that way. The only disapointment here is that Campana may not get in the game as all of the outfield are “speedsters” although could use him to run for Aram if he ever gets on or for Hill,no not for Hill as he is now the golden boy after three hits. This is a large ballpark and speed is important here,I hope Quade keeps that in his mind. Although the Cubs displayed power yesterday small ball is an advantage there and the Cubs are good at singles. If Aram does not start producing some kind of power he should be considered for a rest. 

  • Ripsnorter1

     The Cubs had sold 2.6 million tickets before the first game of the season. Empty seats may not mean much right now to Mr. Ricketts, because he is still seeing a whole lot of green $$$$.

  • Agustinrexach

    Hey Brian, Nice talking to you! Being optimistic is good, optimistic people are happier than negative dudes…. That is a fact, Wikipedia says so.

    I believe we can win 2 more this week! Have a great day.

    **colvin is not a great player. He has been mishandled no doubt. He more than earned a shot to play every day last year. I love Reed but his abats do nothing for the positive future of this organization.