The Definition of Insanity … Pujols Sends Cubs to Sixth Straight Loss – Cubs 2 Cardinals 3

Game Fifty-Seven – Cubs 2 Cardinals 3 – 10 innings
WP – Fernando Salas (3-0) LP – Rodrigo Lopez (0-1) Save – None

The Cubs weekend came to an abrupt end Sunday afternoon with another embarrassing loss at the hands of their archrival. The one player in the Cardinals lineup that could beat the Cubs with one swing did … again.

For the second day in a row the Cubs and Cardinals played into extra innings and for the second day in a row Albert Pujols sent the Cubs home losers. Albert Pujols completed his huge weekend with his second walk-off home run in as many games … and for the third time, Pujols hit a home run on a 2-1 pitch.

Albert Pujols hit four home runs and drove in seven runs in the three-game series.

The Cubs took a 2-1 lead into the ninth. Carlos Zambrano put together an excellent outing and out pitched Chris Carpenter. Once again, the Cubs offense scored in only one inning, a two-run double by Aramis Ramirez in the fourth. Z held a very good team without the likes of Lance Berkman and Colby Rasmus to one run on five hits with a pair of walks and three strikeouts in seven innings. But for the second time, Carlos Marmol could not preserve a win for Carlos Zambrano.

Carlos Marmol blew his fourth save of the season (Matt Garza and Carlos Zambrano) after surrendering a leadoff single to Yadier Molina. Marmol seemed to calm down and struck out both Daniel Descalso and Colby Rasmus.

Ryan Theriot, who had been held hitless all afternoon, extended his hitting streak to 19 games with a double into the left field corner … the only spot in the entire park that would allow pinch-runner Tony Cruz to score all the way from first. Theriot tied the game at two and set it up for Pujols in the 10th.

The Cubs offense managed just seven hits on Sunday afternoon and finished the game 2-for-6 with RISP with seven left on base.

Aramis Ramirez (2-for-4 with a double and two RBI) returned to the lineup and drove in both of the Cubs runs with a double in the fourth. Darwin Barney (2-for-5 with a run scored) and Starlin Castro (2-for-5 with a run scored) tallied four of the Cubs other five hits.

The Cubs lost another game on Sunday this season (1-8) and have beaten the Cardinals just once in six tries this season (1-5). With Sunday’s loss, the Cubs are a season-low 11 games under .500 with a 23-34 record …

Carlos Zambrano allowed only one hit through the first three innings (a leadoff single by Daniel Descalso in the third). Z was sharp early but threw a lot of pitches (68 after four, 45 for strikes).

Double Trouble” started the top of the fourth with back-to-back singles off Chris Carpenter. Darwin Barney lined a single to right and Starlin Castro singled to center. Carlos Pena ripped a 0-1 pitch into left but right at Allen Craig for the first out.

Aramis Ramirez stepped in and put a good at bat together. Ramirez ended up lacing a double into right center. Barney and Castro scored standing and the Cubs took a 2-0 lead.

Blake DeWitt grounded out to second, Ramirez advanced to third but Tyler Colvin flied out to the track in right to end the inning.

Carlos Zambrano ended up working around a leadoff walk to Albert Pujols in the bottom of the fourth. After issuing the free pass to Pujols, Jon Jay hit a grounder to the hole at short. Pujols was forced at second but the Cubs could not turn two … Barney could not get the ball out of his glove. Barney’s throw got past Carlos Pena but Hill backed up the play and kept Jay from advancing to second.

Z struck out Allen Craig for the second out.

Skip Schumaker reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Castro showed a lot of maturity by sticking the ball in his back pocket instead of trying to force a play … something Castro has done countless times.

Yadier Molina flied out to center to end the bottom of the fourth.

The Cubs put two on in the fifth but came away empty. Z worked a one-out walk and advanced to second on a sac bunt by Kosuke Fukudome. Darwin Barney then reached on an infield single to third. Matt Carpenter fielded the ball cleanly but double clutched and Barney beat out the throw to first. With runners on first and third with two outs, Starlin Castro grounded out to third (Barney forced at second) to end the inning.

Z sat down the Cardinals in order in the fifth on just eight pitches.

After the Cubs could not tack on in the top of the sixth, the Cardinals finally got on the board in the home half.

Albert Pujols reached on an infield single to the hole at short. Castro made a fine play to get to the ball but threw off balance to first. Castro’s throw was high and on the homeplate side of first. Pena could not stay on the bag as Pujols slid in feet first. Pujols reached with one out on just the Cardinals’ third hit of the game.

Jon Jay singled to center on a 2-2 pitch and Allen Craig ripped Z’s first pitch back up the middle. Pujols scored … 2-1 Cubs. Skip Schumaker flied out to left for the second out.

Yadier Molina stepped in and hit a 0-1 pitch back up the box. Darwin Barney ranged up the middle, fielded the grounder and side-armed a strike to Starlin Castro at second. Castro stretched and the duo forced Craig at second to end the inning.

Outside of a two-out walk by Kosuke in the seventh, the Cubs did nothing against Chris Carpenter.

Carlos Zambrano’s day came to an end after the seventh. Z retired Daniel Descalso and Chris Carpenter on two pitches to start the inning. Ryan Theriot reached on an error by Aramis Ramirez. Theriot hit a grounder to third on a 1-2 pitch that Ramirez bobbled. Matt Carpenter grounded out to third (Theriot forced at second) to end the inning.

Sean Marshall took over in the eighth and started his outing by striking out Albert Pujols swinging. Jon Jay worked a walk but Marshall struck out Allen Craig swinging and retired Tyler Greene on a grounder to second to end the inning.

The Cubs took a 2-1 lead into the ninth. After throwing 27 pitches over 1 2/3 innings on Saturday afternoon, Carlos Marmol was given the ball and asked to pick up the Cubs first win in a week … but he could not.

Yadier Molina singled to center on a 1-2 pitch. Tony Cruz, the Cardinals’ backup catcher, ran for Molina and was still at first after Marmol struck out Descalso and Colby Rasmus.

Ryan Theriot proved he his on the right side of the rivalry and ripped a 2-2 pitch (with two outs) into the left field corner. Colvin was shading Theriot into left center and could not track the ball down quick enough to have a shot at Cruz. Cruz circled the bases and tied the game at two.

Theriot extended his hitting streak to a career-high 19 games … and stood at second base clapping and cheering on his first place team.

Marmol retired Matt Carpenter on a ground out to second to send the game into extra innings.

The Cubs predictable offense went down in order in the 10th on just 10 pitches.

Rodrigo Lopez took the hill to start the bottom of the 10th … and four pitches later Albert Pujols ended it. Pujols launched a 2-1 pitch into left center. Game over. Pujols’ second walk-off in as many days was the first hit of his career off Rodrigo Lopez (0-for-12).

Look, what else is there to say?

Box Score from Yahoo Sports

The Cubs open a three-game series Monday night in Cincinnati. Matt Garza against Mike Leake in game one.

Quote of the Day

"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere." - Albert Einstein
  • cubtex

    I know everyone is upset, but I really think this was a really good thing and I will tell you why. We all know the Cubs were not going anywhere this year. Now, action will be taken. Quade and Hendry will almost certainly not be back next year. They will have a ton of money off the books next year and Ricketts will need to do something to satisfy the fan base. I suggested they could hire Sandberg as one move. This will be a brand new team for next year and I for one will be happy to see someone other than ARam at 3rd, Fuko in right,Dempster as the #1etc.     

    • Larry Schwimmer

      I agree with you.  Today’s CUB loss (and, all the others) are OUR only hope of having the our “clueless” Owner, Mr. Ricketts…shake up the team.  This includes firing HENDRY and others.

      I will say to my fellow CUB fans…let’s stop blaming the management for the poor hitting of players like COLVIN.  It’s his responsibility to show that he can hit.   And, it is clear that he should be sent back to the minors.

      I really do hope that QUADE is fired and that SANDBERG gets a chance to manage the CUBS.  

      Because if RICKETTS does not bring on a new GM/President, etc to make some new moves, immediately — there will not be any good Free Agents who will want to play for the CUBS.

  • Neil

    Maine to be optioned to Iowa to make room on active roster for Matt Garza.

    • cubtex

      At least we have the draft to look forward to….and the way this year is going we will have a top 5 pick for next year too :)

  • Neil

    Padres are treating Jordan Lyles like a rookie

  • GaryLeeT

    Actually, this game was not that upsetting. I was already in the final stage of this season’s death. Acceptance.

  • Richard Hood

    Lets see if there is anything to be positive about this weekend?
     Well Z is pitching good again.
    Marmol is good in more than one inning. Just not back to back days right now.
    Barney is beginning to show signs of being a superior defender at 2nd.
     Pena hit big in a big spot yesterday and ARAM did today.
    It’s June and Koske is still getting on base not hitting today but did good yesterday.
    Oh yeah and 99% of major leaguers would have grounded to short stop on the balls that Pujols went yard on.

    • paulcatanese

      Richard, those are the positives and I hate to go the other way,but. Today could have been a win in the ninth but because of a fundemental mistake by Colvin in left field on Theriots double caused the loss. By failing to hit the cutoff man Castro, who by the way has made many fine throws to the plate. The throw was high and not able to be relayed and we lost,plain and simple.

      • Richard Hood

        yeah I agree with that. Then again if we did not have that stupid no doubles defense on it against a singles hitter there might have been a play at 3rd.

      • paulcatanese

        Just an addition Richard, that play by Colvin may just be his ticket out of the north side as this loss demands someone to be sacrificed and you know it’s not going to be Quade. But he knows the game could have been won in the ninth and a proper play by Colvin would have prevented the fiasco of pitching again to Pujols. Since Colvin still is not hitting and then that play it could very well be as I have said, Colvins gone.

        • Richard Hood

          My problem with that assessment is that who do you bring up to replace him? Jackson? He is in a Paterson Dive at AA now batting .267. I can’t see a logic in getting him up to the show and sitting him while he is struggling. He needs work to get his stroke back after his injury and the Cubs actually made the right call with keeping him in AA to get his work in and calling back Colvin.

        • Fat, Friendly, Frazier

          So then, you would have sent Castro down earlier this year for his multiple error games?  Overreact much?  Gee that play by Colvin may have cost the Cubs the division.  

  • Carl

    Worst loss of the year so far?

    • paulcatanese

      Carl, in the sense that it didn’t have to be a loss, I would have to say that it ranks pretty high on the list. The reason for it being that way again as yesterday was the fault of Quade not properly evaluating the talent of Pujols. He just refuses to walk him and takes unnecesary chances by not doing it. Quade is old school and had to think he did not want to put the winning run on base with no one out, but he has paid for it twice,two games in a row. The man will not learn from his mistakes and makes the same ones over and over. As I had posted in a reply to Richard, poor fundementals actually cost the game in the ninth, when the tying run could have been thrown out at the plate, but for a missed cutoff by Colvin to Castro. That being said this did not have to be a loss, but poor management again cost this one as it has in many prior games.

  • Brp921

    I turned the game off after the Cardinals tied it because I knew that the Cardinals would win. Is there anyone out there that has the least bit of confidence in Mike Quade making a good in game decision? I hate to continually blast him because the Cubs just are not a very good team even without their injuries, but the headline of this column says it all. Albert Pujols burned us the same way yesterday and Mike Quade said in the postgame press conference that he may still pitch to him in that situation again. I had to almost laugh when I found out after the game exactly how we lost. The sad thing is that we are going to have to suffer through JH’s entire contract as the Ricketts don’t seem willing to pay him off and get rid of him or Quade.

  • RickinMSP

    I know several people have mentioned Pat Gillick as a possible replacement for Crane Kenney, but does anyone know much about John Hart?  He built the Indians of the 1990s and the current Rangers are mostly his doing.  Neither one a small feat.  If he could do it with them seems he should be able to do it with the resources the Cubs have, debt issues or no debt issues.

  • RickinMSP

    I posted this about 10 minutes ago, maybe is will appear someday and you all can read it twice. It has appeared so this one is gone.

  • erniesarmy

    The definition of insanity? The Chicago Cubs Baseball Organization since 1909.

    All of us were generating some hope when the Cubs got a new owner; I think, in retrospect, the Tribune Co. were better owners than Ricketts.

    He might as well just come out and say it; “Look, I don’t care if we lose year after year after year, just as long as I come out ahead in the end.” 

  • Neil

    Brett Jackson with walkoff single with two outs in the bottom of the 9th. Smokies win 6-5 and remain in first

  • The Maven

    A thought:

    Since Oneri Fleita is already a VP, why not make him President?

    Replace Hendry with Dave Littlefield and limit him to only the business end of being a GM.

    Promote TIm Wilken to Director of Player Personnel and have him responsible for trades, signings, and development.

    • Richard Hood

      I think that Oneri is going to be our next GM if for no other reason than to keep the scouting the same. But I agree Kenny needs to go as well.

      • Deets2000

        What’s the moratorium on this ownership for everyone? I gave it a five year plan based on inception for the simplebsake that a real organizational foundation takes time to build. However at this point I see little optimism other than the possibility that Latin development will pay dividends you would hope within the next three to four years. I’m sick of moves of the past to appease cubdom, look at the crappy contracts we still have. However Im still in disbelief that Hendry wasn’t canned on ownership arrival at least for fresh air. Ricketts apparently can’t nut up to learn from his mistakes. What’s the worst that could happen his new Guy couldn’t be any worse. If he stunk can him and restart. Sorry guys my life as a cubs fan makes me want to puke.

    • BillyFinT

      Maven, I like it. Internal options, save some money, these will send J.Ricketts “the Dad” a grim on his face.

      My observation is that Fleita has been in the Cubs Think too long, and let’s be honest, he’s been hanging around the Tribune and Hendry since Era MacPhailie (since 1998, I believe).

      Fleita has become a politician who will stall change. But hey, it’s feasible, at least for Prince Ricketts’ checkbook.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let’s go on to tomorrow’s game: the Reds. 

    We’ve got a very winnable game tomorrow. Chad Reineike is starting for the Reds. He’s a 29 year old rookie. He’s got 29 IP in his entire life, only 6 IP this year, and has given up 5 ER in that start. ERA is 7.11, and 5.83 for this career.Folks, we are going against a James Russell in this start! We have a real chance of winning with Garza going for us. 


    • Neil

      Actually Rip, as I mentioned in the game recap, the Reds shifted their rotation for the Cubs series and will start Mike Leake in game one. Volquez is expected back Tuesday and Arroyo for Wednesday.

      • Ripsnorter1

        So sorry. I was following ESPN. 

        Leake is 4-2 with a 5.03 ERA. He’s beatable, too. He has a .280 BAA, so we could beat him with a well pitched game by Garza.

        • Neil

          No worries, maybe this is the game Colvin feel a little better about himself. Three hits off Leake, all home runs.

          • paulcatanese

            Neil,I really think Colvin will sit this one out, unless Quade is totaly forgiving for the ninth inning today, I may be wrong but Colvin dosent play tommorow.

  • Scott McMeekan

    Everyone see the response by Z today?  Ripped the entire team, and called them an AAA team.  Said they stink.  

    Watched Kruk on baseball tonight and he agreed, calling them the biggest bunch of under-achievers he’s seen in a long time.  Also put the blame at the end of the day on the players.

    I would agree, but also point to WHO BROUGHT THESE PLAYERS TOGETHER.  And who is “supposed” to be managing them.

    With this amount of media scrutiny maybe it’s actually time that a JH / Quade firing might happen.

    I pray it does.

    • Matt Collins

      where can i see comments on z

      • Matt Collins
      • Neil

        Here ya go …

        If you’re on Twitter, follow the CCO: @TheCCO:disqus
        . I tweeted out several of his comments.

        Hope this helps

        • Zonk

          While I can’t disagree with Zambrano, he needs to keep comments like that to himself.  He’s probably earned a little slack, since he is now the Cub’s most consistent starting pitcher.

          Anyone for Zambrano to the Yankees?  With Rothschild in Yankee pinstripes, the Yanks needing starting pitching, Z pitching well, and of course, the Yankees won’t balk at his contract…..seems like a match made in heaven.

          • paulcatanese

            Kind of agree here Zonk about Z to the Yanks, and I dont think they will balk as you say about his contract, but I would like to see something of equal value in return, not just to dump salary.

          • Tedtop16

            I totally disagree with you. It is about time that the players stepped up and said something. Trade Zambrano to the Yankees. He is the only guy pitching well and you want to get rid of him.  So I’m glad Z spoke up. I wish more guys would do the same.

  • PeteM

    I don’t belong to the get rid of Marmol club. He is going to save alot more games then he is going to cost you. But he definitely needs a night or two off.

    • paulcatanese

      Closers are going to blow games, but most of the good ones have a lot more to save than the Cubs are giving Marmol to put away. So when he does blow it there is a lot more scuteny involved. Jus think how many he would have saved last year if he had runs and a score to protect.

      That being said the Cubs are even worse off than last year and te opportunity to succeed by Marmol will be even less this year and probably even next year. That being said its not a bad idea to seek a major return for him, somthing that
      will give the Cubs a start in the right direction.

      I like Marmol,enjoy watching him pitch, then again I would like to see the Cubs get better also, and this may be one way to do it. I sincerely believe that the minor system the Cubs have right now could fill some of the holes,but will need
      to trade for a legtimate Pitcher and a power hitter, one that hits for average also.

  • Zonk

    I think Darwin Barney is being exposed as the backup that he really is.  His May slash line was a Rey Sanchez-esque 296/316/343, and his OPS over the last 28 games is .611. 

    I’m not saying he sucks, but I have argued all year that he is really a backup player being thrust into a starting role.  On a good team, he is a middle-infield backup, and maybe a starting SS on a team with good offense at the other positions.

    Problem is the answer isn’t on our roster, unless it’s LeMaheiu.  It’s definitely not DeWitt or Baker.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Neither Barney nor Castro have a good OPS. 

      Castro OPS = .743
      Barney OPS = .688

       Winning teams generally have a 2B with some pop. Barney has none.
      Compare these winning teams 2B to the Cubs’ Barney:
      1 HR…25 RBI…296…..370 slug….3 sb with 2 CS.

      Pirates: Walker   8 HR…39 RBI….269….429 slug…2 SB
      Yanks: Cano  12 HR…38 RBI….277….514 slug…5 SB
      BoSox: Pedroia  4 HR…20 RBI….244….333 slug…13 SB (injured)
      Rays: Zobrist    9 HR…33 RBI….259…459 slug…6 SB
      Indians: Cabrara  2 HR…28 RBI….245…310 slug…3 SB
      Texas: Kinsler    7 HR….21 RBI…..221…..390 slug….11 SB
      Phils: Utley . . ..Injured most of the year
      Phils Polanco:  3 HR….31 RBI…320….398 slug….3 SB
      Arizona: Johnson  11 HR…24 RBI….223….445 slug…8 SB

      Barney hustles, has a good head on his shoulder, is not a good fielder.
      Barney ranks #19 of 22 qualified 2B in fielding. He ain’t great, folks.

      We like him, but he isn’t a power hitting 2B. You cannot have too many weak hitters on your team and expect to score runs. THe Cubs have too many singles hitters without home run power. WE are #2 in MLB in batting average, yet we are 17 in MLB for runs scored. Too many singles hitters. And no speed. Campana and Castro both have 5 steals. Barney has 3, and Funko and Byrd have 1 SB apiece. THAT’S IT!

      • paulcatanese

        You have to admit that Campana has as many as Castro, just hasn’t played enough. I know,Iknow you cant steal first base, but he comes close. Thats all on the premis that he stays up with the Cubs though and thats shakey unless he starts getting some kind of power.

    • Ripsnorter1

      DJ LeMahieu is not the answer. He has 4 HR in 1,000 minor league ABs.

      • Zonk

        Pretty much right on Barney and Castro.  I think Darwin Barney has enough skills to have a 10-year major league career….as a bench player.  He makes contact, is a decent fielder (better than the stats, at least by minor league reputation), nice guy, doesn’t do anything stupid. 

        I’m not sold on LeMahieu either, his impressive line at AA was fueled by an unsustainable BABIP.  He can make contact, but unless he develops pop he’s just another nice bench guy. 

        • paulcatanese

          You may be right on Barney, I hope he sticks,but he does need pop, and as I had mentioned before he could make it as a shortstop. He has the brain to be in the game for a long time either as a player,coach and eventualy a manager.He probably could take over for Quade right now.

          • BillyFinT

            Oh man, I laughed out that last line…

    • studio179

      The Cubs have plenty of role players and back up types in the minors like Barney. I give the guy all the credit for making the team as the starter. He deserved it. You are right, he is getting exposed and Quade needs to give him a day off more often. Even the Cubs do not project Barney as the longterm answer. The Cubs think LeMaheiu is the future at 2B. I’ll play wait and see. He might develope to be a starter or one of the many Cub prospect they have in the system that are MLB utility/back up types.      

  • Ripsnorter1

    Houston is so bad that they lost 3 in a row to the Patsies. Still tied with the Cubs for the least wins in the NL at 23. Twins have 21 wins now. 

    Please note this: The Pirates–the N.I.V. PIRATES!–have won 5 more games than the Cubs! $134,004,000 payroll loses out to the $45,630,000 payroll.
    These are Cot’s figures.The Cubs’ payroll is 2.93 times larger than the Pirates.

    Colvin: I have no confidence in him at this time. He’s just totally lost up there at the plate.

    • paulcatanese

      I agree with you on Colvin. Every pitch is a career to him and the pressure has to be immense. And if he carries it to  the field with him as he did today, he is gone for sure. If he starts catching flyballs with two hands,you will know he is in the last stages.

  • Aaron


    I know you want to keep some things close to the vest in critiquing this team, but would you humor me by answering this…..

    Just one day after saying he’d re-examine pitching to Pujols late in games, Quade does EXACTLY that….pitch to Pujols one day after he killed them…thus, exposing himself as a complete moron.

    So…Given how much the Ricketts have invested in the team, and after seeing how Hendry simply cannot get them a good return on their investment with dwindling attendance, and now on MLB’s naughty list with the debt….How can Hendry possibly last?

    Do you see changes happening at all, or do you personally feel that it will be status quo, and the Ricketts will just let Hendry ride out his contract along with Quade, and use the excuse that they’re rebuilding because they have a bunch of contracts coming off the books, and how it really wasn’t fair to Quade or Hendry, blah blah blah?

    I just was curious what you thought.

    • Neil

      Aaron, I think Hendry and Quade will finish out their contracts.

      • Ripsnorter1


        Ricketts won’t eat any money. 

      • Aaron

        That’s what I was thinking, and fortunately for Cubs Nation, I don’t think the fans will stand for it anymore, and they’re already choosing to stay away. It is no coincidence that the Cubs ended up on the naughty list with the debt issues as attendance continues to slip. Less revenue from concessions and merchandise from absent fans certainly contributed to this, I don’t think there’s any denying that.

        Therefore, I believe Hendry and Quade will last until next year, but they will have a very short leash. I fully expect attendance at the Cubs Convention to dwindle further, and Spring Training will also suffer yet again. Once that happens, the Ricketts will be on full alert, and if the Cubs get out of the gate slow, I don’t think they could go beyond April with them, and they’d likely allow Listach to be the interim manager, and put Wilken or Bush in charge as interim GM’s as well. I don’t think they’d go outside the organization, mostly due to the draft, and the fact that unless there is an unemployed manager out there that’s qualified, I don’t believe there’s a precedence for hiring a manager from another organization due to contract matters during the season (ie.-plucking Sandberg from the Phillies’ AAA team).

        Even so, if the Cubs lose between 90-100 games this year, which they’re on track to eclipse that dubious mark….I don’t think they’d last beyond this year, as the Ricketts would lose all credibility with not only the fan base, but in baseball circles, thus making it even harder to attract top notch talent. 

        • Ripsnorter1

          This organization is in very, very serious trouble. With Tom Ricketts being an incompetent, and the management from top to bottom being very sub-standard, and with the fans angry at the lack of winning, Mr. Ricketts could very well be very, very, very sorry he EVER considered buying this franchise. I see the possibility of bankruptcy in his future.

          Sure–that’s doom and gloom. But just open your eyes to what’s happening, and extrapolate how things will be as this team continues to disintegrate. Throw in a Jim Clueless management team, and you have the makings of the next Titanic disaster.

          • paulcatanese

            Don’t like it Rip, but very probable and almost certain to go that way.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Watched K-Rod of the Mets throwing a mere 87 mph.

     ESPN was suggesting K.Wood of the Cubs may be headed to Arizona sooner or later to help their bullpen out. 

    • paulcatanese

      Rip, I dont think Wood would (no pun intended) would allow to be traded,kind of think he would retire first as he gave a lot up to come to Chicago, just my thought on it.

      • Tony

        I think they will “ASK” Kerry if he wants to go to a contender for the 2nd half of the season, knowing he will be back next year. 

        • paulcatanese

          Just got up Tony, and as a team player Wood would probably do it and come back next year. He loves Chicago,but again it would be nice to see someone Chicago loves right back be in a World Series.

  • Ripsnorter1

    If Cubs beat Reds tomorrow, Reds will be sub-.500. 

    Anytime Dusty loses I am happy. How he got another job, I dunno.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I have been saying it; ESPN agrees–The Cubs’ minor league system is weak and sick. Read it yourself:

    The Cubs went for signability last June and haven’t fared well early in drafts under Tim Wilken, at least not yet. Brett Jackson has a chance to make an impact, as does Andrew Cashner, but the club’s current 40-man roster consists of just seven players drafted by the club, and only one, catcher Geovany Soto, has made an All-Star team.With strong organizations at the top of their division in the St. Louis Cardinals andCincinnati Reds, the Cubs have to find a way to add high-quality players to their organization without trading away young talent in order to get it, as they did last winter in acquiring Matt Garza. They’ve done well on the international market — Carlos Marmol,Carlos Zambrano, Starlin Castro — but the draft has been a fairly empty cupboard and has left their farm system in the bottom half of the league.

    I am not ready to call Jim Clueless, David “Clueless” Littlefield, Tim Wilken, et al, geniuses.

    Frankly, I can say that Jim Clueless and Dave Littlefield are both losers. Others regard Wilken highly, but what have we got to show for his work?

    • GaryLeeT

      How can the minor league system be “sick”, but Daytona and Tennessee have the best records in A and AA?

      • Richard Hood

        Because the experts look for “impact players” not everyday guys. When they look at Quality of the players that in the minors we have a ton like Baseball America says but not one that projects out to an All Star at the major leagues yet.
        So in one way the ESPN story is pretty close to being right. But it also is very wrong with the idea that it is weak. Now if we ever see one of “impact” guys make strides (Vitters, Golden, McNutt, Dolis) then there in the media’s eyes we have a good system. Wins and loses seem to have nothing to do with there grading.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Just looking at the Cubs #1 picks throughout the years . . .

    Here’s the list:
    2010 Simpson.   FORGETABOUTIT.2009 B. Jackson
    2008 Cashner (say what you will–it’s shoulder surgery for him–imo).
    2007 Vitters. FORGETABOUTIT.
    2005 Pawelek. BUST and off to the Reds. Still in A ball and awful.
    2004 None
    2003 Harvey. FORGETABOUTIT.
    2002 Brownlee. FORGETABOUTIT.
    2001 Prior. Nice pick.
    2000 Montenez. BUST
    1999 Christenson.  BUST
    1998 Patterson. Making it in Toronto.
    1997 Garland. A winner–just not with us.
    1996 Noel. BUST
    1995 Wood. Got a winner here.
    1994 Peterson. BUSTY
    1993 Kieschnieck. BUST.
    1992 Wallace. BUST
    1991 Glanville. Made it in Philly–sort of. Not a great player . . . .
    1990 Dickson. BUST.

    Sorry, but Colvin is probably forever ruined by Quade. Confidence is shot. Maybe the Orioles can reclaim him. Never make it here. Not now. 
    Simpson? Don’t count on it. I’d say, “FORGETABOUTIT.”
    Jackson? We shall see. We hope so.Vitters? Still young, but not looking like he’ll ever make it.
    Cashner? Like I said: surgery time is coming. I know they are giving him rest, but you watch him like Angel Guzman, he’ll have surgery.
    All the rest are past history. Pretty sad. 

    • Tom U

      I’m sorry, I know it’s my beat, so I can’t help being biased. But I see a LOT of talent in the system, it’s just that the organization won’t develop it.

      The Tribune company created a monster when it sold out a youth movement to go “all in” on a championship in 2003. Eight years later, the mindset that they are still “three or four moves away” persists.

      I know that every minor leaguer is not a future star, but you need to play them in order to build your franchise. If not for that player to get better, then to have a player in your system replace them. It’s much easier to sit down a player like Brad Snyder when your hot outfield prospect is ready than to sit one of your overpaid  vets. 

      Please let me know who on ESPN said the farm system was weak. If it ‘s one of the regulars, there not usually well informed on the minors. If it’s one of their “experts”, I’d like to hear more specifics.

      • Tom U

        Let me also add that there is a certain type of paranoia among the Cubs’ braintrust that thinks that if they go with rookies rather than a major league veteran for any needs, fans will accuse them of “giving up” or “being cheap”, and attendance and rating will go down.

        • BillyFinT


          And that’s so not true, right? Castro and Barney have been the few bright spots on a losing season, while fans are curious what LeMahieu brings to the table, instead of just warming that cold bench. Quade can do that for his players; I’m sure he’ll be glad to.

          Change? Here’s a good list to start:

          You know what? Brian Cashman, a GM since 1998, built a winning team with the Yankees (4 World Series Champ., 12 Playoff Appearances, 6 AL Champ).

          Cashman’s contract run ends this year. If the Ricketts are serious about winning. They should court him, at least. Then they can hire Paul DePodesta as a VP and Director of Information AND Player developments (notice the plural form here?).

          • Richard Hood

            I think that Cashman is staying in NY unless someone offers him a shot at larger control and maybe even a piece of a franchise like was J Gargiola jr wanted in Arizona at one time.
            The question then becomes do you trust Cashman enough to give him the Presidents chair and give him total control? I would if I was Ricketts but that is not how Ricketts has seemed to want to work.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Here’s ESPN’s take on …..

          The Chicago Cubs placed infielder Jeff Baker on the 15-day disabled list and called up DJ LeMahieu, the club’s second-round pick two years ago. LeMahieu, a shortstop by trade, has been playing second and third base primarily since the start of last season.His arm strength suggests he fits best at second, but his range says third base. He’s adequate at either spot and has actually become quite sure-handed around the bag at second and gets the job done.At the plate LeMahieu has some pop but is still learning how to get consistent loft on the ball. He’ll hit some doubles and was hitting for high average at Double-A before the call-up. He’s very aggressive early in the count seeking fastballs, but if he can stay out pitcher’s counts he can do some damage. He’s an average or slightly above-average runner but the Cubs should not expect a lot of stolen bases.Ultimately, LeMahieu could be the Cubs’ third baseman of the future. The bat speed and wrist strength suggest 20-25 homer power is possible, and Aramis Ramirez will be a free agent after 2011 or 2012 on a player option. There’s little doubt that LeMahieu’s bat will play at second, however, so if the organization can make it work defensively, that may be the 22-year-old’s future, permanent position./p>

      • Ripsnorter1

        ESPN did not mention specific names. I quoted the article I referenced from the ESPN Insider. It’s a service one has to pay extra to get. 

        But let’s face a few facts concerning 2011:
        1. I agree completely that the Cubs refuse to develop their own players. I agree that the management is biased to playing the overpaid vet. The management has effectively destroyed this team. That’s why I insist on calling Jim Clueless “Clueless.” 

        2. But Brad Synder is not a hot OF prospect. He’s a 29 year old vet of the MiLeagues that cannot hit ML pitching. Sure, he’s only had 30 ML AB, with 5 H, 1 2B, 14 Ks and 1 BB. Not so hot. And sure, I’d be playing him right now and sit Colvin. It’s a crime how they have destroyed Colvin and his confidence. He should be back in AAA trying to regain his confidence. He’ll never be back successfully in a Cubs’ uniform. It’s awful. It’s criminal. IT’S THE CUBS!

        3. We have exactly NO MiLeague pitching ready for the bigs right now. The last two years have been an exercise in proving that. Berg, Diamond, Coleman, Stevens, Gaub, Maine, Caridad, Mateo, Smit, et al are not ready and–most of this group will never be ready. They have already proved it.
        That’s why the Clueless one brings in Wellemeyer, Ortiz, Lopez and Davis. That’s why he tossed five prospects out there for Garza: he knew he didn’t have the starting pitching in the MiL. 

        4. Look at your current 40 man roster and tell me which MiL pitcher is going to make it. Cabrara? Throws 97 and may make a reliever. Not expected to make it as a starter–so ESPN Insider. Has a mediocre K rate.

        5. I think it’s criminal how Quade played K. Hill over Castillo while he was here. I think that it is criminal how they do that to most of their youngsters. They are mostly succeeding in destroying their minor leaguers confidence.

        • paulcatanese

          We aint seen nothing yet Rip, Augie had a mulpile hit game last night, the bus ticket is waiting for him. We need a center fielder, as soon we will have an all infield outfield.

  • Tony

    Will there be fall-out for Zambrano’s eruption, this time?

    I would love to hear what Rothschild is telling the Yankees

    Let’s go get him!


    As Rip would say “FORGETABOUTIT”

    I bet it’s the later.

  • Tony

    John Kruk video –


    “The Cubs do stink”
    “they have alot of bad contracts”

    “Biggest group of underachievers, I have ever seen”

  • Tony

    Buster Olney  – “The Cubs have Debt”

    Some highlights (or lowlights, depending on how you think) for those without ESPN Insider.

    “The easiest thing in the world for Ricketts to do would be to go after Albert Pujols or Fielder and perhaps land one of those stars, but Fielder might be one more pricey Band-Aid for an organization already crippled by immovable long-term contracts.”

    “Alfonso Soriano is right in the middle of an eight-year deal, with subpar results, and Milton Bradley didn’t make it to the halfway point of his contract. The Cubs gave the green light last year to Kosuke Fukudome’s agent to seek a trade and there were none to be had. Whether it’s fair or not, Aramis Ramirez is regarded by some rival scouts as one of the most disinterested major leaguers in uniform. And Carlos Zambrano has garnered more attention for dugout explosions and broken bats than for his pitching. Those five players essentially account for about $70 million of what the Cubs are spending in payroll this year.”

    The Cubs are who WE THOUGHT THEY WERE, and we are not letting them off the hook.  Change for the sake of change is tought to take, but WHAT MORE DOES TOMMY BOY NEED TO SEE!.  Enough is enough.  Clean House.

    Nationally people are ripping this team for what it is, A BAD BASEBALL TEAM, that makes poor decisions with it’s assets (players) over and over again.

  • stratognat

    100+ years of losing… It aint always about how good the players,
    payroll, or talent. Look at the Mets and Dodgers. High payroll–
    perennial losers. Spending money on good players is wasted money unless
    they are also good humans. Something to be said about team chemistry. It
    is a team sport and no one person can win a baseball game ingle handed.
    I don’t care if he is the second coming of Cy Young (which he aint);
    You dont publicly diss your team mates. Zembrano is more than just bad
    chemistry– he is a pure D embarrassment. You’d never see a Cardinal behave like this.
    He’d be gone in one minute in St Louis. They had a pretty good relief
    pitcher a few years ago that flipped LaRussa the bird from the bull pen.
    BOOM! Gone. Goodbye. What do the Cardinals know? They never mouth off
    or show disrespect; arrogance; stupid temper tantrums; classless
    behavior. Best player in baseball wears that uniform and he dont care
    about nuthin but the team and winning. All lovey dovey guys. All the
    Cardinals do is win– year after year after year after year…

    • Richard Hood

      You must have never met Jim Edmonds or Colby Rasmus. They had horrible attitudes and played for the same guy you were talking about. With Rasmus it was to the point they traded his best friend for him to get the message and still hasn’t sunk in. EVERY TEAM HAS THESE TYPE OF GUYS.

      • paulcatanese

        Richard, I was just about to post exactly what you did. Very true and those attitudes did make the media, but from what I have seen with Rasmus, he should just keep his mouth shut and play ball. I remember Pujols had a few words for him also with the media, telling him the same thing. Yes every team has these on their roster. Maybe they could ALL be traded to the same team, that would be a kick.

    • paulcatanese

      I posted below in a reply to Richard. Don’t get me wrong, I agree with not bashing your’e teamates in the media, but had to agree with Richard that other teams have the same problem and one of those was St Louis. Those kinds of things are controlled by LaRussa, and we don’t have that kind of management to do that. Even Pinella handled the situation last year and it appeard it was done with, but it had to surface again even though he was right, but shouldn’t have.

  • Richard Hood

    I just want to say I do not think that Z was throwing Marmol under the bus. He was throwing Koyie Hill under it for asking for such a stupid pitch and not knowing the particulars of who is facing. The catchers are the ones calling for the pitch and if I am not mistaken Marmol never shook off the first sign he was given.

    • Jeff in AZ

      Hill called for the fastball and Marmol shook him off. Marmol under bus.

  • paulcatanese

    Off the subject a little, but have looked the Buster Posey incident over many times and my opinion has not changed. That was a cheap shot any way I look at it. There was no possible way that he could not slide to the outside of Posey. He went out of his way and I mean out of his way to take Posey out or even hurt him, which he did.

    Having played when catchers have taken as many as 40 stitches on the inside of the leg and have seen four concusions to catchers.All were avoidable, but some players delight in making contact with someone who cannot protect themselves
    when the runner is on their blind side. Seems the mentality of a linebacker with a blind shot on a QB applies here as well.

    I dont think a rule change is completly neccesary but their should be a provision with the power to call the runner out or whatever penalty that could be imposed on a intentional malicious blow to the catcher. they do it at second base when the runner slides away from the base to take the 2b or SS out and then call the DP. If they have the power to do it there they can do it at home plate also.