Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Pirates – 07/10/11

Game Ninety-Two: Cubs (37-54) vs. Pirates (46-43)
Game Time – 12:35pm CDT
Coverage – TV: WGN TV – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channel 187
Location – PNC Park, Pittsburgh

Ramon Ortiz (0-1, 3.00/1.67) vs. Paul Maholm (5-9, 3.08/1.22)

It is the final Sunday before the All-Star break and the Chicago Cubs have their third chance this season to post a series win against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Cubs complete the extremely difficult stretch of 38 games in 38 days this afternoon. Q’s squad is just 2-4 on their current seven-game road trip.

If the Cubs can pull off a win this afternoon they will not only spend the break riding a two-game winning streak but they would post their first series win since June 13-June 16 against the Brewers … and their first road series win since May 18-May 19 in Miami (last three-game series win came in LA from May 2-May 4).

Mike Quade said Saturday that Darwin Barney would get a break this afternoon and both Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson will be in the starting lineup. The last time the Cubs faced Paul Maholm, both Baker and Johnson were unable to play … and both have excellent numbers against the Pirates’ southpaw. The Cubs must show a little patience against Paul Maholm this afternoon … or his scoreless innings streak against the Cubs this season will continue.

Mike Quade needs a long outing from Ramon Ortiz. The Cubs’ pen has completed 20 innings of work during the current trip and is spent. Sean Marshall should be available today while Jeff Samardzija should have the afternoon off after completing two innings on Saturday night.

In other newsMatt Szczur will participate in the XM Radio Future’s Game this afternoon at Chase Field in Phoenix … and will be joined by Smokies’ manager, Brian Harper. Szczur was officially promoted to High-A Daytona on Saturday and will report to the D-Cubs when he returns from the Futures Game.

The game will be carried live from Chase Field beginning at 5:00pm CDT on ESPN2. XM Radio has full coverage of the game as well with Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette providing the play-by-play on XM Channel 89.

The Cubs are 2-11 on Sundays this season … and this afternoon it all starts with Ramon Ortiz.

After a shaky first inning in which he allowed three runs, two earned, against the Nationals, Ramon Ortiz settled down and threw five innings of shutout ball and gave his new team every chance to beat the Nationals. The Cubs offense, other than Aramis Ramirez, could not do anything against Ross Detwiler and Ortiz was hung with the loss.

Ramon Ortiz had good movement on his fastball last Tuesday night and is pitching to stay in the Cubs rotation and in the big leagues. With Carlos Zambrano penciled into start the third game back from the break, the Cubs figure to keep only one of Lopez-Ortiz in the rotation … and not both.

This afternoon will be Ramon Ortiz’s sixth career start versus the Pirates. Ortiz last big league win came at the Pirates expense last May 1. Ortiz tossed three innings of shutout ball in relief of Carlos Monasterios. The Dodgers won the game5-1.

Ortiz is 2-2 in 10 career appearances, five starts, versus the Bucs with a 4.35 ERA and a 1.63 WHIP … at PNC, 0-2 in four games, two starts, with a 5.25 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP.

Matt Diaz (4-for-5 with a home run and a walk), Andrew McCutchen (0-for-1) and Lyle Overbay (7-for-19 with a double, 2 home runs and a walk) are the only active Pirates that have faced Ramon Ortiz.

Paul Maholm is coming off his fifth win of the season, a solid six-inning start against the Astros. Maholm held Houston to three runs, one earned, on five hits with three walks and three strikeouts. Maholm has not been blowing anyone away but has been very consistent over his last 10 starts. Maholm has allowed more than two earned runs on three times since May 16 … with one of those starts being a complete game shutout over the Chicago Cubs.

Maholm is 3-2 in his last seven starts with a 2.91 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP.

This afternoon will be Maholm’s third start of the season versus the Cubs … and Quade’s offense did not manage a single run, earned or otherwise, in the first two. Maholm has allowed only eight hits in 15 2/3 innings against the Cubs this season with two walks and seven strikeouts (0.00 ERA and a 0.64 ERA). Maholm tossed a three-hit complete game shutout against the Cubs back on May 28 … the Pirates pounded the Cubs 10-0 and Q’s offense did not force Maholm to work.

This afternoon will be Maholm’s 16th career start against the Cubs … 8-2 in 15 starts with a 5.30 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Jeff Baker – 7-for-15 with 4 doubles
  • Darwin Barney – 1-for-4
  • Tony Campana – 0-for-4
  • Starlin Castro – 5-for-15 with 2 doubles
  • Blake DeWitt – 1-for-2 with a walk
  • Kosuke Fukudome – 0-for-5
  • Koyie Hill – 1-for-5
  • Reed Johnson – 7-for-11 with 2 doubles and a walk
  • Carlos Pena – 0-for-5 with a walk
  • Aramis Ramirez – 10-for-35 with 2 doubles, 2 home runs and 2 walks
  • Alfonso Soriano – 9-for-34 with 3 doubles, 4 home runs and 4 walks
  • Geovany Soto – 7-for-18 with a double, a home run and 2 walks

Follow the CCO on Twitter: @TheCCO

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

Quote of the Day

"The man says 'play ball' not 'work ball,' you know." - Willie Stargell
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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Johnson – RF
    Castro – SS
    Ramirez – 3B
    Baker – 1B
    Soto – C
    Byrd – CF
    Soriano – LF
    Barney – 2B
    Ortiz – P

    • Tony_Hall

      Neil – Why do you think that Q is finally putting Aram in the 3 hole?  Most of us have known, he is the only real 3 hole hitter on the team, and that Castro is best suited for the 2 hole.  This is how managers look smart, they actually put their players in a position to succeed, versus putting them in a position to fail, that he has done over and over and over again.

      • Rbmercer

        Agreed, it was staring him in the face all year. also, that’s puts Barney down at the bottom and gives us some energy and a guy that has speed and gets on that pitchers can move over. He’s also been on base when the lineup turns over, I like it.

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

        Remember that Ramirez had to be convinced to be a 3 hole hitter because of his comfort level batting clean up. You can not put this one all on Quade even though he should have manned up and said your hitting 3 like it or sit.

        • Tony_Hall

          Richard – I have been saying that for a couple of years, what I am wondering is what finally made Q realize that he writes the lineup card out and do what has been so obvious.  

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

            Lets just say injuries made the switch and the Rammy realized he was just as comfortable there as cleanup.

          • Tony_Hall

            Let’s not.  It’s only been about 10 times that he has batted 3rd and he has done very well in the 3 hole.  We have had many injuries and yet Dewitt has been put in the  3 hole before.  That is not the reason.

            Either Q finally took charge or ARam was finally convinced.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Tony, I think two things led to Quade moving Ramirez up. One, Carlos Pena started hitting and that gave Quade a way to go to Ramirez about being moved up in the order.

        I know you remember back in the spring where the talk centered around the lineup possibly always changing, with the exception of Aramis because he preferred hitting cleanup. I did not care for that then because of obvious reasons. As you pointed out the job of a manager is to put his team and players in the best position to win and succeed.
         
        Quade might be finally managing to win … and not letting his vets run the team while trying to be their friend.

        • Tony_Hall

          I never did understand building the lineup around ARam batting 4th.  I have always looked at this year, as you build the lineup around Castro batting 2nd.

          Managing a baseball team is a lot like being a parent.  Sometimes you have to do the right thing, even though it makes the kids mad.

        • J Daniel

          Neil,
          Your insight and work with this site is incredible!  I have been following for several years and post once in awhile.

          If the answer is that Quade is finally managing to win and not letting the vets run the club then he should not be managing and will never be a good manager.  Obviously, you would listen to players but a great leader will do what is ultimately best for the organization.

          Thanks again!

      • paulcatanese

        Tony, Quade would have looked like a genius if he had moved Aram to first last fall, that would have saved the Cubs 10 mil. But we all know how that turned out. Then again Pena is turning out OK, just the average needs to come up. I would have thought the move was Aram’s idea, or through discussions with team mates. I agree, it’s too smart of a move to be Quade’s.

        • Tony_Hall

          Pena has grown on me.  He has better numbers than I expected of him.   But, he is another player that didn’t hit in April and May, and last time I checked that is 1/3 of the season.  

          • cubtex

            I don’t know why this is a surprise? Look at Pena’s numbers for the last 4 years. People on here were acting like this guy sucks….calling him Mr. .196. His average has never been great but he takes walks and has always hit a lot of homers and drives in close to 100 every year.

    • paulcatanese

      Neil,when I first looked at the lineup,I was disapointed. Thought the last three games had a pretty good spin. Then I looked at you’e stats on these guys against Maholm and it looks great, I have a feeling about this Sunday. Actualy every Sunday and it hasn’t worked out, maybe today though.

  • Rbmercer

    Quite a few guys in the lineup today with good numbers against Maholm.

  • Tom U

    Today’s minor league starters:

    Iowa – Alberto Cabrera (1-2, 7.88)
    Tennessee – Ryan Searle (2-0, 3.75)
    Daytona – Casey Harman (0-1, 12.60)
    Peoria – Starling Peralta (0-1, 1.80)
    Boise – Willengton Cruz (0-1, 2.30)

  • Aorcappy01

    Neil, what’s your best guess on who gets moved near the deadline? I keep thinking ARam will be just like D Lee last season by refusing to waiver his ntc till the very end limiting the potential return. My thoughts would be move Marmol to the Yanks since I believe he has the most value. Let Woody close till help retires. Move Soto to the Giants with the return of 2 decent prospects. Take the best offers on guys like Byrd, Dome and Baker. Z stays as does Dempster.

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

      I think that any trade scenario’s we deal with are a work in progress. Say you trade Baker first to Boston and get Lars Anderson then you do not need Pena anymore. So you trade Pena and get a fringe 3rd base prospect or young 3rd baseman. Then you trade a reliever and get a young starter. Then you are able to think about trading Z or Dempster. See it is just move A sets up move B and so on.

      • Aorcappy01

        Maybe in a perfect world but with the holes we have any deal that involves getting prospects back should be actively considered. Most prospects are a crap shoot anyway but occassionally you find a gem.

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

          But other than 1st base and power Of spots we do have prospect. We need arms and power prospects as ours are too far down in the system to be very helpful for a couple years. The only problem I see with our prospects so far is that they are not developing power yet.

      • Ken

        First we get a new management team in place, with a new fresh direction.  the old management is spinning their wheels.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      My thoughts, as well as others, on Ramirez is that he will finish out the season with the Cubs and I would not be surprised if he is back next season. Like first base, the Cubs do not see any one near ready in the system. I have heard/read a lot over the last week that they could even try to sign Ramirez to a two-year deal that would replace next year’s $16 million and possibly divide that money into two seasons.

      I think they are trying to move John Grabow and possibly both Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson. I do not think they will move Marmol or Marshall and I’ve heard they’ve told teams as much.

      Soto to the Giants would be interesting. The Cubs have reportedly been scouting the Giants at the big league and minor league levels so something could be going on. But unless the Giants plan to move Posey to first base it would not make much sense to trade for a very expensive backup in Soto.

      I am hearing/reading interest on Fukudome and Byrd and along with Grabow those are the three players I think have the best chance to be moved.

      • cubtex

        The more they pitch Grabow….the more his value goes down.

  • Tom U

    On Matt Camp’s suspension:

    Camp was suspended on June 28 for undisclosed reasons. In subsequent reports from the major league office, Camp has NOT been mentioned for using PED’s or substance abuse.

    There is no further word on the suspension. This Tuesday, July 12, will mark two weeks since Camp was suspended, which MAY be the earliest further information may be known.

    I’ll keep monitoring the situation.

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

      Thanks Tom I was just wondering what had happened when I saw how he was listed yesterday.

    • GrantJones7

      I have heard rumors (just that, as Camp cannot talk about it) that he was very angery about DJs callup, Marwin going to AAA and other moves, without him being sent up to taste the majors

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

        He should have actually came to play in Triple A this year then that would not be an issue. He should look at Campana everyday and say why not me and use that as fuel to work his butt off. He had no one to blame but himself.

      • paulcatanese

        It seems that outside the lines that someone took a swing at someone. If it were drugs everyone would know, or criminal we would know. So,thats my guess and speculation only and just a general statement.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    And speaking of Ramirez … Bochy
    just said on ESPN he’s probably going to take Aramis Ramirez for Polanco

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From Carrie Muskat: Ramirez has plans to go to Dominican, and
    Sat nite said would prefer to go home for All-Star break

    • GaryLeeT

      He’s already stated that he has one true passion in life, and no Allstar game would keep him from reuniting with his cocks.

      • Dorasaga

        Cock Fight is the National Past-time there. Ask Pedro.

        (And Gary, I just helped you out of trouble if people mistook what that noun means.)

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Reed and Castro both very aggressive against Maholm

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Tribune: Cubs
    confirm that Ramirez not going to NL All-Star game to replace Polanco. Already
    had plans to go home to D.R.

  • paulcatanese

    Bochy is going to take Aram to the All Star game? Is he lobbying for the Cub managerial job? Next thing he will start Castro in the game. I think defensivly that would be a mistake. I know I’m going to get flack over that but I don’t think he should start his glove is shaky right now.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Walker’s hitting streak against the Cubs continues … Cubs have not kept him hitless in a single game yet. That is 18 games for those scoring at home.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    From the Sun-Times: Ramirez declined Bochy’s invitation to replace polanco on all-star team

  • GaryLeeT

    Man, did the team get a 3:00 AM fire alarm at their hotel last night? Or are they halfway home for the Allstar break?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      They keep using the same approach against Maholm, very aggressive. They have not realized the key is to make him work. The rest of the league has … just not the Chicago Cubs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Maholm is on the same pitch count as his last start against the Cubs. They keep making this guy look very, very good.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    The inability of the entire staff to throw strikes is more than frustrating. Walking Maholm to start the inning on a breaking ball on a 3-2 pitch. Eighth starter or not, that is unacceptable.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    That was quick … 5-0 Bucs

  • Tom U

    In an interesting move, Iowa manager Bill Dancy installed DJ LeMahieu, starting at third, in the lead-off spot while hitting Welington Castillo in LeMahieu’s usual third spot in the batting order.

  • Dorasaga

    Question of the Day: What was Barney doing with that embarrassing throw to the ground two feet from his shoes, while the ball is still alive?

    Out of frustration? Or simply a bad throw?

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Looked like the ball slipped out to me. He was going to throw home, tried to stop and the ball slipped out.

      • Dorasaga

        Thanks, Neil. I guess we’ve seen weirder movement of the balls out of Cubbie hands…

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Reed just broke up the no hitter

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Walker did not have the ball … bad call. Hey, they scored a run against Maholm

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Fourth double play of the game

    • Aaron

      This series against the Pirates, with the crappy pitching, crappy situational hitting, and Quade’s inability to manage this team, should prove that a MAJOR overhaul is needed.

      Yet, there is more movement at the minor league level than there is at the MLB level. What’s wrong with that picture? 

      IT’s not like the Cubs couldn’t move normally hard to move players such as Dempster, Zambrano, Soriano, Pena, Grabow, ARAM, Fukudome, etc., because there’s actually demand for those types of players now, and if the Cubs eat some salary, it becomes even easier.

      Boston’s rotation is injured, the Yankees have AROD injured, and a few in the rotation, and they have a hole in their OF where they’re using Andruw Jones (who needs to retire), plus their DH as well, and the Giants have a hole at 1B (poor performance) and catcher with Posey out for the year.

      Because the Cubs are so far out of contention, and such a horribly constructed team to begin with, I just don’t see what is taking the Cubs so long to blow this thing up.

      Outside of the obvious moves I just suggested, the Cubs have easier contracts to move with Byrd, Soto, Johnson, Baker, Marmol, Wells, and even Marshall.

      There should be NOBODY but Castro that is off limits….and maybe even Garza (based on what the Cubs had to get rid of in the trade to get him).

      And as much as I like Barney, the Cubs have so many middle infield prospects that have higher ceilings than he will ever have, so I just don’t know why nothing is being done about this debacle. It’s not rocket science.

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

    Well lets hope the Cubs get all of the close calls after that shot.

  • jfish1219

    You know that is the second time this year i have see the ump get a nut shot from a fowl ball during a cubs game, I think I can speak for all men and say OUCH

  • The Maven

    The ol’ bell ringer

    • jfish1219

      Am I the only one who found that to be a veary painful thought yet funny as heck

  • Agustinrexach

    I’m a family man, And i totally value the unity concept. But Aramis declining an allstar invitation says a lot about his commitment to baseball. He did not deserve it anyway. He has little fire left and to think he was my favorite cub.

  • Bryan

    Sorry, but everytime I hear that Quade “will be representing the Cubs at the All-Star game I can’t help but crack up.  The team is 17 (and soon to be 18) games below the .500 mark and this is a “good” manager selection? Perhaps Quade has a bonus clause in his contract for this. 

    And sorry to break up the kumbaya over the last 24 hours, but the guy needs to be FIRED! 

    • Ripsnorter1

      The only proper way to look at the Cubs is “up is down, and down is up.” 18 games under .500 would therefore be a success, and 18 games over .500 would be a depressing situation. This is the only way to keep your sanity as a Cubs’ fan.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    If the score holds up, the Cubs will be 9-30 in games not started by Garza, Zambrano and Dempster.

    • Bryan

      Hmmm….a $130m payroll just doesn’t get you much anymore.

    • KevininSandiego

      So they would be one game over .500 sorry still a failure. Team needs gto be blow up and start over.

    • Ripsnorter1

      9-30, huh? That’s pretty good when you consider they had Russell starting, and Doug Davis–he was real good–and inconsistent Casey Coleman. Coleman was the best of the three. And even better has been Lopez. (He is actually a keeper). Wells, except for his uninjured start, has stunk up the joint, too. 

      What shocks me is that we got the 9 wins. “It could have been worse.” 

    • cubtex

      Exactly what I pointed out yesterday. The Cashner and Wells injuries in April was devastating.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Gotta love Ortiz as “a solid, back of the rotation starter.”   LOL

    • Bryan

      Rip, when Wells gets his rhythm back after now being on the DL, and Cashner returns (you know, really soon), this team will really be great and show it’s true potential.  So based on that, there’s really no reason to tinker with the roster or make any roster/salary dump moves.  Remember the 2011 battle cry…”if only healthy”.    

      • Ripsnorter1

        I really worry about Cashner. I am not nearly so sanguine as the Cubs are about his immediate return.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    James Russell continuing to succeed out of the pen … it is amazing what happens when the Cubs use players the right way.

    • Ripsnorter1

      EXACTLY RIGHT. 

      Why doesn’t Quade make him a starter again? I mean, right away?

    • Ripsnorter1

      Russell–
      As a reliever: 1-0 1.57 ERA, 0.907 WHIP.OUTSTANDING! BETTER THAN MARSHALL, who is very good himself.

      As a starter, he helped the entire league pad their stats:0-5…. 9.33 ERA…2.018 WHIP

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Rip, you know I was calling out the Cubs when they made that move with Russell. Never understood it.

        They have missed with Russell from the beginning. If they would have done their homework on him and saw what he was doing out of the pen at the end of the 2009 season (and in the AFL) they would have not felt the need to hand out that contract to John Grabow.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Oh yes, I know what you were saying. I speak sarcastically sometimes and it confuses people on this forum because they cannot hear my tone of voice. 

          Russell has done a GREAT job out of the pen. He is really valuable and the Cubs should not deal him or Marshall away for nothing. 

  • Ken

    I’m having a problem with Castro on the All Star team, his hitting his fine, but how can he be on a All Star team with his fielding problems, leads the league with errors.

    • Ripsnorter1

      It’s very simple. League rules require that one player off of each MLB team must be on the All-Star team. If not Castro, whom would you take? Marmol, who leads MLB in blown saves? Zambrano, who leads the league in mouthing off about bad performances by teammates, when he himself stinks up the joint? Dumpster, with his 5.01 ERA? Garza, who is inconsistent and 4-8 W-L record? Or perhaps Aram, who before the past 17 games, really has been awful? Funko, who has a whopping 13 RBIs?

      Frankly, the Cubs have nothing to offer to an All-Star team. And Jim Clueless says ‘we are right in the thick of it in our division.”

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Maholm was not as good as the Cubs made him look.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Right now the Pirates front office is so happy they traded John Grabow … and received Josh Harrison as one of the players in return.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Yes, we know. And don’t forget that they threw away Gorzelanny for nothing–those prospects we received ain’t never gonna make it–and got  worse pitchers in Davis, and Ortiz. 

      I predict Jim Clueless will be back next year. Quade is already a lock for next year–the Clueless one will say, “Sure, he’s back. He made the All-Star team, didn’t he?”  It’s a done deal, folks.

      • cubtex

        Tom Gorzellany is a back end guy at best. He isn’t exactly lighting it up with the Nats!

        • Bredstik

          That may be, but he surely would have been an upgrade over the back end starters we ended up using instead in Davis, Lopez, Ortiz, Russell, & Coleman.

  • Ripsnorter1

    I love John Grabow! I hope he gets his ERA over 10.00 before the All-Star break. It will prove that Jim Clueless knows how to build a winner.

  • Brentcarmona

    you know the highlight of the game i was hoping for was a one two three inning for grabow…better he does the more phone calls/likeliness of a trade…well thanks john for nothing

  • Ripsnorter1

    Yes, Aaron was riding Mr. Clueless when he offered $7.5 million to him for two years. Shows you just what Aaron knows. Why, Grabow had a delicious 7.36 ERA last year, and a somewhat disappointing 5.68 ERA so far this year. But this year isn’t over yet. Grabow could get his ERA up into the 10′s with some more appearances.

    • Aaron

      Do you recall what I said at the time about Grabow?

      People think I’m just critical of Hendry because I can’t stand him to begin with…..NO…I’m critical of pretty much every move he makes, because they’re so illogical, poorly planned, and just downright indefensible moves in most cases.

      I also am big on CONSISTENCY…..Guys like Soriano, Pena, Dempster (prior to his working out and getting into shape running Camelback Mountain everyday in Spring Training a few years ago), Byrd, Grabow, Bradley, Lee, etc. had been nothing but INCONSISTENT in their careers, and yet Hendry saw fit to give them above market free agent deals.

      The most consistent players on the Cubs roster at this point (besides young players like Castro, Marshall, etc. that haven’t been in their roles or the roster very long) are ARAM and Zambrano….and ARAM has been injured/old the last few years, and Zambrano was still signed to an ace contract when he NEVER was an ace to begin with….

      About the only big money deal Hendry ever has dished out for a player that I agree with was ARAM. Ironically, this year was about the limit I thought he should have anyway with his age….and lo and behold, he’s showed major signs of aging.

      Again, being a GM is NOT rocket science. It’s a purely political game. Baseball always has been, and always will be a political game (meaning people that aren’t deserving of their positions get them based purely on relationships instead of merit….even players too)

      But if the Ricketts family is really serious about winning, then they’ll fire Hendry IMMEDIATELY and start anew. This cannot continue any longer. Hendry hasn’t made a single move in the last 2 years that has benefited the franchise….not a single trade, free agent signing, or coaching/managerial hire. That speaks volumes, folks…..How can someone be batting .000 on moves and still have a job?

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 9-1 to Pirates Sunday afternoon. Cubs offense 1
    run on 4 hits; Darwin Barney: 2-for-3. 2B; Ramon Ortiz: 6R, 7H, BB, 2K in 4+ IP

  • Aaron

    I just wanted to expound what I said earlier….since I read a comment from a reader last night…won’t mention a name….that said I don’t offer solutions.

    I laughed my ass off when I read that, because I offer plenty of solutions that don’t involve “fire everybody”, “trade everybody”.

    What some people might have on here is a little bit of amnesia. I’m trying to recall a single player other than Castro that should be off limits in trade talks….I just can’t think of anybody. Even Marshall and Marmol have been very hittable of late, and are 2 pitch pitchers to begin with (not a problem if you completely overpower the other hitters….but they CANNOT). I guess I could see keeping Marshall off limits, because he’s a solid reliever that could end up starting if absolutely necessary…and solid lefty relievers are difficult to find.

    In order to retool for the future, teams must consider moving anybody and everybody that doesn’t factor into those plans, and furthermore, they’ll have to look into trading younger players with value that they otherwise might not want to trade, because they’d bring back a lot in return. That’s why keeping guys like Soto, Marshall, and Marmol (all 28 yrs old) as “untouchable” makes little sense.

    By the time the Cubs are ready to compete again in 2-3 years, (could’ve been as early as next year if the idiots in the front office would’ve called the team for what it is…..a dog….and started over last year) those guys will be in their 30′s. Look around the league….unless you’re an ace caliber pitcher or slugger with good consistency, you’re going to lose a lot of trade value in your 30′s. 

    Right this minute, the Cubs could bring up the following young guys to replace the veterans, and they wouldn’t miss a beat from how they’re performing at present with veterans:

    C-Castillo (24 yrs old), Clevenger (25); replacing Soto (28), Hill (32)
    1B-LaHair (28), Ridling (25); replacing Pena (33)
    2B-M. Gonzalez (22); replacing Baker (30)
    3B-LeMahieu (23); replacing ARAM (33)
    LF-Flaherty (25); replacing Soriano (35)
    CF-B. Jackson (23); replacing Byrd (34)
    RF-Colvin (26), Spencer (25); replacing Johnson (35), Fukudome (34)

    I love it when people say, “you just can’t get rid of every veteran”….and it’s funny, because PLENTY of teams have come VERY close to doing just that, including recent examples such as the Pirates, Reds, Brewers, Rockies, Rangers, etc., and they’ve done pretty well, haven’t they?

    There’s no point in keeping this team together any longer. They have done NOTHING to inspire confidence.

    And if a majority of the lineup wasn’t over 33 years old (Pena, ARAM, Soriano, Byrd, and Fukudome/Johnson), then I’d say any person on the other side of the debate would have a case to make that you “can’t just blow up the team completely)….but that’s 5 of 8 everyday players in the lineup over 33 years old….You simply cannot count on them to perform at a high level any longer, and the starts to their season prove it. Last year, ARAM, Lee, and Soriano all struggled out of the gate….this year ARAM, Soriano, and Pena all struggled out of the gate….all were over 33 years old. 

    In fact, look around the league, and you’ll see a lot of guys that were 33+years old struggling at the start, before improving later on. Given the fact that over 50% of the lineup is over-the-hill, it’s no wonder this club sucks as bad as it does.

    I also enjoy the recent revisionist history out there about the Cubs offense not being the problem. Evidently, everyone has already forgotten about the shutouts, and problems scoring runs in April, May, and the beginning of June. 

    Yes, the pitching has sucked too….badly….but it’s far from being the main problem. The offense was almost non-existent in April and May, and that could almost solely be attributed to veterans. Ironically, it was the young guys in Barney and Castro that carried the team offensively during that time.

    For once, I’d love someone from the other side of the argument to come up with some stats that show having a roster filled with 30-somethings, and a lineup filled with over 50% 33+year old players is somehow a better option than utilizing your farm system of 20-something players..or trading veterans away for 20-somethings if your own prospects can’t hack it at the MLB level.

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

      But you have never said to trade for anyone else. You have said “get rid of” and that they had no value. You have never mentioned who you would target in trades or in what way you would change our system for guys to be more ready when they get up. You never mentioned anything short of get rid of the vets and let the kids play. Yep that works well. All the Clubs you have mentioned went through YEARS of struggling until they brought in pieces to help with leadership. You can not gut a team on the fly and fire everyone and expect anyone to support you.

       We would have dumped Pena in April just ate 10 million and sent him packing. There was no market for Fukudome so eat his contract and put Colvin in his spot. Yep that works.

      You even mentioned just dumping Z after his latest blowup. But there has been no pitchers that can come up that have not been already hurt. In case you have not figured it out we have to have arms that actually can throw innings. We do not have that in our system now, We are promoting pitchers before they are ready up in our system just to fill gaps.

      But your right you always give solutions Aaron. You my friend are a joke. Read some of your own criticisms before you start talking about what you have said. It is obvious to anyone that has read all the stuff you spew out that your only goal is gripe and complain.

      You want to know how I know that is true? I have never seen you post after a win. You said that you sit there and laughed at my comment that you never offer solutions last night. But that is again just in my little mind compared to you. Geez what arrogance.

      • Bryan

        Sorry that some of us ruined your day of Happy Cubs Fan. 

      • carmelo

        Agree 1000%—who would Mr. LOL trade our players for?  Never has he once proposed a trading partner that would help the Cubs.  Just dump players, dump money, and start over.  I don’t think so.  That’s not how it works. Still waiting for Mr.LOL to get his GM job that he thinks he deserves.

        • Aaron

          Again….what are you still doing posting on here? You’re like the posters on cbssports, yahoo, and others that just pop in to attack people, and offer nothing of substance.

          Once again…go back to your circle, and have some fun…

      • Brentcarmona

        i think he is more focused in giving our guys in the system a chance…NOT trading for other veterans. i bet aaron could write a list of prospects we could obtain by trading our veterans but im pretty sure you know we would not receive any impact prospects in return..it would be mostly for salary relief.

        at the very least you should let aaron slide since his and our dissatisfaction with this organization is at an all time high. we are all frustrated and changes must be made, somehow some way..and im sick of all the vets over thirty so maybe we should take that lineup of the kids 23-28 yrs old so we can actually give them a freaking chance and see what they offer.

      • Aaron

        You seem to pay an awful lot of attention to my posts. Given that, I’m sure you understand that you’re being completely dishonest about me not offering suggestions. Sorry, that just doesn’t fly with me

        Among trades I’ve suggested were to Pena to the Giants, ARAM, Z, Dempster, and others to the Yankees with guys like Bumgarner (though we’d have to give more than just Pena…and it’s still doubtful they’d do that, as I’ve even mentioned in the past), Wheeler and Casilla were also mentioned….from the Yankees, Montero, Banuelos, Betances, Venditte….

        I don’t know what more you want. In the past, I’ve suggested salary dump trades of Soriano for Lackey (who is out of favor with the Red Sox, and almost equal money due), Wells (in the past, prior to his trade to the Angels), and Zito.

        I go far more in depth than most of you on this site (aside from Tom and Neil) with regard to my research of the Cubs system, other team’s systems, the free agent outlook, and different trade scenarios.

        I could simply go off on you regarding your idiotic comments, but I’ll refrain.

        The point of my recent comments just saying “blow it all up” is NOT to try to swing trades to make the Cubs better, but to free up space on the 40-man, and active 25-man MLB roster for the Cubs own prospects.

        I find it absolutely illogical to keep guys like:
        Hill-32 yrs old, $850,000
        Johnson-35 yrs old, $900,000
        Baker-30 yrs old, $1.175 million
        Soto-28 yrs old, $3 million (just entering REALLY expensive arbitration yrs)
        Grabow-32 yrs old, $4.8 million
        Byrd-34 yrs old, $5.5 million (1 yr, $6.5 mm left)
        Pena-33 yrs old, $10 million ($5 mm this year, $5 mm next Jan)
        Fukudome, 34 yrs old, $14.5 million
        ARAM, 33 yrs old, $14.6 million ($16.6 mm with buyout)
        Soriano, 35 yrs old, $19 million (3 yrs, $57 million remaining after this yr)

        You could certainly add Dempster, Zambrano, and Wells to that list, but with Whitenack having TJ surgery, McNutt dealing with injuries, and no other pitchers ready to take the reigns in the rotation, it’d be wise to at least hang onto one of them (Dempster).

        But as for these guys, even if you got absolutely NOTHING in return, they could EASILY be replaced by internal options, such as (in order of list above):
        Clevenger
        Colvin
        LeMahieu
        W. Castillo
        Beliveau
        B. Jackson
        LaHair
        Spencer
        Flaherty
        Ridling

        I’d rather get no prospects in return by either dumping these veterans outright after the deadline, or getting low ceiling A-ball guys in return prior to the deadline, and playing the prospects the last 2 months of the season.

        As was stated ad nauseam on here by myself and others is the fact that the only players with decent trade value are:
        Garza
        Dempster
        Zambrano (if the Cubs eat nearly all his contract)
        Soto
        Pena (if the Cubs eat most of his deal)
        Barney
        Castro
        ARAM (same as Z and Pena)
        Byrd
        Marshall
        Marmol
        *in the case of Z, Pena, and ARAM, they hold minimal trade value if the Cubs don’t pick up most of the remaining $$ on their respective deals

        The Cubs would be crazy not to listen to offers for anyone outside of Castro. Hell, if the Yankees offered Banuelos, Detances, and Montero for Garza, I’d do it in a heartbeat, and throw in Grabow and ARAM for good measure.

        In fact, just over a week ago, I did an analysis of contending teams, and their needs, and who the Cubs have that would match up well with their needs.

        Teams like the Yankees (3B now w/ AROD out, OF, rotation, and relief), Red Sox (rotation), Giants (C,1B, OF), Phillies (3B, relief), Tigers (rotation, OF, 3B)…..all have needs the Cubs can help them fill.

        We could speculate all day on who the Cubs should go after, and I’ve offered up PLENTY of suggestions in the past….but the bottom line is, they just need to get rid of overpaid, underperforming veterans and give more deserving prospects a chance, even if they get minimal value in return.

        • Zach

          I liked almost everything you said except, that i wouldn’t get rid of Soto even if he costs a lot, I just think that the Cubs wouldn’t get enough in return for him.

      • cubtex

        Richard, I have learned to not respond to his long babble about cutting everyone and bringing up fringe prospects to take their place? So a team would actually cut over 75 million in payroll to bring up the likes of Tyler Colvin,Ryan Flaherty and others??????? Just ignore it. It will never happen and no point responding to something so idiotic.

        • Aaron

          classic douchery from you….of course you’d say that….

          I have refrained from responding to a lot of what you said, as I really don’t like arguing with idiots….

          But I have to say that I do read what you say, and I find it hilarious.  For instance, you’ve made a lot of comments, such as “…this is what I’ve been saying all year” or “the Cubs should blow this thing up and start over”

          ….but that’s not true, is it? First of all, you blasted me earlier in the season when I called this team what it was—-completely flat, and not even close to being in contention….Then, you blasted me for saying to start over, and then you say it yourself, then claim you’ve been saying it all year, then all of a sudden, you get hit in the head (obviously), and have amnesia, claiming that I’m babbling on, and saying things “so idiotic”

          hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

          You and Richard make a perfect couple

          • cubtex

            Can you ever have a discussion without acting so classless? And you wonder why others blast you so much? Look back over the last 2 months and lets compare who has made more sense! It ain’t even close!!!!!

          • GrantJones7

            Cubtex, there is not a single reason to blast Aaron, he knows what hes talking about as iv said before, he Tom and Neil do a great job about knwoing whats what in the Cubs system, as i also know a lot about it i agree with a lot of what they say.

          • cubtex

            Grant. I am pointing out how classless and immature his responses are to people who disagree with him. Calling people childish names is ridiculous. People disagree without comments like douchery or circle jerk and the list goes on. Do you agree?

      • GrantJones7

        Iv talked to Aaron over many emails and I will say he is about as informed as it comes, one of the few people i know i can talk actual baseball, minor leagues, how to fix the team, ect about, with actual ideas and not stupid ideas.

        Il defend him in any argument, he has most of the time said when he was wrong (IE Camp) and he also goes back to show what he said that would have been way better. His ideas are usually very well thought out and make sense usually. Not syaing i agree with it all (IE Kirk in rotation next year) It is still better then not presenting ideas.

  • BosephHeyden

    You know what might help the Cubs in the future?  Other teams doing so well that their fans actually show up to home games.  I think that’s been a big thing holding the Cubs back all these years:  a fanbase that, for the most part, keeps preaching on and on about “have faith in the team”, “this year’s the year”, etc, that show up to other team’s ballparks in such numbers that their stadium suddenly turns into another Wrigley, not to root the team into winning, mind you, but so they can show up and “support” the team’s direction while also having the potential to celebrate a win elsewhere.

    With all these other teams doing so well, there’s no tickets for “Cubs fans” to buy out, so they can’t brag about going into hostile territory to root for the Cubs.  And if they don’t have that, then what do they have?  The ability to pay $50 to be in a ballpark that is so technologically unadvanced they’ve had troth’s in the bathrooms that, really, serves as nothing more than a tourist trap where yuppies can hang out and potentially have a reason to drink more during a week day?

    Get rid of some of these hangers on, change the fan mindset, and hopefully we can force them to get better.  Or Ricketts can just sleep easy at night knowing he can check “Bought Cubs” off his bucket list.