Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Mariners – 03/19/12

Spring Training Game Nineteen: Cubs (7-11) vs. Mariners (11-6)
Game Time – 3:05pm CDT
Coverage – TV: None – Radio:
Location – Peoria Sports Complex, Peoria

Travis Wood (1-1, 20.25/3.75) vs. Jason Vargas (0-1, 5.63/0.88)

The Cubs take a break from the Cactus League split squad games this afternoon and will make the rather lengthy trip from Mesa to Peoria for a single game against the Mariners. While the Cubs officially take a break from the split squad games (resumes on Tuesday with games against the A’s and Rangers), the Cubs created a game with the Indians in Goodyear that was scheduled to begin at 10:00am local time (12:00pm CDT). A “B” game will take place between the Cubs and Tribe with Randy Wells getting the start.

Darwin Barney is expected back in the starting lineup while Ian Stewart will spend another day on the shelf. Stewart is expected back in a starting lineup Tuesday, likely against the Rangers at HoHoKam Park.

Today’s Cactus League game all starts with Travis Wood

To say Travis Wood is pitching today to prolong the Cubs’ decision to send him to Triple-A to start the season would be an understatement. Travis Wood has struggled this spring and has fallen behind Jeff Samardzija, Chris Volstad and Randy Wells in the mix for the final two spots in the Cubs rotation.

Wood makes his third appearance, second start, in the Cactus League and is coming off a bad outing against the Brewers. Wood allowed six runs, five earned, on three hits with two walks and a strikeout in a third of inning. Another outing like the one against Milwaukee today and he’s liable to be optioned out in the next round of spring roster cuts.

James Russell and Jay Jackson are also on the Cubs’ pitching schedule for Monday.

Jason Vargas makes his third start this afternoon for the Mariners. Vargas has allowed five runs on six hits with a walk and five strikeouts over eight innings in his first two starts. Vargas threw four innings of shutout ball against the Padres back on March 4 and was rocked by Arizona in his last start. Vargas has not pitched in a Cactus League game since March 9.

News and Notes
According to multiple reports Sunday, Jeff Samardzija is close to locking up a spot in the Cubs’ Opening Day rotation.

The wet fields have delayed Ian Stewart’s return to the lineup. The Cubs planned for Ian Stewart to do running drills Sunday and return to the lineup Monday. Weather/field conditions kept Stewart from running and the Cubs decided to push him back a day for precautionary reasons. Stewart is expected back Tuesday after missing time with tightness in his right quad.

According to a report from the Tribune, there is only one available spot on the Cubs’ bench and Joe Mather is the favorite to land the spot. Welington Castillo or Steve Clevenger will begin the season as the back-up catcher. Blake DeWitt, Jeff Baker and Reed Johnson are assured of spots according to the Tribune. If that is the case, the Cubs will have to open two spots on the 40-man roster (currently stands at 40), one for DeWitt and one for Mather. Both players were non-roster invitees to big league camp.

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Pitching is the cornerstone of most championship teams." – Roger Craig

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  • Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    DeJesus – RF
    Barney – 2B
    Castro – SS
    Soriano – LF
    Baker – 3B
    Byrd – CF
    Johnson – DH
    Mather – 1B
    Castillo – C

    Travis Wood on the hill

    • paulcatanese

      With the exception of 3B, and maybe first, this could be the opening day lineup. Pitching excluded.

  • cubs1967

    hope the fans in the grassy burm brought their gloves today with B.A.(bombs away) Wood on the hill!!!

  • cubs1967

    why would dewitt be assured a spot?? gotta be the Trib talking out of the you know what with no clue…………..I thought this was a youth movement team Theo??……..looks like JH all over again with a worse bullpen and Travis Sean Estes Wood.

    • gary3411

       Bench players are not part of a youth movement. Anyone in the future plans will be playing everyday in either major leagues or minor leagues.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Let’s talk Youth Movement. Who have they acquired for this movement?

        Travis “Bombs Away” Wood
        Torreyes (still 2-4 years away from the bigs). 
        Lenny Castillo, bullpen arm. 

        Anybody else?  Not that I can think of right now.

        What am I saying?


        3B? No youth movement there.
        SS? No, we had Castro for 2 yrs already.
        2B? Nope. He was here last year.
        1B? LaHair is already 29. He’s not young anymore.
        LF? Soriano is 36.
        CF? Byrd is 35.
        RF? DeJesus is 32.
        C? Soto is 29. AN old 29, too.

        No youth movement here that I can see.

        • Aaron

          What?…you’re not excited about…

          Sappelt-4th/5th OF at best
          Cates-mid 4’s ERA
          Stewart-coming off mid .150’s avg last yr…oh and is currently injured (also issue last yr)
          Weathers -cannot hit the broad side of a barn

          • Aaron

            ….But let me just add this…

            At least Castillo is doing well and so is Rizzo (even though his swing still sucks and i am not convinced he’s the real deal….side note: did everyone notice Vogelbach hit a bomb in his first game this spring?)

            I also think their signing of Mather…while not a major signing, appears to be a solid pick-up, especially with his versatility.

          • Ripsnorter1

            No question: Castillo has an arm, but is not polished. 

            Mather: nah.
            Rizzo: not the real deal, imo. Time will tell, but not looking like it to me just yet. 

          • cubtex

            Disagree on Rizzo. I think he is the real deal.

          • cubtex

            I like what I have seen of Lendy Castillo. Rizzo will be starting at 1st base by the end of June(IMO)

          • Ripsnorter1

            Does Sappelt even make the 25 man out of ST? 

            I don’t think he’s going to, but what do you think?

          • gary3411

             It’s between him and Mather and will probably come down to the wire. My bet is on Mather, but I’d say it’s darn close to 50/50 right now.

          • cubtex

            The one move that really makes me scratch my head was after watching Casey Weather pitch……What scout was responsible for recommending that guy in that trade? If it was Colvin for Stewart that was fine but then to add Lemahieu in it for Weathers???? I don’t think LeMahieu will be a star…..but he will be a major leaguer. I am betting Weathers will never throw a pitch for the Cubs or any other team.

          • gary3411

            I’m confused why everyone keeps saying we traded LeMahieu for Weathers? Was there a report of this somewhere that I missed?

            My understanding is that the Rockies would not trade Stewart for Colvin straight up, so we had to kick in LeMahieu and the Cubs said that’s fine, but we would like Weathers as well and take a chance. That is much much more likely what happened than what people have been suggesting about Weathers for Lemahieu, that would have been one of the worst moves I’ve ever seen if that’s the case. That’s why I just refuse to believe it.

          • cubtex

            That is the problem Gary…Why would any scout in the organization ask for Weathers back? You have to question their player evaluations. And now with Wood looking awful….I am starting to question who is actually recommending these players?

          • gary3411

             Because he throws 100mph that’s what I figured. If you can tweak some things and get him to throw strikes you instantly have a possible legit bullpen arm on your hands.

            That was probably the best the Rockies were willing to throw in. Trade as a whole worth it to me as Lemahieu IMO is a bench prospect and Colvin is done, not to mention we had a glaring need at third base. I’d rather give Stewart a shot there than Lemaheiu no questions asked. No one else in our system and better option than spending money on a free agent when we are not ready to compete. A risk for sure, but calculated with little downside (unless losing the bench prospect in LeMaheiu is considered a big downside to anyone).

        • gary3411

           I’m not aware of the words “youth movement” being used by any Cubs execs. I’m not so excited about the chips we have gotten, but more excited about the non-moves (signing of older free agents to long-term deals).

          The moves have been solid with the few chips we have to work with at this point. Obviously nobody was offering us much for Garza at this point, nor probably Soto or Byrd. If we have passed up good offers for Soto or Byrd then that is not good. But, none of us have any clue what the offers have been, so not sure how you can blame anyone when we may have not gotten any respectable prospects offered for those 2. Garza, we may have only been getting a single top-prospect in offers plus a few mid-level. I wouldn’t do it. We just don’t know unfortunately. Wish there was a way we could know.

          I was just commenting that the bench does not relfect a youth movement because why would you want anyone part of your future not playing every day to improve and work on their game as much as possible that’s all.

          • Ripsnorter1

            I appreciate your viewpoint, and agree that you don’t fill the bench with young players who need the everyday practice to get better. 

            On the other hand, Theo/Jed has made this team worse, not better, than the 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008 and 2007 teams. And they have not sown the seeds for future success, either. And for that, they are to be blamed, imo. 

          • RynoTiger

            so in 3 months at the helm they’re supposed to be miracle workers?  I know we all have high expectations, but hell even when a new Director took over my department at my university even then I knew it would take time for her to get to know the culture, the people, the problems, the successes, and to evaluate where we needed to go and how we were going to get there. 

            sure I wanted change to happen or for her to do this and that, as did my colleagues, but coming in new doesn’t mean things are going to happen instantly. it takes time to change 100+ years of futility. 

            so they haven’t gotten it done in 3 months, should we call for their head?  heck no. how about maybe they get a year to do some real work?  ya know, some time to actually shift a culture that took a century to build… 

      • cubs1967

        anyone can be part of a youth movement; why should we see baker-reed-dewitt all over again with byrd-sori in the OF??? and then they add an old lahair and mather???

        like i said way back in november; this team is gonna have a worse record than quade did as manager……..which will make 3 yrs running of no playoffs for epstein and jed……….and it’s so bad might as well say 4 for next year too!

        there is no grace period for pk mccaskey or team theo………..104 yrs and counting………..

        • gary3411

           Nobody else is ready except Jackson, and he will be up sooner than later. You should not just throw guys out there, when they can be refining their skills at AAA without having to do it in front of 40,000 people.

          And you surely do not want any real young players sitting on your MLB bench instead of playing every day in AAA.

    • Ripsnorter1

      They owe DeWitt $1.1 million. That’s what he’s assured of. 

    • ChadAudio

      I don’t understand why DeWitt would be assured of a spot either… that’s very confusing.  He was a non-roster invite… why would he be assured of a spot?  I also assumed the Trib just didn’t know what they were talking about.

  • Theboardrider

    What’s the deal with Mather’s history?  Did the Braves just never really give him a shot to play everyday?  He reminds me of a Mark DeRosa type.  Rip, how have his numbers compared to others, both from minors and time in majors?  BAPIP?  Is he just someone that has fallen through the cracks or is he just now “getting it?”  Or is this  a fluke and we can expect him to hit .240 over a full season?  

    • Theboardrider

      I just looked at his career stats on MiLB and they’re not very impressive.  Only had average over .300 twice and neither looked like a full season.  The seasons he played in over 120 games he batted around .250.  Also I saw a split that had him at .260 in day games vs. .330 in night games…great…

    • Ripsnorter1

      BABIP is more of a statement about the defenses one is playing against than it is about a batter’s skill set. If you play against the Cubs everyday, your BABIP will be higher than if you play against the Phillies. 

      Mather is no All-Star. He has middling power. Don’t get too starry-eyed over his HR totals this ST. Remember Jake Fox had 10 taters last Spring, and then his manager gave him just 69 AB all year. 

      .240 is probably about right for Mather, if not less. 
      2011–.211 BA with Atlanta in 83 PA…1 HR. 
      2010–.217 with Cards in 64 PA…0 HR
      2008–the last time he was in the majors–Cards….240 BA with 8 HR in 147 PA. The power was nice, but not really repeatable.

      SO what’s wrong with him?
      Answer: he doesn’t make enough contact, and he doesn’t hit with enough power to make it.
      2011–69% contact rate
      2010–81% contact rate
      2008–76% contact rate

      That means he’s no more than a .250. Ever. 
      His power is too low for his positions. His 162 game average would be 12 HR. You cannot survive with a 12 HR 1B or 3B or LF or RF. 

      Speed? He is good for about 4-6 SB per year. SO he has no real speed, either. He’s just not good enough. The only reason they are looking at him is because he can play multiple positions. 

      • John_CC

         BABIP is a metric used to measure a hitter’s season vs. his career.  It is a stat that can help define “career” years (or “lucky”) and can help explain below average seasons (based on being “unlucky”). Since a hitter compiles 500-600 PA against 15 or so different teams with 25+ players on each team … to say that the stat measure the skill of the defense he plays against is just not true.

        • Ripsnorter1

          I agree with your statement about BABIP used to measure “career years.” But it is also a stat that is skewed by the defenses a player faces.

          How many games do the Cubs play against each team in the Central, e.g., the Pirates (#23 in defense) and the Astros (#25)? And how many games did the Cubs play vs the Phils (#2 in MLB defense) in 2012? We play just 6 against the Phils, and 17 each vs. Pirates and Astros. Do you think that a Cubs’ players BABIP might be skewed a little by such occurances? 

          At least I think you’ll agree with this statement: BABIP is NOT predictive for a player’s future performance. 

    • Ripsnorter1


    • gary3411

      Mather definitely has power. In 2007-08 he had some monster years, 522 and 630 slugging pct respectively, including a solid big league stint in ’08. Then, in 2009 he was crushed by an early season wrist injury (we as Cub fans no how that can ruin an entire season).

      Then in 2010 he came back to have a somewhat down year with the power numbers dropping drastically from 2007-08. The reason for this I am not sure, but if you don’t have 2 consecutive seasons of 522 and 630 slugging pct from luck, the power is definitely there. Maybe the wrist was still lingering but I find that hard to believe, so maybe a change of approach came about. 2011 was similar to 2010, but with a noticeable improvement at 820 ops (not stellar for AAA).

      Our only hope is that Mather has refound his 2007-08 stroke or confidence or whatever it was that he lost since then, otherwise like Rip says he won’t hit over 240, 12HR and won’t last very long in the big leagues barring major injuries.

      Let’s hope he found something this offseason though! It sure seems like it so far, but it is most likely a short sample size hot streak/fluke.

      • paul catanese

        Gary, I know you will think I’m crazy, but Mather (in my opinion) seems to have lost the ability to handle the inside pitch. Watching him says he has gone to a 32 inch bat with a thick head, enabling him in his mind to handle inside pitches and not bother the wrist as much. The other compensation would be to choke up on the bat to releave pressure on the wrist. Just a thought . Choking up on a bat would decrease power, so I think he opted for a shorter bat. At the most it may be 33 inches.

        • gary3411

           Do you have a link to where you heard he went to a shorter bat? Or do you just think that is possibly what he has done based on seeing his bat compared to others’ bats this Spring? He is a big dude keep in mind, his bat may just appear small.

          Also, I’m not familiar with the term “thick head”? I don’t think I have ever seen a bat where the head is thicker than the barrel? Can you elaborate?

          If that’s the case why would I think that’s crazy, that’s the kind of explanation I am looking for as to why his power dropped so much.

          • paul catanese

            Gary, not a link, just seeing the bat in his hands and comparing it to what the others are swinging. It just looks short.
            I should have elaborated on the”head” of the bat, I mean from the trademak towards the head.
            Kind of like a Jackie Robinson model from the trademark forward.
            I wish someone had the in to ask him about the length, I swear its 32 to 33 inches.

          • paul catanese

            Gary, also I hit a 33 inch mantle model right handed and a 32 inch mantle left handed until someone moved off the plate, didn’t know I was not extending my arms until then, great improvement after.

          • paul catanese

            Me off the plate.

  • Neil

    Cubs scored 7 runs on 8 hits with a walk in the 1st inning against Mariners

  • Neil

    Travis Wood gave up a 2-run shot to Ichiro in 1st. Wood’s line in 1st: 2R, 2H(HR), BB, K, E

    • Ripsnorter1

      Something is wrong with his mechanics. 

      He isn’t going to make the team out of ST, imo. I hope he can be fixed in Iowa. 

  • Neil

    Travis Wood gave up 2 more runs in the second on a two-out double, a triple and a wild pitch

  • Neil

    Travis Wood’s final line for Monday: 7R, 7H (3HR), 2BB, 2K, WP, E in 2+ IP

    • cubtex


  • Ripsnorter1

    Wood doing his job—-for the Mariners.

    Sappelt may not make the team. Wood won’t make the team. Torreyes is not ready and won’t be for 2-4 years. This trade may not be in the Cubs’ favor.

    I know they were counting on Wood to make the rotation out of ST. This has to be unpleasant for Jed.

    • cubs1967

      well, i was wrong again on wood; he is not sean estes, estes is better , maybe even now AND not if he’d give up 3 runs today, but 3 HOMERS!!………WTF was this trade made for???

      here’s the official: I TOLD YOU SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      for discussion:
      what will be higher; the bears avg points per game now with brandon marshall or bombs away wood’s ERA…….i’m taking wood’s ERA and i expect the bears to be well over 20 points per game now!!

      the stewart trade was not needed; anyone could of played 3rd for one year while we waited on Vitters and the marshall trade was plain FU***** stupid.  this team is horrid!!

      famous last words from theo: cubs fans should expect a winner.
      my question: what century??

      • Ripsnorter1

        Well, now that it’s official…..LOL

        It really is bad news for the Cubs. I am sure they were counting of Wood to make the rotation, and now he’s not even in the running for making the team out of ST. Sappelt is Sam Fuld without the stolen base speed, or in other words, not rosterable, either. I don’t see him making the team. To sum up, the Cubs have to pray that Torreyes is all that he appears to be, or else….

        WE GOT ROBBED.

        I really like Torreyes potential. But he’s only a Single A player. Not close to MLs.

        Congrats to Jed on another fine move…

        • gary3411

           Just curious where the Sam Fuld vs Dave Sappelt comparison came from? Eye test?

          The stats aren’t really close.

          Sappelt age 23 AA-AAA – 902 ops
          age 24 AAA – 834 ops
          age 25 – this season

          Fuld age 23 low-A – 810ops (highest ever)
          age 24 – A+ – 801ops (second highest ever)
          next four years averaging in mid700s

          Offensively they are not really close at all, and Fuld never stole more than 23 in a season, he’s no Tony Campana.

          • Ripsnorter1

            My view is that Sappelt is a low power guy (no HR threat), not a SB threat, and last year his BA from the MiLs did not translate into MLB. (He hit only .243, slugged .318 and had an OPS of just .607). To me, he looks like Sam Fuld without quite as much glove or speed. 

            Answer: eye test. 

          • Tom U

            I’m sorry Rip, but I think you are being a little harsh. In the 38 games he appeared in 2011, Sappelt  had only 3 or more at bats in 22 of them, and batted .291 in those games.

            As far as speed, he has 82 stolen bases over 4 years in the minors, or an average of 20 per season.

          • Ripsnorter1

            He didn’t steal bases successfully in the upper minors. Look at these facts:

            2011: 4 SB, 4 CS in AAA

            2010: 3 teams, ranging from A+, AA, AAA, had 25 SB, 18 CS. That’s not a great record of SB success. And in MLB, he had 1 SB and 1 CS in 38 games. 

            He ran more in the lower minors: 47 SB but 22 CS in A ball.

            Hey, if he can prove me wrong, that would be just fine.

          • Tom U

            I saw that also. The only thing I can’t find out is where he batted in the order. If he was hitting third, that could explain the lack of stolen bases. His .313 average was leading all starters when he was called up, so that could be possible.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Too skinnyhere…look at next post.

          • Ripsnorter1

            IN MLB he batted 1st in 7 games, 2nd in 14 games, 6th in 1 games, and 7th in 6 games, and 5th in 1 game. 

          • Ripsnorter1

            Sappelt had a 48% Ground Ball rate in MLB in 2011. 

            He had only a 3% BB rate (very low). Contact rate was 84% (good) and his power was way low. 

            Sappelt started 22 games in MLB in 2011.
            More seasoning is needed. He’s 25.

          • Tom U

            Agreed. See next week’s article.

          • Theboardrider

            Hey Rip I wanted to say that I appreciate your approach.  In the past I thought you were so negative it drove me nuts.  Lately you’ve still been very pragmatic and yet you end just about all of your thoughts with “but I hope they prove me wrong,” or something that gives the positive result a chance.  

            Just a small change but I like it a lot.  It’s hard for grown men to do things different but I wanted to let you know I appreciate your efforts.  You’re a wonderfully informative poster and you’re “rosier,” (my term) outlook has been refreshing.  At least to me…

        • Jeff in AZ

          They have had 9 guys competing for a starting job. I dont think they”needed wood to make the rotation”. Right now he looks horrible and needs to be sent down. Thank goodness Volstad has looked great, lets not overlook that.

      • gary3411

         Yea let’s just throw anyone at third base. Good idea! We could ask a fan before each game.

        Vitters most likely will not be a starting MLB third baseman. Stewart has a better shot IMO.

        • Ripsnorter1

          True, Vitters is not a ML starting 3B. His glove alone would kill a team. Personally, if he doesn’t have an attitude change, I don’t think he’ll get 250 ML ABs in his entire career. 

        • Ripsnorter1

          And Stewart’s injuries and questionable bat means that I would keep DeWitt. Add in his $1.1 million contract, and it’s a lock for me. 

          It looks like we are going to have a hole at 3B this year.

      • Jeff in AZ

        Boy, I wish you and all your happy thoughts were running the team.

    • GaryLeeT

      I think the front office’s plan for 2012 was to throw giant handfuls of mud on the wall, and see what sticks. It’s an annual event for small market teams. If Volstad makes it, and Wood doesn’t, I think they will consider their search for starting pitching, an overall success.

      • cubtex

        When you have one of your better trade chips in Sean Marshall and you don’t hit on the centerpiece of the trade….you consider that to be acceptable?

        • Ripsnorter1

          AND, Cubtex, he was considered probably the best LH relief setup guy in MLB, too. 

  • Ripsnorter1

    Detroit NEEDS a 2B……


  • Neil

    Cubs top Mariners 12-7 Monday afternoon

    Travis Wood: 7R, 7H (3HR), 2BB, 2K, WP, E, 2+IP; James Russell: 0R, 1H, 0BB, K, 2IP; Jay Jackson: 0R, 4H, BB, K, 4IP

    David DeJesus: 2-for-3, 2RBI, BB, R; Starlin Castro: 1-for-4, 2B, RBI; Darwin Barney: 2-for-2, 2B, RBI, R; Welington Castillo: 2-for-3, 2B, 2R; Joe Mather: 1-for-3, 2RBI, R

  • cubs1967

    your 2012 cubs, if team theo did not panic and make bad signings like maholm and dejesus (waste of 15M in guranteed money) or bad panic traded like marshall or for stewart.  team theo was too busy signing buddies and creating their cubby blue version of carmine.  so team theo i gotta sign someone or i gotta trade for someone…..and created a much worse team than JH/quade put together.

    assuming no big money spent (if they had pursued fielder, he could of signed for 7/180) before vmart got hurt. every team that wins a WS had a major FA signing, and i assume sometime in the next 7 yrs for theo’s 5 yr contract the goal is to win…..right?? let’s assume only minor moves were done:

    c-soto/castillo/clevenger–NO change
    1b-lahair-NO change (vogelbach is 1b of future)
    2b-barney/cardenas-minor move
    ss-castro-no change
    3b-lamaheui/dewitt/baker/m gonzalez-NO change (waiting for vitters)
    lf-sori-no change
    cf-bjax/reed-NO change
    rf-colvin (.360 ST avg for rockies)/reed/byrd/sign someone cheap like gomes

    sp-garza/demp/volstad(good move-had to be done)-smarda-wells
    backups SP-rod lopez-sonnastine-coleman

    bullpen-marmol-wood-cashner-carpenter-marshall-l castillo (minor move)-russell/rusin

    So…is stewart better than baker/dewitt/lamaheui combo-NO
    is dejesus better than colvin/byrd/reed combo-NO

    so we wasted 15M on dejesus/maholm for a team NO better if not worse that could of been used on cespedes for same as a’s contract, used to wash out big Z’s contract or slush fund to payoff soriano soon to be released contract.

    the Sp is not any better with wood or maholm than what could of been.
    the pen is much better if team theo had left things alone.

    team theo made panic moves.
    the only “asset” i can see is rizzo based on the moves.

    just like in beantown when team theo panic and signed crawford, lackey, jd drew or dice-K………only smaller scale, but made a 91 loss team worse…………

    104 yrs and counting………NO grace preiod for ricketts or team theo.

    • RynoTiger

      well then based off your logic, their panic moves of wasting only $15million this year shows quite an improvement as opposed to panicing and wasting $200million+ on Lackey, Crawford, Drew, Dice-K

      So after less than 20 spring training games, judgement is made that Rizzo is an asset and everyother player is a bust?  why aren’t you scouting for the Cubs then?  put your skills to some good use other than on a fan forum website!  you could help turn the club around.

      i think a response i had earlier on this page is adequate here as well:
      so in 3 months at the helm they’re supposed to be miracle workers? I know we all have high expectations, but hell even when a new Director took over my department at my university even then I knew it would take time for her to get to know the culture, the people, the problems, the successes, and to evaluate where we needed to go and how we were going to get there.
      sure I wanted change to happen or for her to do this and that, as did my colleagues, but coming in new doesn’t mean things are going to happen instantly. it takes time to change 100+ years of futility.

      so they haven’t gotten it done in 3 months, should we call for their head? heck no. how about maybe they get a year to do some real work? ya know, some time to actually shift a culture that took a century to build…

      • Coachdon

         The Epstein Western Red Sox would have a better team on the field in 2012 if they hadn’t done a thing, as 1967 has laid out. I wanted a new regime to make changes. Namely: Soriano, Byrd, Soto, possibly Marmol, all gone with young guys in their place. About the only new young guy getting a chance will be one of the catchers(Castillo or Clevenger) and if Jaramillo was healthy they would have been denied that. I think Colvin has much more upside than Stewart, never would have made that deal. LeMahieu and  Flaherty should be battling for a spot this spring with the Cubs. I will believe Torreyes is a major leaguer when I see it. He makes Barney look huge. Hosed in the Marshal trade, hosed in the Colorado trade, foolish in the rule 5 draft(except possibly L Castillo), awful signing of Dejesus, and on and on. All you did by bringing in Rizzo is mess with LaHair’s head. I call it an awful offseason for the supposed genius.

    • Theboardrider

      I strongly disagree that Theo’s version is worse than Hendry’s.  Hendry’s was a proven loser and Theo’s hasn’t even reached the regular season.  I like many of the moves and personally, hope springs eternal in a way that I haven’t felt in years.  Give them 2-3 years and let’s see what happens.  I believe there is potential in our system and I think we’ve got a great management team in Sveum, Bosio et al.  I’m definitely a glass half-full type person but with the Cubs I always expect the worst.  Lately I have felt something that I haven’t felt for a long time…hope.  

    • Jeff in AZ

      What are you talking about? Maholm is a lock for the rotation and DeJesus is our lead off hitter and starting right fielder. How is that a waist of 15 million dollars?

  • Tom U

    Rip, I did a little more research on the Louisville Bats, where Dave Sappelt spent his 2011. He spent half the time at lead-off, half at other spots in the order. 

    However, Louisville had four starters hitting over .300 (including Sappelt), along with Yonder Alonzo hitting .296 and Devin Mesoraco hitting .289. That’s a lot of offensive firepower. 

    To contrast, the Iowa Cubs had only two starters hitting  over .300. They had only one player in double digit steals, yet stole 71 bases to Louisville’s 68. Louisville had two players in double digits.