Rambling While Hanging in the Basement

After staring at a blank computer screen for quite some time trying to find the words to describe this season thus far, I realized that a blank piece of paper sums up the first 13 games better than anything else.

Seriously though, the team is bad. I have just one question. Did any of you think something else was going to happen? We all knew this team was the opposite of good. So those acting surprised or complaining at no end are insinuating they expected different. No one did. We might as well just have fun with it.

So let’s do some rambling …

  • In baseball, when I see 3-10, I think .300 batting average. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the Cubs situation.
  • It seems that every time anyone starts lauding Garza and getting excited, he gets absolutely shelled. Re: Wednesday night.
  • That spinning green fish celebration thing is plain dumb. The friggin’ big apple party at Shea Stadium was so much better. And that one stunk.
  • It is really unfortunate that Byrd got hit in the head like he did last year, but it has totally changed him. And no one can judge him for being affected by it. However, the Cubs need to move on as a team.
  • I would be stunned if any team agreed to bring him aboard as part of a trade.
  • Silver lining 1: The I-Cubs are tearing it up. That is nice. Something to look forward to at least. Right.
  • I swear that whenever he flips on the TV and watched Geo drop a tipped third strike or get called out looking, Jerome Walton kicks back and just snickers.
  • Or he cries, as you know, he was Geo Soto before Geo Soto was Geo Soto.
  • Samardzija had a rough outing yesterday. Guess what … that is going to happen now and again. He is a number-3 starter, not an ace. We will see how he develops. Let’s remain realistic.
  • The Cubs have hit 5 homers in 13 games. That is NOT GOOD.
  • Again, anyone angry or surprised by this season is out of line. Theo and company cannot clean up the mess they inherited in 5 months. Expecting that to happen in naïve and plain dumb. Just plain idiotic.
  • Kind of liking hating Ricketts and calling him cheap.
  • Let me be clear. I am NOT HAPPY. I am not cool with all the losing. However, I knew this was coming and I was properly prepared. I am trying to get excited by the I-Cubs, by Castro, by some of the pitching. However, I am not going to get down because a crappy team that I knew was going to be crappy is, indeed, crappy.
  • Silver lining #2: Castro has 7 swipes and hasn’t been caught yet. I like the Sveum is putting him in motion.
  • During last Saturday’s pregame on Fox, Kevin Millar said, “In a few years, we are going to be talking about Starlin Castro as one of the top 5 players in the game.”
  • So I guess that statement can be considered silver lining #3.
  • As I am typing this, Rizzo just went yard for the 6th time this season. Good stuff.
  • Just trying to stay positive over here. Staying positive does not mean turning a blind eye to the team. I can try to be positive about the future while not enjoying the season.
  • I am very happy that Castro only has 6 strikeouts. Yes, I am very aware that just about every silver lining has to do with Castro.
  • The Cubs bullpen is not good. In fact it is very bad.
  • And for our final silver lining: James Russell’s ERA is: 0.00

Yes, folks, it has been a tough road thus far, and it ain’t getting any better. It is going to be a long season. We might as well look to the future and get in some good, hearty laughs at the present because in few Octobers, the outcome is not going to be a laughing matter.

Until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!!

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Quote of the Day

"If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse." - Jim Rohn

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  • Darrell Nugent

    A good honest article, Brian.

  • Hagsag

    We stinks.

  • xaxinho

    Wait till the series against the Dodgers at Wrigley. Things will change.

  • Ripsnorter1

    SURPRISE!

    San Diego got shut out last night!

    One cannot build a winning team with just singles hitters.

    • Cory Sisk

      Two probably couldn’t either.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Keith Moreland says that catching or dropping a foul tip has almost nothing to do with the catcher’s ability. The ball is coming in there at 90+ mph, and you’ve no time to adjust. When the ball and the bat make contact, it simply becomes a matter of how much the ball moves from its original trajectory.

    • Tony_Hall

      That’s what ex-catchers, who were poor defensively say :)

    • cubtex

      That is 100% accurate. You can’t anticipate a foul tip

  • Ripsnorter1

    I wonder….

    Are the BoSox blogs writing that “fans need patience” so that their GM Ben Cherington can clean up the mess Theo left behind. “Can’t do it in 5 months. Too big of a mess. To expect otherwise is idiotic.”

    Just wondering….because they sure have a mess on their hands over there. 

    The fact is some franchises have cleaned up messes in 5 months. It is all in how you go about it. 

    If your minor leagues have no impact players coming along (ie, like the Cubs), then you must make some major league moves to field a competitive team each year.

    Ernie Banks=Starlin Castro.

    Yeah, ole Ernie was a pretty good SS,….the team around him stunk….Silver Lining #1 and all..you know….but ole Ernie never played for a winner, until the 1969 Cubs, but they lost too….

    Let’s hope we don’t do the same (pardon the expression) “idiotic” thing with Starlin Castro. 

    And–now I am being very serious–please do not take offense at my post. I am just saying that the Jed/Theo/new front office cronies did not give us a competitive team in 2012, and that they could have. And I ain’t buying the company line that it was impossible to do so, or that to do so would have crippled the Cubs for eternity. I don’t buy it. Politely. With a smile.

    • cubs1967

      same goes for hating ricketts cuz he’s cheap.  name the top tier free agent signings by the ricketts ownership…………………………………………………………………………………………………..yep; NONE.

      payroll down 40M since he toook over.  the payroll is over 100M from what he inherited; down to 85M on the field from what he inherited.  does he have the guts to sign big names??……PK MCCaskey??…..we don’t know.  you think the magic johnson led dodgers will not sign FA?

      red sox-padres-cubs are 10-28………….just sayin’ it’s idiotic to except team theo making the team WORSE and be OK with it becuz “boy genius” couldn’t fix the JH mess………….so JH is a better GM at bad teams than team theo is at fixing them??…….so why is he here?

      • Tony_Hall

        Funny, but just the other day I read an article, that said just what you don’t believe can happen.

        “Don’t expect new owners to start throwing big money at top free agents”

        http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/page/rumblings120413/bet-new-los-angeles-dodgers-owners-spending-big 

        Stan Kasten led Dodgers…tell me who he has ever broken the bank to sign…I’ll give you one…Greg Maddux for a deal totaling $28M, now the top guys want that every year and for up to 10 years. 

        ” But when Schuerholz was asked if he could see Kasten’s Dodgers rolling the dice on any pitcher for $20-25 million a year, the reply was very telling.
        “I don’t think Stan rolls the dice at anything,” Schuerholz said. “I don’t think he’s ever rolled the dice. Stan analyzes. He relies on his experience and his instincts … and he makes an analytical decision about what’s the right thing to do for the franchise.”

        • cubs1967

          funny how that was not stan kasten speaking but someone FOR him……as usual your facts are full of BS.
          you think kershaw will be let go if his next contract is 20M plus?
          after all the damage mccourt did; they won’t spend to win NOW with kemp and kershaw in their prime.
          if fielder or pujols were FA now they would not sign them; kemp/pujols or fielder; they would be division favs now.
          even magic johnson said he’ll be at all the dinners to close out FA signings…….Kasten did not have money in atlanta; this owner does.

          and I read the same article……….

          • Tony_Hall

            My facts are BS.  I was quoting an article.  

            Kershaw  is signing their own, which is not the same as signing a FA.  Most teams will lock up their own, prior to the player getting to FA, so that they can get a better deal.

            The article didn’t say they absolutely won’t sign any FA’s, but that Stan Kasten doesn’t have a history of using FA and overspending like you have to with FA.  The Braves were around the Top 10 in payroll most of those years. So he had money to spend, just was very wise in how to spend it.

      • Chris

        how about you just taje a few years off from watching the team and come back with the rest of the fair weather fans when the winning starts. That would make it easier on everyone who reads this site.

        • Joenp3

          Brand loyalty works great for high school or alma maters.
          Last time I checked you had to pay for a pro-sporting event.
          You want to put $$ in the pockets of billionaires and millionaires for a sub-standard product be my guest. 
          Then head for Walmart.
          They pay better employees much less than the Cubs do and the product is just as crappy.
          Nobody expected a division winner, or a WS in 2012, but would a 500 team be too much to ask?
          The Cubs are a business and there is only one language business understands.

        • cubs1967

          hmmmmm….i’ve been a fan since 1974—you?

          • Joenp3

            Hmmmmmmmmmmm…I was at Wrigley, several times in 1969 so KMA…

  • Tony_Hall

    Somethings to get excited about, all happening in Iowa.

    Rizzo, BJax, Castillo, Valbuena, Campana, Vitters, Cardenas, Beliveau, Maine, Parker

    Seriously, look at their stats.

    http://www.milb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?t=t_ibp&cid=451 

    Most if not all of these guys will be heading to Clark and Addison this season.  They are only allowed 25 guys on the active roster, so do the math.  The hope is to be able to trade some of the guys off of the roster and replenish the system.  That may still work for some of the guys, and yet some of the openings may come from simply releasing guys.  

  • Tony_Hall

    Many of the same people, that are complaining about Theo and Jed, are the same people who kept saying, that JH was destroying this franchise, and it would take many years to fix.

    • Steve Rock-Vegas

      Funny how short memories are :)

    • ldsteam

       Yep, some people are never happy.  They always find something to complain about.

    • cubtex

      Bring back JH!!!!! :)

      • Zonk

        I’ll say this about Hendry:  His early tenure was marked by more good trades than bad, and even quite a few economical free agent signings. 

        It was later in his tenure, as the Cubs aged, that he felt he had to plug the gap with big contracts.  Then, certain players like Z compounded it by not performing.  And after an initial improvement in the farm system, I felt it was stalling, and that’s the biggest problem with the Cubs right now. 

         It was time for Hendry to go, but I liked what he was doing early in his tenure

        • cubtex

          I agree.

        • GaryLeeT

           Trading Hundley for Griz, and Karos was pure magic.

  • Cubs 31

    Great article, Brian.  I love how we assess baseball teams after 12 games. Cubs, BoSox and Twins have started the season poorly.  Does that mean the Dodgers, Nationals and Balt make the playoffs?  It is going to be interesting what trades are pulled off by the July trade deadline.  A better assessment of teams can be made then. Remember we are in the first innings of a nine inning ballgame.

  • Bryan

    It’s the mindset of “we’ll be a better ballclub by around 2015″ that quickly gets to” 150 years and counting” before you know it.

    For those of us that our long-time die-hards, how many times have we heard the “patience” spin from Cubs management. The Dallas Green era, the Jim Frey era, and so on.  And now we drink the kool-aid that Theo & Company are more brilliant than the others, and that they have the master blueprint for success.  Really?

    • Tony_Hall

      They aren’t forcing you to drink the kool-aide…

      • Bryan

        Nope..and I don’t.

        • cubs1967

          don’t pay attention to tony; he wants everyone to agree with him and bow down; or he’ll personally attack you; i.e. cyber bully.

          • Tony_Hall

            Please show me the personal attack.  You attack many people and have been one of the repeat offenders who Neil has to tell to stop.  

      • cubs1967

        he’s entitle to his opinion; cyber bully.

        • Tony_Hall

          Wow, the cyber bully comment again.  

          All I said was they aren’t forcing him to drink the kool-aide.  

    • Zonk

      What moves could we have made this offseason that would have added 30 wins to this team, and allowed us to make the playoffs? 

      Short of spending $1 bil on Free Agents, I can’t see how we could

      Better to spend the time to build a young core

      • cubtex

        How about Darvish, Edwin Jackson and Carlos Beltran for a start. And then if you keep Marshall you are probably worse case scenario .500 right now and still in the mix instead of out of it by April 20th.

        • Zonk

          we’d be better, but best, case, those 4 guys add maybe 15-20 wins if they all have great years.  We are so far in the hole, that’s still not enough.  And in that case, we are right back in the payroll hole.

          That’s assuming Beltran and Jackson were OK signing with a losing team, and it wouldn’t have cost more $$.

          That’s the problem.  There are alot of things we could do to get better, but all of them would sacrifice something longer term (prospects or $).  And better doesn’t mean “good enough to compete for a championship”.  Because 81-81 on a big payroll isn’t progress.  We’ve been there.

          • cubtex

            You know what though Zonk…..say the division has a lot of parity and they are in the mix. You make a key trade at the deadline and you never know. Look at the Cardinals last year. They barely got in the playoffs(by a fluke) and won the ws.

          • GaryLeeT

             I thought the same way you did, until I spent time in the bottom of the barrel the last couple of years. I now yearn for a .500 team, because you know what? At least with a .500 team there is a chance to win every day. And big 2 year contracts would not have hindered this club’s future in any way. To be honest. I think this is about a personal ego trip for Theo. His plan is to take the team from complete ruin to number 1 so his accomplishment looks that much greater. The Marshall trade was exhibit A. Not signing Edwin Jackson is exhibit B.

          • cubs1967

            hmmmmmm…. last time i checked we won back to back division titles….and isn’t theo smarter than JH so spending money should lead to back to back NL titles or something.

        • cubs1967

          plus cashner be kept………

      • paulcatanese

        Hey Zonk, it’s the Cubs remember? The only team in the world that could spend $1 bil on Free Agents and still lose, they are masters at inventing ways to do it.
        The most bizzare games in history have been at Wrigley over the years.:)

      • Ripsnorter1

        Zonk,

        We won 71 games last year. We don’t need to win 30 more games. We need to win 19 more games. Or even 15 will probably get us to the playoffs in this division. 

        Look, the Cubs play 16 games vs. the Pirates, 15 vs Houston, 16 vs. the Brewers, 18 vs the Reds, and 15 vs the Cards. The rest of the games are a mild assortment of the rest of the NL, with a few AL games thrown in there. 

        We ought to be beating Houston regularly. For crying out loud, they only won 56 games in 2011. Yet they had a dismal 8-7 record against the Astros.Cards? 5-10.
        Reds? 7-11
        Brewers? 6-10.
        Pirates? 8-8, for crying out loud.

        We ought to win in our own division. And this year Pujols and Fielder are gone. 

        IT JUST ISN’T THAT HARD. IT REALLY ISN’T.

        What should we do?
        Sign Brandon McCarthy. Sign Edwin Jackson.
        Sign Beltre.You get the 20 extra wins IF you don’t throw your entire bullpen away for suspects. 

        If you want Rizzo, fine. Deal Cashner off for him. He hasn’t proven anything at the ML level just yet. But to resign Kerry Wood, who was #4 in MLB for the most blown saves in 2011 when he wasn’t even a closer(!) for $3 million, and not address the needs of the club, is not good management. 

  • Tking

    Good stuff!  Things can only get better (just not this year).

  • Redlarczykg

    Jed Hoyer’s teams

    Padres  3 – 11
    Cubs     3 – 10

                6 – 21      The proof is in the pudding and it tastes bad!

    Let’s get over the Boy Wonder label.

    As the child wisely said “THE KING HAS NO CLOTHES!”

  • DaCubs

    To say you have to rebuild and not reload is a stretch for
    the Cubs since they seldom compete, but to say you have to tear it down this
    far and sign no one to put a competitive team on the field is another.  We have already gone down the path and will
    continue since Theo will be trading ANY player except Castro for anything they
    can get.  This is a total cut of payroll
    and in the mean time they will try to get lucky and find someone who has
    rebound year and hope some of their minor leaguers actually make it, things
    always look better in the minors. 

     

     

    My question is there a year in mind where Rickett$ will say
    let’s go out and fill in the holes in our roster with free agents after they
    have finally developed their minor leagues and they are major league established?  Sure hope when that happens the right
    position players, starters and relievers, etc. is available.  Common sense says you have to have a mix and
    add a piece or two every year as you develop players on your own.

     

     

    To tear it down and dump payroll all the while raising
    concession, ticket prices, additional marketing dollars with advertisements, etc.
    all on the promise from an unproven owner that he knows what he is doing when every
    time he talks he sounds like he doesn’t is quite a leap of faith to ask.

     

     

    The quick answer is Theo would not be here if he didn’t have
    total control and he will know when and how to make the moves when it is
    time.  Dice K, JD Drew, John Lackey,
    numerous shortstops, etc., the Red Sox are in shambles.  We are looking an awful lot like the Padres,
    bad like Cubs before but with no names at just about every position but HUGE
    minor league potential just around the corner. 
    Time will tell but how much time? I missed the timeline of patience needed
    that management has laid out for us until they want to be held accountable. 

     

    • paulcatanese

      Pretty darn good post.

  • cubtex

    Sveum has got LaHair in the 4 spot today. Makes more sense with the L R L with Soriano batting in between LaHair and Stewart. Why not try it? The other way hasn’t worked.

    • cubtex

      Cubs brought up Scott Maine too! Good, another lefty.

  • Zonk

    Woody to 15-day DL, Scott Maine called up.

    I thought they might go with Beliveau, but I figured they would call-up someone on the 40-man to avoid a roster move.

    Maine isn’t anything special, but maybe he’ll stick.

    • paulcatanese

      I hope he (Maine) does stick. One thing, he comes in with an arm that isn’t tired. (Thats amazing that Wood has a tired arm
      with the limited amount of throwing he has done this year.)
      The Cubs didn’t know that in ST? Bisio must have taken him for granted, or his arm was sore when he showed up for the spring.
      Dosen’t matter who didn’t recognize what, the fact is Wood will be this way for the year. I like Wood a lot, but reality is reality,
      he should not be here with the Cubs, poor investment.

  • John_CC

    Thanks Brian.

    I started reading the thread of comments but have to stop. You can’t argue with increasingly hostile and narrow minded logic. 

  • paulcatanese

    Ah Bryan the spinning big fish. (gosh ,I laugh at that thing).
    In addition though I think the park fits Ozzie perfectly. I do not think for all the money spent there while functional (I assume) it is one of the most un-attractive in the Majors.
    One more thing, usualy
    Brently and his sidekick have a meal at each park they visit and comment on it(Brats at the Brewers, and those round deep fried things that neither one could swallow, and etc.)
    I didn’t catch what they had to eat at the Marlins game. Would be interested to know, probably more so than the game that was played there.

  • Russ

    Maybe people need to stop filling the stands and show Ricketts that we will not put up with underachievers and call it a baseball team

  • Arod

    Relax, they werent going to win the world series this year. At best their a 70-90 team. I say the cubs should get the worst record in the majors this year. Anything short of that would piss me off. Lets get that number one pick in 2013 and draft austin wilson who has superstar potential. With mcloed and our scouting dept. We have a really bright future. With every loss our future gets brighter. Do u wanna have a .500 team every year or a machine like the red sox have had winning titles while having an excellent farm.

  • frustrated

    At the end of tc, I honestly self appraised the Cubs and figured the team would  would have an over/under at 60 and I was seriously tempted to say under.  Three honest hitter in the lineup today and a pitching staff that can’t get a team out.   Bad combination.

  • CubfanBudman

    GREAT article….Stay classy Cub fans!!!!! ARE DAY WILL COME