Rambling as Summer Officially Begins

Hello again, everybody.  While it may be true that summer officially begins today, the Cubs’ performance of late makes me yearn for the break of Fall.

I know it’s been awhile since I’ve bored you with my stream of consciousness, but it’s Friday, and it’s about time I start throwing random thoughts out there and see how everyone else feels about them.

So, without further ado, and with much ado about nothing …

  • If the Cubs signed Beltran to a two-year deal, as the Cards actually did, I guarantee you he would not be hitting .300+ with 17 homers. He just would not. This is how the baseball world works.
  • I miss Bob Brenly.  JD is no slouch, but Brenly’s stint is Chicago should now be described as “under-appreciated.”  Maybe it’s just me, but I took him for granted.
  • Trade Feldman, trade Feldman, trade Feldman.
  • Keep Garza, trade Garza, keep Garza, trade Garza … I don’t know what I think. What do you think?
  • There is a part of me that feels we may be overreacting to Castro’s performance this year. He had three very solid seasons in the box, and while he is struggling, the talent is there.
  • And the talent is proven. Jerome Walton he is not. Many players have a down year.  See:  Beltran, Carlos. Or a slew of others. I could spend the next 37 bullet points with names of successful players who experienced a down year.
  • Final thought:  Castro is not the first, nor will he be the last, that has a down year after signing a big contract.
  • And in my unproven opinion, that is all this is … a down year.
  • Speaking of underperforming after signing a big contract … come on down Anthony Rizzo.
  • The ‘Riz is currently pulling off his best Bryan LaHair impression. The dude has been stuck in the 30-something RBI range for 8 months.
  • Losing DeJesus for a month is going to hurt. I think we are seeing it already.
  • I cannot type here what my dad texted me about Marmol the other day, but I am sure it is pretty similar to any text you sent or received the same day on this subject.
  • Alfonso Soriano leads the team with 8 stolen bases. I will say it again: This stat really sums on the 2013 campaign thus far.
  • I care more about what Javy Baez does more than the big-league club.
  • While I am being honest, I am also sick of reading or hearing people complain about Ricketts’ approach to the Wrigley Restoration. I am so done with this topic. He is trying to do something that MUST be done. And he wants to do so in a way that he will see a return on his investment. IDIOT!
  • What a jerk. Stupid business owner trying to make money in the long run.
  • If he takes the money and runs, I will give all the haters my personal email so they can send me a daily reminder of how wrong I was.
  • The Cubs RF platoon is hitting .250 with 14 homeruns and 51 RBI.  I would argue that this is the Cubs’ most productive position. Both signings were widely panned.
  • Every time Samardzija leaves the mound after another good start, do you think he hears “Cha-Ching?”  I do.
  • Okay, I was wrong about the stat that summed it up the most. Travis Wood is 5-6 with a 2.74 ERA, a .197 BAA and 13 quality starts.
  • I am rooting for BJax. He has been humbled by his experiences the past few years, but the kid has moxie. I truly believe his desire to succeed may be what eventually catapults him to the Bigs. At least, I really hope this is the case.
  • The Cardinals just scored again. And again. Oh, and one more time.
  • And as we all predicted in March … Ryan Sweeney has the highest batting average on the Cubs in late June.
  • I will leave you with one final thought …
  • “Never drink and tweet, never drink and tweet, my oh my, never drink and tweet.”

Agree, disagree, call me an idiot. I am used to it all, but I am curious to hear what you think. Let’s have it today and let the thoughts fly or lie where they may.

And until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

Follow ChicagoCubsOnline on Twitter: @TheCCO and @TheCCO_Minors

Quote of the Day

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." - John F. Kennedy

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  • paulcatanese

    Would someone point out the difference between Borbone and Campana? Campana had a higher batting average, would have more stolen bases than the whole team at this point, and the home run power is the same, tied at One.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I agree except 1 major point. Bourbon CAN actually hit the ball out of the park. Campana can’t. he was ALWAYS defensed like he was the little league smallest player on the team. Bourbon can drive the ball out of the park and steal a base and bunt for a hit. Campana though could make more contact just couldn’t drive the ball AYWHERE.

      Please don’t don’t read me as a Campana hater. I LOVED seeing him play. I wish he was still a CUBBIE.

      That’s my 2 cents.

      • paulcatanese

        I don’t think anyone is a Campana hater, they just think he should bring more to the table.

        I was just pointing out that I enjoy watching him play more than others.

        On the other hand Campana’s last few months with the Cubs, Sveum chose not to use him at all, not even as a pinch runner. But now this year, when the Cubs leading base stealer is Soriono, and Castro and Rizzo combined have zilch with the bat, and a long time between home runs, what’s to watch?

        • Rich Hood

          You are talking about a guy that did not make a major league roster this year. Keep that in mind.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree, but the Cubs have 0 players if traded to the Diamondbacks that would crack that outfield.

    • Ripsnorter1

      The most important difference is that Borbon was a 1st round pick of the Texas Rangers in 2007. Campana was only a 13th round pick.

      See?

      LOL

      Campana has 54 SB with 5 CS = elite speed.
      Borbon has 44 SB with 14 CS = decent SB ability.

      His .262 career BA is lower than Borbon’s career of .277. Borbon has the ability to hit it out of the park once or twice a year.

      The fact is that neither one is good enough to start everyday at the ML level. I would have kept Campana over Sappelt because Campana has an elite talent, ie, SB skills, while Sappelt did not have any elite abilities.

      • Rich Hood

        You forgot the idea that Borbon actually plays plus defense. Where Campana is horrible in the field even with his plus speed.

    • 07GreyDigger

      The real question would be is if we had Campana, would the team any better? My guess is no.

      • paulcatanese

        Who cares if he would make the Cubs better of not. The almighty could not make them better right now.
        The only fun I had was watching Campana run, and that was a TRUE talent, not many true talents their now.

        • Ripsnorter1

          He would make the team better. My, my, my. He would get on, then steal 2nd and 3rd, and come in on any kind of grounder or fly ball. That means we score more runs. The game is about scoring runs, not watching Theo’s hairstyle, or Sveum’s inability to shave.

          • Ray Ray

            Hahahahaha! I am envious of Theo’s hairstyle though since I don’t have all the hair that I had as a kid.

          • paulcatanese

            I don’t trust anyone that has more hair than I:)

          • Brp921

            When you keep all your hair it just turns white and makes you look old:-)

        • Ray Ray

          True Paul. The Cubs are so hard to watch these days. I don’t know how Neil does it :) I watched 3 innings yesterday and that is all I could take. Had to watch the last NBA game of the year. Too bad that didn’t end the way I wanted either.

          • texcubnut

            I’m with you there, Ray!

          • Bryan

            Ray…thank goodness we still have a couple more games of hockey to watch.

    • Ray Ray

      Campana could really only do 1 thing and that is run. Wasn’t very good with the bat…couldn’t bunt and lets not forget that noodle of a throwing arm. Borbon can drive the ball much better, is a very good bunter and has more upside.

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

        A lot more upside in my opinion. I think he just needs the right coach to get him going. I could see him having a Dominic Brown type resurgence if he gets the right coach. Maybe not the HR’s but the general success.

      • paulcatanese

        Always respect the posts from you, and even gave an up to this one. But Borbon has to be legitimate to succeed,
        wheras Campana can cheat with his speed.

        • Ray Ray

          I am not saying Borbon is the answer either Paul. I love SPEED on a team. That is why I wanted them to sign Michael Bourn so badly. I know you love speed as well and hopefully they can find someone who adds that “Campana” element. I want to see some new blood on this team and would love a speed CF or speed 2B.

          • paulcatanese

            Agree all the way. One sad fact on Borbon, Sveum is not using him in situations to succeed. Mostly bringing him in to hit against a left hander. Borbon is an excellent bunter and can drag bunt with the best of them,

            I believe he did have a force at third (maybe wrong guy) but it’s very hard to bunt against the Cards, they are really solid in their game.

            Not at all against Borbon, but he will struggle as anyone would when used the way he is being used.

  • cubsin

    Sad as it is that Ryan Sweeney leads the team in BA, Travis Wood is second.

  • cubsin

    Borbon leads in career OPS, .672 to .605, and plays much better defense.

    • Ray Ray

      Borbon has rotted on the bench. He gets an occasional pinch hit but since DeJesus has gotten hurt he hasn’t seen the field.

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

        Without regular playing time we will not be the team that gets him turned around.

        • Ripsnorter1

          Yup.

  • TheWrongGuy

    I am happy the CUBBIES didn’t sign Beltran.

    I miss Brenly also and get tired of listening to Len’s raspy voice. But believe me I live on the west coast and often must listen to opposing teams broadcasters mash the CUBS. Len JD and Brenly don’t do that. Card’s announcer Horton is the worst.

    Garza AND Feldman will be traded, and maybe to the same team.

    Castro is in a deep funk. But from what I have noticed he’s late on fastballs 93 and up. Few years ago he didn’t miss those. I say lose some weight and a LIGHTER BAT, will fix Castro.

    Pitcher’s have figured out Rizzo and how and when Rizzo makes adjustments. Now its time for Rizzo to make counter adjustments.

    I wonder how much personal security Marmol has guarding him in Chicago? ? ? When he blew the game in Atlanta earlier in the year I was willing to say ok its early. But when he blew the game in NY I was SUPER PO’d!!!

    Sori is biding his time till he’s done. Playing the game as it is…… A GAME. Oh and RECEIVING his paycheck. keyword receiving NOT EARNING!!

    But we can say this for MANY CUBBIES right NOW not just Sori!!!

    I care more about the trade deadline more than the wins and losses… The minor league prospect’s are just that… though I do check-up on them.

    The Rickett’s did say the were going to run the CUBS like a business now we see it for GOOD or BAD.

    ALL the CUBS platoons are hitting good (for the CUBS), better than the regulars.

    Shark and T. Wood could both be traded… I do remember Hoyer saying something like”…we lost 100+ games no player is safe from trades.”

    Oh and Sweeney plays good defense too.

    Did I hear a birdy? ? ? Oh the CUBS are in sole possession of 1st place!!!!……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    The IOWA CUBS!!!

    That’s my 2 cents Ramblings.

    • Ripsnorter1

      What are we going to get at the trade deadline that has real long term potential for the Cubs?

      Garza has been injured, is unsigned for 2014 and wants a pile of dough, and has not pitched well thus far in 2013. Not much trade value here.

      Feldman: any GM can look at his career stats and see that his value lies mostly in how hot he is right now. They can also see that he has pitched well in 2013 vs. weaker teams, and poorly against good teams. The only exception was his start vs. his old Texas team, where he threw 7 IP with 0 ER.

      So if you are a GM, and looking for starting help that will help you through the playoffs, or to get to the playoffs vs good teams, what are you willing to pay? And do you even want to trust him in the clutch?

      Jackson: nobody wants him due to his performance and, even if his performance was at his career norms, his contract. No value here.

      That leaves Wood and Samardzija. They have real value. But do you want to weaken your staff, when you have little to no pitching in the minors at the higher levels?

      • 07GreyDigger

        Rats. I was hoping you’d compare Feldman to Volstad. I’m disappointed.

        • Ripsnorter1

          His fielding was similar to Volstad’s and Garza’s: it added several unearned runs to the board, but doesn’t hurt his ERA.

        • Ray Ray

          I do think that Feldman will start pitching more to his career starts as the National League starts to get more familiar with him.

          • Ripsnorter1

            The voice of sanity speaks.

            Thanks, RayRay.

      • Ray Ray

        I think they have to trade Garza. I can’t imagine his agent will tell him to accept any below market deal when he will be one of top FA on market. This is his payday. But like you say…..he is only a rent a player now for a year and his value isn’t what it could have been. And now with pitchers like Cliff Lee, Gallardo, Bud Norris and others….what will a Matt Garza command?

        • TheWrongGuy

          I agree 100% Ray. The teams I was thinking were a possibility for sending both Garza and Feldman are the 2 bay teams, Oakland or San Francisco. Both teams are looking for starting pitching depth and veteran pitching. Shoot maybe San Fran asks for Sori again and he accepts. As for the return from either team? ? ?

          Oakland I would like to get Sonny Gray – Derek Johnson connection there and other pitching prospects.

          San Fran I would like Clayton Blackburn and other pitching prospects.

          Texas is also a possibility for trade partner for the CUBS but I think there is bad blood between the GM’s since last years trades.

          That’s my 2 cents.

          • Ray Ray

            I doubt Oakland would trade Sonny Gray. Too bad he didn’t sign with the Cubs when they drafted him several years ago. Gray is pitching great in AAA and is ready to take a starting role for the A’s soon.

        • K_Gripp

          I think the Cubs try to get the same two top 10 organizational prospects that they were asking for last year. I dont think they get that for him. So they go into the off season and give him a qualified offer and he learns the lesson of Kyle Lohse and signs it. The cubs then sign Garza to a 4-5 year deal. I’ve never been a big Garza fan and I really dont want him on a long term deal because of his healthy and his inconsistency. Im glad they opened up their trade doors early so they can try to trade him before he winds up on the DL again.

    • paulcatanese

      I want BOB UECKER in the booth, for as long as he can last. Oh, and put two drummers in the left field stands:)

      • triple

        I was seriously thinking that last night as I watched that terrible game. If we him in the booth, I’d love to hear him call the game as if we’re watching Major League (the movie)!

  • Ripsnorter1

    Whatever Ricketts does about Wrigley….I still say we’d be much, much better off with a brand new park that is domed (no more rainouts!), has adequate parking, has all the amenities of the newer parks in MLB, and….is outside the control of the Mayor of Chicago.

  • Ripsnorter1

    The Cubs BA leader among qualified hitters is…..

    Soriano at .245.

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/team/stats/batting/_/name/chc/chicago-cubs

  • Ray Ray

    Good rant Brian… Here is my rant for the day. Theo and company back Sveum in his staff 100% saying it is not their fault. They didn’t give him a good roster. OK(Ricketts are you hearing this?) That’s not my complaint. He should then not care about wins and work on developing the Castro’s,Rizzo’s,Castillo’s, Barney’s(to an extent)

    How have these young players performed??? That is what Swveum and the hitting coach should be judged on. By the way…..isn’t the hitting coach Rob Deer?? What has Rob Deer ever done as a professional coach? He was out of baseball until the Cubs offered him a job I believe. And,,,,,,,If you don’t think a hitting coach matters with young players that much…take a look at the influence George Brett has had on the KC Royals since taking over. The Royals have 2 core players who have struggled under the old hitting coach(Moustakis and Hosmer)

    Make a change! Get a new voice to work with Castro and Rizzo. Even if it isn’t that much different of a philosophy…..sometimes it is the trust factor and communication between the teacher and pupil that makes all the difference in the world! If Team Theo is loyal to Sveum and they had an agreement in place that they wouldn’t fire him based on wins and loosses….Fine….But Fire the Hitting Coach and bring in someone else!

    • TheWrongGuy

      I agree about a hitting coach change. I believe the CUBS FO was looking at Dave Magadan prior to keeping James Rowson and hiring Rob Deer during the off-season.

      My choice for a hitting coach is Gregg Jefferies. He was always a consistent well disciplined batter. That is what the CUBBIES need is more consistency.

      Just my 2 cents.

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

        Agreed on Deer, he obviously isn’t the guy.

      • Ray Ray

        Too bad the Cubs don’t have a local icon like George Brett who would demand insant credibility and respect.

        • TheWrongGuy

          Mr Cub Ernie or Sweet Swing’n Billy. Yet they are not into coaching I don’t believe.

          • Ray Ray

            yea. they need someone more recent. Mark Grace is out of jail now :))))

          • TheWrongGuy

            Mark Grace is my favorite baseball player ever because of his consistency. I used to own all his rookie baseball cards. I do agree he is out of jail now but is also still working for Arizona, finishing out his time he owes for his “good behavior”. He may be done with his time owed to Arizona the state, and the team may be done with him also soon if so I say “YES!!!”.
            A lot could be learned from what Grace has been through off the field.

          • triple

            I think that would be a great idea to get him back into the Cubs organization. I bet he could communicate with those kids. Gracie is a baseball lifer and knows what’s up. The hard part is that hitting looks to have came very easily to him. So maybe he wouldn’t be the best hitting coach? But he could teach Castro how to turn triples into doubles. Oh wait, Castro needs to start hitting triples again first though.

        • CubbyBlue

          someone has to say it………do the cubs have a HOF player who is beloved and played his whole career as a cub; someone who could manage, somone who did manage, someone who every young cub would respect and know his name………if only………we had……that person………..(hint; his build-a-bear is being given away on premium ticket? day Sunday……….
          hmmmmmmmm….Ryne Sandberg)
          yeah………I said it……..

  • Ray Ray

    I know many want to turn a blind eye when it comes to Anthony Rizzo but his stats are just as alarming. It is amazing how poorly he has done over the last 2 months and he has been Bryan LaHairesque.

    Take a look at these stats. Since April 27th…Rizzo has hit only 2 HR’s.

    Rizzo has ONLY 2 extra base hits in JUNE(2 doubles)

    Rizzo has ONLY 3 RBI in June and all 3 were in 1 game.

    • Ripsnorter1

      Come on, RayRay. Rizzo has a .351 OBP in June. that’s all that matters–the walks. “You see, if a batter can take pitches,” says Mr. Team Theo, “then we’ll get their starter out of there quicker, and really rock against their middle relief.”

      LOL

      Ahem. Here’s Rizzo’s June stats:
      ..172 BA

      .207 slug

      .351 OBP

      15 BB

      9 K

      .558 OBS

      He got the contract. And then he crashed completely.

      In the Air Force we used to call it a “flame out.”

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

    Just started reading “Francona, The Boston Years,” and I have two thoughts being about 3 chapters in.

    One, Francona would have been a good hire, but as younger players come up maybe a more discipline-oriented coach will work better. Francona gives his guys a lot of leeway, but I like how he always takes it on the chin for them in public. Sveum could learn from that.

    Two, we absolutely have the right guy in the front office. Francona and those around the team in Boston during the championships basically give all the credit to Theo. His style and genius was the difference according to the book. I know we question his every move currently, but the guy knows what he’s doing and is credited as being the difference that brought championships to Boston.

    I definitely recommend the book, great summer reading for any baseball nut like me.

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

    I say JD is an incredible slouch. I can’t stand the rapport he and Kasper have, or lack thereof. Yes, we didn’t give Brenly the credit he deserved.

    • Ray Ray

      Listening to JD is about as exciting as watching grass grow.

      • Brp921

        or watching the Cubs play…

        • Ray Ray

          lmao. good one!

      • cc002600

        could not agree more

        The 2 of them put me to sleep

        not a fan….

        never been a huge Len fan….

    • K_Gripp

      I appreciated the heck out of Brenly. I listened to Chip Caray telecasts with the volume off and the radio on. Len and Bob were a great team. I was really upset when he left and yes I have been underwhelmed by JD.

      • triple

        I agree with you on both. I really liked Brenly, right from day one. IMO he was finally a good replacement for Stoney. And I couldn’t stand Chip from day one. Just so annoying, and his enthusiasm when making calls was just so over the top it made me sick! I was so glad when he was replaced.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Let’s check the offensive stats of Your Chicago Cubs:

    20th in Runs scored in MLB

    26th in BA in MLB

    26th in OBP in MLB
    17th in slugging in MLB

    Pretty pedestrian, isn’t it?

    • Ray Ray

      But the coaching staff is doing a fine fine job :)

      • TheWrongGuy

        LOL Ray!!! I am laughing now with my coffee.

        Thanks!!!

    • TheWrongGuy

      YUP. NO one can consistently square-up the baseball or make plate adjustments. Until this changes for the CUBS hitters. THEY WILL CONSISTENTLY BE VERY PEDESTRIAN.

      That’s my 2 cents.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Okay, ESPN gives the Cubs a 72% chance of winning today. The Cubs are playing the surging Houston Astros. The Astros are 6-2 over their last 8 games.

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