Rambling as the Cubs Season is Almost Over

Hello again, everybody. We are here. It is the last weekend of the season. It has been another tough trudge through mud kind of campaign, and there is so much up in the air as we close the books on another year of baseball on the Northside.

This offseason is bound to bring changes to this team. From players to coaches to beer, things are definitely changing in and around Wrigley Field.

And it sure would be really friggin’ nice if Wrigley Field itself could start changing as well. So, with all that out, let’s get down to some season-ending rambling.

  • If you told me 14 days ago that Dale Sveum would be fired, I would have laughed it off. Now, I would probably bet that he will be given his walking papers.
  • Kind of hard to blame Sveum, given the players he has had. Theo even said it. However, when something reverses course and or someone pulls a 180, either of which appear to be out of nowhere, I always wonder what was said behind closed doors.
  • Remember when Ian Stewart went on a twitter binge about the man holding him down. I cannot even count how many men are holding him down now.
  • So, the clock has started. If Sveum is gone, you have to imagine that announcement is made on Sunday afternoon or Monday morning, correct?
  • And if that happens, then it becomes a big guessing game. Lately Girardi’s and Gardenhire’s names have been bandied about, but there are probably more out there.
  • My point is this: Unless you know you can land Girardi, I do not see why you make a change. I am a bit miffed by this now. Something must have been said. It just must have.
  • You see how Theo responds to certain comments. Gregg almost got cut for running his mouth last weekend. And I can’t say I blame Theo for certain moves.
  • Unless you truly believe Sveum is to blame for Castro’s and Rizzo’s respective regression, I don’t really understand the move.
  • However, I am not immersed in the whole “running a major-league baseball team” every day of my life. So I may be a bit disconnected.
  • Dioner Navarro hit .303 with 13 homers, 34 RBIs and a .367 OBP. I am not going to do the research, but those are probably the best numbers for a back-up catcher in the league.  Re … Sign … Him.
  • I say this because it has been two full years of hard-to-watch baseball. Next year needs to at least be entertaining, engaging and hopefully exciting at times. I expect .500 baseball.
  • Even if he wins his second straight Gold Glove, I will have a hard time supporting Barney. A .211 average just does not fly in the Bigs. His 2013 WAR is 0.4, according to FanGraphs, and -0.3 on Baseball Reference.  So his defense is just not making up for that average. Time to cut bait.
  • Junior Lake is going to finish the season his around .290 in 65 games or so. If you told me that in March, well, I would have taken it, but I would not have believed it.
  • Rizzo is going to end with 23 and 80 most likely, or something very close to that.  Not bad for your first full season.  I compared him to Hosmer before, and I think that is fair.
  • As a comment said, I know Hosmer benefitted from having George Brett around, but I think it is inaccurate to call this a bad season for Rizzo. He played top-notch defense, had very solid power numbers, given the current era, and was an extra-base hit machine. Time will tell.
  • I think Baez will be up by June. Bryant may be up at some point as well. No one really knows. However, the product on the field has to be noticeably improved.  Cubs’ baseball has not been enjoyable for five years.
  • My point being … the honeymoon is over for the front office. I know there never was one for many of you, but plenty of fans gave them a pass the first two years. They must put a competitive team on the field in 2014.
  • And that means they must do something in Free Agency this winter. I was all about Shin-Soo Choo until I saw a $100 million figure on Twitter today. Nope, not worth that.  Not even close.
  • I have thrown out a few things, but I will ask you to comment on two questions below.  First, in regards to Sveum, does he stay or does he go?  Second, if you could have one FA this offseason, within reason, who is it and why?
  • As the regular season ends on Sunday, I am left thinking about next Spring, and the eternal hope that surrounds all of baseball during that time of the year.  Let’s just hope next September feels much different than this one.
  • I always aim for 20 bullet points when it comes to Ramblings.  But 21 is half of 42.  So here is to the greatest closer of my lifetime, and seemingly, an even classier individual.  Congrats, Mr. Rivera.  You are a model of what is right.

I look forward to hearing your thoughts below.  I hope everyone enjoys their respective weekends, and until next time …

Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!

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  • calicub

    Good to hear from you Brian. I know its hard to come up with humor when things are this bleek but I do miss reading your posts every friday. And by the way, the Answer is 0 Brian. 0. There is no man holding Ian Stewart down. Just a little boy who couldn’t get his act together…

    I voted for Dale staying in the poll. I don’t think they will compete next year but if they get off to another miserable start, I see them firing Dale in June, and bringing in Javy in July to give the last half of the season some pizzazz.

    My top 2 FA’s:
    1. Phil Hughes. He may be a flyball pitcher but he’s coming into the age where pitchers start figuring it out. Plus young yankee’s pitchers who move on have a track record of improvement.

    2. Tim Lincecum- so I could relevantly where my Cub’s hat and my “Let Tim Smoke” T-Shirt.

    • Tony_Hall

      Please no to both FA’s.

      • Ripsnorter1

        Phil Hughes would cost the Cubs bigtime money. All of those balls lost
        to the bleachers or out on Waveland Ave…..

        On the other hand, it might please the rooftop owners, as some
        balls no doubt would land up there, and it might stimulate business.

      • TheWrongGuy

        I agree Tony BIG no to both FA’s.

        Phil Hugh’s should sign in San Diego to be successful… ‘nough said.

        Tim Lincecum has value but 2 big problems 1) his fastball velocity has dropped considerably 2) His price tag will be enormous.
        This adds up to NO and NO!!!
        And no disrespect to you calicub. ;)

        • Tony_Hall

          Lincecum makes sense for a team that just missed the playoffs and/or makes the playoffs and comes up short, IF, they feel he can stabilize their back of the rotation better than their current option or best option in the system, AND, they can afford his asking price.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Agree’d.

  • woody34

    Sveum out the door.

    1. Josh Johnson – when healthy he is an ace. Should be relatively cheap on a short term deal. Theo will ensure there is depth again to cover injury that would probably happen – but look at where he has pitched (Toronto and Florida). How many pitchers have extended successful careers in either organization? Handful I can think of tops. I compare him to Rich Harden in terms of injury risk vs. talent.

    2. Tim Lincecum – the guy is only a couple years removed from being the most dominant pitcher in baseball. Change of scenery/coaching anyone??? Again will probably be had for short term not too overpriced deal.

    • calicub

      I think he’ll get a QO from the Giants. Cubs have protected 1st round, but pitcher is who they’ve been taking 2nd so is it worth giving up a 2nd round pitcher?

    • SuzyS

      Woody, nice to see you post again….I don’t see Lincecum with the Cubs….indications are the Giants want him back…and he’s lost a ton of velocity…he’s actually learning to be a different pitcher then he was.
      Johnson, I would take a flyer on…if the deal were right.

    • Tony_Hall

      No and no again.

      • TheWrongGuy

        I have to agree. NO on Johnson, and NO on Lincecum again.
        Johnson has not proven he can remain healthy to pitch a full season since he was with the Marlins. He would be a wasted investment. Yet I will agree with everything everyone has said about him when he is healthy he has ACE stuff.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I like the idea on Johnson to be honest. He fits the mold of sign and trade so far.

  • cubsin

    1. He’ll probably go, but I doubt it will help much.
    2. Masahiro Tanaka is the only expensive FA that interests me. On the budget side, Navarro, Baker and/or Feldman, and Nelson Cruz.

  • SuzyS

    Good ramblings on a bad season, Brian.
    Re Sveum, I’m with you…unless the Cubs know they can land Girardi…it doesn’t really make sense to change managers at this point…except for history.
    Historically, when a team has two horrible seasons in a row…the manager is the sacrificial lamb for a restless fan base….But this isn’t typical…Sveum was never given a win/loss mandate…nor the team to win with.
    I really have no clue as to what the FO is thinking…so we’ll see.
    Sveum did bring in a few questionable coaches…and that does need to be changed.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Sveum:

    This is a Theo decision. Therefore, to get the right answer,

    put yourself in Theo’s shoes, and it’s an easy decision.

    1. Is Sveum signed for next year? Yup. Do the Cubs have financial problems? Yup.
    (Paid too much/interest on the loan/flagging attendance/no Wrigley~Stadium deal[[

    Theo’s exorbitant salary). That says he stays.

    2. PLUS, is Sveum trying to change players into the “Cubs’ way?” You betcha!

    He’s a tireless worker for that. Indefatiguable.

    “Hey Castro, take those pitches! Take a walk, now!” It’s like Jody Davis said, “What’s

    going on with the Cubs? There’s only 1 aggressive hitter on the whole team, and that’s

    Jr. Lake.” Sveum can fix Jr. Lake if he has another year. That says he stays.

    3. Baez and Bryant may be up next year. Don’t you want Sveum yelling at them–

    like he has Castro and Rizzo–”Hey, I could send you back to the minors!!” Cubs’

    fans must love to read that in the papers–he says it so often. And how else

    will Baez and Bryant, et al, learn the “Cubs’ way?” Who better to teach them?

    That says he stays.

    4. Theo wants to lose in order to draft higher. Sveum has accomadated that.
    That says he stays.

    The only reason I that I can come up with, that Theo would want to replace Sveum,

    is that he wants to hire a manager who can swear in Spanish so he can better teach

    Baez, Castro, Soler, Villanueva, Rameriz, Alcantara, et al. “!Hey, yo podría enviarle de vuelta a las menores!”

    Therefore, why would Theo fire Sveum? What possible motive could he have?

    • SuzyS

      Well stated, Rip.

    • cubtex

      Hahahaha. That was good Rip!

  • STLCubsFan

    Although I believe Sveum is taking more of the blame than he should be getting and treated almost as a scapegoat should they fire him, I voted for him to go SAYING that we could end up with Girardi in the end. Although it wouldn’t make the biggest difference now to have a switch in management, in a few years as the prospects are arriving to the bigs, it could make a night and day difference with the impact he has on the club and players alike.

    2 FA’s I would like to see the Cubs go after this offseason:

    1. Tanaka- This guy is nuts (ERA- 1.46 WHIP- .948 average over the past 3 seasons) and he will only be 25 come Opening Day. He could be a potential building block for the new wave of Cubs around the corner and give some depth to the pitching core. He will be very pricey, however, and I believe the Cubs already said that they wouldn’t be making any big splashes this offseason, so it doesn’t seem likely he will end up with us.

    2. A three-way tie between Hart/Pence/Cruz- Any of those three would be an immense help to our lackluster OF. Not only that, but the Cubs this year were 26th in runs, 27th in BA, and 28th in OBP. An offensive surge from any of these guys who could project a 30/80 year on average could help put us on the W side of those heartbreaking 1-run losses as well as give an overall boost to our offense without dipping into the $100M+ numbers like Choo was asking for.

    No matter what, I am excited to see all the roster changes to come this offseason, the AFL updates, and hopefully some Wrigley renovation by Opening Day!

    • Ripsnorter1

      Giriardi will not work for Theo, imo.

      • cubtex

        You could be right. That is why he picked Sveum. He could tell him what to do without any friction.

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

          That is absolutely false. Theo isn’t a micromanage. He knows his role. Go get Francona’s book. That is the best source possible and his main compliment of Theo is he stayed out of his way after the team was assembled. You are extremely off base Ray.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I’m with you on Hart/Cruz, because you get them short term, nay on Pence because you couldn’t.

    • cubtex

      Don’t be fooled by Tanaka’s numbers. Competition is extremely weak. His stuff is not TOR. He plays out as a #3. It is the same thing as when the Cubs went after Fukodome.

      • 07GreyDigger

        Ugh. Fukudome. What a turd.

      • cc002600

        Yea, but what about Darvish ? He turned out awfully good and he was facing same “weak” competition

        • cubtex

          Darvish is a power arm and has much better stuff.

          Aren’t you the guy who says EVERY pitcher that throws hard breaks down? I cannot believe you are a Darvish guy now.

    • J Daniel

      what they say or have said and what they do are two different stories … in regards to foing after a FA.

  • SuzyS

    Navarro has probably played himself into a much better deal then the Cubs might be willing to offer. If they can bring him back…do so…if not catcher depth is a huge priority.
    While I’d really like the Cubs to land Tanaka…(he makes so much sense as a fit to ( “The Plan”)…it’s been pointed out that the Cubs may not have the resources at this time…we’ll see.

  • SirGladiator

    Sveum has been a horrible manager for two seasons, I still remember the game that the other team had to change their starting pitcher shortly before the game started, and the change was from a righty to a lefty (or lefty to righty, I can’t remember that part for sure), and Dale literally couldn’t be bothered to change his lineup to reflect the change in starting pitcher, so we just played the game with the wrong lineup for the type of pitcher we were facing. That pretty much told you all you needed to know about his ability to manage, and how much he even cared. Obviously he’s made tons and tons of actual in-game managing errors, but the bottom line is results. We’ve had two seasons of great starting pitching, and hitting that’s just gotten worse and worse. We had an All Star Shortstop and a 1Bman that had all the potential in the world to be an All Star, he’s turned them both into jokes. Give him another year and he can do the same for Lake and our Catcher.

    We need Girardi, I always wanted Girardi as our manager, and never understood why we let him go to the Yankees in the first place. Obviously it was just another stupid move by management, but maybe we can correct it now. If we can get Cano at a fairly reasonable price (obviously nobody’s going to pay the 300 million he’s asking, or anything remotely like it) I’d want Joe to bring Cano with him, and also we definitely should go get Tanaka. Girardi, Cano, Tanaka, NL Central Champs easily. Oh, and a new hitting coach. I think that goes without saying :) .

    • cubtex

      Agreed. Like I have said many times..If the FO actually takes the time to critique his game time decisions….it is a slam dunk. He gets outmanaged constantly. Look at their record if they are down in the 7th inning or tied. Yes….much of that is on the players, but if he puts in the wrong pitcher, doesn’t advance a runner when needed etc….that is on Sveum.

    • 07GreyDigger

      Isn’t there a time you have to have the lineup cards in? I can’t imagine if he saw that “he couldn’t be bothered.” Please.

      • cubtex

        Tell me digger. What impresses you about Sveum in the last 2 years? What do you feel that he has done extremely well?

        • 07GreyDigger

          Nothing actually. He’s a guy. That’s the difference between me and you. I had zero expectations for the guy because I knew what they wanted to do. If he did well great. If not, they’ll dump him.

          I have been disappointed with the record and the seasons of Castro and Rizzo. But I’m not going to say its all Sveum’s fault. It happens. Happened to Freddie Freeman and Eric Hosmer.

          The manager makes the lineup cards, manages the game, but I really don’t think managers make a big difference. If they did, they wouldn’t bounce around so much. They all have their specialties.

          But I was never under any illusions they’d sign Bourn or any top free agents. I expected what he got the past two years (maybe with a better record).

          • cubtex

            That’s my point. He has done nothing well. Core players struggled. Obviously the record sucked. Mis managed many games. Ripped players in the press.
            Why would you want to keep someone like that around? What possible good would it serve?

  • NCCubfan

    I am sticking with my prediction that I made over 15 years ago….Cubs will win the World Series when Joe Girardi is at the helm. I agree that the rumours about Sveum are flying because Theo either knows Joe will be available or it’s just the Hot Stove warming up early via the media. If we do get Girardi, I really do not see any big FA signing. If we don’t get a change, I think the focus will be on a Closer
    .

  • Tony_Hall

    Sveum is out if Girardi says he will be the manager.

    Tanaka is the only FA at this point I want. Others are possible, but no where near the early reports of contract demands. Cano $300M! He has so few teams that will be able to bid on him at 4-5 years in the $20M’s, how will it be possible his price gets bid that high! Choo $100M. Hard to think any of these 30 somethings make sense for the Cubs at the $$ and years they want.

    • Sonate

      Agreed on both points. If Girardi is unavailable, Sveum stays. Tanaka is the only FA I want, unless the “bubble” pops on the $100 mill 4/5 year estimates for Choo. (How about a 3-year deal for $50-$55 mill?)

    • cubtex

      Have you read the reports on Tanaka? He’s not an ace. He does not have Yu Darvish’s stuff. They need pitching but if this guy is Edwin Jackson #2….what’s the point.

      • Tony_Hall

        Did you read the reports on Darvish before he signed? People were talking about him not having TOR stuff and that he would be marginal SP here.

        Tanaka is the only one that I am interested in looking at giving a big contract to out of the available FA’s.

        • TheWrongGuy

          But we wont have $$$$ for a big contract. Tanaka might be good or he could flame out… Fujikawa anyone?

          • Tony_Hall

            Where did you see we won’t have $$$ for a big contract? Theo said he didn’t see multiple signings, he never said none.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Theo’s boss said there would be no big FA signing’s. I was listening to a Tenn playoff game and Rickett’s there will be no big FA signing this off-season.

          • Tony_Hall

            Never seen anything on that and I would have thought that would have been noticed by many. I think if a E Jackson/A Sanchez type pitcher is available that they will make a run at him, but don’t see anything big on the offensive side. I would prefer more Maholm, Feldman, Baker type SP’s in FA, trades, now that is a different story.

          • TheWrongGuy

            His words were “No big free agent signings” so small ones I believe Theo and Jed have an “ok” from The Boss.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I am moving over to the the game thread. I also believe Mick Gillispie broadcaster who was there for the interview tweeted abou this as well.

        • cubtex

          never heard one person say that. do you have a link showing that.

          • Tony_Hall

            Um, look back at this site and you will find many. Dorasaga who is pretty close to the action over there posted many reports and articles on this topic.

          • cubtex

            His stuff was never questioned. The competition he played against of course was…but not his aresenal. Big difference compared to Tanaka.

          • Tony_Hall

            No even his stuff was questioned as was it good enough.

          • cubtex

            I heard scouts compare his stuff to Zach Greinke and (I am not making this up) Matt Garza. I would like to see those reports that you are saying

          • Tony_Hall

            So, because there were reports (that you can’ produce) that said he was good enough, means that there weren’t reports that said he wasn’t????

            Every player from Japan or Cuba or anywhere but coming up through our minor league system, gets both sides thrown out. People question and people say they will make it.

            Is this that hard to believe or remember? We debated on here about Darvish a ton.

          • cubtex

            I can’t produce? I can show you that. I asked you to produce some reports where scouts questioned his stuff.

          • Tony_Hall

            Sorry, I don’t have a massive file of all the reports I have seen. If your memory is that EVERYONE said that Yu Darvish would be a TOR pitcher FOR SURE, so be it.

          • TheWrongGuy

            This report looks at the good and bad of him I think this is the reference he was speaking of…

            http://www.baseballamerica.com/majors/as-teams-scout-masahiro-tanaka-posting-system-changes-could-be-coming/

          • cubtex

            It is based on his stuff. Of course there was risk with any Japanese pitcher. Darvish’s stuff was never questioned…unlike Tanaka

          • Tony_Hall

            I think you are spitting hairs. If you question, whether a Japanese pitcher can get MLB hitters out, you are questioning whether his stuff is good enough to do that.

          • cubtex

            I still haven’t seen a report that shows concern about throwing his fastball on a flat plane like scouts are with Tanaka. You sent a link about what his worth is. No player is worth what they are paid.

          • Tony_Hall

            Sorry, not the easiest thing to do, search for old reports about a player prior to them pitching in MLB. Not exactly high on the search results.

          • cubtex

            not hard to do if there are some. Google is a wonderful thing. the point is that Tanaka is not an ace and Darvish is. Darvish has much better stuff…has better size and has a ton more upside.

            The Cubs probably won’t sign Tanaka so it is an futile argument anyways.

          • Tony_Hall

            “My initial reaction was, ‘This pitcher is overrated. He’s not the pitcher who will be a top of the rotation pitcher in the major leagues.’ That report was probably three or four years ago,” Colborn recalled. “My initial impression was negative, which I kind of like as a scout because then he has to prove to you that it wasn’t a warranted impression.”

            http://espn.go.com/blog/dallas/texas-rangers/post/_/id/4877551/overrated-that-was-initial-report-on-yu-darvish

          • Tony_Hall

            And they weren’t concerned about his fastball being on a flat plane, they were concerned that he threw 10+ different pitches and whether enough of them were pitches he could throw and get MLB players out.

          • TheWrongGuy
          • cubtex

            thank you. “didn’t see a below average pitch from him.”

          • Tony_Hall

            If you want to take one line from the report, try the conclusion.

            “I don’t see Yu Darvish as an ace. I think the upgrade in competition will knock him off that vaunted perch.”

            ” I’d be displeased if my favorite club committed nine-figures to procure his services but he has age, production, stuff, command, and poise on his side to score a major deal.”

          • cubtex

            So would you pleased if your favorite club committed nine-figures to procure Tanaka’s services? A pitcher with less upside and stuff?

          • Tony_Hall

            Where did I say that?

          • cubtex

            you didn’t. i was asking

          • Tony_Hall

            No way do I want them to committ $100M for Tanaka. If that ends up the cost, walk away.

            With the possibility of a new posting system that allows the player to pick from 3 teams, it might not come down to the highest bid.

          • TheWrongGuy

            If it comes down to a players choice then the posting system will be a sham… All the Yanks will have to do is just simply make a bid. Or any contending team for that matter.

          • Tony_Hall

            It sounds like the 3 highest posting bids would get presented to the player and the player could choose which team to negotiate a contract. This is all up in the air as the posting system is an annual contract with Japand and can be changed any year.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Understood. I personally don’t like the posting system. It removes the low income teams from contending for said potential prospects.

          • Tony_Hall

            I think basic economics removes them :)

          • TheWrongGuy

            agree’d. That’s why I dislike the posting system.

          • TheWrongGuy

            The CUBS did bid for Darvish I don’t see them making a bid for Tanaka. As there might be a posting bid cap starting this off-season. I saw it earlier when made the search for Tanaka. I know Baseball America was where the article was.

          • cubtex

            I agree. Tanaka will get paid and he is not close to what Darvish is.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I think he is close but will never reach the level of Darvish. That said he will be a 3-4 pitcher in a rotation vice Darvish being an ACE.

          • Tony_Hall

            Here is what I posted on Yu

            “Yu Darish is going to get his opportunity to come to the majors. His team is going to accept the bid (obviously) and then it will be fun watching the team negotiate with Darvish, trying to use the posting fee against him, as if that goes to Darvish. Any way you look at it, Darvish’s deal will get done, most likely during the last day or 2 of the negotiating window, and we will get to see him pitch against major league hitters.

            I think he will be a #2 guy immediately, and has the potential to be an ACE, if his stuff translates well.

            Here’s the thing, and what makes it so hard…no one knows for sure.

            It’s not much different than a prospect, who has pitched well in the minors, we think he will be good in the majors, but until they come up and do it, we just aren’t sure.

            The difference is, a high draft pick doesn’t cost $100M+.

            If the Cubs win the bid, we will have lots of discussion over the next month, about how great a move it was, or how awful a move it was, but we won’t know for sure, regardless of which team he goes to, until he has pitched in major league games.”

            http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2011/12/cubsnewsrumors_37.php#.UkXK1IaUR9U

          • Tony_Hall

            Here is one that I posted on the CCO about his worth.

            http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/7357688/mlb-projecting-value-yu-darvish

            “What makes this particular signing more risky than the average pitcher is simply the amount of uncertainty we have as to projecting Darvish going forward. Even with a dependable and long record of major league stats and full staffs of various trainers, coaches, scouts, and statheads, teams frequently whiff on guessing what a pitcher will do in the future.”

            In terms of Darvish, it means that there is a sizeable amount of risk. While it’s unlikely that Darvish would pitch as poorly in the U.S. as Igawa has, Daisuke Matsuzaka, generally believed to be a disappointment, is a better pitcher than Darvish’s downside.”

            This is the FIRST article I pulled up on this subject and it questioned Darvish’s ability to pitch in MLB.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Now for my serious comments about Dale Sveum….

    I think he’s gone. The evidence is overwhelming saying “Sayonara.” Here’s why:
    1. No ringing endorsement this past week (last week of the year) when Team Theo was asked about
    Dale’s return. Managers often get fired the day after the season is over. Their silence speaks.

    2. Earlier in the year, the GM voiced support for Dale. That’s always
    an early indication that the manager is going to be fired.

    3. Dale has a wonderful way of handling young players by ripping them to the press.
    I’m sure Castro and Rizzo–among others–appreciate it. Think about it: would it
    endear the manager to you if you opened up the paper, and read your manager being
    quoted talking about you, saying, “He’s stupid!” And it isn’t just Castro/Rizzo, either.
    I read about Dale’s comments concerning
    Baez’s approach at the plate in ST. It wasn’t complimentary, either.

    4. I think he’s lost the clubhouse. Samardzija yelling at David Bell (what is
    David Bell doing as a ML coach, anyway?). Then there’s Edwin Jackson screaming at
    Dale after his 4 inning start. I wonder if the whole clubhouse doesn’t just loathe him
    in silence. Maybe Theo has come to his senses and doesn’t want another Tito losing
    his clubhouse in Chicago. He’d be very unwise to do that again.

    5. He’s done damage–in my opinion–to young players, like Castro and Rizzo. No help for Jackson–
    in fact, after Dale’s coaching, Jackson has fallen off of a cliff. Gotta love the way he handled
    Borbon as well. He’s helped Watkins, hasn’t he? Handled him just like he did Vitters: “let him
    sit on the bench.” It’s very possible that
    someone with some measure of sanity might not want him “coaching” Baez, Bryant, et al.
    Can you image Dale straightening out Bryant’s fielding? His approach at the plate?
    I don’t want to even think about it.

    6. I think the other coaches around the league are talking about the Cubs and their timid
    approach at the plate. No evidence here other than Jody Davis’ comments, and the fact
    that if you watch them play, you can just see Rizzo begging for a walk, and Castro’s confusion at
    the plate. How much of Barney’s troubles can be traced to Dale, I’m not real sure. But isn’t
    it strange that he fell off of a cliff as well? Even Soriano played like he had a lead weight on
    his shoulders. He rejoiced to get out of Chicago–just go look at his stats once he left.

    For these reasons, I think he’ll get fired.

    I am not going to weep for him, either.

    • cubtex

      agreed on many of those points….but if Girardi goes back to the Yankees….will Theo make a change just to make a change? This team will be brutal again in 2014. Sveum will get them to another top 5 pick again. He is excellent at that.

      • J Daniel

        I think he is going to make a change because they have young guys coming and will be at Wrigley soon. Dale is not the guy for them. I think he is gone because they will be here soon.

        Also, he has 1 year left. He needs to be extended or out. CAN’T go through next year, with development critical, with a lame duck manager.

        Dale is OUT, easy call.

    • DWalker

      Rip, I usually don’t agree with you more than about 50% but, this time, I am going to say you pretty well match my thoughts spot on. Dale may not have had the palyers to win, but he also didn’t do anything to help the situation. And if nothing else the regression of so many young players should result in changes, soemthign is seriously wrong there.

  • Ripsnorter1

    Brian,
    SO you think that people that mouth off against Team Theo get fired?

    Don’t forget to add Dave Sappelt to the list.

  • mikeyman23

    If Dale get fired,its not because of the record,its something with handling the team and young players

  • TheWrongGuy

    Dale may or may not be gone but there will be changes or he and his coaching staff would not be asked into the same meeting with coaching analysis results.

    I would spend the $$$ where the $$$ best produces for the $$$ spent.
    Re-sign Navarro

    Re-sign Baker (flip at the deadline for prospects)

    Sign Jarrod Saltalmacchia if the price is right. He has been injured but also has experience at 1st base, catcher. He can give Rizzo a breather once in awhile against tough lefties because he switch hits. He is a producer and has the obvious connections to the front office.

    • 07GreyDigger

      Why would you sign Navarro and Saltalmacchia? That’s three catchers. Navarro had a good season, but I just can’t see him keeping it up. Cut bait and thank him for his service. He’d want more time than they’d be willing to give him.

      • TheWrongGuy

        Trade bait. Catching as we already know is a great commodity. Switch-hitting catching is an even bigger commodity.

        • 07GreyDigger

          But the league isn’t stupid. They know Navarro hasn’t been consistent. Just like they weren’t stupid with Gregg and didn’t want to give up anything of value. Cardinals wanted to trade for Navarro at the deadline, but didn’t want to give anything up, what would be different this deadline?

          • TheWrongGuy

            There always a fool to be found every trade deadline…. 2013′s fool was the Rangers.

  • Tony_Hall

    Final weekend of the regular season and only a few races remain.

    American League
    Division winners
    Boston, Detroit and Oakland

    Wild Card
    Tampa Bay 90-69 – VS Toronto
    Cleveland 89-70 – VS Minnesota
    Texas 88-71 (1 GB) – VS Angels

    Should be an exciting finish for the chance to play game 163, to get into a playoff series.

    National League
    All but set.

    St. Louis should clinch today while we play them or if Pittsburgh loses, Magic Number is 1.

    Once that happens, Pittsburgh will play Cincinnati and the winner will join the Braves, Dodgers and Cardinals in the playoffs.

    Worst record to make the playoffs in the AL 89 wins
    Worst record to make the playoffs in the NL 90 wins

    3 games to go to increase those numbers.

    • SuzyS

      With both Minnesota and the Cubs tied for the 4th pick with three games to go….here are a few thoughts:
      St Louis is not only going for the clincher in the division but is tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NL…so they will still have something to play for if they do clinch…and not necessarily tank the last two games.

      Likewise, Cleveland is trying to clinch it’s wild card position against Minnesota and knock Texas out.

      Depending on your viewpoint, the best thing for the Cubs to (as I grit my teeth)…is to go on a 3 game losing streak against the Cards…and that might actually be hard to do…especially if the Cards clinch tonight.
      My tongue in cheek prediction: The Cubs will gather either the 4th OR 5th pick in next years draft:-)

      • cubtex

        Looking at the upcoming draft….. it isn’t a 4 player draft, Drafting 5 is not the end of the world. That being said…I think the Cubs will still end up with the #4 pick.

      • Tony_Hall

        The Cubs will have to lose out, as the Indians will be playing to win all 3 games against the Twins, and very likely to win at least 2 games if not all 3. The Cardinals will have 1 or 2 games where they send out a lineup without many starters and the Cubs should have a chance to win both of those games.

        Cubs will pick 5th.

        • cubtex

          LMAO! I love when you make those BOLD statement like it is a given. The Cubs will pick 5th!

          Ummmm. You forgot one important fact. The Cards are playing for home field advantage. They are tied with the Braves.

          • Tony_Hall

            That means the Cubs are not likely to win a game and will pick 5th. How can they move up to 4th if the Indians sweep the Twins or beat them twice.

          • cubtex

            right. I believe the Cubs have a great chance of getting swept and the Twins will win one game at home against the Tribe.

  • Tony_Hall

    Milwaukee is moving in the wrong direction this week, falling down to the 10th pick with their late season winning streak. We have fallen back to 5th, as we are ties with the Twins.

    1. Houston 51-108
    2. Miami 59-100
    3. W.Sox 62-97
    4. Minnesota 66-93
    5. Cubs 66-93
    6 Seattle 70-89
    7 Philadelphia 72-87
    8 Colorado 72-87
    9 Toronto 72-87
    10 Brewers 72-87

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/statistics/powerrankings/majors/

    • TheWrongGuy

      I am happy with 5th or 4th picks. We get what the top 3 or 4 wont sign or can’t sign. =)

    • 07GreyDigger

      Cubs have had a better season than last year, but can you imagine the White Sox? Every time I turn on the Score and they’re on, I think. Oh yeah! Sox baseball! I thought this was over a long time ago…

  • cubtex

    The thing that is alarming about Rizzo is that he had 36 RBI by May 31st or the first 50 games.

    Then when the weather heats up and hitters hit….he didn’t.
    Since June 1st….Rizzo has 43 RBI in 102 games.

    • J Daniel

      Agree to a point but you know it well … the team really sucks!

  • cubtex

    If you are drooling over Tanaka’s stats….Remember this player?

    Japan stats

    2005 .328 avg 28HR’s and 103 RBI

    2006 .351 avg 31 HR’s and 104 RBI

    Can you guess the player????

    The one and only Kosuke Fukodome!

    • 07GreyDigger

      Japan is got to be equal to what between AA and AAA? Seems like a lot of AAAA players dominate there.

      • cubtex

        Exactly. And from everthing that I have heard about Tanaka is that he is not even close to being in the same league as Yu Darvish.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Don’t worry. They won’t pony up for him.

          • cubtex

            i think you are right.

    • Tony_Hall

      Are you going to post the stats of the Japanese players that have come over and had good careers? This is where stats don’t tell the whole story (like minor league stats) and scouting is extremely important.

      • cubtex

        lol. that shouldn’t take too long!

  • frank baron

    I kind of like the Cub manager…. I think he screwed Barney from the start by playing him in a meaningless exhibition game before the season cause a DL stint. It seemed that Barney never really recovered. I do think they tinkered too much with Castro, Rizzo and Barney’s swing. Somethings are better left alone. Too many cooks I think.

    As for Castro… losing focus and having his mind wander during the game is not the manager it’s the player. Is he bright enough might be the question. I think the Cubs would be better off creating more competition at that spot… same with Rizzo. Barney I’d keep for now… see where some of these minor leaguers develop.

    Finally Sam-are-jaa (not even going to try) he is displaying a lack of maturity. I don’t think he distinguished himself this year as a go to type pitcher or a a leader… I also think the brain trust was not impressed. I wasn’t. My focus went to Wood after the “Snark’s” comments

  • cubtex

    This is what scouts are concerned about with Tanaka.

    Tanaka, 24, has a 1.20 ERA with 7.4 K/9 and 1.3 BB/9 in 158 innings for
    the Rakuten Golden Eagles this year. He’s listed at 6-foot-2 and 205
    lbs., and is said to sit in the low-90s with a fastball that touches 96.
    Badler says scouts have some concern because he doesn’t get good plane
    on the pitch and it’s more hittable than the velocity suggests. Tanaka
    also throws a low-80s slider and a mid-80s splitter, like many Asian
    pitchers. He has been one of the league’s best pitchers for years now.

    • SuzyS

      I’ve seen those reports, cubtex…he’s not perfect especially his “flat fastball”. Do you think Bosio, or the Cubs pitching braintrust could get him working?

      The other part of the equation…we need more pitching…not pitching to flip…but pitching to develop into TOR….Where do YOU suggest we get it?

      • cubtex

        It’s hard to change at this point. He has a lot of mileage on him as well as a 24/25 year old. Many are concerned that he is due for an injury as well.

        That is the million dollar question. Where do you get TOR starters? Would the Cubs be willing to trade Baez for David Price?
        If you do not believe Tanaka is….why pay him like an Edwin Jackson for 2 pitchers who are not?

        I really think they will have to trade a Castro, Shark or a top prospect for starting pitching like a Price who will start to get expensive for a team before they hit free agency.
        Maybe they can trade Rizzo for Andrew Cashner? That was a joke :))

        • SuzyS

          Ahhh…the last part of your post …you’ll never let go of….In any case…our “Ace(s) are not yet on the team IMO.
          Just saw on another site that Gammons is reporting that Sveum will indeed be out…and the FO frontrunner to replace him is::::::: Brad Ausmus.
          I could not confirm that report…but here come the rumors!!!

          • cubtex

            Ausmus? That just seems like another guy. I wish he would hire a guy with a track record of developing young players.

          • SuzyS

            Evidently Gammons was talking on the 670, THESCORE radio this am.
            He said he thinks Theo’s silence means Sveum is out…and Ausmus had a really good interview with Cherington last year in Boston….but Boston had already made up it’s mind for Farrell.
            According to the report…Gammons said that one of Ausmus’s most impressive traits is his communication skills…both to players and the media.
            Who knows??? It’s rumor central…and about to get worse.

          • cubtex

            we shall see.

          • 07GreyDigger

            He was respected among the Astros team if I remember. Guy never quit, knew how to handle pitchers and might be open to working with Bosio.

            I don’t know how many times I thought, Ausmus is done and then he retired ten years later. :)

          • Tony_Hall

            Girardi was just a guy who was an extremely smart catcher in his day….sounds just like Ausmus. I like catchers as managers.

          • cubtex

            you also liked Sveum

          • Tony_Hall

            Actually I wanted Maddux. Sveum was never at the top of my list.

            Sandberg was my 1st choice.

          • Tony_Hall

            I knew I posted the managers in the order I liked them. Sveum was 3rd behind Maddux and Alomar Jr..

            http://chicagocubsonline.com/archives/2011/11/cubsnewsrumors_14.php#.UkXR44aUR9U

            “Sandy Alomar is next, and I believe he can wow them, and make this a tough decision. I really don’t believe Demarco Hale or Pete Mackanin have a chance and Tim Bogar seems like an afterthought at this point.

            My order for manager

            1) Mike Maddux
            2) Sandy Alomar Jr
            3) Dale Sveum
            4) Tim Bogar (darkhorse)

            eliminated – Pete Mackanin, Demarco Hale (courtesy interview)”

          • TheWrongGuy

            My order has changed. some but it is interesting…

            IF Sveum is gone….

            1) Girardi awesome resume’ but will he come back to Chicago? And what’s his price tag?
            2) Tony Pena Girardi’s bench coach. He is in tie with the next coach/managers.
            3) Sandy Alomar Jr. Francona’s bench coach obvious connection there.
            4) Mike Maddux great with a pitching staff and knows how to motivate them. We also have some his former prospects already in our system.
            De Marlo Hale obvious connection here also.

  • RMercer69

    Peter Gammons reports that Sveum is out and Brad Ausmus is a candidate. Hmmm, let me get this straight: Ausmus is a candidate, but Sandberg WASNT? Oh, okay. Smh

    • cc002600

      you read my mind. They ruled out Sandberg right away because they wanted someone with experience. So if that’s the case, how could they want Ausmus ? hmmm

      • cubtex

        maybe cause Ausmus will be told what to do and listen.

        • Tony_Hall

          Name one manager who at some point, doesn’t have to do what his boss tells him to do or risk be fired.

          • cubtex

            of course. new guys without any track record….see Sveum and Ausmus

          • Tony_Hall

            No, all managers have to do what the Gm tells them or they won’t last long.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Tommy Lasorda/Joe Torre/Red Arubach

          • Tony_Hall

            That is back when managers ran the team, not any more.

          • TheWrongGuy

            You did say name didn’t say name an era. =)

          • Tony_Hall

            Touche….I guess I implied current.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Torre is current.

          • Tony_Hall

            He is????

            He is currently the Executive Vice President for Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball.

            He is currently thinking about being commissioner next.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Touche… I meant he is more current than the others I named.

    • Tony_Hall

      Just because Gammons says he COULD be a candidate, IF Sveum is fired, doesn’t mean it is true.

      • TheWrongGuy

        Yes but there is always a little truth to what P.Gammons has to say…
        IMO Where there is smoke there is fire.
        As in Fired Sveum or as WWE fans might say to Sveum “YOU’RE FIRED”

        • Tony_Hall

          I am starting to believe Theo knew exactly what he was doing when he spoke last week and has allowed the past week for the talk to continue and for it to also be known to potential managers they will be looking.

          • TheWrongGuy

            agree’d.

          • Ripsnorter1

            Theo’s pretty happy about all this “fire Sveum” talk.

            It takes the focus off of the lousy GM job that has accumulated this team.
            It takes pressure off of him.
            It provides a scapegoat.
            It keeps fans interested in a last place team.

            It’s been a good week for Theo.

          • Tony_Hall

            Not sure what awful GM job you are talking about, I think they have done an incredible job of rebuilding this franchise. The major league team was never gonna contend these last 2 years and was not where the focus was at with this FO.

  • cc002600

    They should bring back Scott Baker and flip him at the break.

    • CubbyDenCritic

      If you were Baker, and playoff team gave you an offer, would you still consider the Cubs?

      • cubtex

        exactly. but what playoff team would guarantee him a spot in their rotation? See…That is the argument I have with Tony Hall. Pitchers like Baker and Feldman have to sign with losing teams coming off seasons like they had. Feldman has proven himself this year so he has many more options but Scott Baker….not so much

      • cc002600

        What if cubs offered him more money than anyone else and guaranteed a spot in the rotation ? and with an agreement that he would be moved to contender in July ? Didn’t Feldman just do that ? and Maholm? Plus, Baker seems a little guilty for taking 5.5M to rehab all year, he might give cubs inside track.

        Just sayin’

  • CubbyDenCritic

    “Deep Thoughts”……
    If “No” on Choo……then Cano must also be out of the picture for the Cubs?
    Dave Dombrowski is truly the “Best FO” guy in all of baseball…….
    People will always say that Lou Brock was the worst trade ever……..maybe people should looking at the Marlins / Tigers Miguel Cabrera trade…….
    Carol Gardenhire is looking at property along the North Shore with a Realtor……
    Garza pitching line last night looks similar of Samardzija line that we saw all season……
    If Soriano gets even better next year, we are talking MVP……
    If Rizzo gets even worst next season, we are talking about Bryant taking over at first.
    Would a Castro / Baez double play combination break the MLB record of total errors of middle infielders?
    If Girardi is hired, we get Rothchilds back.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    I can tell a lot of people are not happy about the Ausmus rumor today.

    The reports about him being a leading candidate are not accurate according to my sources, and Kaplan just tweeted the same.

    If there is a rumor/report that I can confirm I will report
    and post on the site.

    Just a reminder to everyone, it is the rumor season and not to take everything that you read as gospel. I will do my best to pass on the most accurate info I have from legitimate sources.

    • TheWrongGuy

      THANKS NEIL for all that you do!!!
      YOU ‘da MAN!

    • SuzyS

      Thanks Neil.

  • jtrain23

    I wonder what a guy like Corey Hart would cost. He is a question mark with the knee problems this year, but if you could get production from him he would be a great guy to provide middle of the line up protection for Rizzo. Plus, Wrigley is a small field, so covering the outfield would be easy on his legs.
    I would say it all depends on the length of the contract and the numbers. If it is 3 years and 25-30 million, would he be worth it?
    Another positive is that with all of the day games at Wrigley, he wouldn’t have to worry about wearing his sunglasses at night nearly as often. Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

    • Tony_Hall

      He has offered the Brewers to take him back and a club friendly deal because they have paid him a lot of money and he didn’t play this year. I don’t think he will be going anywhere.

      • TheWrongGuy

        I could only see the Cubs to be involved with Hart for one reason.
        To get in a bidding war with a division rival to up the price.

  • 07GreyDigger

    In answer to Brian’s question, I think Sveum only gets fired based on two conditions.

    1. Someone better like Girardi or Gardenhire is available and interested.
    2. If not, Epstein does it to appease us for a couple more seasons. If he doesn’t, that should hopefully let a lot of us know they really don’t care what the fans think and some level, they really shouldn’t.

    As for the free agent, I’m hoping for a Nelson Cruz/Corey Hart type who can hit in the middle of the order on a short term deal and hopefully be flipped for prospects.

  • Rational Logic

    In regards to Dale:

    I hope they keep him, I think they need him
    to help bridge the gap with the young players. I’m not so sure an older manager will want to come in an suffer a tough year again and have to work with
    rookies. I don’t think we’re in ‘win-mode’ yet so I doubt they move on. It’s not like he did a bad job, I actually think he’s a good manager.

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

    Franklin Guttierez and Ubaldo Jimenez. I’d be stoked because they could really contribute , OR both could bring great hauls at deadline if they stay healthy and we’re out of contention.