Talkin’ Cubs Live – Cubs vs. Braves – 09/20/13

Game One Hundred Fifty-Four: Cubs (64-89) vs. Braves (90-62)

  • Game Time – 1:20pm CDT
  • Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 183/844
  • Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago

Scott Baker (0-0, 0.82/0.55/3.59) vs. Paul Maholm (10-10, 4.35/1.42/4.17)

Weather permitting … The Cubs begin the final stretch of the 2013 season this afternoon with the first of three against the Atlanta Braves. The Cubs have nine games remaining on their schedule and all three series are against teams that are playoff bound. Following the weekend series with the Braves, the Cubs host the Pirates for the last three games of the year at Wrigley. Following a day off on Thursday, the Cubs will spend the last three games of the season in St. Louis taking on the Cardinals.

The Cubs enter play this afternoon with a 29-46 record at Wrigley on the year with six games left on the schedule. The Cubs have not played good ball at home this year and a winning homestand would be a good way to shut Wrigley down for the winter.

Paul Maholm gets the start this afternoon in his first game back at Wrigley since he was dealt to Atlanta last season. Maholm was pitching well for the Braves before injuries derailed his season and his days with the Braves could be numbered. With Maholm on the bump, look for Dale Sveum to run out his right-handed lineup.

The Cubs have not seen the Braves since the second series of the season (April 5 – April 7) in Atlanta. The Braves swept the three game series and the Upton Brothers hit back-to-back homers off Carlos Marmol in the second game that set up the Braves to complete the sweep.

After today’s matchup of Scott Baker and Paul Maholm, Travis Wood is scheduled to face Kris Medlen on Saturday afternoon with Edwin Jackson and Julio Teheran wrapping up the series on Sunday afternoon.

The Braves begin play today with a magic number of two to win the NL East and let’s be realistic here, Atlanta figures to capture the NL East crown this weekend. And that could be a good thing for the Cubs. Back in 2007 when Lou’s Crew celebrated winning the NL Central in the visitor’s clubhouse at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Joey Votto was not happy and said that motivated him to take his game to the next level. Several of the players on the Cubs roster liked playing in playoff-type atmospheres in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh during the last road trip, so maybe seeing the Braves celebrate a division title at Wrigley Field will motivate some of the Cubs’ young players the same way it did Joey Votto six years ago.

Pat Hughes will be back in the booth today calling the game with Keith Moreland and Judd Sirott on 720 WGN.

This afternoon and the final homestand of the season all starts with Scott Baker

Scott Baker makes his third and final start of the season this afternoon. Baker has looked very good in his first two outings and started what could be a brief Cubs’ career with 10 shutout innings. All of the fly balls finally caught up to Baker in Pittsburgh when Jose Tabata took him deep in the sixth. Baker’s velocity increased a little in his last outing and his location was very good once again. Baker took advantage of an aggressive Pirates lineup and should be able to again this afternoon against the Braves.

Baker allowed one run on three hits with no walks and four strikeouts to the Pirates his last time out and is clearly making a case for the Cubs to re-sign him this winter.

Today marks the first time Scott Baker has faced the Atlanta Braves, in a regular season game, in his career.

Braves Career Numbers against Scott Baker

  • B.J. Upton – 2-for-14
  • Gerald Laird – 2-for-10 with a double and a walk
  • Justin Upton – 0-for-5
  • Reed Johnson – 0-for-3 with a walk

Paul Maholm put together a decent year for the Braves and has been solid in Atlanta since the Cubs traded him there last season. The soon-to-be free agent southpaw is coming off a good outing against the Phillies. Maholm allowed two runs on seven this with three walks and five strikeouts in six innings. Maholm received a no-decision in one of his better starts of the second half.

Maholm missed time earlier in the season and had his last start pushed back to this afternoon after undergoing an MRI on his left elbow. The MRI came back negative but many feel due to his inconsistency in the second half, his days in a Braves’ uniform could be numbered, plus he is unlikely to be on their post-season roster.

Paul Maholm is 1-2 in five starts since the break with a 6.04 ERA and a 1.74 WHIP.

Paul Maholm had a lot of success against the Cubs when he was in the Pirates rotation. Maholm faces his former team for the first time since he was traded last July. For his career, Maholm 9-3 in 17 starts against the Cubs with a 5.04 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP.

Cubs Career Numbers against Paul Maholm

  • Starlin Castro (.287) – 9-for-21 with three doubles
  • Darwin Barney (.222) – 3-for-10 with a double
  • Darnell McDonald (.278) – 2-for-9 with a double
  • Dioner Navarro (.305) – 1-for-2 with a double and a walk
  • Nate Schierholtz (.274) – 1-for-3

Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …

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Quote of the Day

"Be who you are and say what you feel. Because, those who mind, don't matter and those who matter, don't mind." - Theodor Seuss Geisel

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  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Today’s lineup:

    Castro SS
    Barney 2B
    Rizzo 1B
    Navarro C
    Murphy 3B
    Lake LF
    McDonald RF
    Sweeney CF
    Baker P

  • 07GreyDigger

    So if you’re Logan Watkins and you go 3 for 4, you sit on the bench the next day? I know this is a righty lineup, but still….

    • TheWrongGuy

      Maholm is a lefty pitcher. It predictable to see this line-up. Even with Watkins 3-4 day. Sveum showing again his predictability.

    • jtrain23

      I get what you mean Grey. These games are all but meaningless now anyway, so why not give him the nod as a type of unspoken reward? Also, even with a righty lineup, Barney has struggled so mightily from the plate this year that anyone they plug in would have almost as good of a chance.

    • paulcatanese

      I said yesterday he would have to go 4×4 or he would sit again, well he failed. His last at bat failed to get out in center field, 3×4 just does not cut it with this offensive power laden lineup the Cubs have:)

    • Tony_Hall

      They just announced that Baez would take reps at 2nd and 3rd in ST and that 2B is his most likely position when he gets called up. This also explains why they wouldn’t just bench Barney and play Watks “to see what he can do” as they don’t view Watkins as a better option than Barney enough to be disrespectful to the player who is about to win back to back Gold Gloves.

      • TheWrongGuy

        They finally figured out that Barney is not the answer for them long term at second base.

        • Tony_Hall

          I don’t think they finally figured it out, I think they have known who Barney is and what he can or can not do. They had hoped he would increase his value by hitting for a high enough average to make other teams overpay for him.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Don’t get me wrong I LOVE his glove, just his bat shows no results or improvement.

          • Tony_Hall

            I love his glove so much I would keep him as a utility player for defensive purposes only. The only problem with that is by the time that is needed he will be to expensive for that role.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I feel the same way about him, as he can also play short and spell Castro there. Also work in a platoon with Watkins till Baez is ready.

  • TheWrongGuy

    Sad to see Wely down with a knee injury like that. He was doing very good for us. I wish him a speedy recovery this off-season.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Better the knee with a scope than a hamstring. It stinks but one is better than the other.

      • TheWrongGuy

        True but neither is good.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castillo with a partial tear in meniscus in right knee. Season over, 4-6 week recovery.

    • paulcatanese

      Lousy way to get some time off. But he could have enough time to recover(may take a little longer because of being a catcher and bending so much), but wish him well.

  • Tony_Hall

    So take what McLeod and Theo said today.

    C – Castillo – Core player
    1B – Rizzo – Core player
    2B – Baez – Core player
    SS – Castro – Core player
    3B – Olt/Villanueva/Bryant – One will be a core player

    This should be the players half way through next season. Not sure they couldn’t come out of ST like this, except for wanting Baez and Olt to do a few more things in AAA and and to have them under control through 2020 instead of 2019 and to possible keep Baez from being a Super 2. Olt will be a Super 2 if they call him in even June as he already has service time with the Rangers.

    • TheWrongGuy

      I Baez/Olt/Villanueva/Bryant all need more seasoning yet/reps in the minors. Hopefully Olt can turn things around.

      • Tony_Hall

        If Olt can turn it around and take 3B, that moves Bryant to RF and Soler to LF, with Almora in CF.

        Now not all will make it (I hate that we have to post statements like this every time or have someone come back with, you know that that lineup will never actually happen as they will all fail because they are prospects) but that is one very young lineup that could grow together.

        • TheWrongGuy

          Yes true. Not to mention trade possibilities.

          • Tony_Hall

            We will need to make some trades because that works out to a very right handed lineup.

            1. Almora CF
            2. Baez 2B

            3. Bryant RF
            4. Soler LF
            5. Olt 3B
            6. Rizzo 1B
            7. Castro SS
            8. Castillo C

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes. Plug in Voggy in a few years as DH, whether we like it or not DH will be in the NL.

          • Tony_Hall

            Plug him in and it sure helps the L/R thing.

            1. Almora CF
            2. Baez 2B
            3. Bryant RF
            4. Soler LF
            5. Vogelbach DH
            6. Olt 3B
            7. Rizzo 1B
            8. Castro SS
            9. Castillo C

            I think I am going to see if I can order playoff tickets for 2016…

          • TheWrongGuy

            Too early for that call. But I like our chances. Hopefully the pitching holds-up or improves.

          • Tony_Hall

            Isn’t that the year that the DH could start with the a new collective bargaining agreement?

            By then we should have the 2nd wave of pitching coming through.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes but it is still being debated about holding off till 2018. That was the last report I saw.

          • cc002600

            You are missing Alcantara

            I’d rather see Baez at 3B, Alcantara at 2b, Bryant in OF

            I don’t think Olt will be keeper.

            just my $.02

          • Tony_Hall

            Wasn’t missing him, they said today that Baez would get time at 2B and 3B in ST and that 2B is the more likely landing spot when he gets called up next year.

          • cc002600

            agree…maybe that will be the plan for 2014…..but eventually, I hope Alcantara is our 2B. I think he provides better defense, some much needed speed, decent power, and a switch hitter.

            Plus, I think its harder for a SS to move to 2B than 3B. Its really a lot different. I think Baez may struggle there defensively, or certainly not be as good as Alcantara

            Either way, it sure is nice to have some options, isn’t it ?
            :-)

            Better days are ahead. (can’t be any worse)

          • Tony_Hall

            Trying to find the quote from McLeod who said that they would like to keep his athletism in the middle of the field and that it would be an easier transition to 2B than 3B for him and would improve his defense playing 2B. Plus it puts a plus bat at 2B.

            I agree with you, these are good problems to have.

          • Tony_Hall

            I also agree that I like the thought of Alcantara at 2B. But it sure does get fun trying to find a way to get Baez, Bryant, Soler, Olt, Almora in a lineup with Rizzo, Castro and Castillo.

        • 07GreyDigger

          Based on what I’ve read with Almora, I can see him being trade bait. He’s a great defensive guy, but I’m not sure he’s going to reach the high ceiling set for him. I could see him being shipped out for an impact pitcher.

  • Tony_Hall

    Calling for a new triple crown.

    1) Weighted Runs above average
    2) Isolated Power
    3) Percentage of base runners scored.

    Now that would be a real triple crown!

    http://www.newsday.com/sports/baseball/on-base-perception-1.3631854/it-s-time-for-a-new-triple-crown-1.6110000

    • TheWrongGuy

      Yeah last season I did a personal run % per player statistic.

      (RBI’s + R) – HR) / teams runs scored
      I did this statistic during the Miggy and Trout debate.
      Miggy was like 22%
      Trout was like 24%
      I was shocked but still would have picked Miggy as MVP. He’s too valuable a hitter with RISP.

      • Tony_Hall

        But you dug deeper to try and make sense of a number. That is sabermetrics. I wish more people understood that all the newer stats were created to dig deeper into the numbers.

        If I was picking a team, I wouldn’t even think twice and take MIke Trout 1st.

        • TheWrongGuy

          True and yet with as has been said Miggy’s hitting as a whole is way more valuable NOW.
          Yet for the long term I would build around a player like Trout.
          VERY tough decision.

          • Tony_Hall

            I would make the same decision if it was for one year.

            Defesne – Trout
            Baserunning – Trout
            Hitting – Cabrera

            People turn this into hitting is more important, but the difference in hitting is no where near as much as the difference in defense and baserunning.

            330/435/570/1.005
            39 2B’s
            9 3B’s
            26 HR’s
            33 SB’s

            One could argue that Trout is more valuable on offense than Cabrera due to his speed and baserunning since his batting stats are not too bad on their own.

            347/444/651/1.095
            26 2B’s
            1 3B
            44 HR’s
            3 SB’s

          • TheWrongGuy

            I agree. I based my personal run % per player statistic on Runs for a team alone.
            I would pick Miggy for his hitting and driving in runs. He helps any team and player now with him by learning from what he does at the plate.
            Overall play I would pick Harper even over Miggy and maybe Trout. I love the way Harper plays the game very hard. I watched him almost run Chipper Jones over last season, that was shocking.
            Most players in the game today lack that intensity.

          • Tony_Hall

            I like Harper, but would take Trout over Harper because I don’t think Harper (with his style) will ever play 162 games. That knocks him down my list.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Castro proved this year he can’t either. I believe with young players you need to walk them into the long seasons of the majors. Harper I agree can’t play the full season either.

  • Tony_Hall

    Great play by Castro up the middle.

    • TheWrongGuy

      agree’d

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro with a web gem

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo with a solid single

  • Dorasaga

    Big Mac has been busy catching flyballs. CJ made this one easy. No run required.

  • Dorasaga

    I’m seeing the Cubs lineup this way: leadoff, the Cuban King, followed by a place to store wheat. Then they got something made with dough, another Spanish roll as clean-up, a pint of stout, a big body of water, Big Mac, dessert, and the baker’s IN HOUSE to serve.

    The Cubs sound like a nice ristorante on the Michigan front. Have a nice dine-out, fella!

  • Tony_Hall

    Baker caught too much of the plate and Freeman is not going to miss that.

  • TheWrongGuy

    Bad base running.

    • Tony_Hall

      I don’t understand how a player at this level makes that mistake.

      • paulcatanese

        Didn’t watch, but by the box score and innings from ESPN I assume it was Sweeney going to third on a ground ball to short and was thrown out. If so, that’s a dumb play.

        • Tony_Hall

          Yes, Sweeney. His 1st move was to take a step or two and then was stuck and had to run to 3rd. He knew it as soon as he did it.

  • TheWrongGuy

    Good Hit Rizzo RBI.

  • Tony_Hall

    Rizzo with back-to-back mulit-hit games.

    • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

      Good to see, plus he delivered with a runner in scoring position

      • Tony_Hall

        Maybe Theo’s line about progress not being linear is true.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Good job by Rosscup pitching out of that jam.

  • TheWrongGuy

    I like Rosscup’s stuff but at this point he seems a pure loogy, as he can only lefties out. I feel he needs more seasoning at the AAA level to gain better control of his stuff, as well as learn how to get more rightys out.

  • Tony_Hall

    Long gone Castro

    • TheWrongGuy

      BRAVO Castro!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Castro #10

  • TheWrongGuy

    nice shot D Murphy

  • Tony_Hall

    Murphy is having a career in the few months he has been with the Cubs.

  • TheWrongGuy

    Lake double.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Murphy #11

  • TheWrongGuy

    Very nice Luis

  • Tony_Hall

    Red Sox have moved Dempster to the bullpen, not long relief.

    • TheWrongGuy

      Good value move. They have had questions about their bullpen this season.

      • Tony_Hall

        Probably more about who they would rather have in the bullpen in the playoffs as they only need a 5th start a couple of more times in the regular season.

        • TheWrongGuy

          Yes and to keep a capable starter available is a good thing in the play-offs.

          • SuzyS

            Demp had a good bullpen career for us….Smart move by the BoSox.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Rizzo gave that one a ride

  • Tony_Hall

    TIED Navarro HR

    • TheWrongGuy

      nice hit from Navarro!!

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Navarro onto Waveland #13

    • TheWrongGuy

      And tied the ballgame =)

  • TheWrongGuy

    Good work Strop.

  • TheWrongGuy

    Ouch that hurt the chances.

  • Tony_Hall

    McLeod stated today that Iowa’s will likely have Villaneuva at 3B, Baez at SS and Alcantara at 2B.

    Bryant to start at Daytona or Tennessee playing 3B after playing OF in the AFL.

    Who is missing in this is Olt? I believe they are quietly hoping he wins the 3B job in ST, otherwise he would be at Iowa, Villanueva would start the year in Tennessee and Bryant would start the year in Daytona.

    • TheWrongGuy

      True or they could be looking to a trade a 3rd baseman during the off-season. They did say not to look for Big splashy FA signings but nothing on trades. Though their motto is more to the sell high buy low aspect and Olt’s value is low. So who knows.

      • Tony_Hall

        It sure is nice to not be counting on any one guy to come up and be a savior, yet we are not counting on any one player at even a single position.

    • 07GreyDigger

      I know Olt had a rough year, but with his talent he should be able to beat out Luis Valbuena and if he can’t, as my cousin once said when Nomar tore his groin in 2005, “BURY HIM WHERE HE LAYS!”

      • Tony_Hall

        I agree. I think they will not call it his job to lose, but I think that is the case. And because of the depth they can risk having him struggle at the major league level if they need to, as they have Villanueva, Baez, Bryant all capable of playing 3B behind him.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs pitching has issued 7 walks, 2 intentional and 4 of those free passes have scored

    • TheWrongGuy

      Yes NOT good at all.

      • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

        Make that 8 walks

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Cubs lost 9-5 to Braves on Friday: Scott Baker: 5R, 4H (2 HR), 3BB, 1K, 4IP (70 pitches, 47 strikes); Kevin Gregg: 4R, 3H, 3BB, 1K, 1IP

    Castro: 1-5, HR, 2R; Navarro: 1-4, HR; Murphy: 1-4, HR; Rizzo: 2-4, RBI; Lake: 1-3, 2B, R; Valbuena: 1-1, RBI

  • paulcatanese

    Couldn’t get the game, but looks like Gregg is making his bid for next year, I hope he gets the proper evaluation and ends up where he belongs.

  • http://chicagocubsonline.com/ Neil

    Gregg miffed at Cubs for mulling Strop to closer: “Professional courtesy would have been nice.”

    Gregg: “I expected to be treated a little bit better than this.”

    • Tony_Hall

      For a guy who had to sign a minor league contract, he should be grateful for the opportunity he was given to close and to re-establish his value around the league.

      But, he might want to watch it, if he was valued around the league, he would have been traded in July or August.

      • SuzyS

        He didn’t have enough of a sample size by the trade deadline…If it were the trade deadline now…he’d bring back some type of prospect…just not too much due to his age and past history.

        • Tony_Hall

          He had 22 saves by the end of July in 41 Appearances. I think it was his awful July that made people not want to trade for him.

          • SuzyS

            Basically agreed. People kept waiting for him to self-destruct as he did in the past….with his no movement fastballs…..But I do think he’s earned another look-see in the majors next season…But I think most would still be wary of him.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I for one would like to see him back next year. He was a dependable piece in the pen for most of the season. And if Strop doesn’t work as the closer. We still have Gregg till another arm can claim his spot.

          • cubtex

            And the chances of Strop working out as the closer is slim.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes he has big time control issues… *cough* Marmol*cough*

          • cubtex

            It won’t be pretty :)

          • TheWrongGuy

            I believe we posted about this the other day… Next season will be very down.

          • SuzyS

            While it might be down…it will be interesting with the arrival of some of our prospects.
            What happens if Vizcaino catches fire in the pen?
            Vitters opens eyes in LF. Szczur has a whopper of a season.
            The secondary depth of our tier two prospects is pretty interesting. We’re at a stage where non-front runners could stand up and prove their worth.

            From that standpoint, I believe next season will be very worth following.

            A year from now, I expect them to truly build the team for winning…not just churn

            talent through the system.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I agree with you Suzy I am ALL for it. But with what we have seen of development from Sveum or is it his coaching staff?

          • Tony_Hall

            The majority of the development will be done before the player moves up from the minors. In the past, this wasn’t done, there was no system, just go play and when your stats say you are good, move up.

            That doesn’t mean that players will be completely finished when they arrive.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yet the same is not said of Castro and Rizzo.
            Sorry for the shift in gears but it is true.
            Gregg has value as he has consistently saved games for us and in his career.

          • Tony_Hall

            Castro was rushed to try and save JH’s job. Rizzo had accomplished all that he could in Iowa.

            If Gregg had value on the market, he would have been traded.

          • cubtex

            Castro was brought up because he could help the team right away. It was early in the season and they were only a couple games out of 1st at the time. He was successful so it was the right move.

          • Tony_Hall

            He could have used more time in the minors as well.

            153 games of A ball an AA ball.

            And only 57 games above A ball is not much development time.

            Many things we have watched him go through if he was allowed more time in the minors.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I agree about Castro and Rizzo.

            I didn’t say what value but there is value there for Gregg.

          • cubtex

            Rizzo also was brought up by the Padres and failed first.

          • Tony_Hall

            Yes that happens, sometimes players have to go back down.

          • SuzyS

            So did Greg Maddux at first….and others like him.
            When Sandberg first came up, he had no power and was considered a singles hitter.
            Cubtex…Rizzo will be a good player before all is said and done…I truly believe that.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I agree with you Suzy on Rizzo.

          • cubtex

            you are more sure of Rizzo than I am. the statement on Rizzo was more of a comparison to say that Rizzo was brought up after all he could accomplish in the minors first. That is not true. The Padres brought him up and he struggled mightily. The Cubs were more cautious because of that first failure.

          • cubtex

            sure there are many aspects that he could have polished up(especially defensively) but he never struggled offensively until this year.

          • Tony_Hall

            His average and OBP has been going down since his high in 2011. That is because teams have been using his aggressiveness against him. Teams learn how to get players out and they have to adapt to have long careers.

          • cubtex

            He can flat out hit. If they leave him alone he will hit again.

          • Tony_Hall

            So you think he is so good that he never needs to work on anything?

          • cubtex

            don’t change his approach at the plate. Did Rudy Jaramillo not work on anything with him? Of course he did but he didn’t take away his aggressiveness

          • Tony_Hall

            His main thing he has needed to work on has been not expanding the zone and giving away AB’s.

          • SuzyS

            Cubtex, one thing I do feel strongly about…we need a better hitting coach.
            A hitting coach is never a savior…but can be detrimental to the team…or a good one can be a big plus…especially on a young team.
            I do expect the Cubs to change that…this off season.

          • cubtex

            agreed. a hitting coach is like a shrink. they need to make a hitter feel confident. look what. I have said this several times before but look what George Brett has done for Eric Hosmer and the Royals.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Suzy wasn’t it you that said Billy Buck was selling his home in Boise?

          • SuzyS

            No. I saw that…but can’t remember who posted it.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Bill Buckner might be what is in there plans. I have been waiting on more info on this.

          • SuzyS

            I’ve always been fond of Billy Buck…saw him play at Fenway long ago after his days with the Cubs.
            Maybe you’re right…but then who knows?

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yup who knows.

          • SuzyS

            You know what…I have no answer to that…because Sveum has had to deal with such a crappy hand…he’s tough to evaluate.
            I do believe 2 things:
            1) He should be allowed to finish his contract…(if he can stomach another rebuilding season).

            2) He will NOT be the manager of choice once we start winning.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Yes I am with you. I don’t want to be all in and say Sveum is out. Nor say stay you have been great for the core players development.

          • cubtex

            You know I am not a Sveum fan. I hate the bashing of players to the press and making that public. I don’t like him saying that they cut Borbon for poor baserunning and then not reprimanding other players for doing the same thing. Players see this and I think that is the reason on why the clubhouse is getting out of control right now.

          • Tony_Hall

            You didn’t like him because Theo hired him.

          • cubtex

            I don’t like him because he is a terrible manager. If Theo had hired someone who was a good manager…I would be the first one to say so.

          • Tony_Hall

            Yeah right.

          • cubtex

            okay counselor. defend Sveum. Record? No Player Development? No Game Management? No
            I truly cannot believe how anyone can think he is a good manager.

          • Tony_Hall

            I am not saying to extend the guy (do I really have to repeat this over and over again), but I don’t think you can judge him based on the rosters he has had the last 2 years.

            Development is a legitamate area to evaluate him. But I still don’t think with the hand has been dealt, the amount of players he has had to work with, that you can fire him after 2 years.

            With the way you nitpick every move, you would have run Larussa out of St Louis many times over.

          • cubtex

            The way he has handled Castro is enough reason to fire him alone

          • Tony_Hall

            Read this analysis of Sveum and managers in general.

            http://www.chicagonow.com/cubs-den/2013/09/is-sveum-really-to-blame-a-balanced-look-at-the-beleaguered-cubs-manager/

            Progress isn’t linear. There is nothing wrong with taking this season to work on Castro learning how to not expand the zone and lay off pitches. It may have resulted in less numbers for you to look at, but he has still learned from this and will be better moving forward having worked on this.

          • cubtex

            one guys opinion.

          • Tony_Hall

            You haven’t even read it and you are bad mouthing it.

          • cubtex

            I did read that before. it is about if Sveum is to blame? Correct? That is an older article

          • Tony_Hall

            If Monday is old….

            “I don’t see Sveum as a point A to point B guy. I see him simply as the best available choice at that time and the Cubs will give him every chance to succeed, in part because continuity also plays a role with a young developing team. He’ll be judged on whether he’s the guy to take the team to the next level when the team itself is ready to reach the next level. That is only fair.”

          • cubtex

            yep read that already. like i said. one man’s opinion.

          • Tony_Hall

            And that is all yours is, one man’s opinion.

          • cubtex

            very true

          • TheWrongGuy

            Thank the heavens you 2 AGREE’D

          • cubtex

            doesn’t happen very often does it?

          • TheWrongGuy

            nope.

          • Tony_Hall

            It does happen, we just don’t keep talking about the things we agree on….what fun would that be.

            New thread up, this one is about to blow up from all the posts.

          • SuzyS

            Yes, I’m aware of your feelings…and they are valid…But not all inclusive.
            Imagine if you had your first managing job with such bad teams….I think he is learning.
            I don’t think he is the best manager…nor the worst….with the current fiscal situation…why would the Cubs really want to change …just now????

            A big time name would give them more credibility…But I’m not sure a Girardi etc. would really want the team at this point.

            The change is probably one year away.

          • cubtex

            the biggest issue is the regression of Castro,Rizzo and Shark. If you want to include Barney(I won’t) but the young guys have not gotten better under his leadership.

          • Tony_Hall

            Progress isn’t linear…..

            Thought you would enjoy a Theo quote.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Do I have to step in and say say play nice again?

            That IS a joke.

          • cubtex

            not!

          • SuzyS

            Shark is his own worst enemy…he lost focus when Feldman was traded and he realized the Cubs were truly not going to compete again.
            Rob Deere needs to be replaced as the hitting coach…and that is Sveum’s fault….BUT Sveum doesn’t hit for either Rizzo or Castro.
            We also are not privy to the orders that Theo/Jed had Sveum working under.
            As I said…I’m pretty much on the fence about the guy…given the horrible conditions he’s had to do his OJT on.
            Let him finish his contract…and then make a decision.

          • cubtex

            Sveum was a hitting coach and I think he has a ton to do with what was put in Castro’s head.

          • SuzyS

            Under what type of orders?

          • cubtex

            do you think Sveum just delegates and doesn’t have any hands on instruction with the players?

          • Tony_Hall

            I think what she is saying is that he was told to work on Castro and see if you can get him to stop expanding the zone.

          • SuzyS

            Tony had it right. I believe that Sveum had a lot of input on Castro….But I also believe he was under orders from above to do so.
            If so, then whom do you blame???

            Look, The Cubs are a terrible mlb team. I just feel it’s far from Sveum’s fault….on the other hand….he hasn’t really inspired me either…that given the talent, he could lead us to the world series.

            Since we’re not aiming for the world series next season…then let him finish his contract and then decide on the next move.

          • TheWrongGuy

            I agree about Rob Deer. Rowson I am on the fence about.
            Deer should have been a Latin coach to be able to work with the latin players if they are looking to change a latin players approach. They ALL swing the bat for good or bad.

          • Tony_Hall

            There are other options.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Like who Blake Parker who can’t find the strike zone?

          • cubtex

            maybe Bard will be put in a time capsule back to 2010 and find his command again.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Bard Vizcaino and many others we can name are ALL big question marks until proven otherwise, and AAA saves don’t count.
            When your trying to get the 27th out of a game with thousands of fans standing on their feet and your successful, consistently. Then we got something.

          • Tony_Hall

            Who was talking about Kevin Gregg last winter, last spring training, last April?

            Theo will not overpay to get a closer. He wants to use the closer role to improve value. It would have worked with Gregg, but he lost his magic in July, right when teams were starting to forget his past.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Understand and I agree.

          • Tony_Hall

            Other internal options.

            Grimm
            Arrieta
            Bard
            Parker
            Strop
            Vizcaino
            Schlitter
            Batista

          • SuzyS

            I agree…the other part is that he’s been building value….if he can keep his mouth shut and just continue …he will be worth a better prospect, buying the Cubs time to develop another closer.

          • TheWrongGuy

            Well with his mouth now will lower his value. =) And a contract incentive. =) That was a joke by the way.

  • cubtex

    This —> RT @CSNMooney The 64-90 Cubs are talking about save situations with eight games left against the Braves, Pirates and Cardinals.

    Exactly! How ridiculous is this.

    • SuzyS

      Cubtex, looking to next year my friend…and good or not…major league ego’s are always with us…have to be…just to play in the majors.

      Remember Vitters’ statement when the Cubs traded for Olt…(after selecting Bryant in the draft)? paraphrased: “I’ll be the Cubs third baseman for years to come.”????

      • cubtex

        If Gregg really thought of the schedule and only 8 games left…I am sure he would take back what he said. Will there even be a save situation? Maybe 1?

        On the other hand…he could be upset at Sveum for something else and used this moment to slam him.

        • SuzyS

          Possibly….I’m sure he wants his public words back anyhow….It’s never good to come into the spotlight for something like this.
          Ian Stewart, anyone????

  • Tony_Hall

    Kevin Gregg finished his 50th game today, something the Cubs didn’t have to do, as it paid him $500,000 in a performance bonus. Now if the Cubs had told him before today, that they were going to use Strop to finish games the rest of the year and that they would not be offering him a contract for 2014, then he would have had a lot to be upset about.

    BUT

    They waited until he earned his bonus, out of respect for the season he had, and how he filled a much needed role this year. How did they repay that respect, by running to the media to cry about not being respected. Good luck getting a closer job next year.

    • SuzyS

      Way too much being made out of this…I’m surprised the frustrations of playing for a 64-90 team doesn’t result in more blow-ups.

      • Tony_Hall

        I agree, but if I am Theo and I just allowed him to hit a 500k bonus and he repays that by running to the media, I might not cut him, but he would sit and watch the rest of the last week.

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Seems this Cubs Clubhouse is sinking faster than the Titanic…….
    Dale is Out!

    • SuzyS

      Naaah, just means the whole team is stressed by 2 years of big-time losing.

      Dale might be moved out…but it won’t be because of the last 20 games.

      • cubtex

        I take this as a lot of players have kept things bottled up inside them and they are using the last 2 weeks to let Sveum know how they feel about him.

      • GaryLeeT

        It’s 3 years of losing, but with record setting player movement, few have experienced the whole thing, so i am not sure if it’s pent up frustration. I know the players make a lot of money, but I don’t know they keep their composure at all for 1 year when they play on a team designed to lose. I guess that’s where stars of the future take their cue from the higher ups and hit .230

  • CubbyDenCritic

    Excuses…..Excuses….Excuses….
    2012…..Evaluating team personal, trading Vets away
    2013…..Poor season by Rizzo, Castro & Samardzija
    2014…..Too Many Injuries, Manager Fired
    2015…..Rookies not ready
    2016…..Reds & Cardinals got stronger
    2017…..Baseball Strike
    2018…..Manager Fired, Theo Fired, Sandberg Hired
    2019…..Bartman Jr. knocks ball out of Soler’s glove in Playoffs
    2020…..Poor seasons for Baez, Soler, Bryant
    2021…..Lack of Pitching
    2022…..Lack of Hitting

    • TheWrongGuy

      HAHAHAHA!!!!

    • cubtex

      unfortunately. some of those things could happen.