Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Almost to Rock Bottom
The Chicago Cubs are the 2nd worst team in baseball and soon, after they completely implode versus the Astros this weekend, they will be the worst. As a Cub fan, I’m horrified at how terrible this team actually is especially considering how bad the NL Central actually is. I was under the impression at the beginning of the season, the Cubs could compete in the NL Central based on the following: Starting pitching and the bullpen + a free agent highlight reel for Aramis Ramirez along with an upstart first time manager Mike Quade who lead the team to one of the best records during the last 8 weeks of the season. I bought into the irrelevant run the team went on just like the organization did and despite all my belief, injuries to the rotation early in the season left the team one step behind and despite an okay 11-11 start, the team faltered with re-tread starters like Doug Davis to where we stand today, awful baseball.
Do I believe that if Wells and Cashner don’t get hurt early, the team is better; no, as while I expected Wells and Cashner to be decent 4th and 5th starters, I also expected Mike Quade to worry less about nicknames and more about managing a ballclub.
Today topped the cake as he decided it was more important to call out Starlin Castro (Cassie) and Darwin Barney (Barn) regarding a pop fly lost in the sun than blame Dempster for his rocky, slow performance. He blamed the lack of energy on two players for a 9-1 loss to one of the best teams in the NL, when really he is the reason there is no energy.
“I was disappointed with the start [of the game]," Quade said. "And I needed to talk to kids in the middle of the diamond about that. We set a bad tone, [losing a] ball in the sun. [They] are communicating all the way. But I look back at this whole game and look at that play. The sun's been in the same spot for however long Wrigley Field's been here. Those are the kind of mistakes & there are some you accept. Others have to be taken care of."
Quade should had been calling out players in spring training, on opening day or during the first month of the season, not on July 20th, instead he was too busy giving nicknames to players like Rodrigo Lopez (Lope), Doug Davis (Dougy), Jeff Baker (Bake), Lou Montanez (Monty) and Koye Hill (Hilly). Even the third base coach Ivan Dejesus has a nickname (Zeus). Here are the rest of his silly names: Dougy - Doug Davis. Marm – Marmol, Sori – Soriano, Wellsey – Wells, Cassy – Castro, Fuke – Fukudome, Woody – Wood, Marsh – Marshall, Bake – Baker, Colve – Colvin, Hilly – Hill, Russ – Russell, Cash – Cashner, Z – Zambrano. Demp – Dempster, Rammy – Aramis, Sote – Soto, Zamarge - Jeff Samardzija, Monty - Lou Montanez, Barn - Darwin Barney, Garz - Matt Garza, Zeus – Ivan DeJesus, Carp – Carpenter.
Q needs to worry less about a new nickname for the next re-tread and start to find a way to get his players to player better baseball. I know that seems like it could be a tough call but there is more than on this roster and there is no way they should be 21 games under .500. Then again, sometimes the only way to resolve a tough situation is to start from scratch and only rock bottom, worst team in the majors would do such a trick.
Here’s hoping that the Pat Gillick rumors are true and sooner despite their record, Q will be saddened that Gilly let him go after only 1 season as “manager” of the Cubs.
Next time: With Hendry all but fired; the best GM candidate may be someone already in the front office.