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  #1  
Old Jun 25th 2009, 5:50 pm
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Cubs slide back into their old ways

This is probably the hardest thing that I have had to write so far this season, but the time has come to do so. While I am a very optimistic fan of the Chicago Cubs, and always believe that they still have a shot, I am having a harder time believing that with every game that passes. The expectations all throughout Spring Training said, that this was the team to beat in the National League. However, as more and more games pass, those expectations are looking to be well over what the team really and truly is turning out to be. Time to start facing what could very well be fact, the Cubs just are not that good.

You can point to any number of reasons why the ball club has failed miserably up to this point, but none of them are all too realistic. I know people are going to point fingers at Cubs General Manager Jim Hendry who traded a good club house guys in Mark DeRosa and non-tendered long time Cub, and another good clubhouse guy Kerry Wood. But come on, DeRosa being in the lineup would not help Alfonso Soriano who is hitting in the low .200s, or Kosuke Fukudome who is continuing his annual slide into baseball obscurity. DeRosa being on the team would not be the difference maker in Geovany Soto who, while he is starting to hit again, has seemingly forgotten what he did to make him the rookie of the year last season. While DeRosa as a good club house guy, he would not be the difference maker that everyone thinks he is. Sure, he would have been nice playing third base with Aramis Ramirez out of action (and I will get to this in a bit), but he would not make that big of a difference.

As far as Wood goes, if he was in the bullpen for the Cubs this year, his presence would not be a magical solution to Carlos Marmol who cant seem to find the plate anymore on a consistent game to game basis. He would not have helped out Neal Cotts when he was here, nor would he have a positive effect on Aaron Heilman or David Patton. His presence on the ball club wouldnít keep Rich Harden healthy, or Carlos Zambrano sane. Whether he was in the bull pen or not, would not be the difference in this team having a good bullpen, or a bad bullpen. He is only one man, and can not change how good others are.

Another mistake Hendry made, was not having a legitimate backup for Ramirez, who has now missed close to two months. I wont lie, I was worried about him not signing someone that could play third base. Ramirez has missed time every year, so having a backup should have been a priority for the club, yet nothing as done to protect the ball club for just this instance. But at the same time, you can not point to his absence as being the sole reason the club is dying a slow death. As good of a hitter Ramirez is (and he is the Cubs best hitter), one player should not make this much of a difference. Look at what is going on with the Los Angeles Dodgers, they lost Manny Ramirez for 50 games, and they have not skipped a beat. He is their best hitter, yet they are still going strong and are looking like the best team in all of baseball. The Cubs losing Ramirez was a big blow, donít get me wrong, but the Cubs have players who are too good to allow this team to look so bad.

Speaking of Ramirez, I donít think that he should be brought back this season. Not with the way the team is playing now. I think this way for a few reasons, and here they are, all lined up for you. No one knows what condition he will be in when he returns. No one knows how close he will be to full power, and if he will be able to give us anything close to what he normally could. If the Cubs are playing this poorly when he gets back, even if he is at full strength, he may not give the Cubs enough of a boost to make any noise in the second half. Finally, he is likely going to need shoulder surgery in the off season to help correct the damage which has been done to his shoulder. I say, sit him out and allow him to get that surgery now. Give him as much healing time as possible so he can return next year as close to 100% as he can get. This year is just about a lost cause anyway, start looking forward to the 2010 season.

I donít want to hear that the Cubs are only 3.5 games out of first, they are nothing more then a .500 ball club. I know that in 2006 the St. Louis Cardinals were a .500 team and that they went on to win the World Series. But they are the exception, not the rule. This team does not look like they have anything going for them right now. They win four straight games, then they go out and lose four straight by doing the same exact thing they have done all season; fail to hit with runners in scoring position. The Cubs lead the league in runners stranded in scoring position, and thatís not a stat you want to brag about.

The time has come to say goodbye to this season, time to play Steve Goodmanís classic song ďA Dying Cub fanís last requestĒ. Who knows, maybe the Cubs sweep the Chicago White Sox this weekend, and go on a lengthy winning streak. However, with the way this team has inconsistently played, I donít see anything in the cards that tells me they will.

I wont go anywhere, I will still follow the Cubs and root them on. I will still post my thoughts on a regular basis, and I would love to be proven wrong in the end.
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  #2  
Old Jun 25th 2009, 8:00 pm
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eh, as long as the starting pitching is ok, I'm not worried in this joke of a division.

Jake Fox should have been playing 3rd everyday a month ago and it would have saved alot of grief. Even when he was sent down to the minors for that week he wasn't playing third on a regular basis. This organization is baffling sometimes.
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  #3  
Old Jun 25th 2009, 8:04 pm
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eh, as long as the starting pitching is ok, I'm not worried in this joke of a division.

Jake Fox should have been playing 3rd everyday a month ago and it would have saved alot of grief. Even when he was sent down to the minors for that week he wasn't playing third on a regular basis. This organization is baffling sometimes.
I thought Lou already looked that way.
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  #4  
Old Jun 25th 2009, 9:42 pm
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Truth is Bock is right. This is a joke of a division. I mean the Cards just lost 3 of 4 to the Mets AAA team basically. The Brewers have one good starting P. The Reds can be scary especially if Votto gets back to health. The Pirates basically trade every good player they get. That leaves the always surging second half Astros. We have the pitching and thats what is suppose to win in the long haul. Being only 3.5 out at this time, it is still achievable.

I have mixed feelings about it though. On one hand I wish the Cards or Brewers would take off and bury us to put me out of this misery of a season because I honestly think we are a very average team that is not constructed right. If this happens then I agree with Z- go ahead and blow up Wrigley field or make it a museum and build a new stadium where the wind is not such a huge factor. I would also be in favor of changing the uniforms as well.

Then on the other hand- if you make it to the playoffs anything can happen. Who knows - maybe they would actually hit for 3 weeks in a row.
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Old Jun 25th 2009, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Bockstock View Post
eh, as long as the starting pitching is ok, I'm not worried in this joke of a division.

Jake Fox should have been playing 3rd everyday a month ago and it would have saved alot of grief. Even when he was sent down to the minors for that week he wasn't playing third on a regular basis. This organization is baffling sometimes.
I agree with you about the "starting pitchers are holding up their end of the bargain". But you have to be able to score. Against the Tigers they had many chances, with runners in scoring position and they just didn't get a hit. End result is a Loss. It is so doggone frustrating to watch. Like "Ground-Hog Day" the same crap over and over. And when they do score some runs the pitchers have a bad day. Apparently Lou P and Jim Hendry don't have the answers or they don't know the answers.
Fox looks good at 3rd Base, I would plant his body there until Aram can get back. Oh well tommorrow is another day.
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Old Jun 25th 2009, 10:08 pm
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One thing about the series vs the Tigers is the Tigers are a very good club. A tweak here and there and they will be contenders if they arent already. With that being said, we could have won every game in the series. The defense let us down the last two games with Soto's drop that led to two runs and then today Font and Theriot sort of got in each others way and allowed Everett to reach, which eventually resulted in a 2 run HR with two outs. Everett was given a hit on the play but its still a play that should have been made.
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Old Jun 26th 2009, 4:43 am
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The Pirates basically trade every good player they get.
Lets just start trading with them right now to fix our problems. LOL

Heck, i wanted Jason Bay and Jack Wilson last season. Look at what Bay has done in Boston. He is doing very well. Too bad Jim doesn't get trade advise from me.
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Old Jun 26th 2009, 4:48 am
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Oh btw, nice post Ben.

I think we need to stop evaluating this team after they win a couple games in a row, because as soon as they look to be turning the corner they hit a road block with a loosing streak. I won't be convinced they are back until i see them reel off a months worth of winning baseball.
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Old Jun 26th 2009, 10:07 am
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Bay would have been great, but I doubt the cubs had the talent to haul him in.

I've actually seen alot of people bringing up Freddy Sanchez's name as a trade target.
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Old Jun 26th 2009, 10:10 am
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We are not going to see a damn thing in trades , Zell is bankrupt so that equals Cubs being broke.
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