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Many readers may be under the impression that I’m a glass half full kind of Cubs fan – and I suppose that I am, about half the time. The other half, I’m a sky-is-falling-there-is-no-way-out-from-under-the-crushing-weight-of-failure-why-didn’t-my-mom-breast-feed-me pessimist. In other words, I’m a Cubs fan. For us, the glass is neither half full nor half empty. There is no glass. The general manager forgot to buy one.

  • Could Ryan Dempster pitch in the 5th starter’s spot on Monday, since he threw only 40 pitches last night? Yes, he could, but Mike Quade isn’t going to do it. “Given the number of pitches he threw tonight [40], that’s an option … but I’d rather not. It’s one thing if a guy’s been pitching well and had an outing like this. You chalk it up to experience and bring him back quick. But it’s more important now that we get Demp straightened out, so I’d rather not do that. I never say never, but that’s not on my radar right now.” With how truly awful the fifth spot has been for the Cubs, did you ever think you’d be relieved to hear that the Cubs aren’t planning to use Ryan Dempster in that spot?
  • Speaking of Ryan Dempster’s struggles, where the hell is pitching coach Mark Riggins? Assuming Dempster is not injured – and, outside of the crappy performances, there’s no reason to believe he is – this is precisely where pitching coaches are supposed to help. They are supposed to identify mechanical flaws in a struggling pitcher’s delivery, and then work with the pitcher to correct it. How has that not already happened? Or worse, did that happen before this start, and the “correction” actually made things worse?
  • To be clear: I have no knowledge of what Riggins and Dempster have actually discussed. But when I read quotes from Mike Quade like this one – “I always look at it as a veteran guy, but he’s got to figure some stuff out. He and [pitching coach Mark Riggins] have to get together.”- it tells me the two have not been working together yet. Day late and a dollar short, fellas.
  • More depressing Dempster quotes; this time, from Dempster himself: “Just look forward to my next start and do what I have to do to execute pitches and get people out. Lack of execution today. I put us in a huge hole and was unable to make pitches when I needed to make them.” I know you can’t dwell on it, and you’ve got to move on… but damn, dude. Give me something. Give me some reason to believe you’re *actually* going to fix whatever the problem is. Tell me that you figured out you were tipping your pitches, or you ate too many giant burritos the afternoon before the game. Anything.
  • Koyie Hill has more home runs than Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena combined.
  • Ryan Dempster has the worst ERA in all of baseball among qualifying starters. His ERA is more than a run higher than James Russell.
  • Marcos Mateo and John Grabow have thrown 50% more innings than Kerry Wood.
  • Fluff about Mike Quade not tweeting like Ozzie Guillen (who may be in trouble for tweeting several times, during the game, following a Wednesday ejection) here. Why is that depressing? It’s the only not brutally-depressing article I read this morning.
  • Ok, that’s not true. Here’s a positive Bruce Miles article about rapidly-rising Cubs pitching prospect Robert Whitenack. A mediocreish prospect last year, after being drafted in the 8th round in 2009, Whitenack absolutely destroyed High A in his first few starts, and then dominated in his first AA start this week. Every year there seems to be a pitcher whose performance outclasses his pedigree, and, usually, we never hear from the kid again. But there may be a reason to be optimistic on Whitenack. Team minor league director Oneri Fleita explains: “He’s got command, with a good sinker, and he’s throwing 91-94 (mph). It looks to me that he grew two inches over the off-season and that he’s filled out some. He was throwing 89-91 tops last year. Now, he’s 91-94. You don’t see that a whole lot.”
  • Adam

    At this point, I’d much rather the Cubs fall of early this season instead of having a very mediocre season as it progresses (like their first 20 games projected). The Cubs have reached the point where they HAVE to rebuild at a certain degree – maybe not a firesale, but the players they have just aren’t good enough.

    If they find themselves in a June swoon, get Byrd outta here (as much as I like the guy) and bring up BJ. If Pena continues his torrid pace of sub-200 then sit him on the bench and see what Rebel can do – or at least let Colvin take some of his playing time so we can see if he is capable of working through his struggles if given consistent playing time. As much as I like seeing Kosuke doing well, he won’t be back next year – let Colvin play. All I know is that I would much rather play some up-and-coming youngsters than see average and below average 30+ year olds dragging the Cubs into irrelevance yet again.

    Am I wrong?

    • http://SOI veryzer

      Nope. You’re completely right. The Cubs were never gonna contend anyway. I hope they lose every game from here on out, gut the team at the All Star break, and jettison the rest of the crap at the end of the year.

    • Michigan Goat

      I completely agree… I think Ricketts needs to make his mark on this team and if we continue to look this bad and attendance doesn’t improve he will have to do just that, make a splash, new GM new Manager new Regime

      • deej34

        agreed agreed agreed. as much as i would love to see my beloved cubbies right the ship, changes need to be made. and sometimes it takes a piss-pour showing to make changes happen. Most importantly, a new GM!!!

        But I do think we need to give guys like Baker (3B/1B), Colvin (RF/LF/1B), DeWitt (3B) a serious shot to see what they can do. They all have shown signs of solid play but never have a serious shot.

        I also think we need to put castro at 2B for a while to give him more focus at the plate and move Barney over to SS. His hitting aptitude suits a solid SS.

  • Jeff

    More depression:
    Pena is on pace to strike out 155 times and drive in 34 runs, but makes almost 10 mill

    Byrd is on pace to strike out 135 times and drive in 34 runs, he make almost 6

    John Grabow has pitched more than Kerry Wood, Sean Marshall, and Carlos Marmol, I guess Hendry has to justify his 5 million dollar salary for a middle reliever with a career era near 5

    Aramis Ramirez is going to make 15 million and is on pace for 7 homers and 60 rbi’s

    Fukudome, Soriano, and Zambrano are actually contributing something for their salaries and can’t be considered the most overpaid guys on the team anymore.

    Tyler Colvin is the second leading homerun hitter on the team and is 9th on the team in at bats

    Matt Garza has struggled, but is still the best starter on the Cubs so far.

    • http://SOI veryzer

      Darwin Barney is second on the team in RBI. Stew on that for a while.

      • Ace

        That might be the most insane statistic I’ve ever heard. Sigh.

        • Joe

          You think that’s bad; chew on this

          Barney and Baker have upwards of 15% more RBI (22) then Ramirez, Byrd and Pena (19) combined – in 142 fewer PA!

          So F*ing pitiful…

  • http://twitter.com/#!/sperls13 Sperls13

    “Koyie Hill has more home runs than Marlon Byrd and Carlos Pena combined.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! This totally made my day – wait a minute, no, this actually sucks! Capt. Jim, it’s time to hit the road.

  • TSB

    Next year Dempster can become a free agent, so this is the year a player usually hunkers down to maximize his bargaining position. So far Dempster hasn’t. This seem to show one of three things: One, he wants out now, and is pulling a Manny Ramirez. I doubt this, knowing Dempster’s public personality. The second possibility is he’s out of gas, the arm (and/or the mind) is shot as far as pitching goes, and it’s time to lessen his role. The third possibility is that this is just a temporary bad streak, and he’ll bounce back; hopefully before September.

  • roughriider

    It says something when two of your (young) starters go down after 1 start each and suppossedly your best starter doesn’t have a reasonably good start in over a month ( counting the last 2 games in spring training). It says something when 2 guys (good hitters in the past) that have been associated with your hitting coach before they, and he, were with the team, can’t hit.

    The players play the game. But, it appears that the support is lacking from the coaches and training staff. If it’s broken fix it. Someone needs to be let go. Today.

    I though it was too soon to bring up Brett Jackson. His hitting has fallen of lately. But now. If the Cubs insist on putting Castro hitting third in the order than yes it’s time to give Jackson and Flaherty and shot.

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