The Chicago Cubs Give Away Their Bamboo and Other Bullets

Jack McKeon used seven pitchers last night in a game his team trailed most of the way. Five of the pitchers were in there to face just one or two batters. I can’t help but feel like there’s a lesson there, right or wrong.

  • Apparently, Carlos Marmol’s blown save last night was historic. He became the first Chicago Cubs’ reliever in the live ball era to walk four batters, but not record a single out. The reason a stat like that probably exists? Managers usually don’t let a guy walk three straight, give up a double, and then walk a fourth before pulling him unless they are no longer interested in winning the game.
  • All three of Marmol, Mike Quade, and Matt Garza – who lost another win because of a blown save  - gave boring, head down, “we’ve just got to keep going, tomorrow’s another day, blah, blah, blah” answers when asked about the game. Quade said that Marmol is still the closer, saying “now is not the time to make all sorts of bold changes.” Yeah, why would the Cubs want to make any bold changes?
  • Mike Quade and Ryan Dempster have finally spoken about the pitcher’s dugout outburst from before the All-Star break. Quade, who likened the private nature of the conversation to that of his chats with his girlfriend (ok…), says “everything is fantastic,” but isn’t going to share the details. If you stop and think about it for a moment, how awkward must that conversation – almost a week after the fact – have been? “Ryan, I know you are more of a fixture on this team than I am, and that you make 15 times what I make, and you’re far more important to the Cubs than I am, and you’re far more likely to have a future here than I am, but, like, can you not do that, dude?”
  • According to at least one report, it sounds like Aramis Ramirez’s agent, Paul Kinzer, dropped the ball with respect to his former client, Francisco Rodriguez. The Brewers were supposed to be on Rodriguez’s list of 10 teams to which he could block a trade, but, for whatever reason, Kinzer never submitted the list to the Mets.
  • A radio host in Arizona says the Diamondbacks want Kerry Wood, which would be a bigger rumor if (a) Wood wasn’t so unlikely to be traded, and (b) the same guy hadn’t said the exact same thing a month ago. So, it gets a bullet. No more.
  • One (small) reason to like Mike Quade? When he was detained by TSA for 40 minutes on his way back from the All-Star Game – for no reason, and with no explanation, mind you – Quade never pulled the “do you know who I am” card. Yes, not pulling that card should be the baseline of expectation, but after a half an hour of bullshit at the airport, I’m not sure I would have been able to help myself from saying, “I may be terrorizing fans as the manager of the freaking Chicago Cubs, but I’m not a freaking terrorist.” So, in that way, Quade is probably a better man than I.
  • The Cubs gave up nine walks last night and took just one. Sounds about right.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

61 responses to “The Chicago Cubs Give Away Their Bamboo and Other Bullets”

  1. Fishin Phil

    “The Cubs gave up nine walks last night and took just one. Sounds about right.”

    Perhaps we should have Rudy Jaramillo switch jobs with our knucklehead pitching coach.

    Oh, wait, Now is not the time for wholesale changes. My bad.

  2. jstraw

    “Do you know who I am?”


  3. jim

    Marmol walks 3 batters & no one can figure out we need to have someone up in the bullpen warming up. The dynamic duo of “Q” & Riggsie don’t have a clue on how to win games. Its like “Who cares” attitude in the dugout. Well, the 40,000 fans care & boo’d when you walked out to take carlos out. The pitching coach is another “Yes Man” under the Hendry regime. Its time for pressure to come down from Ricketts instead of a vote of confidence. Marmol needs a new coach to get him through this funk & Riggsy isn’t helping.
    If no one has noticed, Ryno’s Iron Pigs are 53-37 in 1st place.

  4. CubFan Paul


  5. die hard

    heres what last nights game revealed again about our mgr…hes too scared to take action when it comes to vets because down deep he is in awe of their ability to make a career in majors when he did not…..idol worshipper who fears their wrath…he even said as much in pregame intvw when talking about his All-Star game exp as coach..”felt so good to be next to them” I think he said …..Sandberg would not have had this fear or awe…this emotion led to these decisions: why announce DeWitt knowing that a pitcher change was coming anyway…result was he wasted DeWitt when brought in Baker to PH for a PH….why not bring in Campana to run for Pena knowing that he would replace Soriano for defense….Baker or DeWitt could play first….why not squeeze with Campana on third…..why leave Soto stranded on 2nd after double by not telling one of his idols to move him to third with bunt…why why why….

    1. CubFan Paul

      ….crickets ..i was sooo angry when quade finally came to pulled Marmol i committed alcohol abuse by spilling my drink!!! ugh gonna try to be done critizing because the owner has been *done* all season by sitting on his hands. so yea, sit back, fight the growing ulcers &try not to puke in digest til smarter decisions happen

  6. Curt

    1st time there are 10,000 fans at wrigley there will b changes we need to get ricketts attention o think the best us way is in the pocketbook

  7. Andy

    Ricketts has to make a move soon, if nothing else to let the fan base know he still has a pulse. He seems to only be around when the publicity is high, ala the Yankees series.

    Hopefully this solidifies the fact that the Cubs will be strong sellers at the deadline. Dump salary, use the money to sign Baez, Vogelbach, Dunston, and Maples, bring up Jackson and begin to look onto next year.

    Thank god I chose to pay by the month this year for their tv package.

    1. Toosh


  8. BT

    I’m curious. If Sandberg was manager, would you guys be blaming him for Marmol sucking last night, or would you actually hold the players accountable?

    1. Toosh

      Sandberg would’ve quit by now. ’94 all over again.

    2. LouCub

      No, because Ryno has 2 things that Mr Clean doesn’t, GUTS and CREDIBILITY!!! If a HOFamer is gonna get in your face you’d better listen or your in the wrong profession,,when a piece of shite like Quade does you laugh in his face!!! Ryno would get into vets face, maybe the player Ryno wouldn’t but this guys on a mission to be a successful manager and he will!!!

      1. BT

        And you are basing this on the numerous Hall of Fame players who became top flight managers, right? I mean I assume Ted Williams had guts and credibility. How did that work out for him as a manager? His teams lost over 90 games 3 of the 4 years he managed. Does that make him a piece of shite? When he got into peoples faces, did they listen?

        When is walking 3 straight batters on 13 pitches going to be Marmol’s fault, not Quade’s?

        1. MichiganGoat

          Good point, assuming that any manager would have success with this team is playing Cpt. Hindsight. I love Ryno, but assuming that because he says the right thing, has had success in the minors, and is a HOF results in success is a dangerous game. I’m glad Ryno didn’t get the job, we’d still be a losing team regardless of who was in charge. Let us not forget that we thought Q would be successful because of his experience in the minors and hold this team accountable. Pinella saw the problems with this team and got out and we are just watching the death of an uninspired, lazy, and unmotivated team,so it’s wait until next year time… That’s for you TWC.

          1. deej34

            I agree MG…. but it’s the managers job to know his players and put them in a position to win. I do believe a “baseball guy” like ryno would have done a better job with this team. 1st place better…? probably not. but definitely a lot closer to 500. how many times has a pitcher been like in “one batter, one inning… hell one PITCH too long?!!” all of the errors. mental lapses… poor at-bats… walks… the handling of both lazy, headcase veterans and inexperiences youngsters… in my opinion, ryno could have done more with the players we have…. no offense to quade, but you didn’t get a head manager gig before because you couldn’t handle it… you’ve proved that this year…

          2. TWC

            Aw, *sniff*, shucks, MG. Too kind.

            Between Ryno and Quade, I thought Quade was the right hire for the time. Sandberg would just be helming a sucky team, tarnishing his name in the process. Anyone who really thinks that Ryno would have benched Soriano (or whomever), gotten in the face of (fill in the blank), or demoted (fill in the blank), is just engaging in idol worship.

            1. deej34

              That’s a great point TWC… I would LIKE to think ryno would have benched/demoted whoever, but unless they bring him in next year we’ll never know.

              Given his success as a minor league manager and his desire to win, and more than anything else, his demeanor/professionalism and his obvious drive to be a big league manager… lead me to believe he would have shaken cages and not stood for these piss-pour performances. But those are only the thoughts and opinions of another lifelong, pathetically sad cubbies fan….

            2. MichiganGoat

              Idol Worship… That’s exactly what makes us think that Ryno would be able to get the vets to play up to their contracts, and I don’t like my idols being tarnished… I keep my golden goat polished and untarnished and would never want it to manage this team.

      2. VanSlaw

        Why did the song “Man in Motion” play in my head as I read your response?

        1. Caleb

          BT has a point though. Once it becomes “the norm” to blame and bash Quade, suddenly everything bad that happens is his fault and some other guy would have done things differently.

          in this instance, I would note 2 things. First, Marmol has often walked a few dudes or loaded the bases and then proceeded to dominate with 3 straight strike outs. Scary and nerve-wracking perhaps, but common nonetheless. Also, managers put a lot of faith in closers and rarely keep them to the same “well, time to pull THAT guy” standard of other relievers. So while you may argue that this was a dumb call in yesterdays game, it was certainly not uncommon or limited only to Quade.

          And the argument that Q’s call was due to lack of “guts” or something to do with his relationship with vets? I don’t see any of that, nor do I see proof from the numerous Quade bashers out there. Sure that explanation fits the trendy anti-Q narrative, but until a reasonable person uses logic, facts, and rational discussion to prove it I’m going to dismiss it as the rantings of misguided and sadly disappointed Cub fans.

          I certainly understand the frustration, but let’s point our hate-cannon at the right targets, at the right time, for the right reasons.

          1. VanSlaw

            Yup, I agree. Note that my reply was to LouCub, not BT.

            1. Caleb

              Yeah, sometimes with the way these replies squish together I get confused. You know, and still drunk from the night before.

              Ah, morning drunk. The best.

  9. Cheryl

    It’s getting so I expect them to lose. Never used to feel that way in previous years. What’s Quades’ goal – 85 or 100 losses

    1. LouCub

      @ Cheryl, it’s disgusting, infuriating and heartbreaking everyday!!!! I want Hendry fired immediately, he’s crap

      1. VanSlaw

        Yeah! If Hendry hadn’t walked all those batters last night, we woulda won this game, I tells ya!

  10. RY34

    Screw you Quade, you freakin suck. Riggins, you suck too! Why should we care after all, it is obvious that nobody in the cubs organization gives a flipping shit whether or not this team succeeds or that this team continues to be the absolute laughingstock of professional sports! The cubs are the most pathetic excuse of a professional team around. With the idiots running this team, no reason to think that it will change over the next 100 years. As i said last night, the only thing that will start the change moving forward is for the stands to be no more than half full the rest of this season, than maybe the ricketts will start heads a rolling. i mean hell, the a’s sucked early on and fired their manager and they were nowhere near as pathetic as the cubs are. Ricketts DO SOMETHING SOON!

  11. Vince

    Quade just sat there watching Marmol piss the game away. If any manager ever deserved to be fired, it would be Quade. Rickets should pay fans to watch that sorry bunch with their incompetant boob manager.

  12. Karen P

    I couldn’t watch the game last night (we don’t get CSN broadcasts in Michigan), so I had Gameday up and I was just staring incredulously at my computer screen as the little bases went from white to red. WTF Marmol? If now ISN’T the time for a bold move, then when the hell is?!

    1. Fishin Phil

      Apparently October 1st.

  13. RY34

    Cheryl 100+ losses is quades goal and will definitely happen
    BT is right, granted Quade sucks as a manager, we all know that, but Marmol has pretty much sucked all year as well, he has been a trainwreck moreso than normal from the opening series against Pittsburgh, ironically enough that was his first blown win of garza’s. It is time that Marmol stands up and takes and accepts 100% of this blame. Dont get me wrong, i want quade fired yesterday, however it is the freakin pitchers job to throw strikes and not pitch like a piece of shit everytime out. Hanrahan and Valverde have not blown one save yet this year; two years ago we talked about marmol as if he were a god, now he is maybe one or two rungs above grabow. either demote marmol publicly, find out if he is hurt, or demote his ass to iowa to shock him back into reality because coddling his bloated ass definitely is not working. see this is where we need a manager like ozzie, someone who is not holding his security blanket and binky when the shit hits the fan! i wonder when a move will be made, when we get swept by the marlins, the phillies, or the astros again?? hell this team may not win again this season…………..

  14. CubFan Paul

    riddle me this: why wasnt Marmol backing up Home Plate behind Soto when the go ahead run was rounding third and fell and had time to still score? ..that run shouldnt hav scored because of marmol’s laziness ..just like Garza not covering 1st base in the 1st inning letting a runner on ..lazy ..fundementals much? as the great Bob Brenly put it “this is a Dead ass team”

    1. Ron


  15. willis

    19 games under .500 and counting, but no time to make any bold moves. Hmmm. Now that’s a leader.

  16. RoughRiider

    Anybody want to bet that we will soon hear that Marmol has a physical ailment? Pitchers don’t usually go from pitching as well as he has to pitching as poorly as he is. Now that he’s had an issue with TSA anybody know how we can get Quade on the “NO FLY” list ?

    1. CubFan Paul

      if only Quade was at OHare getting detained ..he would still be in that little room they took him to & the “managing” problem would be solved ..he wouldnt havta say “do u know who i am” cuz they would know & lock him luggage thats getting sent to Antarctica

  17. Jim

    Seriously, where do you get these awesome animal posters?

    1. TWC


  18. RY34

    gotta love brenly’s honesty!