It seems way too early to think of the Cubs as a “spoiler,” but, entering a stretch where they play a group of top teams while they, themselves, are out of it kind of feels like spoiler time, regardless of what the calendar says.

  • Former Cub Mitch Williams blasted the Cubs for not having a fire sale, and for not hiring his former teammate Ryne Sandberg as the manager. The money quote: “You bring in a manager to manage in the big leagues and they don’t have a bubble gum card, [players] don’t respect [them].” There is some interesting context for Williams’ comment, into which I’m choosing not to read more than a guy flapping his gums because he really likes Ryne Sandberg. Over the past few weeks, how many times have we heard Cubs players say they still respect Mike Quade? I can think of Ryan Dempster and Carlos Zambrano off the top of my head. Doth the Cubs players protest too much?
  • Cubs’ third round draft pick Zeke DeVoss is tearing up the Northwest League in his first week and a half there. He’s gotten on base more than he’s gotten out, and he already leads the team in steals. The Cubs have him playing both center field and second base (with Brett Jackson, Matt Szczur and Jae Hoon Ha (all center fielders) ahead of DeVoss, you can be assured that second base is the position they’d like him to learn best). DeVoss received $500k to sign with the Cubs, which was 50% above the slot recommendation of $340k. His manager called him the prototypical leadoff hitter.
  • Speaking of prospects, the Sun-Times put together a list of the prospects who may be called upon to step in this or next year, should various current starters move on. I hate to be untoward, but it’s not terribly well-written, and has a few flat-out mistakes. So, consider yourself caveated if you choose to read it. It’s always interesting to be thinking about prospects graduating to the big team.
  • Should the Cubs be checking their players’ eye color, so that they can better perform in day games, a la Josh Hamilton? Whatever it takes.
  • Randy Wells is participating in Operation Bootcamp, which is designed to raise appreciation for how difficult military life is.
  • TWC

    “Caveated”? Heh.

    • Brett

      BOOM caveated.

  • Joe Cartwright

    I don’t think you’d be able to an honest response to the “do you respect your manager” question halfway through the season.

  • BT

    Really? We are listening to Mitch Williams now? Quick, someone find me Bobby Cox’s “bubble gum card”. Jim Leyland’s? I suppose the players didn’t respect them. LaRussa had a cup of coffee with the Cubs, so I guess he was respected, and Sparky Anderson had a season as well, so he is safe too. Sadly, I’m sure that the Marlins are currently snickering behind Jack McKeon’s back though.

    I have no idea if the players “respect” Quade or not, but the idea that they won’t follow someone who hasn’t played in the majors is clearly asinine. Unless Earl Weaver had a respect problem I don’t remember.

    • Brett

      I totally agree, for what it’s worth. I do think it’s weird, though, that the issue of whether Quade is “respected” keeps coming up. I didn’t even know it was an issue until Cubs players started saying they respected Quade.

      It’s like telling a prospective buyer of a house who just said they loved the place that, “and, by the way, the foundation is totally sound here. No cracks or anything. Yup. Totally sound. Don’t look at it. It’s sound.”

      • BT

        I think it stems from the fact that

        A:) The Cubs are bad
        B:) The mild mannered Dempster was seen yelling at him.

        Supposedly Piniella “lost” the clubhouse last year, and he has plenty of bubble gum cards. When the team is bad, it’s only a matter of time before the “has he lost the clubhouse” stories start popping up, especially for a new manager. My guess is the players are responding to questions posed to them by reporters asking if that’s happened already or not.

  • al

    ask mitch williams if he respects joe carter!

  • Matt

    “His manager called him the prototypical leadoff hitter.” He has no chance at making the big club then, the Cubs hate prototypical leadoff hitters.

    • Brett

      Good ones, anyway (I’m looking at you, Juan “Stache” Pierre).

  • Glenallen Hill’s One Home Run

    A Sun-Times sports article is poorly written? Aren’t they known for employing the absolute best in the business for quality insight into our sports teams?

    Oh yeah.

    • Brett

      Ouch. Burn.

  • Michigan Goat

    A bigger question is: Woukd this team perform/respect for anyone?

  • David

    Rumors are getting louder and louder that the Cubs are going to announce Vogelbach, Dunston, and Maples this week per Bleed Cubbie Blue.