Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

Casey Coleman, who starts tonight, is still relatively young, but he’s quickly running out of opportunities to show that he should even be in the 2012 rotation conversation. He has the ability to be a successful back-end starter in the bigs, but his control will have to improve dramatically. He’s not a guy who can miss spots – ever – and get away with it, to say nothing of walking guys.

  • To put the Starlin Castro inattentiveness issue to rest, before last night’s game, Mike Quade said he was “really disappointed [and] very surprised at [Castro]. It is something that we have been after him from Day 1 focus-wise. It is something, to be honest with you, with his talent, [that is] the toughest challenge for him. Not acceptable, not good. He feels terrible. Talked to him today. We’ll give him the day.”
  • So, Castro got the day off, and he apologized to his teammates. “I want to say I’m sorry to my teammates and it will never happen again,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m real embarrassed. There’s no excuse for that. That can’t happen in a game. That will never happen again.” I’m not looking to Bobby Valentine this kid into the ground, but it is important not to understate how terrible this lapse was. But, for now, let’s move on – go forth and sin no more, Starlin.

  • As for the Quade piece, it’s a bummer for him – while it may well be the case that he would have noticed Castro’s lapse after the game while reviewing video, it didn’t play out that way. Now, he looks like a bozo who couldn’t see what was happening right in front of his face, and who has lost control of his players. It looks like he benched Castro to quell the wave of hostility that had built up because a TV commentator called him and Castro out. I doubt that’s the case, but perception is the thing these days.
  • Phil Rogers speculates that, whoever the next GM is, Ryne Sandberg has a better than 50/50 shot of being the Cubs’ next manager. To me, that seems like a crazy prediction without knowing the GM. But, then again, maybe that was the point, because here I am talking about it.
  • For those wondering why the Chicago sports media talks about Crane Kenney like he slept with each of their mothers, Paul Sullivan offers an explanation in his mailbag: “[T]he Greek priest/holy water episode from the 2008 playoffs, and the ticket-pricing tier that prevents average fans from being able to attend more than one game, and pretending Wrigley Field is his own private playground.” I’m sure there’s more to it than that (Sullivan is often joking in his mailbag answers), because I still don’t feel like that explains how consistently and openly Kenney is reviled among the media. Until I hear the definitive explanation, I can say no more than this: I think the Cubs would have been better off with a “baseball” president – and still do (though, increasingly, it seems like Ricketts himself wants to be that guy) – but Kenney must be doing something right on the “business” side of being president.

  • Interesting read from the Hardball Times recounting the sins of Jim Hendry.
  • Marlon Byrd writes up his thoughts on Hendry, mostly affectionate.

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