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.
  • Fishin Phil

    It sounds as though Quade did actually take the time to use Starlin’s lapse as a teaching moment. At least he didn’t just sit him with no explanation. It also “sounds” as though Castro gets it, only time will tell.

    Quade has done a lot of stupid things this year, but this seems not to be one of them.

    Now if we could just get him to do the same thing to one of his veterans when the fail to run out a pop up, or have some other blatant mental lapse, then we would be making progress.

    • Brett

      Shrug. Quade won’t be here but another month and a half, so I don’t really care what he does with respect to the vets anymore (though I’ll still bitch about it). I just don’t want him to screw up the kids.

      • Fishin Phil

        I know what you mean, but in a way it does screw up the kids. It teaches them that there are different standards for different players. Not exactly a good example for building that elusive chemistry.

        • NL_Cubs

          Let Quade have his day in the sun for another 34 games with his ineffective open book showing two sets of rules, one for vets, one for kids. In the end, once the new regime rides into town, Quades rule book will be out out of print, a new higher standard put in place with one basic set of rules (at least that’s how it should play out) including everyone play hard on every play.

          The culture can change, the expectation and accountability can change as the young kids and even the vets can and will buy in if the right guy(s) is at the helm.

          Call me the eternal optimist (a prerequisite for being a loyal Cubs fan) but I see the Cubs being a powerhouse in the NL as the Bo-Sox or NYY’s are today in the AL. A perennial favorite with swagger and expectations of winning. It might take another 5 years to get to the promised land and begin seeing results but, whats another few years?

        • Brett

          You’re not wrong.

      • Ron

        Eye roll. Q-minus 34.

      • Matt Murton

        You just Luke Wittenmeyer-ed the heck out of Mike Quade… Whatever.

  • BFM

    While I agree that Castro had a lapse and it should be disciplined, I feel that Valentine was criticizing Quade as well.
    It was not as if he called out another pro manager directly, but if you listened to the commentary, you could definitely hear what he was implying.
    I read an article by Carrie Muskat who writes:

    As for Valentine’s comments, Quade said he didn’t hear them. Quade opted to watch the replay with the volume on mute.
    “I don’t listen to Bobby very much,” Quade said. “I don’t want any outside influences, and [I want to] make up my own decisions.”

    Wow!! That is a convenient excuse. He watched it on mute!?
    How in the hell did he know what Valentine was talking about? Was it positive? Negative? Something to learn from? What the hell?

    Well, maybe Quade should listen to Valentine. He may learn something about his own team.

    • CubFan Paul

      quade didnt review the game on mute – he just didnt want to answer questions about Valentine’s valid critism of him

      it’s one thing to miss a play coming out of a long Espn commercial break but Castro still didnt want to have anything to do with the rest of the inning – putting his glove on at the last possible second as the pitch was being delivered & not being ready defensively is Unexcusable. putting your hand in your pocket for sunflowers seeds on later pitches & not being ready defensively is just as bad

      that whole half of inning got quade & his coaching staff fired -national Tv game, lazy players, & absentee coaches much for Byrd & Pena’s veteran leadership

  • philoe beddoe

    I didn’t see any of this stuff as on Sunday’s night game because as like Paul Rudd said in “I Love You Man”…”It’s Sunday Night on HBO”

    but Bobby Valentine is a prick…an arrogant guy who is overly critical all of the time because he is bitter he does not have a job….anyguy who gets kicked out of a game and then thinks its funny when he comes back in disguise….prick

    • CubFan Paul

      Phil if you saw the game you would applaud Bobby V. for his critism, i did, because someone has to

      Len & Bob didnt bring it up During the game until a Dick Vitale did *homer broadcasting*

      seriously, i’l embrace bobby v.’s “prickness” on this one was a whole half inning of castro not paying attention, & literally wanting to be somewhere else

    • NL_Cubs

      I’m not a big Bobby V. fan but he did get this right by exposing the problem of poor management on the field. He’s a video resource I found which plays the Bobby V. 7 minute rant.

  • Toosh

    Bobby Valentine is, and always has been, a p.o.s. Everything he says and does are his attempts to land his next job in baseball.

    • awesome

      Toosh, that’s how i seen it.

  • EQ

    I agree with both.. Valentine was right and he is also a prick.

    • Internet Random


  • BT

    Boy, the priest thing really upset a lot of people. That seems to be the only concrete example any of these guys bring up when asked why they hate Kenney. I fully believe Kenney is a tool, but someone has to give me more than “he hired a priest to bless the clubhouse” for me to hate him with the white hot intensity the media does.

  • Spencer

    What do you think of Paul Sullivan, Brett?

    • Brett

      I used to dislike him, but I’m coming around. I still think he’s sometimes a little too shallow in his treatment of issues (but that’s true of every Cubs beat writer), and he can be a little too glib in his mailbag responses. But, it turns out he’s been pretty right about Zambrano, an he’s fun to follow on Twitter. I also think he’s not a bad writer.

      • TWC

        He’s also short. Like, 3′-8″ or something. I think my 5-year-old could dunk over him.


        • Brett

          Nothing wrong with being petite… (NWWBP).

      • NL_Cubs

        Twitter was made for the likes of Paul Sullivan. Hilarious tweets and twitpics after the Zambrano ejection in ATL.

  • David

    Brett, off topic, but did you see Vogelbach got his 1st professional hit yesterday in his 1st game. He also flied out to the warning track in right center.

    • Brett

      Indeed I did. Was waiting for him to get in a few more games to give an update. I looks like he’s going to be the only one of the “Big Four” who sees action before instructionals in the Fall.

      • MichiganGoat

        1B, problem solved!

      • David

        Surprising that Baez doesn’t get a few AB’s. I know he was down there starting Sunday.

        • Brett

          I don’t know it for certain; but I did read an article recently that suggested Baez wasn’t expected to play until instructionals.

          I think they’re all (Baez, Maples, Dunston) down in Mesa now. Just training, though.

          • David

            Just another reason to move the signing deadline to July 15.

      • CubFan Paul

        i wonder how much Vogelbach weighs now..

  • cdc

    Crane Kenney IS David Duval…a skinny version of the once proud golfer! Seriously the dude looks just like him.

    • http://Bleachernation Bric

      Agreed. And another reason the Chicago media detests Crane Kenney is because of that as-yet unidentified blemish just below his lip (as seen in the picture above). Hep B or just Herpes? Either way, if he’s sleeping with their mothers they have a right to be pissed.

      • Fishin Phil

        Huh.. all this time I thought it was just a dried booger. Learn something new every day on BN!

  • Travis

    Interesting comment about Sandberg having a 50/50 shot at being manager next year. I still don’t think he has much of a shot, but I watched him manage the Iron Pigs (the Phillies AAA team) at Indianapolis last night. He didn’t do anything that stuck out to me, but still cool to see the hall of famer out there.

    By the Victory field in Indy is a great place to see a game. I paid 5 bucks for great tickets and saw a great game. I wish, but know it won’t happen, that Indy could have their own MLB team some day. I’m about 10 minutes south of there so it would make an easier trip than going to Wrigley once or twice a year.

    • Brett

      Good stuff, Travis.

      • Travis

        Thanks Brett I’m a big fan of the site. It’s definitely my favorite Cub’s blog site.

        • Brett

          And thank you for that as well.

    • MichiganGoat

      I grew up in Indy and still have family there, Victory Field is a great place to see a game.

  • marc

    Brett, you entering your name into the gm pool? I’m sure you’d get a few endorsements from fellow BN readers : ) lol

    • Brett

      I’m not as popular with the Chicago media.