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The Cubs are 3-25 with runners in scoring position over the last two games. The stats say the only Cubs regulars who don’t crap their pants this year with runners in scoring position are Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, and Aramis Ramirez. Couple that with the Cubs’ inability to see some pitches and take a walk, and you’ve got a recipe for the next person to enter the will-he-go discussion: hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo.

  • Ok, last thing about the Starlin Castro inattentiveness episode. Aramis Ramirez offers an unintentional summary of why the incident has frustrated us all so much. “[Castro]‘s going to make mistakes. We forget how young he is, and like any other 21-year-old you’re going to do some things that eventually you’ll have to learn from,” Ramirez said. “But because it was ESPN and they made a big deal about it, the story got bigger. You have to be ready, though, every pitch. But if it wasn’t a nationally televised game, nobody would have known about it.” (emphasis added.) That’s what we’re afraid of, Aramis. We’re afraid none of you or Mike Quade would have known about it, either.
  • On the one-year anniversary of Mike Quade’s tenure as Cubs’ manager, Paul Sullivan put together a timeline of important Quade events. I tend to think it’s rather impartial, and, after reading it, I’m more convinced than ever that Quade should not (and will not) return to manage the team next year. I’d forgotten just how many “incidents” there have been this year, stretching all the way back to Spring Training, when Aramis Ramirez and Carlos Silva got into a dugout fight. (That picture, which is one of the best photoshops ever, comes from poster GBTS at Obstructed View.)
  • Still think Scouting Director Tim Wilken might pack up his stuff and go home just because Jim Hendry was let go? Let Tim emphatically disabuse you of that notion. “Hell yeah,” Wilken said when asked if he wants to stay with the Cubs and see his farm construction process through. “Without a doubt. That was my goal when I came here. Jim hired me, but I work for the Chicago Cubs.”
  • A defense of Cubs President Crane Kenney! Given how uniformly Kenney is apparently reviled by the Chicago media (for reasons that remain something of a mystery), I was surprised to see David Haugh taking up Kenney’s cause and explaining that Kenney has successfully run the “business” side of the Cubs’ operations for some time now, and, since the Ricketts’ took over, has had no involvement in the organization’s baseball decisions. Haugh says a source told him that will remain true with respect to the GM hiring process.
  • For some reason we’re supposed to care what John Danks thinks about the Starlin Castro episode.
  • Farm Director Oneri Fleita talking up 18-year-old Venezuelan prospect, Gioskar Amaya: “We signed him last year as one of our bigger signings internationally, he and Marco Hernandez, out of Venezuela. He’s a switch hitter, a really good baseball player. They did a really nice job when they signed this kid. He can play short, second or third. He just knows how to play the game of baseball. He does a lot of things right. He can really catch a ball. He always throws to the right base and understands the bunt situations and really handles the bat.” Amaya currently sports a .359/.401/.495 line in rookie ball. At the same age and level, Starlin Castro went .311/.364/.464.
  • Fishin Phil

    Bullet #1) As much as I like Aramis, he needs to go.
    Bullet #2) It is amazing how many of those “incidents” did not even bother Quade. Bye Mike!
    Bullet #3) Yeah!
    Bullet #4) As long as Crane is not even allowed to sniff the baseball operations, I am OK with this.
    Bullet #5) John who?
    Bullet #6) Can he take a pitch?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Phil, you are consistently the first responder to the bullets. I love it. We must have similar schedules.

      • Fishin Phil

        The early bird gets the worm, I was just out gathering bait.

      • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

        *cough* *cough* Loser! *cough* *cough*

        • Fishin Phil

          No worms for you! Come back one year!

  • Fishin Phil

    Almost forgot, love the straight jacket!!

    • CubFan Paul

      i totally overlooked the straight jacket! f’n hilarious

  • Matt Murton

    The straight jacket! There it is… We’ll played Brett. It’s almost like I’ve seen it before…

  • Brandon Howes

    I still believe the Cubs made a huge mistake in not hiring Sandberg. He was with so many of the kids who are coming up, and from my limited view at the AA level, I believe the future is bright. I think it is time to swallow the pride, and call up Ryne and offer him the job with sincere appologies for thier oversight last season. As you can see with the D-Backs, the kids respond to former players as the manager.

    • MichiganGoat

      Agreed in hindsight Sandburg looks lime the better choice, but I’m curious how many of the “kids” on the 40-man roster he actually coached. Our farm is pathetic and outside of Jackson we don’t have many “kids” expected to make an impact this year. More important than being able to manage “kids” is the ability to mange the veterans. Being a top 5 payroll team we will always have large $$ veterans who need a manager who can keep them motivated and responsible.

      • Jeff

        I’m not sure on everyone, but I know that he was heavily involved in Castro and Barney’s development. He also had Cashner and Colvin for a year at Tennessee. I can’t say how he would handle MLB vets, but he handled the 4A vets at Iowa very well, and look how both teams are playing now that his influence is gone.
        That said, I think it’s past time to stop harping on the “we should have gotten Sandberg” sentiment. There isn’t going to be a ceremonial roasting of Mike Quade at Wrigley, he will manage the rest of the year, and if he doesn’t come back next year, that decision won’t come until after a new GM is in place. So, there is no need to mention Sandberg in every post that has to do with Quade or the Cubs management for the rest of the season.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m sure Sandberg will get a look this offseason, regardless of the GM. But, at the same time, it could well be the case that the next GM will already have a manager in mind.

  • MichiganGoat

    Sullivan’s timeline sure focuses heavy on Zambrano. I’m not sure if he intended the piece to show Z’s negative influence on this team or show how little control Q has over his team. After reading this a couple times I couldn’t help but wonder if Z would still be with this team if we had a manager and coaches that could command the respect Q seriously lacks. The fact that Dempster has had multiple “incidents” with Q tells me it’s the latter. Regardless Z is loco but one has to wonder if a better manager would have less volatile results with Z.

    • Fishin Phil

      I don’t think so, remember Z was already over the edge before Q took over.

      • awesome

        Z voted for Quade to come back, wonder why? Hendry gone, new strict manager coming in, Aram gone.

    • BT

      Sullivan’s timeline focuses on Zambrano because Zambrano is a tool, and because Sullivan despises him. Zambrano was a problem long before Quade got here.

      • MichiganGoat

        Agreed, I’m not apologizing for Z, but it’s obvious that Q never had a remote grasp on him. I do wonder if there was any manager that could “contain” El Toro Loco? Would Sandburg have the same results? Could Ozzie tame him? I’m actually glad that Q was the manager during this implosion, it’s would have destroyed me if it happened to Sandburg.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I think Ozzie might have been even worse – he would have enabled him.

  • NL_Cubs

    In recognition of Quade’s one year anniversary, does anyone know if there was cake in the clubhouse?

    Quade will go down in Cub lore as a “one year wonder”

    • Fishin Phil

      “Quade will go down in Cub lore as a “one year wonder”

      Yes, we will wonder why we gave him that one year.

      • NL_Cubs

        Touche! LOL.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        BAM!

  • Dan0mite

    In regards to jaramillo I find it hard to blame him for the RISP (and you may not be blaming him either). He can teach these guys every little thing in the world, but once they enter the batter’s box, it’s all them. Jaramillo isn’t telling them to take a wack at the first pitch or just swing at everything. The hitters are dong it to themselves.

    • MichiganGoat

      He does preach a swing early approach

    • Jeff

      Actually, I’m pretty sure that is what he’s telling them. Otherwise they wouldn’t be going up there swinging at every first pitch, and Quade wouldn’t be extolling the virtues of the big inning as compared to manufacturing runs. It’s been Jaramillo’s m.o. to encourage free swinging for as long as I remember hearing about him as a hitting guru.

      • CubFan Paul

        free swinging is fine but mix in a bunt once in awhile/more often (Byrd!). now that the Fook is gone we’ve lost half of the team’s bunt attempts

        ..i think Byrd is the biggest ‘singles’ hitter in baseball, i mean, what are all those muscles for (.415 SLG)?

  • jim

    I think tommy rick was told by daddy to make this move. Daddy jo very smart guy!

  • jstraw

    Gioskar Amaya is 32.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Well, then he’s in his decline phase and I’m still impressed.

  • hardtop

    Quade bats wells with 100 pitches and man in scoring position. Then sends him out to the mound to face uggla. This is not the dumbest thing he has done, but not loving it. Wells is pitching ok, why push it ?… We’re not talking Roy halladay here, were talkin randy “the beer man” wells.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      For Quade, this was a huge step forward.

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