My favorite part of Starlin Castro’s enormous game last night? He took a walk.

  • Mike Quade has lofty goals for the rest of the Cubs’ season. “I’d love to catch the Pirates, absolutely,” Quade said. “You’d love to go on an unbelievable run and find a way to catch [the Reds]. But I think we let that take care of itself.”
  • Mike Quade on breakout performer, Bryan LaHair: “I have been impressed with his at-bats to this point. We still have a lot of baseball to play. I’m not inclined to go nuts after watching a guy for four or five games.” Quade is correct that it would be silly to “go nuts” over a handful of good games, but he is resting on his refusal to “go nuts” as a justification for starting LaHair only intermittently for the rest of the year. That remains moronic.
  • The Cubs have named Julian Green, a man with deep political connections in Chicago, to the newly-created position of VP of Communications and Community Affairs. I’ll give you two guesses why the Cubs brought Green on board, and if you need both of them, you haven’t been paying attention (read: it’s all about the Wrigley Field renovation).
  • A discussion on the BN Message Board on the relative merits (and acceptability) of the Cubs undergoing a rebuilding process.
  • The Cubs’ AAA pitching coach Mike Mason discusses three AAA Iowa pitchers, Jay Jackson, Alberto Cabrera, and Chris Rusin. While there is something to like about each (Jackson finished very well, Cabrera has good stuff, and Rusin is very polished), you can’t help but feel, when reading, that it’s a bit of damning with faint praise.
  • Baseball Prospectus shreds the immediate future of the Chicago Cubs, which, like, duh. An exemplary barb: “The Cubs are among baseball’s least efficient spenders, converting the National League’s third-highest payroll into its third-worst winning percentage. Among the major culprits is an inability to catch the ball. Led by the Senior Circuit’s worst-fielding third baseman (Aramis Ramirez, minus-12.6 fielding runs above average) and pitcher (Carlos Zambrano, minus-3.6 FRAA), the North Siders have turned just 69.6 percent of balls in play into outs, the lowest success rate in baseball.”
  • millertime

    Yeah, well, that’s just like, their opinion, man…

    • Ian Afterbirth

      Seriously – all that matters is whether we win or lose! Gosh you can twist stats to prove almost anything you want to.

      Like that the Cubs are poor fielders.

      So deceptive.

    • Brett

      Boom. Lebowski’d.

  • EQ76

    that terrible fielding percentage is, in my opinion, the biggest reason we stink this year.

    • Brett

      It’s not just the terrible fielding percentage (which is tied to errors), but terrible defense in general. No range, weak arms, bad decisions, and on and on.

  • die hard

    Speaking of Zambrano….been wrestling over past 30 days as to how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear…instead of cutting him and eating his huge salary ala Silva, and knowing that no team will take him unless we eat 90% of his salary, what if we propose to his agent that we will let him play out his contract with the Cubs if he agrees to be a reliever and as incentive for this we will use him as a pinch hitter at least as often as any other…..

    • Brett

      I like the creativity (and the use of the silk purse expression), but I suspect he’d still be more of a headache than he’s worth. And he’d probably fight it anyway.

      • hansman1982

        If we can get 4 months of usefulness and trade him at the deadline with Quade (god forbid he is still around then) that wouldnt be too bad – and that is generally when he melts down

    • CubFan Paul

      OR how about the ‘Tuff Love’ approach? as in, Ricketts hires a Front Office Exec who in turns hires a disciplinarian coaching staff that spends less time coming up with nicknames for their players and actually teaches/emphasizes the fundlementals, ‘small ball’, & accountability.

      Quade & his college buddy staff have been pushed around by the players since Silva in spring training. And instead of Quade, Riggins, or Hendry telling SIlva to STFU & take the damn ball in AAA they hid behind closed doors and paid him $12million to pitch for the yankees. Since then the veterans have been lazy on the field repeatedly, punking Quade in the dugout and out on the mound when things dont go their way (Z, Dempster & Garza mostly), and have only recently started playing quality ball because their GodFather Hendry was fired & they need new contracts and extensions.

      Why pay another team $15million to take Zambrano? The $4million saved will not replace his production, so hopefully Ricketts was serious about a culture change or its going to the “same ol, same ol” shit & mediocrity


    The more Quade talks, the more he justifies spending more on a manager who knows what he’s doing and less on the players.


    As to Zambrano, I agree that he should be treated differently than Silva. Let him prove that he wants to remain a Cub by agreeing to the re-structuring of his contract by adding incentives and penalties.  For example, you get tossed from a game, then you agree to X.  Most importantly, make him agree to a fulltime head coach with whom he must cooperate and follow all recommendations.  Unfortunately, he’ll never agree to this.

  • Fishin Phil

    Dear Baseball Prospectus – That was the past.  We are all about the future now!  Can I get an “Upside!”??

    • Brett

      Now is the time for a bold GM.

  • Spencer

    Yeah, wouldn’t wanna go nuts after a few games.  What if the Cubs go 24-13 with LaHair playing?  Can we go nuts then?

    • chris margetis

      I just read another post elsewhere echoing your sentiments Spencer. It was basically to the effect of “wait, didn’t Quade get his job based on a small sample size and a great September???”

  • Jeff

    Nothing like having someone who has the President’s ear working for you. I’m sure this connection has nothing to do with why he was hired……

    I have stated how much I hate Quade and his managerial ways ever since he was pulling the same crap and spewing the same nonsense last September. I do believe he’s goofy enough to think he will be managing the team next year, I just hope no one else is that goofy. I’m going to refrain from commenting on my opinion of his managerial skills, I feel like I’ve kicked that horse enough. Hope you enjoy the Independent League next year, Mikey.

  • hardtop

    “I’ll give you two guesses why the Cubs brought Green on board, and if you need both of them, you haven’t been paying attention (read: it’s all about the Wrigley Field renovation)”

    Than what the hell do we need crane kenney for?  He’s been a terrible president and if he’s no longer the go to guy for the city negotiations  for the wrigleyville expansion, he needs to be gone… boom, Epstein for president.  seems like a no brainier at this point.

    • Jeff

      After the way that Hendry handled his exit with so much class, I have a hard time believing that Kenney would get the boot at this point, and I expect that if he has, the team is keeping it to itself. I don’t see Kenney as a true team president anyway. He has been removed from all baseball decisions, and I don’t think his presence blocks any potential candidates. Pretty much the same way that Fleita’s extension doesn’t. Either one can be moved to a different position or just given a different title if/when the new GM comes aboard.

      • hardtop

        so why have him at all?  why pay him if he doesnt do anything?i’d rather see ricketts invest kenneys salary in the ballpark or the team?

  • Louis

    91 412 353 82 115 18 13 11 38 33 10 45 76 .326 .414 .544 .958
    129 523 456 91 151 38 0 38 109 2 0 60 111 .331 .405 .664 1.070

    OK, we see the stats. The first guy was the minor league player of the year Mike Trout. The second is the guy that could of won it if he was 5-7 years younger with the stats he put up in AAA, Bryan LaHair. Unfortunately, B Hair is getting a bad rep cause he is “too old”, but I’m not sure I’ve seen stats like this out of anyone in the minor leagues regardless of age and It’s not from lack of trying. There is a handful of old dudes on every minor league team and not one has put up anything like this. He’s legit in my mind.

    • Brett

      I don’t know, Louis. Hoffpauir put up similar numbers in Iowa in 2007 and 2008, Jake Fox blew LaHair’s numbers away in a partial year in 2009, and Jason Dubois came pretty close any number of years. And that’s just Cubs’ players.

      • Kyle N

        Posted a some food for thought in the “La Fox” thread on the board.

        Despite Fox’s monster start to the AAA season in 2009, it should be noted that he only played small parts of different seasons there, never a full one.

        • Brett

          Exactly – he was more well-thought-of than LaHair. He kept getting a shot in the bigs because folks believed it wasn’t his bat holding him back, it was his defense. It turned out it was both.

  • Louis

    I think it’s time for one to work out Brett. I’m rooting for LaHair.

    P.S. I still think he could have won Minor League Player of the Year if he wasn’t 28.