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Today’s game marks the last meaningful game of the year for the Cubs, who head out to finish the season with the Padres after this one. The Cardinals remain two games back of the Braves with four to play. If the Cubs can beat the Cardinals today, they could all but kill the Cardinals’ playoff hopes.

  • Alfonso Soriano is not too happy about how he’s been treated with respect to his spot in the order this year. “I’m not a guy that fights with people,” Soriano told ESPNChicago.com. “The way they treat me this year, I don’t like it. The way they have me hit in the No. 7, 5 and 6 spots, I have trouble concentrating on the job hitting in those different spots. But [Mike] Quade is the manager and does his best to try to make the team better.” To the substance of his claim, I don’t have much to say – Soriano should have been hitting 7th from the start of the season. You can’t have a guy who can’t keep his OBP over .300 batting in the middle of the lineup. But, as to the message behind his comments, it’s just another crack in the ever-crumbling foundation of the Mike Quade regime. He is losing (or has lost) the support of the very players who chose him last year.
  • Cubs.com also had a feature on Soriano yesterday, presumably generated from the same round of interviews, but didn’t mention Soriano’s unhappiness. It simply discusses his “infectious energy,” and used quotes solely from Mike Quade. If this is the matter of the Cubs trying to guide the discussion about a guy they’re going to try and trade in a couple months (i.e., Soriano isn’t a malcontent, he’s an “energetic” guy whom his teammates love), then kudos to them – it’s the first time they’re doing it right. When it was obvious that Sammy Sosa, Milton Bradley, and Carlos Silva had to be moved, the Cubs seemed to affirmatively work to blast them in the media. Not a great trading strategy in my book. Obviously you can’t “talk” your way into upping a guy’s stats or lowering his contract, but you can certainly diffuse any sources of possible tension before they arise, especially with a guy like Soriano, who is generally not viewed as a clubhouse troublemaker.
  • Aramis Ramirez reiterates his position that he wants to go to a playoff-caliber team this Winter. I reiterate my position that he could have gone to a number of playoff-caliber teams this Summer.
  • Keeping the lights on: if you’re looking for sporting or concert event tickets this Fall, check out LavaTickets.
  • Mike Quade on Carlos Marmol’s struggles this year: “We need to get it straightened out. All we need to do is get him back to where he was the last few years. And he will.” Powerful stuff.
  • Rodrigo Lopez wants to return to the Cubs next year, but, despite his 4.42 ERA (which is better than most the rotation regulars, sadly), it’s hard to see the Cubs bringing him back on more than a minor league deal.
  • Phil Rogers says Albert Pujols wants $27.5 million per year in his next deal so he can match Alex Rodriguez. He could definitely get that amount if he was willing to take a five-year deal.

 

  • Moms A Cubs Fan

    Lopez pitched a really good game; Cashner and Marshall too! Then comes Marmol..Don’t the Cubs pay a pitching coach? Why didn’t he go out there and talk to Marmol?

  • jstraw

    It’s never been evident what the Cubs pay Riggins to do. I have no idea whether or not he’s any damned good at his job. After a full season, that’s noteworthy. He’s done nothing to merit my support. Coleman’s getting his coaching from his dad. That could be a clue.

    • Mike Foster

      No kidding, who knew we had a pitching coach, never saw him that I remember. Bet he’s scrappy in a stealthy kind of way….

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Gotta agree.

  • die hard

    he took care of the Silva problem…only $10 Mil……he screwed up Cashner and Wells in spring training…only 4th and 5th starters….not bad for first yr….

  • kingdomusa

    Quade & Riggins have to go period…..Guys like Wood, cashner, & Marshall have easy 1-2-3 7th & 8th innings but never or seldom stay in. Let them start the 9th and if needed have Marmol warming up. We need a really good pitching coach or private mentor for marmol. If he can get his control straightened out he could be lights out again. are you listening Greg Maddux. Wish he could get some off-season work with Mariano Rivera through former Cubs Girardi & Rothschild. For Quade to say he has done a good job as our manager is delusional at 20+ games out of 1st. It only took 1 year & 37 games of playing vets over Rookies to have the Pirates pass us. Ricketts can’t accept this insubordination power move by Quade to play vets over Rookies in September. 3,700 fans voted last week with 91% of them wanting Quade gone. The other 9% are reporting either to alcohol or drug rehab centers at the end of the season. A ton of fans would help pay Quade’s salary next year if he disappears totally out of the organization. All he has to do is just ask & most would help pay for his 1 million dollar 1 way ticket out of town. He was voted the worst ever in Cubs history recently. Those 2 polls speaks volumes Mr. ricketts and family. Make the move before the new GM gets here.

  • Joe Cartwright

    If Lopez could consistently give a quality start, then, hell, I’d take him. He seems to have been doing a lot better lately. He sure as hell lasted a lot longer as a starter than Doug Davis (he’s got one of those names where you have to use his full name) and Ortiz. Speaking of Ortiz, where did he go? Not that I care, but he’s using a roster spot. And i’m not a Lopez fan but I’m that guy that says if he can keep us in the game (you know, like 3 runs or under), let him pitch. Those guys, in my opinion, are not Russell, Coleman (at least not yet), Ortiz, or Doug Davis. Did I miss anybody?

    I would definitely put Lopez on a minor league contract though. As a backup.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ortiz still pitches out of the pen occasionally.

  • awesome

    Soriano is a cry baby, Aram a DH, and Quade is a piece of shit.

  • http://www.michigangoat.blogspot.com MichiganGoat

    I actually think keeping Lopez for next year is not a bad idea (1 year league min). The Cubs have so many questions in the rotation that having Lopez has a possible #5 or as a long reliever is not a bad idea. If my memory serves me, Lopez was sitting at home before the Cubs signed him. He could be a decent backup next year and hopefully continue what he’s shown the last month. It would have been nice t have him the e entire year as compared to Russell/Davis.

    • Joe Cartwright

      Exactly what I was thinking.

    • CubFan Paul

      Lopez was pitching for the Braves AAA team when Hendry traded for him ( i think ) but as AAA/injury depth I would consider bringing him back ..my 2012 rotation:

      1) Garza

      2) CJ Wilson – 5yrs/$90million, $10million signing bonus, & 2 Club Option years at $15million

      3) Dempster – resigned to 2yrs./$22million

      4) Carlos Zambrano – despite being only 30yrs old contenders won’t trade for him nor will he accept a trade to a non-contender and he’ll be on good behavior because it’ll be his contract year and he’ll be looking for a 2013 contract of 3yrs/$30million

      5) Cashner will get Every Opportunity to earn the 5th spot but like last year when he didnt earn it out of spring training it was given to him over Silva, but I expect strong competition form Wells & Samardjiza, plus *HOPEFULLY* the new GM trades for an arbitration eligible pitcher from a small market team to be the 3rd, 4th, or 5th pitcher (like Garza coming from Tampa)

      • oso

        First off the Cubs are not going to spend 90 mil on first rate pitching this off season.

        Secondly, Zambrano is done period dot.

        We are going to end up with Cashner, Wells and some other third rate free agent to go with Garza and Dempster; a fifth place finish, good draft position and a strong farm. Ricketts understands math, and so will the GM that he hires in late October.

        As far as Soriano is concerned, I guess he has never compared his batting average to Byrd or Johnson or whoever else hits before him in the lineup. Pay rate does not determine batting order. At least that isn’t part of the labor agreement…….. yet.

      • Joe Cartwright

        Ortiz was pitching for braves AAA

      • http://Bleachernation Bric

        Zambrano’s not 30. After he retires he’ll admit to being about 3 years older than his bio says (which means he’s actually about 6 years older).

  • ry

    Let me be the first to actually say it: Fuck you Soriano you whiny little bitch!

    • LARRY

      I must agree with the sentiments behind ry’s ccomments, but I probably wouldn’t have worded exactly like that.  I did laugh out loud when reading the post though.  What an anfortunate descent from the 40-40 club to what should be a second rate DH.

  • die hard

    Ricketts can earn a lot of good will with a 25% cut in all prices and concessions in effect until the Cubs are at .500 for a minimum of 30 days…ala Bill Veeck…for you youngsters, Veeck like in Wreck wouldve made sure fans came first next year…..ps..his father responsible for vines in outfield

  • Ian Afterbirth

    And what’s the big difference for Soriano’s mindset whether he hits 5th or 6th???
    I can understand hitting 4th MIGHT be a bit different but Castro went through a hell of a lot more mental adjustment (I was going to say “mind fuck”) and did fine – though I think he could have done better with a stable spot in the order.

    • Toosh

      Exactly. Soriano needs to learn when to keep his mouth shut.

  • Caleb

    Good game so far. Soto was close! Have the cubs hit a grand slam this year?

  • ry

    No the cubs are the only team in baseball who haven’t hit a grand slam this year; just one more iron in the fire of mass patheticness!

  • RoughRiider

    New rumor is that Francona may be fired by Boston. I could see him in Chicago and wouldn’t be upset about it as I was and am about another “manager”.

  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

    FYI – I’m on the road today, so the EBA is going to be quite delayed. My apologies.

  • Randy

    I will be terribly disappointed if Ricketts does not fire Quade the day after the season is over. No need to leave it to the next GM. If Ricketts hires any GM who would consider keeping Quade, then we are doomed.

  • Vince

    If Marmol had a pitching coach like the Card’s Dave Duncan he’d become the first rate closer that we’d all hope, but with this present staff, there isn’t a chance in hell that anything will change. Can you imagine Tony La Russa sitting in the dugout watching the game being flushed down the toilet? No way. He’d have someone ready at first walk. How can Tom Ricketts stand this dope of a manager.

  • Levon

    @Vince……..you couldn’t have watched many Cards games. Franklin brew chunks til they let him go. I truly enjoyed him blowing games as he did in a quick fashion at the beginning of the season. Same with Motte half the season as well. Couple years ago it was Izzy. They sat and watched plenty of games of their closers destroying their season. Unfortunately St Louis would have ran away with the division had Franklin not blown soo many saves. I know by Mid April he already racked up 4. I’m sure it had to be at least 10 before he was released. That’s not even including last year either lol.

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