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This won’t make you feel much better, because the team still *looks* bad, but, if you’re just examining results, and likening it to an NFL season, the Cubs just lost their first game of the season, and are down big in the first quarter of game number two. Maybe it won’t make you feel better at all.

  • Dale Sveum offers his take on Jeff Samardzija’s poor outing yesterday against the Marlins: “Strike one hasn’t been so easy lately and that changes things around a lot, especially against an aggressive team. His split-finger, he couldn’t get that going and it was up. His secondary stuff was a little flat. Velocity was fine but command of the cutter early was killing him.” So, pretty much everything except his velocity was bad (which was how Samardzija circa 2010 would have been described).
  • No one seems worried yet about Samardzija’s struggles, and the good news is that he feels physically fine. Better than fine, actually. “I feel great and I felt awesome today,” Samardzija said, per the same article. “The arm feels unbelievable. I really feel I can go out and throw 120, 125 pitches, but I need to be taking that mental approach of not even getting into that 100-pitch mark. Just pound the zone and let my defense work behind me.”
  • The nerve issue in Bryan LaHair’s back, which sends pain down as far as his leg, is still giving him problems. “It’s preventing me from moving the way I want to, but it’s getting better,” he said. “I’m starting to increase my range, working before the game and after the game and I’m getting to the bag quicker. It will just be a matter of time before I’m playing defense how I want to.” The issue certainly hasn’t been noticeable at the plate.
  • Speaking of LaHair at the plate, Sveum says it’s time he’ll start thinking about re-tooling the lineup, with LaHair possibly moving up from the 6/7 spot.
  • More speaking of LaHair, the big first baseman will be signing autographs and taking pictures with fans at Sports World Chicago (across from Wrigley Field) after Saturday’s game. He’s doing it for charity, and $10 gets you in the door for an autograph and pictures. The money will help a program that teaches kids in Chicago Public Schools about health and fitness. Good for LaHair, and good for Sports World.
  • All-Start voting starts today, so get your clicking finger ready. Marlon Byrd ain’t gonna All-Star himself.
  • Theo Epstein has started scouting kids for the Draft. That’s right: the Cubs’ President actually goes and scouts some of the top prospects in person. And don’t worry, he’s not burning up time looking for diamonds in the rough – he’s looking at kids who’ve already been reported up the chain, starting with area scouts. Epstein knows how to delegate.
  • Like I said yesterday, the Brandon Allen waiver claim situation was set to be resolved yesterday/today, and it has been. The Cubs never had a chance to claim him, as one of the final AL teams with a chance to grab him did so – the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s pretty much a perfect fit for the Rays, who love to grab high upside, low risk, mid-20s players who could wind up being a big win for them. The last such guy they claimed? Lefty reliever John Gaub from the Cubs.
  • MLBullets at BCB, reflecting on Ivan Rodriguez’s long, great career. But that one year in Miami … for that, I cannot forgive him.
  • Reminder: your BN apparel needs live here.
  • Mrp

    I think if we really want to make an NFL analogy we could say that the Cubs will be about as good as the Colts. Ugh, now I’m sad.

  • Njriv

    Im goin to the game today, hoping they can turn it around. I’m skipping class, its supposed to be cold and rainy, I just got over a cold and didn’t get that much sleep last night so it better be Freaking worth it!

  • Hastin

    Oh my delima. I encouraged my 14 year old to follow in my footsteps and be a Cubs fan. Now he has taken the obsession way above mine. Have I doomed him to a life of disappointment?! Now, my question: My other 3 boys are 3, 2, and 7 weeks old..Do I make them Cubs fans and let go through what me and my oldest go through or let them choose on their own? My biggest fear is they would choose the Cardinals!!

    • Brian

      Only the strong can be Cubs fans!

      • Hastin

        We definetly have a resolve no other sports fan has.

        • Wilbur

          My wife and I do a Pre-Cana class for engaged couples and I always include in my talk to the attendees that fiancee’s that are Cubs fans are to be prized for the their loyalty and love through good times and bad.

          • TWC

            Pre-Cana??  Is that like couples’ yoga?

          • college of coaches

            We’ll, if we can use Cana as a metaphor here, let’s hope that this early season is like a boring wedding that’s simply saving its best wine for the end.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            I’m a reasonably erudite person, but I’ve never heard of a “pre-Cana” class.  Is this some reference to turning water into wine (and then fighting about whether it was real or allegorical wine, and if the former, an Italian or a French vintage, etc., etc….)?

            • college of coaches

              I believe that pre-Cana is pre-marriage counseling offered by the church (correct me if I’m wrong here). Cana, as you’ve guessed, is a reference to the first miracle performed by Jesus in the Gospels – the wedding at Cana – where he turned water into wine. As an ancient historian, I can assure you that wine in the first-century Galilee was real and probably very potent. The allegory would have not worked in this pericope otherwise.

              You’ll note, I’ve avoided any allegorical (and theological…cough…cough) references to messiahs and lost-causes ; – )

              • Wilbur

                Good stuff … and it is the pre-marriage talk, sorry for the jargon, but good comebacks.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Thank you for avoiding the messianic talk…

              • DocPeterWimsey

                lol, and to think that my parents made me go to CCD classes when I was a kid.  So, unless this started in the last 30 years, then I was wrong: I had heard of it but just didn’t remember it!  8-)

                (Hey, I had to jettison something to remember all of this baseball trivia!)

                • Hastin

                  Well back to where I started, Cooper, the 3 year old, starts screaming “Daddy, Daddy, Cubs…Cubs!” when he saw the highlights…or low-lights. It may be to late for him!

  • ETS

    The Shark looked like he was overthrowing to me. Also what Dale said about starting every batter 1-0 or 2-0 (or 3-0)

    • Edwin

      I was actually going to post the same thing. It seemed like he was throwing his splitter and slider too hard. Not enough seperation from his fastballs. But that’s without looking at any of the data, I just had gameday going yesterday.

  • EQ76

    This is one thing I hate.. why in the heck is All-Star voting starting after only 13 games? That is way too early to me. Start at 40 or 50 games in, not 13.

  • gratefulled

    Brett, please tell me Byrd is not starting today. And if he is, just lie to us.

    • Canadian Cubs Fan

      He’s starting alright! Remember, he’s not even close to the 100 AB evaluation period! Isn’t that great?!?

      • gblan014

        If I may be so bold, where are you from Canadian Cubs Fan?

  • Cliffy

    Colleague in Miami tells me Theo Epstein saw OF Albert Almora play recently. Doing his due diligence, but interesting nonetheless. #mlbdraft

  • RY34

    Hastin, if I knew then what I know now and have experienced for the last 30 years, i would force them into becoming anything but Cubs fans, such torment and frustration awaits them! That is a lot of responsibility to put on them for maybe 10 good years out of 100. When do most people think our cubs will get their next win, a week from now, a month from now………………… maholm and volstad haven’t won since july something of last year, could lightning strike twice in two days and they both get a win this weekend??????

  • Andrew

    “All-Start voting starts today, so get your clicking finger ready. Marlon Byrd ain’t gonna All-Star himself.”

    This literally made me laugh out loud Brett! haha

    • UrbanTed

      Co-sign. Hilarious.

    • CastrotoBarneytoLaHair

      Triple stamp…

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Shark has had one good start and the rest have been not so good. I don’t think he gets a real long look at starter before being sent back to the pen. We need a decent pen guy and he is probably the best we can do at this time. Randy Wells can pitch just as effectively starting as Shark has thus far. I think if they bring Wells up he will not let go of his role as a starting pitcher. He has probably learned a valuable lesson being demoted to AAA to start this season. I don’t hold much stock in K. Wood being much for us in the BP this year. He is on the downward slide and isn’t reliable as a BP pitcher. You just can’t count on him to be there and produce when you call on him. I love the guy but he is taking up a roster spot. I would love to see Woodie come up from AAA and be a solid contributor in the rotation. We need a real leftie who can eat innings and keep us in games. How long do we give Maholm. Should he have been kept in AZ for a little while longer to get ready for the season. He is a patting practive pitcher right now.

    • Drew

      you realize when you say “the rest have been not so good” you are referring to 2 starts, right? I say give the guy a little more time, especially 2 weeks removed from a dominating start against the Nationals.

    • BN Virgin

      Thus far, with 3 games started each, Randy Wells has pitched worse in AAA than Shark has in the majors. You don’t really think they’d make that switch after just 3 games, do you?

  • Stu

    I still like getting rid of Colvin. Even though he is hitting above .300, he has struck out 8 times in 22 ABs. Not good over the long haul. That is what concerns me about Jackson. You cannot strike out over 30% of your ABs and be a consistently good player.

  • Cub Gone Wild

    Wouldn’t be surprised if Wells is moved into the rotation and Shark is moved to the pen. We can’t hold a lead if we get one. Dolis isn’t ready for anything past the 7th inning just yet. I hope Maine can help and hope he sticks. Amazingly Russel has done a decent job. Never thought much of him and his fastball that won’t break a window. But to his credit he has been doing a decent job thus far. Epstein says he isn’t going to make any knee jerk reactions because on 1 bad homestand and 1 bad roadtrip. Hmm. If we are 3 and 20 does that merit a knee jerk reaction? The good news is Homerun Bailey is pitching for the Reds today. Got my fingers and toes crossed that we can get a W this afternoon. I hate the Reds… Live in Dayton and can’t stand having to watch a game with the Reds announcers. Brenneman and the Cowboy… I already want to throw up just thinking about having those bastards on my tv today.

  • hansman1982

    “Speaking of LaHair at the plate, Sveum says it’s time he’ll start thinking about re-tooling the lineup, with LaHair possibly moving up from the 6/7 spot. ”

    For all of the barking about the day-to-day lineups, I like what appears to be Sveum’s approach. Plug guys into spots, let it ride for a couple weeks and reevaluate.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      I agree.  To be honest, even a couple of weeks is not enough to see if a lineup “works.”  However, that probably is about as much as people are willing to endure in baseball.

      Still, when you look at the Cubs problems, it’s not the batting order, but who is taking the field that is the real problem.  The Cubs don’t have only 5 HR because guys are batting out of order!

  • Amz

    Where’s Bric talkin’ bout how LaHair really doesn’t have back problems? I thought I could count on him. Now I has a sad. :(

    • Bric

      Im right here! And let’s try this again! If I said Lahair doesn’t have back problems then I recant because I didn’t mean to. I have no idea. I’m not a doctor and don’t work for the Cubs.

      All I was trying to say to say is that the new Cubs way looks strangely like the old, which is- don’t believe an Fing word they say. Because they already look like they’re full of sht. Sure, nobody knew about Wood’s issues until Monday. Marlon Byrd’s droppped 20 pounds and can’t hit the ball out of the infield because of his new diet and excerising. Soto’s an up year-down year kind of guy. One bad home series and one bad away series is meaningless just as Colvin’s batting .300 is still a bad trade a trade because he strikes out alot. At least Z is gone. Do you realise that most teams don’t go through even a fifth of the drama that we put up with every year?

      • TWC

        Bric-ster, baby, it’s Friday!  Let’s party!  Come on over to my place, I’m serving ice cold ones all night long.

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