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The Cubs’ losing streak has reached 11 games, and I can’t take it anymore. I’m done with the Cubs. I kid, of course, but I won’t be able to take in the Cubs’ game today – instead, I’ll be going to the Reds/Rockies game in Cincinnati with The Wife and The Father-in-Law (insert obligatory joke about seeing what good baseball looks like). The EBS might be slightly delayed, as the Cubs/Pirates tilt goes at about the same time as Reds/Rockies. Maybe I’ve been the bad luck for the Cubs – without me watching, maybe they can finally win.

  • Dale Sveum is getting a ton of heat in the comments, but, aside from a one-off disagreement here and there (the Castro bunt being the big one), I still don’t see what folks are so bent out of shape about. By this time last year, Mike Quade was consistently (every game) making decisions that made absolutely no sense. Sveum, on the other hand, has generally been good about lineup management (dropped Byrd early, dropped Soriano when it made sense, uses platoons, and – contrary to the calls – starts bench guys when appropriate), bullpen management (what the heck is he supposed to do with that motley crew?), and defensive alignments. I just don’t see what everyone is freaking out about. This team’s problems start and end with the roster, itself.
  • Sveum sounds displeased with “closer” Rafael Dolis, who walked two, gave up a single, and hit a guy last night in the 9th to lose the game. “You’re not going to come out on top when you walk that many guys,” Sveum said. “You can’t throw strikes to finish a game off. So, we’re having trouble with Dolis right now, throwing back-to-back strikes.” Dolis has a 12.00 ERA in his last six appearances.
  • Sveum on Bryan LaHair’s deep struggles: “He’s getting to the point now where he’s starting to guess along with the pitchers. You can’t do that. You have to get up there and hit. The guessing gets to be a little too much sometimes – guessing and worrying about what the pitcher is going to do and how many good pitches to hit and all that. The thing is, he’s not taking his walks. He’s not taking his walks now and swinging out of the strike zone and trying to do too much and put all the weight on his shoulders.”
  • Sveum also noted that Starlin Castro’s extreme lack of walks – he has four(!!!!) all season, and only one(!!!!) in May – is becoming an issue that needs to be addressed. I’m not saying anything, I’m just saying: Rudy Jaramillo’s teams have never been known for patience at the plate. So, if we’re seeing a bit of a disconnect between manager Sveum (who used to be a hitting coach) and Jaramillo, I’m not surprised.
  • The Hardball Times looks at other Cubs’ losing streaks and poor season starts. The lesson, if there is one? This season will not end well.
  • Ryan Braun is developing a prima donna reputation, demanding the roof at Miller Park be moved to a certain spot to accommodate his preferences. (That link also has a note that maybe the Marlins will be interested in Reed Johnson, in light of Emilio Bonafacio’s injury. Even if they are, a Johnson trade will not net anything truly notable in return.)
  • Phil Rogers looks at the early season battle for the worst record in baseball (currently held by the Cubs), and it’s going to be a tight one as the season goes on. I’m still not rooting for Cubs losses, but I will say that there’s very little value in finishing second-to-worst, instead of worst. If the Cubs are going to be bad, they better be REALLY bad. Rogers says the Padres have the best chance to finish in dead last, thanks to a tougher schedule ahead.
  • King Jeff

    I like Svuem, and I think he has done a good job for the most part. There have been a few decisions that I have disagreed with, but I can see where he was coming from and what he was trying to accomplish by those moves. Lack of execution and lack of talent have been his two biggest problems so far. This is not a team with a lot of power, and no one that hits particularly well with runners in scoring position. This team is going to have to take some risky chances to put runs up, and it’s caught Svuem a few times already. It has also worked in his favor more than a few times, and the defensive positioning has saved at least a few runs if not games.

  • Danny B

    Man it’s tough to watch right now. Poor Dolis is pulling a Marmol- can’t throw strikes with the sinker, can’t do anything with a fastball. Hope that doesn’t become a habit.

  • Kyle

    Unless the Cubs make some major trade deadline downgrades, I don’t think they can keep up with the Twins for the worst record. No shame in second, though, and worst in the NL.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      See, I see the Twins actually being the ones who can’t keep up this awfulness. I think the Padres can, I think the Royals can. Not sure about the Cubs.

    • Eric

      Well we have new guys in charge. With Hendry and Trib even if we were 7-8 games out they’d still be buyers. I’m crossing my fingers. It would be refreshing when you are actually out of the race to be sellers for once, and take advantage of some desperate teams.

  • Joy

    I have been a Cub fan for a very long time (and will always be) but when I moved to MN 12 years ago, the Twins became my AL team to root for. With that said, I am now considering watching Soccer.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      A sad state of affairs.

      • Caleb

        When I read that comment I had to check and make sure it wasn’t Kyle. That was close- I already had my gun loaded and was halfway done packing for the car ride. Soccer.

    • Mrp

      Nothing could ever get me so low that I would stoop to watching Soccer.

  • Daniel

    I think people just got too used to complaining about quade, and are just continuing their manager angst on swuem. I like swuem.

    I will say this though, I used to follow a different cubs blog religiously. But this one has much more reasonable posters and a much better editor. Everyone would know what the other one was if I said it, so I won’t be that guy. But, the content here is great. I will probably start commenting here more often, instead of just lurking, haha. Keep up the good work, Brett! You have a great demeanor towards this situation, and understand the situation.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks for that, Daniel. Good to have you.

    • hawkcub

      I like sveum too but I think there are a certain group of people who will complain about everything. They think the answer is to always fire someone without giving them a chance.

      • Daniel

        I’m staying away from that group. Lol. Just a bunch of needy, whiny, self entitled babies. “Woe-is-me” attitudes suck, especially when we are talking sports.

  • Frank

    A good manager might have the ability to make a good team better, but making a bad team good is a lot harder.

    • Frank

      Hey Frank–you aren’t me, are you? Good point though–there’s only so much a manager can do–as Brett said, “This team’s problems start and end with the roster, itself.”

  • rcleven

    If the Cubs are willing to to bring along prospects slowly so too the have to be more patient with Dolis. There is talent there. To be thrust into the closer role at this point in career is unfair and unwise. Dolis was pitching in AA ball last year and in a perfect world should never have slotted above a 7th inning relief this season.

    • nkniacc

      He was until marmol and wood struggled then you had to put him in the 9th inning role as there wasn’t anyone else for it.

      • rcleven

        As my statement In a perfect world.

      • Toby

        I would not mind seeing Randy Wells get a shot at closing with Dolis and Russell continuing as set-up men. Wells might be that veteran the bullpen needs.

  • oswego chris

    The Castro walk thing is absolutely ridiculous…this is a Cub trait that I have always hated…they always get “aggressive” guys that don’t like walks…I think it is an incredibly selfish trait…remember Shawon?…absolutely refused to walk…they ALWAYS have guys like this…apparently there is a Dominican saying “You don’t WALK off of the island” which may explain why players from the Dominican are like this…but if Rudy Jaramillo promotes this? he should be gone…I want Gerald Perry back as HC, he actually preached the value of OBP….

    • DocPWimsey

      “Selfish” or “unselfish” has nothing to do with it. For one thing, other people look at it opposite you: going back to Ted Williams, detractors have criticized good hitters for taking walks because a good hitter’s “job” is to put the ball into play. (The Jays GM made an ass of himself a couple of years ago for calling Adam Dunn apathetic for taking walks with men on base.)

      The other thing is that it is not a character issue. It is a skill issue. Batting is the combination of two unrelated skills: the ability to recognize where a moving ball will be when it gets to you while it’s about 50′ away and moving extremely fast, and playing Jedi Knight by getting your bat on a rapidly moving ball. Castro is good at the latter. He is not so good at the former. And here is the rub: this is not a skill upon which players improve. Bill James looked at this recently, and it looks like most guys go through most of their careers with the same walk rate. (A lot of guys tail off drastically at the end: eyes do go.)

      Now, some guys do get better: Sammy Sosa was one of the rare exceptions. Castro does not swing at horrible pitches, but he swings at Greg Maddux’s strike zone. It is possible that he can be toned down to swing at Rafael Dollis’ strike zone, but I honestly do not know how that is done. (Sosa basically pulled his strike zone in 6″ and started hitting outside pitches to right, where he always had tremendous power, and laying off of the pitches that he used to try to “push” and miss.)

      • Caleb

        “doesn’t swing at horrible pitches but does swing at Greg Maddox’s strike zone.”
        Well put, doc. As long as he keeps his Jedi swing intact, I’m good with his approach. I could see this changing in the future when Castro gains even more skill and power. He’s going to have to adjust to pitchers pitching around him eventually. Does pujols offer consultation services?

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Pujols probably cannot explain how he does it: he had an outstanding batting eye when he debuted at Castro’s age (more or less, supposedly….).  To Pujols, it probably is as natural as identifying the color orange.  (I don’t think that any color blind people miss orange, do they?)

          I wonder if Sosa could explain how he started to lay off of outside pitches in ’98?  What we need are those rare guys who actually reduced their “swing” zone.

          • Caleb

            True, and I wonder what a comparison of Castro to pujols in the minors, say age 18-20 would look like. Either way, consultations with pujols would be good. Cuz he’s good. How about this last week of his? Sheesh. What confuses me about the swing zone is when guys like soriano can go whole stretches where they don’t swing at their weak spots (ie low nd away) but they relapse repeatedly. Like it’s their drug and they’re hooked. Shock collar training? Sori I think has been better about that so far this year. Not that it takes that much for him to improve.

  • al

    This team would make Connie Mack look bad.

  • sven-erik312

    I refer you all to Casey Stengel when he said:
    “What’s the point of havin’ a man execute when he can’t execute?”
    It’s going to be a long season. We have a team made up for the most part, of utility players. It’s a long way to the top, Turn down the heat, let’s all pretend like we’re the Met Fans of the early 60’s prior to 1969.
    I can add that back then, I was a Braves fan in Atlanta and we suffered at the hands of the Mets just as much as you did in Chicago back then, it just happened a few weeks later.
    I too remember 1969 like it was yesterday, I was 16 years old…

  • Roughriider

    Wake me up when football season starts.

    • Mrp

      At least stick it out until Rizzo gets the call. I don’t think I could go a whole summer without some sort of baseball.

      • Jeff

        Well Cubs fans the only way to make a change in Chicago honestly is protesting against Ricketts and not Paying for or attending games. Cub owners have been able to make profits by putting inferior products on the field because of loyal fans and lets say it Wrigley Field draws a lot of fans. Guys we haven’t won in over 100 years and still with the worst record this year Ricketts is still making money. He is charging you the fam the 2 nd highest ticket prices in baseball. Also, he is asking you the fan to be patient while he rolls in the dough. We have to pay these crazy prices to watch the Worst Team In Baseball!!! There is something seriously wrong here. Funny thing is he didn’t even buy the team with his own money it was his daddys.

        • Mrp

          Do you not feel like we are a step closer to where we want to be this year? There seemed to be no clear plan for the future and the team wasn’t any good. At least there is a plan now and some of the big money contracts will fall off the books next year. To me that is progress even if the results on the field aren’t showing it. The draft is coming, Rizzo is raking, Baez just got promoted, Whitenack is on his way back. These are the things that are getting me through this. Nobody said a rebuild was going to be easy.

          • Jeff L

            MRP seriously you’re still saying this nonsense. The only way to win in this league is to spend and go after the best players available. It all starts with starting pitching and believe it or not the Cubs have that! Spend on some free agent bats and I can’t say it enough not ponying up the dough for Darvish was a huge mistake. There is no future in what the Cubs are doing. Teams are locking up their players so what are the Cubs going to do with the money coming off the books? This year they did nothing with the money saved from Fukudome and Ramerez. So, that is going to be the big question. Will they spend or will our payroll stay under 100 mil?

            • nkniacc

              Seriously, The Cubs bid on Darvish just not high enough to get his rights. The other top free agents were 1st baseman and they were looking at Rizzo to be that guy doesn’t make sense to make try and make a trade and then sign a guy to long term deal. I would expect them to open up and spend a bit of money this offseason after they figure out what they had from the top down. I aslo exect them to start trying to sign their own young players just like some are doing

              • DocPeterWimsey

                Sadly, I think that the idea that Darvish was a general free agent will die about the same time as the idea that the Cubs actually had Josh Hamilton in their organization and then gave him away is going to die…..

                The Rangers put in a very high bid for Darvish.  There were several other teams who probably put in very high bids: the Jays in particular were supposed to be very psyched to get him.  The bids were blind: there was no agent coming back and whispering: “another team is offering $XM more: wouldn’t $X+YM really be worth it?”  The universe is not about the Cubs: there are 29 other teams, several of which would have felt that their GM clearly didn’t “try” if the Cubs had trumped the Rangers.  They would have been just as wrong.

              • Kyle

                We have no proof whatsoever that the Cubs put in a serious bid on Darvish. We have some vague rumors, but this is a front office known heavily for its misinformation. We could have been $1 short or not bid at all, and we’ll likely never know.

            • Mrp

              Meh, it’s hard to talk about long term plans with someone that can’t see past today. Where was our payroll at last year and the year before that? As I recall, we didn’t do well despite it being in the top tier. Why not try to save our money until we have a solid core and then go on a shopping spree when we feel it would push us over the top?

              • Kyle

                Because it’s almost impossible to build a solid core from scratch. Punting on entire offseasons without trying to acquire good players makes it very difficult to put together such a core, and means that you’ll have to overpay/binge when you decide you are ready to try.

  • Jeff

    The problem really starts wIth the pathetic offseason of this new regime. We really had plenty of players to go after to boost this offense. Also, keeping Marshall would have been a big lift for the bullpen. The starters this year for the cubs have been pretty damn good. I think if Ricketts decided to spend a dime more than last season this offseason we wouldn’t be the 2nd highest ticket prices worst team in baseball!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think it would have taken a really sublime – and lucky – offseason to make this team significantly better than .500.

      • Jeff

        I disagree Brett. Bringing in Fielder and resigning Ramerez would have gave us an opportunity to win Alot of these one run games. Having Marshall would have done the same thing as you can see he can be used as a closer. Once you have the boost in offense getting Darvish would have solidified one of the best pitching rotations believe it or not in baseball. The problem for the Cubs now is most teams are locking up their stars long term. If you look at the numbers you would know with those 3 additions and not trading Marshall we would be in the heat of the division this year.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Using FanGraphs, let’s check the numbers.  This seems like exactly the sort of player vs player comparison WAR was made for, so that’s the summary stat I’ll be using.

          Fielder’s WAR this season is 0.9.  LaHair has a 1.4.  Net difference, -.5.

          Ramirez has a WAR of 0.7.  Stewart’s is 0.2  That’s a 0.5 improvement and wipes out the losses at first.  Net change is now 0.

          For Darvish, I’ll be comparing him against Paul Maholm, the only free agent starter signed by the Cubs in the off season.

          Darvish has a WAR of 1.2.  Maholm has a WAR of -0.2.  This switch brings our net change to 1.4.

          And then we need to keep Marshall.  It’s extremely hard to say who he would have replaced in the bullpen, so I’ll cheat and just add his number to the total.  He has a 0.4, bringing the total to 1.8.

          Travis Wood came back in that trade, but his WAR is currently 0.0, so we don’t need to worry about it.

          With that set of changes, the Cubs would have won about 1.8 more games.  I’ll round that up to an even 2, and factor it into the Cubs record.

          The Cubs start today 15 – 31 and in last place in the division.  With these changes we’d expect the Cubs to be 17-29 and in last place in the division.

          The Cubs have been somewhat unlucky this season.  Their Pythagorean predicted win-loss is 17-29.  So, if we make the WAR adjustment on that record, the team would be 19-27 and tied for last place.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            Good summary!  Of course, the real OPS holes for the Cubs were RF (DeJesus has been OK), 2B (no improvement), CF (no improvement), LF (no improvement), C (no improvement), and none of the free agent signings could address that.  (Well, Beltran might have been a better upgrade in RF, but he would have smashed into the wall in early April and been done for the season.)

            Moreover, worrying about 1 run games is tantamount to admitting defeat.  You do not get to the playoffs by winning 1-run games.  You get to the playoffs by not playing 1-run games.  90+ win teams (like 90+ loss teams) play in far fewer close games than do 0.500 teams.  Indeed, over a quarter of playoff teams have losing records in 1-run games.  After all, a trademark of a good team is not just lots of victories, but also rarely losing easily.

  • nkniacc

    I don’t have that big of issue with them not going after some of the players in FA last year. You want to know what you have in the system and on the team before you go ahead and throw a bunch of money around in long term deals. I doubt the Marshall deal happens if 1. Madson isn’t injured but more imortantly if the CBA hadn’t changed so much in terms of what a qualifing offer the Cubs would have had to make to get draft picks for him

  • ry34

    sweet jesus, can we at least win a game here and there?? i never expected them to be good either but shit, this is beyond painful watching these dimwits throw up all over themselves day in and day out! serenity now!!!!!!!!!!1

  • Stu

    The real interesting time will be when they underestimate how empty Wrigley Field can get. That might put a fire under the Theo/Jed to actually “invest” in players capable of contributing “right now”.

    What is really sad is that some teams in baseball seem to be able to BOTH sign quality free agents and develop their farm systems. Why are we being told that you can only do one or the other? I think their is a responsibility for the Chicago Cubs BUSINESS organization to produce a PRODUCT that warrants the PRICES that they are charging.

    Will someone comment, please?

    • rcleven

      “What is really sad is that some teams in baseball seem to be able to BOTH sign quality free agents and develop their farm systems.”

      Theo has been on the job less than 6 mos. His first draft is coming up. The building stage is in it;s beginning. Please give this FO time. Pitching depth has improved greatly in the Theo watch. Quality wise it still needs a lot of work. Hitting is terrible on this team. Another project that will take time.
      This team has no large base to build upon. They are starting from scratch. By next spring the roster will be much improved but still not competitive. Every year hence they will be better and better.

    • Still Love the Cubs

      Ricketts/Theo/Jed have all been remarkably transparent about what we were going to see. I truly don’t understand how so many people can just complain no matter what happens.

      Are the ticket prices high for the product that they are putting on the field? Yes. But thinking in terms of buying high priced FA’s in order to have the appearance of doing something is what has always burned this team.

      No offense Stu, but you are the same type of fan that is complaining about the contract that Soriano has right now. It is the epitome of oxymoronic to be complaining in one breath about not signing high priced FA’s, and then complaining again in the next breath about one of the high priced FA’s that they did sign.

      I know that this whole process gets everyone’s blood boiling a little (okay, a LOT) and no one is immune to that. Not you, not me, not Theo, not Ricketts, not Sveum, not the players. But the point is, don’t mortgage the future just to appease those feelings. Let cooler heads prevail and reap the rewards from it.

      Everyone says something like: “What about the teams that can buy FA’s and build the farm system at the same time?”

      I don’t understand that comment. The teams that do that, are the ones that already have a team that can win now. Therefore they supplement current talent with FA’s and still build the farm system.The Cubs are SO far away from being able to compete now, that spending money on FA’s would have been nothing more than a waste of assets.

      And those teams that are able to buy FA’s and build the farm all went through what the Cubs are going through now. Anyone remember the Yanks from 20-25 years ago? Sucked. Anyone remember the Tigers from 10 years ago? Set the record for most losses ever.

      Be patient and look, not at the present, but the future and you will be able to have some hope.

      • Kyle

        They’ve talked in vague doublespeak the entire time. Sure, you could have divined what’s happened from what they said, but it wasn’t the only possible interpretation.

        Sending out a lineup with Koyie Hill, Tony Campana and Joe Mather isn’t making every opportunity to win “sacred.”

        Just like you say you are confused, I’m confused at how putting out a competitive lineup would have been “mortgaging the future.”

        All I was asking for was the position-player and bullpen equivalents of Maholm: Guys who are cheap, on short-term deals and can be effective players. David DeJesus was a great example. We needed about four more examples.

        • Still Love the Cubs

          “Every opportunity to win is sacred.”

          I think that you are misunderstanding what Theo meant there. He wasn’t talking about on a day in and day out basis. As in, every single game.

          He was talking about the season as a whole. And yes, if there was a way to sign 4 other David DeJesus players, I bet you that they would have done it provided they were in areas that the team didn’t have an unmovable player (ie a LF to replace Soriano).

          If you can go through all the FA’s from this past off season that fit your criteria and find 4 of them that the Cubs didn’t sign, kudos to you. I think they looked at all their options and did the best they could to find those type of cheaper stop gap players.

      • nkniacc

        Exactly you have a good farm system and use that and then make you big club better in the FA portion. The more talent in the minors the better it is to use to aquire what the big club needs. When Rizzo was aquired everyone seemed to understand that it was going to be atleast miod june before he came up the same for Jackson regardless what they did at Iowa.

    • ry34

      and wrigley will indeed be empty as it should be w this product!

  • Brian Myers

    I’m not totally ready to remove all blame from Sveum (whoa… I feel “Blame Sveum” chants coming on…)

    I could be wrong, but it seems like a lot of the Cubs issues are a combination of the mental game and a failure to execute. I admit. I’ve not been able to watch a lot of Cubs games this year, but during the games I have watched they’ve not actually looked over matched physically… it’s been not taking walks, not having the ability to bunt, running at times where it made no sense, etc.

    These are items that the coaching staff needs to address and thus far they’ve been unsuccessful. Sure, they still need more time, but its a trend we need to examine. If this is a personnel issue, then unfortunately, the Iowa Cubs are 21-27, and they look like a 21-27 team (that would be a 15-33 team without Rizzo) so getting “help” from players on that squad looks unlikely as well.

    Soooo… the Cubs will get better as their coach’s tweak the mentality of the club, but only marginally so. There’s little relief in sight for the next couple years from the minors. Thus the Cubs will likely need to make some moves from trades and free agents to put things on the right track (providing a solid base for the future talent to enhance).

    • DocPeterWimsey

      “it’s been not taking walks, not having the ability to bunt, running at times where it made no sense, etc.”

      1 out of 3!  The Cubs are like every other team in baseball.  Take Total Bases (TB) and Walks (BB).  The Team with the most TB+BB wins 86% of the time.  In Cubs games this year, the team with the most TB+BB is 39-5. (There were a couple of games in which the teams tied.)  I.e., the TB+BB winner is the game winner 89% of the time, right in keeping with MLB averages.  The Cubs have 2 “lucky” victories and 3 unlucky loses.

      Walks obviously are big here: and the Cubs batters take too many fewer than the Cubs pitchers allow.  However, slugging is the other big issue: and the Cubs have allowed more extra base hits than they’ve collected in over half of their games (mostly loses) while allowing fewer than they’ve collected in less than a quarter of their games (mostly victories).

    • nkniacc

      Most teams get a bunch of their help from the AA team and the AAA team is for players that have a bit of mlb expereience and for filling holes that arise at the mlb level. Some teams like to get players AAA experience and I believe Theo is one of those. Another thing to look at is the age of the “prospects” in AAA

  • Palmster27

    I get a chuckle out of those folks who are surprised by the results thus far. Theo/Jed have been candid about their methodology in a complete rebuild of the organization. The result of which is a lousy team in the first two years. We should be keeping our fingers crossed that soriano and dempster continue to play well and stay healthy so they can get something for them by the trade deadline.

    Talk to me in June of 2014 about the status of how the team is playing. Until then…pass the bison dogs.

  • Danny B

    Welcome, Daniel, from a fellow Daniel. I agree, there are some other blogs out there where the posts are redundant and a bit ludicrous/whiny. That also led me here.

    Stu,
    Your comment makes perfect sense. Attendance at Wrigley does not. People will attend the games no matter what- it will never, in my opinion, look like Tampa, or Florida, or Dodger Stadium. Wrigley is more than going to see a game- people go there because it is an attraction, or a way to get out on a summer day, an excuse to get hammered and hit on people, et cetera. Basically, the Cubs’ success only has so much to do with attendance.

    It is pretty ridiculous that they can continue to charge what they do for tickets, but the only defense I can make is that you can get them cheaper from scalpers and stubhub this year compared to the previous few years. I used to pay about $30 per bleacher ticket, but I hit five games this year so far for under $20. Just don’t go through the box office.

  • Jeff

    Stu I’ve been saying the same thing since the offseason. I saw this mess starting whe I realized Rickettsia wasn’t opening his wallet and is using Theo as a way to have fans go along with this “rebuilding” process. The difference with baseball than other sports is rebuilding if your not willing to spend is built on getting lucky with draft picks that take most of the time 5 years to mature. In basketball a team can rebuild in one year through a great draft. In football same thing with a great quarterback. In baseball there is essentially no salary cap! This means you must spend to compete. Unless Ricketts gets his daddy to fork over some more money I see us losing for a Long Long Long time.

  • Chris

    In my opinion cub fans need to stop going to the ball park and not buy merchandise. The only way the fans can have an affect on the course there planning on taking is by affecting there pocket books and showing them you can’t charge people like you a great team when you are crap currently. If the rickets signifectly lowered ticket prices I could be more understanding to what they are trying to do. Currently though I don’t feel the product is worth the cost. Hell sox fans might suck but they get one thing right we don’t. When they suck they dont show. We all know the farm system had to be fixed but there’s no reason we couldn’t add some short term high cost deals to stay competitive in the mean time. With all this stuff about Joe rickets coming out I remember hearing a part where Tom told his dad the reason he should invest in the cubs when he didn’t want to is because win or loose they always sell out. They said clear as day they understand it doesn’t matter what happen they still get paid. We as fans gotta change that.

    • Still Love the Cubs

      “There is no reason we couldn’t add some short term high cost deals to stay competitive in the mean time.”

      I don’t know why so many people think this. Prince was never coming here on that type of a deal. I don’t really know who would have come here on that type of a deal. People are getting 12 year deals nowadays (see Votto, Joey) and we are expecting the FO to be able to find guys who are willing to take a short term deal for less money.

      The truth is, we all just need to calm down and realize that Ricketts isn’t trying to make this team into the cash cow that the Tribune wanted it to be. He has spent a lot of money on hiring a team of baseball people who have all the leeway on the decisions being made.

      If Theo and Jed would have wanted to spend a ton of money this off season, Ricketts would not have stopped them from doing it. He is giving them full autonomy to make the right decisions.

      To say that Theo and Jed do not want to win is a completely ridiculous statement. It’s not like they make a profit from a team that is doing bad. In fact, the only thing that can happen to them if they field a consistently (over a period of years not months) bad team is that they will lose their jobs.

      I’m just as frustrated watching the team as everyone else, but what makes it more frustrating are the fans who don’t understand the process of what we have to go through and say silly things like Ricketts/Theo/Jed don’t care about the fans. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

      • mick6x

        I agree this team doesn’t need a band-aid its needs major surgery, and the fans need the anesthesia at least until november.

      • rcleven

        Hear Hear.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    “insert obligatory joke about seeing what good baseball looks like”

    Actually, the Rockies are about as bad as the Cubs this year, so it (probably) will look like a lot of Cubs games…..

    • Still Love the Cubs

      No they aren’t. Cuz they have Tyler Colvin!! He is so much better than all of our current players. We should trade Anthony Rizzo and Brett Jackson and Dillon Maples to get him back. (sarcasm in case you couldn’t tell)

  • Stu

    The only way to really force the hand of ownership of any product/business/etc. to invest real money into their product is to STOP PURCHASING IT. There is no other way.

    I have no problem in teaching fundamentals, using stats to uncover better players etc. But at the end of the day, the best players are obvious to everyone. Bryan LaHair is not Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols. Ian Stewart is worse than Aramis Ramirez. Darwin Barney is not Robinson Cano.

  • MichiganGoat

    Well I really want to chime in and give my same “patience” “vision” “plan” lecture but since I’m having a great time enjoying this weekend on a boat full of Oberon I’ll just end with this: “Haters be hating” – not much you can do with someone that is so full of negativity.

  • nkniacc

    Im sure Theo and Jed never expected to be this bad. They also had a game plan to try and rebuild which is better than what the Cubs fans have been use to. Its pretty tough in the first year to rebuild a farm system and the MLB team that has a host of bad contracts on the books. So what do you do you try and fix 1 of the 2. The bad contracts are almost all coming off books after the year so that will free up a bunch of money so you try and get as much talent into the farm system this year and this coming offseason you work on rebuilding the mlb team

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      I’d say odds are good that Theo and Jed expected this team to be worse than it is.  LaHair was generally seen a keeping first base warm for Rizzo… and then he turned into a legitimate All-Star candidate.  Samardzija as a starter was an experiment, but that experiment has gone so well the Cubs are said to be thinking seriously about trying to lock Garza up so as to secure a good 1 / 2 punch atop their rotation.

      In short, two of the Cubs’ best players this year were not really expected to be that good.  Most of the rest of the roster seems to be injured or playing at about the level we’d expect given their histories.

      • nkniacc

        Oh I agree that they expected them to be bad just not 15-31 bad

      • rcleven

        We really do not know where the Garza negotiations are. We only have speculation from the press. Theo and Jed hold everything so close to the vest and and they would be crazy not to. Any info released by the organization has been well measured to their own advantage. Just too many holes to fill to even consider keeping him.

  • http://bleachernation.com RicoSanto

    I think Sveum is a great coach,just not a good manager.He has no idea with the bull pen.You have to get the W no matter what.Even if you have to use 3 or 4 guys. He has let many relievers in too long and does not have anyone warming up.I hate to beat a dead horse but Ryno should have been the pick he knows how to manage,just not at the Maor level.Look at the Ventura hire, no experience,They look like the will contend.Sveum will be gone after 2 years.

  • http://twitter.com/dkhockey24 David

    The Padres have a tougher schedule than the Cubs? After seeing the Cubs get swept by the Phillies, White Sox, and Astros (and one game away from being swept by the Pirates), I don’t really think strength of schedule matters for this team. The only teams the Cubs are stronger than at this point are in the minor leagues…

  • http://bleachernation.com RicoSanto

    Stewart is awful.He will probably be non-tendered next year.The first year Colvin came up he looked like a good young star in the making.The Cubs just forgot how to develop him and hardly played him. This year Colvin Slugging .511 Ops .830 Stewart lugging .329 OPS .613.

  • @cubsfantroy

    I have zero problems with Dale Sveum. He is doing the best he can with what he has. It is like trying to make pancakes out of s**t when all you’re doing is pouring syrup on the s**t.

  • The Dude Abides

    When we were 15 -20 a couple of folks were talking how close we may be and looking forward to a soft spot in the schedul to make a move, not sure this is the move they expected dropping 11 straight but we did make a move. Not quite June interested to see what attendence looks like this summer. That more than anything I still maintain will show the true patience management(Rickett$) will have with the tear down and patience they preach. Nothing says scrap a plan and start rebuilding at a quicker pace than lost gate revenues

    • Kyle

      It was fun to be fooled for the team for that brief moment, at least.

  • Chris

    I understand why people feel we should be patient. Chances are 5 or 6 years from now there is a chance the cubs can be contending more reguraly. But to me if that’s the teams aproache they should not be charging fans some of the highest ticket prices in baseball. Last time I went to game it cost roughly $ 300 not including tickets. I’m sorry but I’m not gonna spend $ 500 plus for me and my gf to watch this hot garbage.

    • rcleven

      Chris all I can say is look into secondary market for your tickets.You will save 50% there.

    • Still Love the Cubs

      2 things on that.

      1- How did you spend $300 bucks not including tickets at the game? Wow!! My wife and I (from DSM) just went to the game where Woody retired. Including travel, hotel, game tix, food at game, and the rest of the weekend in Chicago we spent about $600.

      2- There is no way that it is going to take 5 to 6 years to be competitive. Again, I go back to the point that Theo and Jed do not benefit one tiny bit from losing for more than 1 to 2 years. By all accounts they are way to competitive for that personally. Professionally, they would be fired if it took that long to get competitive. Their contracts expire in 5 years!!

      I think they’ll be a little more aggressive on signing FA’s this off season and we’ll be around .500 team next year in 2013. In 2014, we’ll make the playoffs as the Cards will not have Carpenter, Beltran, Berkman, Furcal, and Molina, and Holiday will be getting pretty old. Reds will be main competition then but their guys are all wrong side of 30. If you look at the overall picture and not at the individual games, there is really a lot to be happy about.

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