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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.
  • Chris

    I not get chance to go to wrigley very often when I do I try to get decent seats. I was in third row of second section up last time and each ticket on stub hub was $125. Then ya still got the train ride there and back. Beer at like 7 something a cup. Food cost is crazy. Then your gf always wants a shirt and this or that. By the time ya leave ya feel violated damn near. I’m willing to take all that for a good game and a good team of players but with this I will sit on my butt at home and watch. They will get plenty more of my money when they can figure out how to win.

  • Chris

    2 jerseys alone cost 200 plus say 10 bears between the two of us is 70. Then about 20 a piece on food so that’s another 40. Train was about 15 for both. That’s 325 then another 150 in tickets. Shit ain’t cheap.

    • Cub Style

      Jerseys of current players will never be cheap, no matter how hard you suck.

  • Chris

    I mean 250 at 125 a piece plus the previos 325 adds up to 575

  • Chris

    The amount of money isn’t the problem its what you get for it on the field

  • Falselife

    Sveum is managing because of the state of this team. Why him over Sandberg? Could be a litany of reasons, but it’s fair to say that Sandberg’s name would be smeared if he was at the helm of this team right now. Look for Sveum to be the fall guy for a few seasons, and right around the time the team is on the upswing – boom, we will bring in the manager (maybe Sandberg, maybe not) to lead the team to victory. Not saying it’s right, or fair, but I’m seeing it play out that way.

  • Cub Style

    Karsten Whitson watch – 2012/2013

  • True(ly) Blue

    Cleb is probably switching to watching soccer because there is more scoring. (I jest.)
    It’s really hard to field a competitive team when you have one very good (possibly great) hitter, Castro, one professional batter, DeJesus, one declining power hitter, Soriano and one potential power hitter who has to make an adjustment to ML pitching or soon be gone, LaHair. The rest of the team, as several writers have suggested, is AAA at best.
    Good luck for this season.
    PS. How could anyone predict that we would have 3 catchers on the DL?

    • Joe

      I feel like I just got wacked across the head by a 2 by 4. Your comment is so true.

  • Toby

    I will preface my statement by saying how I am really enjoying the dialogue amongst fans here than other Cub sites. There are far more intelligent arguments with supporting arguments here and I have enjoyed reading the rhetoric from the posters on here. Now, I truly believe that a good majority of fans that are jumping on Sveum are the ones that truly wanted Sandberg as manager. They still had a sour taste in their mouths when Sandberg was passed over when Quade was named manager last year and when he was passed over again for Sveum there was not any way they were going to support Sveum. As far as the players, I am glad management did not go after the big name FAs available. Isn’t that the main reason why the Cubs are in the predicament they are in today? For years, all the Cubs did was spend in free agency which yielded some really bad contracts where players did not perform up to those contracts. I do not have a problem with what Theo/Jed/Jason are doing starting with 2012. They needed to do what they are doing which is clean out what they have, moving any player of value, and receiving something, if not more, of value in return. One of the biggest trades they made was sending Marshall to Cincy for three highly regarded prospects. I still scratch my head when I read from fans about this trade, much like the DeRosa trade. Of course, without the DeRosa trade, the Garza trade might not have happened. Marshall was in the final year of his contract. The trade value for Marshall probably was not going to be as high as it were before the season and with any pitcher they are only one pitch away from injury negating said trade value. Cub fans have experienced relievers that were amongst the best only to have them fizzle out during a contract i.e. Howry. I am willing to remain patient with the team because I see the bigger picture. It will take at least two drafts to truly see what direction the team will ultimately head toward.

  • Cubmig

    In retrospect, we’re not seeing anything we haven’t seen before from our Cubs. There are different faces, new honchos and shots of new energy levels, but the overall performance? — it’s all too familiar — Sveum or no Sveum. The question that is hard to live with is: What the hell is it going to take to consistently win and compete as winners?

    Will Theo&Co need to clean house to make that happen? Is it money issues tying their hands? Are the Cub vets that shouldn’t be around hampering things? The fact that they’re still around says a lot about how the front office might be caught between a rock and a hard place where they’re concerned. Other teams probably “want” them, but only if they can be acquired at huge discounts. The FO is moving on these things, but at a snail’s pace. Again, roster space, money issues, unmovable vets? Who knows? A glimmer of light shows a change-over is creeping in slowly. Ready or not, guys being groomed to help have come up because of injuries or sent-downs. It may not be the best way, but it is what’s happened.

    From comments on these boards, the breed of players showing promise in the minors are signs of hope (Rizzo, De La Cruz, Jackson, Vitter…etc). We can’t wait for their number to be called. I hope they come up sooner rather than later just to get as much ML experience under their belt as possible. Waiting has been a bitch. Almost winning “IT” is not good enough. It only makes one more desperate. Like many, I am at that point. I hate living La Vida Loser.

  • TH

    Garza…yips

  • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

    If you are going to lose, you better lose big. Anything less than 102 losses this year will be a disappointment to me.

  • Crazyhorse

    This team’s problems start and end with WHAT Theo and Jed have put on the field. They selected a a yes man manager with Dale Sveum . A rookie manager that instills no confidence and has failed to improve the teams defense and hitting . They signed a right fielder that at most is average in offensive categories for a weak hitting OF, but can catch a ball and throw towards home plate on a regular because of the bullpen . The Band aid rotation that the Cubs have assemble is almost over 5 in era (take out Garza Dempster and former tight end from Notre dame)
    Third Base is a joke – they signed a ball player that could not hit in Colorado and still can not hit. And lets not forget all the salary they dumped – the Cubs still pays those salaries and the return is no better to include last years management team vs this years . No improvement with the exception of better press confrences that leaves fans wondering about the wonder boy- The cubs are in last place because of this years management team – anybody that says otherwise is in fantasy land.

    • Jeff

      I’ve still yet to see what the positive in the Sean Marshall trade is yet? Despite all his issues, I’d rather have Zambrano in the rotation over Volstad. Dempster, Zambrano, Garza, Samardzija is not too shabby and why should we be paying 18M for someone on another team.

      • Still Love the Cubs

        Because even though they wouldn’t say it publicly, all the guys in the clubhouse hated him and his antics. They felt betrayed by him. Can’t have a guy like that around when he is barely going to help on a loser team anyways.

        • Jeff

          here’s my argument on that, “last year we had a bad club house and we lost!”

          Ok, “we have a great clubhouse this year supposedly!” and we are still losing.

          What if Zambrano was still in Chicago and pitching like he is for the Marlins? what would his trade value been then?

          • Still Love the Cubs

            Good point!

            I guess maybe they felt like it wasn’t worth the guys feeling betrayed by the new FO?

            • Jeff

              You could look at it that way or be smart about it and know that your going to be a losing club and realize that despite what the guys will feel, you need to capitalize on your assets and sell when the market will overpay, not underpay i.e. Volstad

          • DocPeterWimsey

            On what planet does the clubhouse have anything to do with team success?  The Yankees didn’t win all of those WS titles with Shiny Happy People Holding Hands…..  (More like a bunch of axe murders, really.)

    • EvenBetterNewsV2.0

      I love how people want to blow it up because it isn’t working, and then when you lose like you expected, everyone starts the blame game. This team isn’t completely on Jed and Theo. If you truly believe that you have no common sense. Look at the contracts laid out by Hendry. What great opportunities were there last winter that made sense? Did any of you see the contract Marshall got? Would that have made sense here? I would be willing to bet when Cincy starts a decline they won’t be good for 5 years after they start to unload those contracts (bad contracts).

  • DocPeterWimsey

    “anybody that says otherwise is in fantasy land.”

    Or they understand the concept of autocorrelation.  Just as Friday’s stock prices were Thursdays +/- gains, this year’s Cubs team is pretty much the 2011 team +/- a few parts.  A great many people who know a bit about baseball thought that the 2011 Cubs were many years from being competitive and that a complete restructuring of the system was necessary.

    So, say “hi” to Bilbo for me……

    • Crazyhorse

      so we spent 20 million plus for no desire improvement for the first year of a 5 year contract. for new management and dump salary with negative effect. most companies fire those people.

      • Jeff

        The Only move that I like that Theo and Co. have made was the Rizzo trade but that came at the expense of Cashner. You can argue about the Colvin for Stewart trade but we needed a 3rd baseman, so I’m okay with it. Colvin might have a .300 avg but he can’t play third. So 3hr, 13 rbi’s to 4hr, 13 rbi’s, it’s a wash right now. The rest has sucked. The none moves like not bringing back Ramirez or Pena was a no brainer.

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Dumb companies who hire and fire reflexively based on short-term gains might do this.  (You might have recalled a recent economic meltdown that stemmed from that sort of thinking….)  Jed & Theo were hired to redo the way that the Cubs evaluate talent, plain and simple.  The Sox did not win by making average players good; the Sox won by getting above-average players in as many positions and as many pitching slots as possible.  That started before Jed & Theo and continued afterwards.  The Cubs system was put together based on fundamentally different (and, in many people’s opinions, unsound) concepts of what “talent” is.

        Theo was upfront from the start with the fans and with Rickets: it was going to take a couple of years to turn this franchise into a decent one.  I seem to recall Ricketts stating that he appreciated Theo’s honesty about that when he was hired.

        A year ago I thought that the Cubs were probably 5-6 years away from being a competitive team again.  Now, I think that they might be only 2-3 years away.

  • Bric

    I think the fact that Brett went to the Reds game today pretty much sums up the season right now.

    • Jeff

      No kidding, this game is brutal. I can’t see how the morale in the club house can still be good despite what Dale says. Losing is demoralizing, if they still are upbeat, that means they like being losers. Then get rid of them all!!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Eh – I’m in Cincinnati for Memorial Day weekend, and the game was our Christmas present to The Wife’s dad. Didn’t really have anything to do with the Cubs (I usually go to a couple Reds games a year).

  • Jeff

    Freaking throw strikes, u butthole! in case kiddos are on here…lol oh, why would kids put themselves through torture like this

  • Cubs1967

    the Curse of Rahm continues….12 games and counting.

    at what point do we NOT want the kids up here playing when the losing is SO bad; do we want rizzo or bjax or w castillo on a 50 win team??……….that’s the current pace wins of 50; sames as Bulls 66 games.

    think it can’t get worse……….what IF garza and/or demspter get traded plus smardz will be shut down at 160 IP or so; that leaves 40 IP for wells or volstad to start……….

    50-112………..really Theo and Tommyboy??

  • Kbreezy

    Just a thought on something:

    The 60 million for Soriano doesn’t bother me.
    His 3 years left doesn’t bother me.
    His lack of hustle and performance don’t bother me.

    The Number One reason I want him gone is because I do not want him corrupting Starlin Castro with any of his nonsense. It’s been reported that Soriano has taken Starlin under his wing….which scares the absolute crap out of me. The sooner we get rid of Soriano for the sole fact that he has become a mentor for Castro, the better. Anyone else thinking the same?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Not at all. Soriano is one of the hardest workers on the team.

  • die hard

    Castro didnt walk last year either…Hes never walked…so what?!…Why not focus on his lack of power due to his fear of striking out…. he just tries to meet the ball instead of taking a pitch to set up the pitcher for a home run …he hits out of fear and knows nothing about strategy…He never will either until somebody sits him down for a few games to point out the good hitters who do…or he needs to talk to some of the old timers who did…Hank Aaron for one…Billy Williams too

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