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I “forgot” that I had signed up to run a 5K this morning (read: The Wife signed us up and probably told me while I was typing a post some weeks ago), so I am beat. A runner I am not.

  • So, you’re probably still stewing a bit about the Cubs’ lineup last night. For those who didn’t see or have already blocked the game from memory, the gist of the issue is this: Dale Sveum had created a righty lineup for the Cubs, as he does, in anticipation of facing lefty Joe Saunders. But Saunders was scratched just before lineups were exchanged, and was replaced with righty Josh Collmenter. Fortunately, Dale had time to change up his lineup back to the normal iteration, featuring the LaHairs, the Campanas, and the DeJesuses, for example. But … Dale didn’t change the lineup, instead leaving Joe Mather, Reed Johnson, and Jeff Baker in to face Collmenter. Obviously, it didn’t go well.
  • Dale offered what kind of looks like an explanation after the game, but it’s going to leave you wanting. “I had time to change it,” Sveum told reporters. “It was more Collmenter, we had no prior history. None of our hitters had ever faced him. He’s so funky …. I’ve seen last year [in Milwaukee] when no one ever faced him before. He’s a completely different pitcher. He’s a guy you need to face three, four or five times before you get a reading on that arm slot.” So, none of the batters had seen Collmenter, and he’s funky, so why bother with match-ups? I mean, is that really his explanation? At least give us, “I’d already told the guys who were playing, they were warm, and you can’t just change the lineup at the last second because it throws off guys’ rhythms.” I don’t know if that would have been BS, but at least offer it. Because the explanation Sveum game leaves me thinking irrational, dark thoughts about tanking, and I really don’t think that’s the case. For now, I’ll file it under: really, really strange.
  • Anthony Rizzo has now been at AAA long enough that the Cubs will have control over him through 2018 (instead of just 2017), but that doesn’t mean he’ll come straight up today. Dale Sveum says Rizzo will be up “soon,” but not in Arizona. The Cubs head home to Wrigley for a series with the Mets starting on Monday, and then they face the Astros to close out the week/month before heading to Atlanta on July 2.
  • Sveum added that Randy Wells is expected to start again on Tuesday, despite his weak outing filling in for Ryan Dempster earlier this week. That plan could change, but, for now, the plan is to give Wells one more shot.
  • About Jeff Samardzija’s rough start, Sveum pointed out that Samardzija tends to start leaving the ball up and walking guys around the 80-pitch mark. The velocity is still there, but not the command or control.
  • As noted in the comments last night, Jeff Samardzija has a third-time-through-the-order problem (small sample size warning ahead). The first time through the order, batters are hitting just .232/.278/.320 off of him, and he’s got a herculean 5.25 K/BB ratio. The second time through, he has a less sexy, but still acceptable .248/.314/.431 line against, with a 2.30 K/BB ratio. But the third time he sees guys in a given game, they’re hitting .325/.411/.403, and his K/BB ratio plummets to just 1.55.
  • None of that is totally atypical for pitchers, but it was precisely the fear we had with Samardzija coming out of the bullpen: unless he’s got all of his pitches working, he doesn’t have enough stuff to fool guys the third time they see him in a game. So, it could be the fastball up thing that Dale noticed, but it could also be a reluctance (or inability) to fully mix up his pitches throughout the game.
  • Speaking of Samardzija, he’ll probably scale back his boot camp preparations in the offseason this year, after two straight Winters of  killing himself.
  • Interim hitting coach James Rowson says he hasn’t tried to change a lot so far with the Cubs, just “attacking the strike zone.” I know that’s just a meaningless buzz phrase, but that’s, like, exactly the kind of thing Rudy Jaramillo used to say.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer wonders whether Starlin Castro will be able to truly buy into Theo Epstein’s preferred plate approach method.
  • die hard

    Sveum is learning on the job and Cub fans are paying the price of his education…meanwhile a guy named Sandberg had already put in some solid performances as mgr in minors…ahem

    • MichiganGoat

      Maybe but just as players don’t always follow MiLB success with MLB success I follows that a manager might struggle with the transition. It’s a whole new beast once you leave AAA so to assume Sandberg would be successful in the MLB is a bit of a stretch. The other question is why hasn’t Sandberg gotten a job as s MLB manager if he such a sure thing?

      • Toby

        Michigan, you have nailed down why people just don’t like Sveum. They still believe that Sandberg is the only person to manage the Cubs. They’ll always be a sect that will gripe and moan until Sandberg becomes MGR then turn on him when the Cubs don’t succeed. I’ll always be glad that Sandberg is not the MGR because I would rather keep the good memories when he played with the Cubs than get crucified by the fans as a mgr.

        • MichiganGoat

          Yeah the rabid fans have about 1/2 a season of patience and vision. I guess its easier to complain than see with a long-term vision for success.

        • calicubsfan007

          Toby: Good point, sometimes it is embarassing to be in the same category as some people who believe that impatience is a virtue. But I do also understand that fans have been waiting 100+ years, patience is not something that comes easily for us.

        • GoldFinch

          That’s BS and you know it! Sandberg never even came into the equation I presented.(Sveum=Quade, but with a slight twist)

          • Toby

            It’s not BS and I know it’s not BS. Sandberg was offered the bench coach under Quade, but his ego got in the way and walk away from the organization. Sandberg could have gotten the major league experience that Theo and Jed wanted, but no because being a bench coach seemed, to me, the job was beneath him.

    • GoldFinch

      Yep! On the job training. That’s exactly what it is.

  • Jp

    I agree that Sandberg is far from a sure bet, however… I’d rather watch Sandberg take his lumps and learn on the job through this rough year than Sveum come from one of our arch nemisis and bumble through it as he has so far. I feel like he could screw up a steel anvil with a fly swatter

    • MichiganGoat

      So screw Sveum, screw Theo, screw Jed because they came from outside the organization, right? Now that’s some vision and patience with the new front office, we almost made it half a season before everyone starting calling for heads to roll. Ahewm, sigh

      • calicubsfan007

        Michigan: I feel for Sveum because it seems like he will always be compared to Sandberg. Odds are the Sandburg WILL NOT manage the Cubs anytime soon, so can we stop whining about him? And I totally agree with you here. We do need to show more patience. Rome was not built in a day.

      • GoldFinch

        Lol! Have one of the drinks you were talking about. Chill.

        • MichiganGoat

          Okay I’m done with you BetterNews/Joe/GoldFinch – ill make this deal with you and I suggest you agree. I’ll ignore you, never respond directly to you, if you do the same. I also suggest that you just admit you are BetterNews returned, tell Brett you’re sorry for your previous behavior and that you’re happy he has still allowed you to comment on here. As of now I will completely ignore you and allow the rest of the community to deal with you. Good bye.

          • calicubsfan007

            Michigan: I am sorry for all that has happened.

            • MichiganGoat

              I’m not, my voice has been heard, those who were around for the BetterNews days no exactly why I have no patience for his return, but the only solution here is to completely ignore and avoid the discussion on here when needed, I’ll spend more time on the message board where the comments are better.

              • calicubsfan007

                Michigan: You will still comment on Cubs boards on here in general right? Or are you going to use a 10 ft pole with these discussions if GF is involved? I am not trying to start anything, just want to know if I wont hear from ya for a while. If that’s the case, I am so sorry.

                • MichiganGoat

                  Kinda the 10ft pole distance, he continues to deny who he was (and trust me we know he is BetterNews) and acts like he isn’t trying to rile people up, do yes I will distance myself to his mischievous ways and spend more time on the message board especially when BetterFinch is actively commenting. I hope he ignores me with the same distance. Don’t fret over this just enjoy this awesome site and don’t let the knuckleheads get in the way of your commenting. Enjoy you’re weekend.

                • Drew7

                  MG will still be here commenting, but if you’d have been here for the crap that caused him to be banned the 1st time you would realize the reason we have no patience with him.

            • GoldFinch

              Nothings happened! I don’t get it.

              • calicubsfan007

                GF: I can’t honestly say anything about this. I might be on hiatus for a while after tonight, until this thing resolves itself.

                • GoldFinch

                  It’s cool. I’ll continue to post. I have no idea what MichGoat has against me.(I know more about baseball than him? Is it a male superiority thing? I don’t know?)

                  Anyway, take care my friend if I don’t hear from you.

                  • Spencer

                    just drop it man. seriously. everyone needs to move on. for reals.

                    • GoldFinch

                      I can’t get away from the guy! He continues to rip on me whenever I post(How much would you take?) It doesn’t matter if I make a math mistake or a spelling mistake, he is right there to start trouble! I have nothing against him or anybody else for that matter.

                  • NCMoss

                    Obviously you can’t read.

                    • GoldFinch

                      Obviously.

                • Spencer

                  im actually feeling the same way. this bullshit is so annoying

              • Drew7

                I didnt need Bretts confirmation to know it was you, but he even confirmed it. If you wanna continue to post acting like someone else after you were banned from a site you immediately bashed afterwards, thats fine, but have some respect for Brett. Even after knowing who you were, he has continued to allow you to post here, and if anyone should have a problem with you after all you did, its him.

                If Ace is cool with you being here, great. Im telling you though, it would be a lot smoother here if youd just admit it.

                • GoldFinch

                  admit what?

                  • NCMoss

                    Seriously? Read his post again.

          • Spencer

            I really hope this is what happens.

            • Drew7

              Spencer, I started that last post before you posted this, but i agree. We just need to let it go.

              • MichiganGoat

                That’s the plan – ignore completely but unfortunately that requires me to avoid the main page sometimes.

              • Spencer

                yeah. its hard for me to keep quiet sometimes, though. and i can’t fault anyone else for getting riled up either. especially given all the past circumstances.

                • GoldFinch

                  What circumstances?

      • Jp

        I’m sorry did Theo come from an arch rival? Did Jed? I never said they couldn’t come from outside the organization, I just said not the Cards/Brewers/white sox. I guess we couldve gotten Larussa’s bench coach wouldve been the only thing worse:-). I’m just venting outloud guys, if your blood pressure is going up you’ve taken me too seriously:). I am annoyed Sandberg didn’t get a chance at it but who really cares with the talent on this team as it stands now nobody could go .500 with this team

        • calicubsfan007

          Jp: I get what you are saying and I respect your freedom of speech, just the timing of your post is off. I am sure you saw the heated discussions between some of the people on here, so I wont explain. Again, venting is good, just the timing of it isn’t.

          • Jp

            Actually Calicubsfan I’ve been working all day pouring those adult beverages you guys just started talking about til about 8:45pm ET. Long day at work and I’m just starting to get to the posts you’re talking about I guess. Some people need to take a deep breath and know when they’re dealing with someone being a knucklehead and just ignore them. Cubs talk sure will get us all heated I guess. Sounds like Shelby needs to make an appearance for some brainless comic relief

            • calicubsfan007

              Jp: I just got on, I “missed” the talking. (I am getting sick of all the crap throwing, so I don’t mind missing it.)

  • calicubsfan007

    Seems like I missed an interesting conversation today. From what I read, it seemed full of passion. I will not even pretend to side with one side or another, it isn’t my place. But wow, I do admire the passion.

  • calicubsfan007

    Am I the only one who thought Brett put Frankie Valle? I had to reread the guys name to be able to say, “Oh!” and “Aw….”

  • http://bleachernation.com #1lahairfan

    Same bro

  • http://bleachernation.com PattyP

    So far, Dale Sveum is Quade with eyebrows

    • GoldFinch

      Ha! Right on PattyP!

    • MichiganGoat

      Really? We have had this discussion already, if you can’t see how Dale has been vastly superior to Quade you are not following the game and/or news carefully and instead doing a Skip Bayless impression (in which case, bravo you’re doing well)

      • Spencer

        For what it’s worth, I’m not aboard the Sveum train, either. Continued crappy lineup against LHP, questionable bullpen management (granted, not much to work with in either situation), and an almost fanatical approach with regard to R/L splits. That said, I still think he’s an improvement over Quade. Not that that’s hard to do.

        • Toby

          For people that hated on Quade, I have two mgrs that were far worse: Bruce Kimm and Jim Essian.

          • GoldFinch

            Agreed!

          • GoldFinch

            Baylor?

            • Toby

              I think Baylor was a descent mgr. He should get another shot somewhere.

              • GoldFinch

                Great player! One of my favorites before the “roids” thing. He is 62 and said he is done! He was a class act. Not a good manager.

      • Carew

        Can we please not talk about Sveum like this anymore? Lets talk about Rizzo, LaHair, Castro, trade possibilities etc.

        • Toby

          Here here Carew. I’m tired of all the Sveum hate. I, for one, am looking forward until the non-waiver trading deadline. I’m not sure if anyone has brought up this point, but with the addition of another wild-card team will there be more trades made after the non-waiver trade deadline. In addition, if the Cubs are not able to trade Soriano then the Cubs might have a better opportunity to place him on waivers and having a team claim this year than in years past.

          • Carew

            I agree. Trades will be aplenty. I believe Soriano will be able to be traded since he is being productive. We are gonna see a very new roster after imo

            • Toby

              Pittsburgh is rumored to needing offense and are rumored to be shopping Kevin Correia to get that offense. I know he is 31, but Cubs might look at Correia for next year and might bring back better prospects than Soriano would.

              • Carew

                Interesting, perhaps get him and lower level prospect then turn around and trade correa. I heard that they may be after LaHair too. My only problem with either of them going to the pirates is that theyre in our division haha

                • Toby

                  The Cubs last couple trades with Pittsburgh turned out alright.

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