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Dale Sveum GollyI love that the Chairman of the FCC came out in support of David Ortiz’s emotional speech at the Red Sox game yesterday, which included an f-bomb. Sometimes it’s OK, and you’ve just got to relax about that stuff.

  • Dale Sveum had to know that, after another mistake-filled loss, he was going to have to speak at length about the team’s woes. And, to his credit, he did speak at length. In addition to saying that you can’t have team meetings every day, and that the mistakes being made are the kinds you expect to see in rookie ball, Sveum seemed to throw up his hands a bit. Per Carrie Muskat: “It seems to be the story every night. It seems to be continuing that we can’t seem to catch the ball or make a play when we have to make a play. Edwin [Jackson] pitched a great game, but he was part of that, throwing the ball into center field. We’ve got to step up and somebody has to start making plays and driving runs in because this is obviously getting old …. To win in the big leagues, you have to have people who perform, and perform 162 games, not once in a while. You have to perform. It’s the big leagues. Otherwise, you lose your jobs.”
  • The reality of the roster, though, is that certain guys are playing because the front office wants them playing. And everyone else – the Castros, the Rizzos, the Castillos, the Barneys – is an obvious starter that you’re not going to bench. In other words, there’s only so much Sveum can do. Moreover, if the Cubs want to have the ability to shop guys like Scott Hairston, Scott Feldman, and whichever other guy you tab who isn’t currently performing, Sveum’s going to have to keep giving them the opportunity to perform. This season was never about the playoffs, so you might as well at least hope for those tradable assets.
  • As for the fundamental mistakes, they are, at some level, always going to be on the players. These guys have played the game for 10, 15, 20 years before they even meet their present coaching staff. In that regard, there’s only so much the Cubs’ coaches can do to correct mistakes that occur when the body just does its thing. At the same time, when mental mistakes appear again and again, at some point, you do have to question whether the coaching staff is doing an appropriately effective job of communicating with each of the individual players. We had these same disputes back during the Quade regime and it looked like the Cubs didn’t know the ball from first base.
  • Speaking of ranting about the fundamentals, Dave Kaplan took to Twitter last night to blast the poor play of the Cubs this year. Among his comments, he said that what we’re seeing is the result of “years of mismanagement, awful minor league system and poor fundamentals. Sveum cannot allow sloppiness to continue.” That turned into a back-and-forth with Bruce Miles, who would prefer if Kaplan – who lauded Jim Hendry when Hendry was in the front office, according to Bruce – gave Hendry a chance now to discuss whether/why his tenure was fraught with mismanagement.
  • Pitching Coach Chris Bosio knows the scrutiny he faces as the bullpen continues underperform, fair or unfair.
  • The confusing minutia of the Jean Segura baserunning adventures from the other night. There’s still some debate about the right way to apply the rules.
  • Starlin Castro has a 12-game hitting streak. So that’s cool.
  • Mrcub1958

    Brett, I’ve always wondered about our teams always playing “tight”? I know it doesn’t make any sense but they do. Castro flubbing a routine grounder again with runner at third?
    It’s telling when Edwin Jackson recently remarks about the pressure to win here greater than he’s ever experienced. And we suck? Weird.

    • Reality Check

      the pressure to win here is due to 105 yrs of not winning. that’s why this idea of a bunch of rookies in 2016 dealing with 107 yrs of futility will be really tough…….we should be building the team each year with FA; like Cespedes or Ryu, instead Jed is just searching for assets.

      players are not stupid; when the team is built with a bad offense, no bullpen at all, bad closers, guys are gonna stress at the plate and on the field. castro stressed and dropped the ball. Rizzo hurried and did the same. when every run is like 2 for the cubs to give up; guys are gonna get in bad habits. how will castro or Rizzo ever learn about winning baseball when they’ll have 4 or 6 yrs of losing baseball by the time 2016 rolls around.

      Kaplan complaining last nite was beyond stupid; Soriano dropped a ball; was never in the cubs minors, castro was, but Rizzo was not. not sure of his point.

      winning breeds winning, losing breeds losing.

      not much sveum can do; he took the job knowing this was gonna be the drill. it’s why mike maddux say no thanks.

      in the end, no reason to get mad about this team anymore; they are losing on purpose and that won’t change till at least 2015 and really 2016 is the goal when so many of the players with “supposed” talent are in low or high A. it’s unwatchable baseball; and I’ve watched this team for almost 40 yrs religiously……never missing a game until Ricketts and his load of BS took over as owner.

      in the end let’s hope castro-rizzo-barney-Castillo are the beginnings of a good foundation and go from there…………and hope all the “suspects called prospects” pan out.

      • http://Isa Voice of reason

        There is no PRESSURE to win!

        As long as people go to wrigley field like they did last year there is no PRESSURE. I think cubs owners want to win and they are going about this the right way, but they don’t feel any pressure.

        If you want them to feel PRESSURE then everyone needs to stop going to the games.

        • demz

          no pressure to win?

          you cant be serious.

          • http://Isa Voice of reason

            They haven’t won a world series in one hundred years and the team still makes money!!

            What type of pressure do they have to win as long as they keep making money?

  • arealpoy

    Is it me or do our media guys squabble more than others? The team is bad. It doesn’t matter what term (Kap saying Hendry’s “mismanagement”) you used to describe how we got there or what the underlying problem is (Kap saying lack of focus/sloppiness) because it doesn’t matter. The team is just bad.

    People feel the need to analyze. I get it…but can’t it just be as simple as us not having as many good players as the rest of the teams in the league? That’s the simple truth, isn’t it? Most of our guys aren’t good. We have a patchwork team that consists of an old guy, some toolsy guys, some fringe guys and a couple of core/prospecty guys. That’s why we’re bad.

    I was scouring the archives of BN this morning for an old post during or directly after the Theo Obsessive Watch stating something to the effect of, “Remember the plan two years from now.” That post deserves a bump.

  • Jp3

    Fair or unfair, if we suck again next year 100+ losses does anyone think Sveum won’t be fired? This begs the question, why did we fire Mike Quade? If we are only running a puppet out there for a few years why fire Qball? I DID NOT THIBK HE WAS A GOOD COACH, I thought he was terrible but nobody can lead this bunch of scrubs to a title. We should’ve just kept Qball until the Cubs were done being shitty at baseball then got a real manager. I think if they hired Sveum to help develop the young players, that planned failed miserably.

    • Jp3

      I was ranting but my point was how the hell does Sveum not get fired if he looses 100+ games 3 years in a row?

    • demz

      Quade was a terrible clubhouse manager, not someone you want running your team and coaching these young guys.

      • willis

        And Sveum is any better? The guy is an idiot with no idea how to manage a game, let alone teach any kind of fielding discipline. Have you ever heard him talk? Hell he’s threatening Castro and Rizzo with AAA demotions.

        Both are terrible. I think that’s fair.

  • Kyle

    I’m simply not willing to give a “well, they weren’t really trying” pass to a team that committed almost $100 million to free agents in the offseason, with $50 million being spent on this year’s team.

    As frustrating as it is, though, to be on the butt end of variance yet again, this team has probably played better than 5-11. They’ve been a bit on the unlucky side in one-run games, and they’ve been unfortunate enough to be 13th in the NL in runs/game despite being 9th in OPS. They’re pitching staff has been 8th in the NL In xFIP. It does hurt that the defense is dead last with -10.1 runs in UZR.

    Combine it all, something like 7-9 would probably be a fairer representation of how they’ve played. But a slow start pretty much seals in the upcoming rostermaggedon firesale, so they are going to have a very, very bad record by the end of the season.

    • Jp3

      Amen, there are a lot of cubs fans that are 98 years old and would’ve preferred to not have seen a 3-5 year rebuilding process. What’s Toronto’s minor league system ranked? I like that they went for it a little this offseason even though some of their moves aren’t panning out. I like they are still developing young players but still going for it a bit.

      • http://Isa Voice of reason

        The cubs tried for years and years to buy pennants by adding free agents and where did it get them? How many world series did they win?

        The cubs are doing it right this time.

        Develop the minor league system and fill in with free agents where you don’t have kids ready to step in.

        There were many people who died without seeing the cubs win a world series in their lifetime and there is no guarantee they will win a world series doing it this way.

        I like the way they are doing it now because the old way of trying to sign free agents for years and years and years wasn’t working.

        Don’t you understand that?

        • Jp3

          I think there is a happy medium between developing your minor league system and signing all the players. I think tanking on purpose by putting a terrible team on the field is unbecoming of a big market franchise. The Atlanta Braves have been developing young players for years and still spend some money on FA. I’m only in my mid 30’s, I’ve got time I’m just saying other people may not appreciate torpedoing a couple seasons.

          • http://Isa Voice of reason

            I agree with what you are saying, but here is the problem with what you are saying right now….

            The cubs have no kids ready to step up so under your equation they would have to sign free agents at almost every position and that’s not logical.

            What they are doing is developing the minor leagues like they never have. In two years they will be ready to do what you suggest. Get free agents where they don’t have kids.

            Right now do you think they want dejesus and shierholtz and Stewart of whomever at third? They would much rather have vitters and soler and Jackson or some other kids in those positions. The problem is absolutely nobody is ready to step in. It’s disgusting and shows how terrible henry was as a general manager.

            But, this is what they have to do. They are just getting by and letting the kids develop. Then they will do them plan you suggest. Add free agents with good home grown talent.

            • Bric

              I was one of the first to start criticizing Hendry on this web site (shortly after the Milton Bradley signing) and was usually shot down early and often because of it. That’s cool because everybody has an opinion. But the one thing I could never get past was his apparently hypocritical statements in regard to the minors (which we’ve finally seen in the last 2-3 years).

              He was always saying drafting is a crapshoot and you want quantity of quality, and though there aren’t any players in the top 100 prospects, the Cubs are loaded between 100 and 200, blah blah blah…

              The big question I always had for the Hendry defenders was if his minor league development was so deep, then why the need to keep bringing in free agents? I’m glad to see guys like Kaplan and Levine are finally starting to admit something any logical person could see 5 years ago… Hendry’s plan didn’t make any sense and he just refused to admit he was F’ing it up. Everyone makes mistakes but if you don’t learn from them you’re going make them again. Something for the current front office to think about.

          • HubbaBubba

            As soon as you talk about trading away any young talent to get a more mediocre result now, I say you have traded away the opportunity to really build something great in the long run

            A lot of the signings for this year haven’t yet panned out as expected (to allow a better mediocrity this year), but hopefully they can build into tradeable assets as the year goes on and we can look forward to an improved 2014 and beyond!

        • Dave

          By years and years do you mean 2007-2010 becaus that’s the only time I remember as a Cub fan that they spent money on free agents with the idea of trying to buy a team to win the WS.
          It may not have worked but you’re wrong in thinking that’s how they operated for years.

          • Jp3

            Yeah I remember fielding a team that consisted of a lot of Steve Buechelle and Doug Doecenzo type players. I remember the Chicago Tribune not wanting to fork over money for anyone really.

        • brickhouse

          The Cubs tried to buy their way to a winner 1 time and it produced playoff teams in 2007 and 2008. As for what they are doing now is the same approach every team is doing now. Their disadvantage is a bad local tv deal and Ricketts needing to pay off his heavy debt.

        • Reality Check

          back in 1969, banks-Williams-santo-beckert-kessinger were all home grown and fergie was traded using homegrown talent. FA did’t even exist till the 1970;s so in 105 yrs of losing; only 40 had the potential for FA to “screw” the cubs as you say; so your point is completely wrong. what don’t you UNDERSTAND???

          the 1984 team was built with mostly trades and home grown talent……..very few impact FA…..

          the 1989 team had Dawson and that was really it.

          so no……FA is not this evil methodology as you state; Hendry used it to make the playoffs 3 times in 10 yrs; most than any other cubs GM. no they did not win it all, but when is the last time you saw a team up 3 to 1 and lose like in 2003…….oh yeah the 1984 team. and the 2008 team was by far the best in the NL and “choked” in the playoffs due to the pressure.

          no guarantee the “suspects called prospects” pan out nor deal with the 100 plus yrs of pressure either.

          • Die hard

            Banks came from the Negro leagues and Beckert minor league deal.. I believe Kessinger was major league ready after great college career– only Williams and Santo truly home grown

          • RoughRiider

            Die Hard is correct for the most part.
            Kessinger was signed and played a couple of months in Fort Worth and then was brought up to stay in 1964. Jenkis did not come in a trade using “home grown talent. The Cubs traded Larry Jackson (spent several years with the Cards before the Cubs) and Bob Buhl (Spent several years with the Braves before) Beckert was originally signed by Boston and came to the Cubs in the “1962 first-year draft”.

    • jt

      The team is basically good enough to get to one-run games
      The team just sucks in one-run games
      There is no luck involved….they just suck in tight games
      Soriano is not a gracefully diving OF’er.
      Rizzo and Castro still have edges that need to be honed
      Marmol is good enough for this team but not good enough for one of Championship caliber.
      Fuji and Camp are not youngsters.
      *
      Some players just have to improve if they are to get good.
      Some players just have to be replaced if they are to get good.
      But the needed up-grade in both cases in not that great.

    • jdblades

      lI want be 100 million, I believe more like 90 million anyway, because all of the one year and expiring contracts will be traded, except the ones that nobody will take. Which means half the salaries of the guys traded, so they are basically signing most of the free agents just to trade them. There opening day team salary will drop anywhere from 10-15 million. Ricketts is paying off that 40 million dollar debt per year, so until revenue comes from the renovation, brace yourselves for some hair puling, remote slamming, and kicking you’re dog days. Don’t blame Theo and company blame Ricketts, that silver spooned devil.

  • The Dude Abides

    Good play starts with putting the best possible team on the field. We have not done that we have put together a team that fits a long term plan. How can anyone be surprised this team is not any good?

    Unless they bail on the plan we will trade anyone other teams find worthwhile and back fill with either a call up or released player from another team.

    Anyone who thought we would get off to a fast start and compete with the Reds & Cardinals is in denial or have forgotten what a quality major league team is supposed to look like…

    • Kyle

      I’m honestly having trouble thinking of any situation where we didn’t put our best players on the field. This isn’t like last April when it felt like if the pitching matchups lined up right, Iowa might be a favorite over Chicago.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      Dude, where have you been? This team isn’t trying to keep up with the reds or cardinals this year. This team doesn’t care about defense or offense. It’s just getting by until the kids are ready to come up and replacing most of the bums on the current roster.

      This cubs team is probably the worst ever. It’s getting rid of all the bad contracts and developing it’s minor league system for two years from now.

      Most of the bums on the field this year won’t even be around next year.

      • caryatid62

        You realize that they’re going to be “just getting by” for the next 2-3 years, right? There’s nothing on the horizon this year or next.

        • willis

          Without any major moves, nope, nothing good coming. But you’ll hear the same bullshit song and dance from this ownership and management. Just playing us all.

  • Frank

    Brett,
    What are the chances Sveum says the hell with it and quits after the season? This guy is expected to make a meal with 6 month old leftovers and fried turds.

  • TommyK

    If the problem is “years of mismanagement”, how is Sveum supposed to fix it? Seems unfair to him.

    • Jp3

      Sveum should’ve told theo to call him in about 3 years and he’d be glad to take the job then. I’m beginning to think someone on this site was right the other day when they said his bonus structure as follows:

      .500 winning %- $100k
      .400 %- $200k
      .300%- $750k
      😃

  • MichiganGoat

    I choose to blame the rooftops and Tunney for all the errors.
    ;)

    • RoughRiider

      I blame it on “the curse”
      To break the curse they should start serving
      Greek Salads with Feta Cheese
      Slouvaki with goat meat
      Goat Milk Yougurt
      Goat Burgers
      All Cub fans should start eating goat. http://www.ehow.com/how_2074854_cook-goat.html

  • Dean

    “Moreover, if the Cubs want to have the ability to shop guys like Scott Hairston, Scott Feldman, and whichever other guy you tab who isn’t currently performing, Sveum’s going to have to keep giving them the opportunity to perform.”

    The Scotts and the rest of the washed up junk in the dugout are not tradeable assets. I keep hearing this idea of trying to get value out of these guys, by making trades, but I just don’t see it. What are you possibly going to get from Feldman, Hairston, Baker, Stewart, etc. that will net anything other than middling, at best, prospects?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’ve never understood this attitude. Every move matters, especially when they aggregate. Are we supposed to believe that the only trades that matter are the ones that are guaranteed to net a top 50 prospect?

      Marginal players have value, whether it is in exchange for a flawed but interesting prospect, or as an addition to a larger trade.

      • caryatid62

        I’ve never understood the attitude that almost exclusively signing players that can, at best, allow you to acquire C prospects is a viable way to create a competitive baseball team.

        It is not the acquisition of marginal players that is the problem. It is the acquisition of marginal players at the exclusion of any other type of acquisition (Jackson excepted) that is the problem.

      • Dean

        I have no problem with a couple of “let’s hope for the best” signings. The problem is the Cubs have done a number of these types of signings since Theo got here and it has really added nothing, nor will it add anything that will lead to a championship. The idea that you’re going to catch lightning in a bottle over and over is just false hope and, so far, appears to be a bad way to run a baseball team.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I don’t want to beat a dead horse, but did you have a beef with the Paul Maholm signing? Because it was very much this type of deal, and from my perspective, it worked out quite well. (As did the Reed Johnson deal, which supplemented the Maholm trade.)

          • Dynastyin2016

            ??? If this worked out so well, should we, at the very least, be hearing how great Visciano is coming along? The silence is scary.

  • paul

    move castro to 3rd find a ss help your D

    • jt

      Valbuena has an OPS of 0.801 and has played great defense
      Castro has an OPS of 0.802 and has made errors.
      You want to put Castro at a position he really has not played much and put Valbuena on the bench?
      OK!

  • Tom A.

    This seems highly logical ! They set a bad vibe to this season.

  • Blublud

    I still think this team can be good, but if they are going to play like this, we might as well go ahead and get rid of Sori, DD, Hairston, Jackson, Garza and a few other as soon as possible. If we are going to suck, might as well suck with the young guys.

    Also, I think Sveum is to blame for the majority of the mistakes that are being made. He is the manager, and if the guys are not going to listen to him, then it time for him to go. We need to find a manager that can have some control over the players and help the figure out there problems, not one that’s just as baffled as we are. Plus he runs his mouth to much. Sveum is no long for this job.

    • Blublud

      Damn, how many typos can I put in one post?

  • Die hard

    Could it be the weather? Playing in Chicago in April is brutal… could it be that Cub starters aren’t assured that will pitch 8 innings and forget about pitch count? Would build confidence as well as stamina.. Could it be that Castro should be a CF?.. I’ve argued that before and was attacked by the 4 headless horsemen… He’s not an infielder and would show more power without the grind on infield play… Could it be that team is not built for speed or power … Gotta pick one… Surely not built for defense which hurts pitching… Many other reasons are out there why as built this team needs 6 runs a game to have a chance to win… Better starter production, better speed and better defense would drop that to 4 a game

    • RoughRiider

      I’ve never gone along with the weather being the problem. It’s the same weather for both teams.

      • Die hard

        No because other teams leave but Cubs stay and it wears on them over time

        • RoughRiider

          I usually agree with you “Die Hard” but not this time.

          What’s the excuse for the last 2 days. They were too warm ? The only team this year that has a winning record against the Cubs, in Wrigley, is the Giants who play in colder weather than the Cubs through the entire season.
          If it’s such a problem maybe the Cubs should move their spring training to Payson or Sedona so they can get used to it.

          • Die hard

            You answered your own question– Giants are used to it– Cubs play in 4 seasons but Giants in one

            • RoughRiider

              So…. That means it doesn’t wear on the Giants over time?

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      Diehard…. Sum it all up by saying this is the worst cubs team ever.

      They can’t hit, they can’t play defense, the pitching is below average…. It’s everything that bad teams are!!!!!’

      It is the 2013 Chicago cubs, the worst cubs team in franchise history.

      • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

        The worst cubs team ever will be in about three years

        • Jp3

          Will we be working on the new plan by then or still the old one?

      • RoughRiider

        Trust me. In my 50 + yeras of watching the Cubs. There have been worse.

        • RoughRiider

          Still miss that edit option.

        • http://Isa Voice of reason

          Based on wins and losses there were only two teams worse than last year.

          This year they could break the all time loss record.

          And, when you figure in expansion and how there are so many average teams and yet this team stands out to be soooooo bad it shows that this is the worst cubs team ever.

          The defense, the offense and the bullpen are teerrrrrrriiibbbblllleeee!!!!!!!!

          Even when garza returns the starting pitching will be close to average, yet still a bit below average.

          It’s terrible, but they’re working on it.

          • RoughRiider

            While wins and losses do matter, In my opinion that it is not what determines a better or worse team. Look at the 1966 team. The record was horrible but if you look at the players on the team it was a pretty good collection of players with 4 future HOF players. All 4 of the infielders and the catcher made the ALL-Star game one season. (Not 1966).
            I will say that this team (2013) while. in my opinion was not the worse, it is on the list as one of the worst. As you said “It’s terrible, but they’re working on it”

  • another JP

    These kind of losses are discouraging but it makes no sense to go off the deep end over the first 10% of games played. The schedule will get easier in May and if the Cubs are only 4 or 5 games under .500 by May 31 that would be a reasonable expectation for this team. Outside of the poor defense there has been an overall improvement in the pitching and the offensive numbers of the primary starters isn’t too bad… just need to hit with RISP.

    • Die hard

      Easier for who? The teams playing the Cubs?

  • walterj

    Move Castro to 3rd , move Barney to ss , and bring up Watkins to play 2b .

    • @cubsfantroy

      [img]http://www.ivygateblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/923-facepalm.gif[/img]

  • mudge

    Barney’s injury is on Sveum. And the by-the-book use of the bullpen has cost three games they would have won if he’d allow Russell to pitch two, two plus innings. Marmol could do the same when he’s on. Beyond that, the team needs to put a damn center fielder in center field.
    Platoons can work. But when you start platooning half your team, it smacks of letting the opposition define what your team is that day. Psychology plays a much larger role in this game that some of the number-crunchers here will ever acknowledge. Stats measure the past. The game is played in the moment. If your reliever is throwing well, let him pitch.

  • Jp3

    Brett, what in the world was that jibberish? Was someone trying to ride your coat tails and put a link to another site up or something? That’s BS

  • Koyie Hill Sucks

    This team is not at bad as everyon makes it out to be, that is what makes the losses more frustrating. The starting pitching has been good, you have plenty of hitters with respectable numbers but no one can get it done when it matters, that goes for the bullpen, defense and offense. That has to fall on the coaching staff for the most part, imo…

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      Koyie hill sucks,

      Either you have been drinking too much cubs kook aid or you have no idea what a good baseball team is.

      This is the worst cubs team ever.

      You said that no one can get it done when it matters. That is the difference between good teams and bad teams. The cubs are a bad team.

      The offense, the defense and the bullpen are horrible. The only thing close to average is the starting pitching and even with garza it gets closer to just average.

      It’s bad. You can sugar coat it however you want, but this team will find many different ways to lose. It could be pitching one game, hitting the next, defense the next, but ultimately you can sum it all up by saying it’s the worst cubs team ever!!

      But, they’re working on things. Just have to be patient.

      • Koyie Hill Sucks

        I didn’t say they are a good team, I said they have the players to have a much better record than they currently do.
        The fact that they have lost so many close games shows that. This team has lost because they can’t bat a runner in when they have to, the bullpen blows it or defensive errors. That has to fall on the coaching, imo…

        • http://Isa Voice of reason

          What does the fact that they have lost so many games show?

          Don’t you see the fact that they can’t bat a runner in when they have to and that the bullpen blows or that they make defensive errors are an accumulation of how terrible they are?

          There are other teams that make the same types of errors, but don’t do it as often as other teams which makes them better.

          The cubs make different mistakes every night which leads to losses more often than other teams.

          That’s the difference between good and bad teams and since the cubs do it more than other teams they are TERRIBLE!

          • http://Isa Voice of reason

            I love it when people say they are a better team than their record shows.

        • Bric

          The difference between winning and losing is about as close as that last ball was to hitting the ground Friday night and tying the game. The Cubs may not be as bad as the record indicates (if there is such as a thing as a moral victory) but at some point they’re just going to have to start making plays. The defensive lapses and inability to execute with runners on base is inexcusable.

          Either these guys have got to start executing or they really are just as bad as their record indicates. They can’t make plays when they need to- translation: they’re really, really bad.

          • http://Isa Voice of reason

            The cubs are exactly as good as their record shows…. They are brutal, terrible and awful all wrapped up in one.

            Either you people drink too much cub Kool aid or you have know idea how to evaluate baseball talent.

            • Bric

              This is true- I have know idea.

            • RoughRiider

              “Either you people drink too much cub Kool aid or you have know idea how to evaluate baseball talent”

              That is not the “voice of reason”

              Maybe you should change your name to: Attack Fellow Cub Fans Who May Not Completly Agree with Me.

              I believe you are better than that.

              • http://Isa Voice of reason

                I cannot stand excuses. Bad defense…. No pitching…. No hitting…..

                The 2013 are all those things and more and when you add it up they are terrible.

                I just have to relax. People who say they aren’t as bad as their record don’t have a clue, but it bothers me and I have to say something.

                Or, when someone says they aren’t that bad on paper…. I’m no rocket scientist, but I certainly knew when I looked at this team in the winter that they were going to lose 90 plus games again.

                People have to step outside of the cub love and say it like it is. I’m sure there are some Astros fans who saynthey aren’t as bad as their record, too…..

                That’s ridiculous.

          • DocPeterWimsey

            We cannot really worry about “inability to execute with runners on base.” How a team does over a 3 week stretch *relative to their overall BA* makes no predictions about how they will do over the next 3 week stretch (again, relative to their overall BA).

            There is one caveat: “relative to their overall BA.” OK, the BABiP goddess plays a role. But this team does not hit particularly well under any circumstance: it’s not like they go from looking like Tony Gwynn with the leadoff batters to pitchers after that. Obviously, with only 500 or so PAs, the error bars on the team performance are still pretty big: but this is much more predictive of future 3 week runs.

            This is the biggest problem: how frequently the Cubs are batting with men on base. That is (once again) near the bottom of the league. Part of it is bad BABiP luck. Strikeouts are not a big reason: the Cubs are basically NL league average there. The huge part of it is, yet again, the fact that this team does not draw walks. We’ll see a lot of 3 week stretches like that.

            • Bric

              Thanks, Doc but let me restate the question. What stat correlates the percentage of runs scored compared to the runners in scoring position? I get that BABip and OPS can show a positive likelihood of scoring but the only stat I’m concerned with is the percentage of players that reach 2nd and actually score (similar to the red zone in football). Whatever stat that is the Cubs have got to be dead last, especially considering so many of their runs thus far have come from the long ball, no?

  • Big Joe

    Pressure to win?
    Huh??
    Really???
    With a franchise that hasn’t “won” in over a century, I would argue that there is little, to “no” pressure to win.
    The team came into the 2013 season, with the realization that it wouldn’t be competitive, much less, a “winner”. Where’s the pressure?
    Now, there must be, and should be, pressure to show improvement. Hopefully, marked improvement. I understand that. But, “pressure to win”? I don’t see that at all.
    Who were the Cubs lying to this spring? The fans? The media? Themselves? I say, nobody. The front office was very open with all involved. It laid out ZERO expectations, as far as competitiveness is concerned.
    This is a very bad team. This team has a few retainable pieces, as far as a competitive product is concerned…YEARS down the road. I wouldn’t hesitate to say that 80% of the 25 man roster will have turned over, by the next time the Cubs are a playoff team.
    Pressure? Please…
    There’s “pressure” in D.C.. There’s “pressure” in L.A., and Texas. In a city…hell, in a country, where everyone knows you’re terrible…where’s the “pressure” to succeed???
    Now, I read guys that blame the prior front office. I won’t take the time to count up the number of guys on this team, that were here when the prior front office was in charge. There are few. Very few.
    Jim Hendry isn’t the guy who’s picking up has-beens on the waiver wire, to patch up his bullpen, or add “organizational depth, and filler”. Jim is gone.
    Theo is here. Has been. Will be.
    When is he held accountable?
    I love this organization as much as the next fan. Maybe, more than most. But, I am growing more than a little disenchanted with “the plan”. I’m starting to fall in line with the “build from within, without sacrificing success at the major league level” crowd. I believe it can be done. I think that dollars are the reason it’s not happening.
    I think that the organization, on the contrary, feels absolutely no “pressure” to speed up the process, at all.
    My pitcher is out of Kool-Aid.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      There certainly is no pressure to win from the FO or coaching staff so I don’t buy the “pressure to win” sentiment…

      • Carew

        There is a HUGE amount of pressure. The fans want wins. We’ve been waiting, man.

  • James

    Apparently a Brewer “stole first” for the first time ever this week, confounding bookkeepers.

    The Rickets family are stealing our revenues, confounding Cubs fans.

    http://www.theverge.com/2013/4/20/4247638/baseball-player-steals-first-confounding-scorekeeping-software

  • http://Isa Voice of reason

    Why would anyone care or hold any credibility with anything Dave Kaplan says?

    He is a great puppet for the cubs organization and that’s it.

    Of course he had his little cheerleader outfit on and jumped up and down for hendry. That’s how he is.

    It should tell you everything you need to know about Kaplan that he was henrdrys little cheerleader while he was here and now that he is gone he bad mouths him.

    Dave, why weren’t you running your mouth that hendry was mismanaging the team while hendry was actually managing the team.

    Kaplan has no credibility at all.

  • Dustin S

    The problem for Sveum is that it’s not looking like the farm is going to be much help this year either. It’s very early there too, but my 2 cent review on the early farm this year…

    Most likely for a call-up soon:
    Yoanner Negrin (haven’t heard a whole lot about him tbh) is pitching lights-out in the pen at Iowa. 9.2 IP, 0 runs, 13K, 2 walks. Ryan Sweeney and Brian Bogusevic are very hot too, but they would require some moves to free up some already crowded OF roster room.

    The good:
    Soler, Vogelbach, Szczur, Jae-Hoon Ha and Alcantara are off to good to decent starts. Unfortunately though all of them are at AA or below. Making the double-jump from AA probably won’t happen, but if I were in the FO I would at least entertain the idea of a 2nd half call-up of Alcantara for short with Castro playing third. He seems like the kind of player that could give the team a spark.

    The bad:
    Baez .214 BA, Jackson 15 Ks in 42AB, Christian Villanueva .222.

    The ugly:
    Almora and Lake have been out hurt as most know. Josh “Welcome to Applebee’s” Vitters went on the DL after 1 AB. Outside of Sweeney, Bogusevic, Negrin, and maybe Blake Parker the call-up pool at Iowa looks pretty thin. If Jackson continues his current line I don’t see any reason to even call him up. His Iowa line with the new swing so far looks almost identical to last year, way too many Ks and low OBP. Last thing this team needs is another .200 hitter. My guess is that he will get a call-up at some point anyway just out of desperation.

    This is all important for the Sveum discussion because we are only 10% into the season and the fire him talk is already warming up. Fast-forward until August when this team is ~40-80, and if the farm call-ups didn’t miraculously turn things around, and I can only imagine how hot things are going to get for him from the fans and Chicago media. I almost choked on my breakfast when I saw someone say we should have kept Quade. In theory this team will be even worse than now once Soriano, Dejesus, and anyone else they can find a taker for is dealt. He’s definitely made some questionable managerial moves IMO, but it’s so hard to judge a manager with this roster.

    • Koyie Hill Sucks

      I’m buying into the idea that Sveum was just hired to shut up and take it(the 100 loss seasons), he will most likely will be replaced once the team is ready to compete…

  • Stu

    The time that the Cubs will be good is when attendance hits a critical low. They are currently about 4K below last year. The weather probably has some to do with it.

    I assume that if they hit a low of 25K, the purse strings will open up a little and they will be forced to “overpay” for talent.

    What I don’t get out of the FO apologists is why is it in the fans interest for them to “maximize” profits? Were the Cubs in 2008 less interesting to watch because they were blowing money on FA contracts? No there was more of an urgent need to win. Until the Cubs feel an urgent need to win, there will be more handwaiving, meaningless statistics, etc.

    • http://401klogic.net Westbound Willie

      What talent? There are hardly any free agent talent hitting the market anymore. Everybody that is reasonably young will talent is signing long term team friendly contracts. The fa pool is over and if someone like Hamilton or ap hits the market the east coast or west coast teams will be there signing them. When was the last time the cubs signed a top free agent and the garbage know as soriano doesn’t count. The answer is never.

      There’s caps on international spending and draft pool players. A team that stinks from top to bottom has almost an impossible task to even win a division much less a World Series.

      And I don’t think the other 29 teams are going to stop trying to get better while the cubbies meander along.

  • Stu

    What information does Theo have that other GM’s don’t?

  • Crazyhorse

    Funny blame Hendry soon that wont carry any wieght, besides The players that make todays mental mistakes have been coached by this front office for the past year . i guess improvement is not their speciality either. I get it Hendry was a BAD BAD GM- And This GM and front office is almost as bad as well.

    Kinda make you wonder no improvement in over a year _who is to blame ? Losers find excuses and pass the blame game. This team is bad and its the front office fault and they should own up to it. The Cubs should not be this bad on paper. The blame is on the manager.

    • http://Isa Voice of reason

      Crazy horse,

      First you say the team is bad and it’s the front offices fault.

      Then in the next sentence you say the blame is on the manager.

      Which is it? Pick a lane!!’m

    • Coach K

      “The players that make todays mental mistakes have been coached by this front office for the past year”

      I was unaware that the front office was also coaching as well. You would think that they would hire, like, I dunno…. Coaches, to do that for them.

  • Fastball

    When your supposed to be managing and you have results like this day after day. It is no longer the players. You can say its all on the players. But if you can’t lead you simply don’t have the chance to succeed. Sveum is not a manager he was a hitting coach and that’s what he should have stuck with. Sandberg is a leader. He led winning teams at all levels in the minors as a manager with subpar talent. This team could be worse than last years. I will bet it might be. Players need a positive environment. Without that I doubt you see improvement. It’s going to be harder to break the negativity and losing ways when it’s all these players are experiencing. No way does these kids in the minors come up and change anything. You have to kill the cancer. Sveum at a minimum has to go. Theo can go hire Ryno and start this in the right direction. Otherwise he is going to ruin Castro, Rizzo, Castillo and Barney. All they will know is losing and the cancer will have spread to far before Sler, Baez, Almora and the rest show up. A rookie manager was probably the worst decision Theo has made thus far. At least Sandberg had experience as a manager in the minors and his players believed in him and played for him. These guys don’t believe nor do they play. The Black Knight needs to sharpen his long blade and kill the cancer now.

  • BubblesHargrave

    I love the Cubs, as I’ve said I am probably one of the few people who can claim that I was once a Cardinals fan. All of my fans ridicule me continually for making the switch, but I’ve stuck with them. That being said, coming from being a fan of a well run organization such as St. Louis, I can’t believe what I see from the management of this organization. I can see it in some of the fans as well as the guy who runs this site. So much failure and dissapointment has given Cubs fans a warped sense of reality. I continually use Marmol as an example. No other team would’ve continued to give that guy a job as a closer after all his hideous failings no matter what is contract status. Yet, they continue to try to find ways to nurse him back into that role. Brett has tried to justify it, and some of you who comment regularly have. And I’m sitting here witnessing all his shaky and blown 9ths just astounded at the stupidity. That’s just one example of the way losing for as long as the Cubs have has screwed with the judgement of the team and organization. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the team, the losing atmosphere is infectious and contageous. Another example is the fact that they continue to ignore the fact that Wrigley Field definitely plays a role in the losing. Instead of being addicted to some nostalgia of a losing shrine, can’t the Cubs see that this place is conducive to losing? I don’t know how the Cubs can turn around the mentality, because it is a mental state that leads to their suckiness. It really has little to do with the team on the field. But I think it starts with moving out of Wrigley and people being willing to be the bad guy and say things like I just said.

  • Fastball

    Not saying Ryno had to be the guy instead of Sveum. I blame Theo for tanking last year and this year. He built this roster and he says he wants win. Please…. These guys want to win I am sure of it. They aren’t on par from a talent perspective. RF, CF, 3B, The entire BP and bench probably couldn’t make any other ML roster except Houston. It’s a sad truth.
    Theo came here and made losing acceptable last year and this year again. You reap what you sow. You plant the losing seed that’s what your going to get. I like Theo and think he has a good plan in the minor leagues. He has made some significant errors at the Major League level.

  • Fastball

    Amen.. Brother… I am ate the reds series this week. Free skybox otherwise I would rather play golf. I’m wearing jersey amongst reds fans and I will have to hear it loud and clear the next 3 games. After 52 years of being a Cub fan I don’t throw stones from my glass house as a Cubs fan. I have seen all the former regimes. I’m not not going to believe in this one until they get above .500.

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