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wrigley field from right bleachersI’m headed back to the right field bleachers today, which will hopefully be a better experience – on a variety of levels – than yesterday’s disappointing/freezing game. Also, I hope that I won’t nearly be pooped on by a seagull today.

Game Info

Cincinnati Reds (16-14) at Chicago Cubs (11-18), 12:05 CT on CSN.

Game Thread and Series Preview

The Game Thread lives here. You should participate in the madness. And, of course, for those who aren’t into message board-style game threads, please feel free to use the comments on this post for your in-game commentary/outbursts.

The Series Preview for this series lives here.

Game Tickets

If you’re looking for Chicago Cubs tickets for today’s game (or any future games), you can use that TiqIQ link there for the secondary market. There are also some available on Cubs.com.

Starting Pitchers

Tony Cingrani (2-0, 1.50 ERA, 14.0 K/9)

versus

Jeff Samardzija (1-4, 3.35 ERA, 11.2 K/9)

Cincinnati Reds Lineup

(Actual lineup not yet released at the time of this writing, so here’s a best guess as I head out to the ballpark.)

1. Shin-Soo Choo, CF

2. Zack Cozart, SS

3. Joey Votto, 1B

4. Brandon Phillips, 2B

5. Jay Bruce, RF

6. Todd Frazier, 3B

7. Xavier Paul, LF

8. Devin Mesoraco, C

9. Tony Cingrani, P

Chicago Cubs Lineup

1. Dave Sappelt, CF

2. Cody Ransom, 3B

3. Anthony Rizzo, 1B

4. Alfonso Soriano, LF

5. Starlin Castro, SS

6. Welington Castillo, C

7. Scott Hairston, RF

8. Darwin Barney, 2B

9. Jeff Samardzija, P

  • True blue

    Wow, this season feels like it is already over. I am nervous the front office does not have it together for a few reasons. First, we are not seeing improvement year over year. Second, Epstein is not a closer. How many deals were supposedly completed that fell through? Third, the change in the draft. How can you keep the same plan to build up the farm system when the rules changed so dramatically? If they continue to think we are going to only build through the farm system and not grab free agents that can help the team even if you have to over pay some then we all be this upset in 5 years. This is a terrible team and the Cubs management should be ashamed of themselves. I wish someone else would have bought the Cubs. Ricketts please sell the Cubs to someone who gets it.

    • X The Cubs Fan

      They’ll go after big name free agents but they’re zero point to sign a guy like Josh Hamilton because he’s already like 31 and was way overpaid but they’ll go after Robinson Cano if hits the market I can assure if the right guys are there they’ll go after them. The failed deals do you mean Dan Haren, Ryan Dempster and Anibal Sanchez right? Look at it this way Arodys Vizcaino has a higher ceiling anyway plus they got Kyle Hendricks and Christian Villanueva. Sanchez and Haren aren’t even pitching that good so far. We all knew deep down they were gonna blow this year anyway. The farm is very inspiring.

      • X The Cubs Fan

        Vizcaino has a higher ceiling than Delgado

        • Rebuilding

          Sanchez is pitching like a good #2. Haren has been lights out lately. I hope you’re right X, but recent statements from Epstein indicate the payroll is maxed out. I don’t think there is a chance in hell that we outbid the Yankees or Dodgers for Cano

          • Anonnifan

            I’m not saying we are going to get him, but I think we have a chance in hell of getting him if the Yankees don’t extend him during the season. Cano has nothing to prove, and bringing a WS title to Chicago would be the pinnacle of any players career. With Sori’s money off the books, the Cubs might have the money to land Can without increasing payroll.

    • Anonnifan

      Being a Cubs fan right now might not be easy, but its easier than being a Blue Jays fan.

  • Deacon

    Epstein has stated on record that he thinks walking away from a deal is a good thing. So from that perspective, I don’t think you can be surprised when the Cubs are unable to consummate them as I think it’s Theo’s indecisiveness. I don’t think he wants to make a deal unless he’s SURE it’s a good one.

    In the past, Theo has also called himself “the Jewish god of illegitimate closers” (or something like that) so I think his Sabermetrics or whatever undervalues the position and thinks he can find someone on the cheap to do the job. He probably feels validated by Gregg so far from that perspective.

    But yeah. Sveum using the guy with the 0.00 ERA in the 7th against the bottom half of the lineup to use Marmol in the 8th against the heart of the lineup once again shows that he’s just so totally obsessed with historical stats and lefty-righty matchups that he misses the current game in front of him.

  • Carew

    Can we just release Marmol? Forget the money issue. Release him and bring up Negrin (spelling?). He’s been great in Iowa.

    • mudge

      Wait till after Jackson’s start. Might need Marmil to throw innings 2 & 3.

  • 5412

    Hi guys,

    I would not suggest bailing on the Ricketts plan just yet. How do you measure progress?. In a conversation I had with him he said his biggest surprise was the terrible shape that the minor leagues and player development system was in. They knew it was bad, but had no idea it was THAT bad.. I had done an analysis for a manuscript I have yet to get printed, in collaboration with a friend who is a baseball insider and I can telll you it was awful. The Tribune really had no interest in spending a dime to improve their product in the long term. Recall one of the first things Ricketts did was add 1/3 more people to the scouting and player development payroll just to bring the team up to par with the rest of the league.

    Now, with that being said, I look at rebuilding the Cubs as similar to a guy who started a pecan grove. You can plant the seedlings and it takes a long time for them to produce; Each year he spent more money in building his crop and took some big losses. But when they finally did produce he made a lot of money.

    The criteria we must use is for evaluation is relevant to the status of the Cub farm systems ability to feed the big club. They were at zero when Epstein took over. Unless you are lucky and get a couple to come right off the college campus to be impact players, it takes 3-5 years; particularly when you are signing young kids like Baez right out of high school.

    The Cubs will not be out from under the Tribune cloud until Marmol and Soriano are gone and a lot of money is freed up for payroll. As of today, I believe the Soriano salary is almost 20% of the entire team payroll.

    I am 73 years old. This is painful to watch. My biological clock is ticking, I want them to win now more than ever. At the same time I see a ton of money put into player development, and they are going about things the right way. Some of those kids looked really sharp in Mesa in the spring. It just takes a few years for them to bear fruit.

    In the meantime, it is going to be really ugly as we are seeing. The positive side is we are close to winning most every game, the scale will tip in our favor sooner than a lot of people realize.

    regards,
    5412

    • Kyle

      “The criteria we must use is for evaluation is relevant to the status of the Cub farm systems ability to feed the big club. They were at zero when Epstein took over. ”

      No offense, but you lose a lot of credibility when you say that.

      The farm system wasn’t where it needed to be, but it definitely wasn’t at zero. I swear to Harry that half the fanbase thinks Javier Baez and Dan Vogelbach were traded for the day after Epstein was hired or something.

      • mudge

        Ever just let one go Kyle? Might be good Karma once in a blue. A little grace.

        • Kyle

          Not even once.

          • mudge

            Give it a shot. You’ll live longer for it.

      • Anonnifan

        They might have had Baez and Vogelbach under Hendry, but would they have developed them into the players they are now with the staff that was in place when Ep took over?

        • Kyle

          Baez sure looks like a Hendry player.

          Of course, Hendry’s staff drafted and developed Samardzija, Barney, Castillo and Castro who are all currently starting for our team.

          It was bad under Hendry. But let’s not overstate things.

          • Anonnifan

            Barney is the only one of that bunch that makes that old staff look good. Castro and Castillo both have problems that might have been weeded out by a better minor league coaching staff. Castro has tremendous plate coverage and contact skills; imagine if that was paired with better pitch recognition and selection. Castillo overswings on pitches he thinks he can crush, and often times whiffs badly on good pitches. That should have been coached out of him in A ball. In retrospect, Samardzija should have never spent a day in the Bullpen. The coaching staff should have worked with him to develop his secondary pitches and stretched him out as a starter. Hendry pulled off some awesome trades that made the Cubs a contender for many years, and he signed Derrick Lee and Ted Lilly. He did a decent job staffing the big league team, but he did it at the expense of the minors.

            • Kyle

              I don’t think it’s as easy to teach pitch recognition as that implies. Even with the emphasis on it from the new front office, we’ve seen no progress from a guy like Baez, who at this point has spent much more time under this regime than the old one.

              I definitely disagree with the hindsight on Samardzija. He spent most of his time in the minors as a starter, but he simply wasn’t ready to do that at the MLB level. I don’t see the need to pile up even more innings on his arm while he learned to harness his skills. When he was ready, it was Hendry who promised him a chance to start 2012 the previous summer if he came to camp prepared for it, so it’s not as if they didn’t plan for what happened all along.

    • George

      So they should give up on games they could be winning with a few minor adjustments & some accountability enforcement all in the name off rebuilding? Why give up on these games when they should & could be winning them ?? We know there rebuilding but no fn exuse to use 5 unwanted scrubs in the bullpen. Why did they go after baker,Jackson, feldman & Villanueva ? Why couldn’t they scrap baker & Feldman & sign 2 or3 strong bullpen arms?? They can’t be this stupid, this was an orchestrated tank for a top pick in 2014 so that they can take a gamble on drafting 2 ace pitchers,with emphasis on gamble. Why tank 2013 on a gamble for a pick in 2014? Why tank2012 for a gamble pick in 2013 when it’s proven time & time again stud pitchers exist in later rounds?

      • RY34

        Totally agree George!

  • Die hard

    Marmol is a starter in relievers clothing… Send him down to start and if ok bring up after All Star game— nothing to lose at this point

    • baldtaxguy

      No he is not.

    • DarthHater

      Marmol has the right to refuse a minor league assignment. Those darn facts just always get in the way, don’t they?

      [img]http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8551/8705395082_5a73fb91cd.jpg[/img]

      • Die hard

        He would accept at this point rather than pick splinters out of that enormous butt

    • Carew

      So you would be ok with 2+ walks and a hit for at least 3-5 innings a start?

      • Die hard

        As I pointed out a month ago he was an avg starter in minors — if he can be avg starter in majors I would take it over a piss pour reliever… Memo to Theo— try it for 60 days

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          Marmol began his major league career as a starter using pretty much the same arsenal of pitches he uses now. Through 13 starts he had numbers like:
          ERA 5.99
          WHIP 1.714
          SO/BB 0.84 (for real… 0.84)
          BB/9 7.32
          K/9 6.12
          HR/9 1.60
          About half the hits he gave up went for extra bases, and about a fifth them were home runs.

          The Cubs moved Marmol to the pen because he was terrible as a starter and his two pitch mix projected better in relief. Given his pitches haven’t changed for the better, I think odds are good that if he moved into the rotation the results would be the same as they were when the Cubs tried it the first time.

          • Jp3

            On a high note, Dillon Maples made another start in Arizona and went 4 innings. I’ve been following his stats and he’s went up each time. That’s good to see, he’s done well in his starts but that’s not as important of how many pitches he’s thrown. He threw 78 pitches in his last start so he’s getting close to being assigned to Kane County I would guess as long as all goes well.

    • George

      Just like there’s talk off starlin castro possibly not being major leage ready from too many mental lapses & errors you can also argue Carlos marmol still belongs in AAA because he hasn’t figured out the mental part off being a major leaguer .To jittery & nervous easily rattled when the game is on the line & at any sign off turbulence.

    • CubsFaninMS

      Marmol is a hot dog stand cashier in relievers clothing.

  • Rebuilding

    Watching the Cardinals comeback to beat the Brewers. Great bullpen, great role players, great situational baseball, alert beserunning. 9th inning, tie game, Shane Robinson gets a hit and hustles to second on a Gomez bobble. Then he sees Aramis cheating for a bunt and steals third. Jay punches one over the drawn in infield and then a perfect bunt to get him to second. As much as it pains me to say it, I hope the Cubs way is the Cardinals blueprint

    • cubfanincardinalland

      The Cardinals bullpen has probably been the worst in baseball so far this season. At the start of the week the bullpen ERA was over 6.00. Winning because they have hit .370 with runners in scoring position(impossible to maintain, and their starters have an era around 2.00(like Jake Westbrook will have an era under 1.00 for the season?). Their usual hot April start, they will play under .500 ball for 100 games this summer just like last year. Not near as good a team as the press and people think. Five rookie or second year pitchers on the team. Kozma, Carpenter, Descalso, Jay would not start for the Cubs.

      • Anonnifan

        You forgot to mention their lousy defense.

    • Chad

      The Cardinal’s bullpen has been shaky at best this year. They’ve lost some guys to injury and just demoted a established reliever. However, they have better players at other positions and like you said play smart baseball. The cubs to me do not play very good situational baseball or play with a low bball IQ. One that stuck out to me today as I was in and out of my afternoon nap was Ransom. Sappelt takes a 0 out walk to begin the inning and he grounds into a double play on the first pitch. Cignari was wild so try to work the count. Boom then Rizzo doubles and Sori jacks his 2nd homer. Could’ve been a big inning. Not the first time failing to hit to the situation has killed the cubbies this year.

      • Rebuilding

        And the Cardinals can bring in a guy like Mujica to close when Motte gets injured. I hope we have that kind of depth one day

      • RY34

        Comparing the Cardinals and their organization to the Cubs is like comparing a Porsche and a Prius, there is no comparison!

        • Die hard

          Why disrespecting Prius?

          • RY34

            No disrespect at all, i am considering getting one for my commute to work!

        • cubfanincardinalland

          The Cubs have still won the division more time than the Cardinals since 2006. They finished nine game out last year and barely snuck in the playoffs. What are you guys so scared of, they ain’t that good.

          • RY34

            You are joking right, they have the second most world series championships after only the Yankees and two in the last seven years? If the Cardinals aren’t that good, I would love to have their problems and 2006- to present is a seriously small sample size! Not scared at all, just respecting their organization.

            • cubfanincardinalland

              Sound like every Peacock fan I know. Most of their World Series were in the 20′s 30′s and 40′s. That is 70 and 80 years ago for crying out loud. In the last 20 years they have just as many titles as the Marlins. Yet we get bombarded by fans and media who think this team is some Celtics or UCLA dynasty team. They will choke just like they often do.
              Can you imagine what the media would have done if the Cubs choked like the Cardinals did against the Giants last year? One of baseballs all time collapses. Yet because it is St. Louis, we hear nothing about how great they are. Baloney.

              • RY34

                I am a cubs fan all the way, i would just love to have the Cardinals problems that you say are so apparently clear!

              • George

                And how many do the cubs have in 104 yrs?

                • RY34

                  again i agree with George but the 104 yr was too painful for me to bring into the discussion!

                • cubfanincardinalland

                  So the Cubs should emulate the Cardinals, because they had some dynasty type teams 70 and 80 years ago. They had a nice ten year run because they had the by far best player in baseball at about one fifth the salary what his production was. They are an aging team of core players, in the process of putting a bunch of rookie and second year players on field. They will fold up this summer.

                  • Kyle

                    The Cubs should emulate the Cardinals because they’ve made the playoffs 9 times in the last 12 seasons, with only one season under .500. They are also in first place and have the consensus No. 1 farm system in baseball.

                    Yeah, I’d like to emulate that.

  • jim

    Tommy rickets does not own/control cubs! Watch the money!! Been tellin u this for two years.

    • Rebuilding

      If you are referencing his Dad I agree with you. If not, I’ve got my tinfoil hat on and am all ears

  • Mr.Boring

    I said a month ago that this is THE WORST TEAM in history. And I took jabs from a few of you. Now everybody is starting to see what I said. Keep buying the tickets and the jerseys and the 5 dollar beers. Keep thinking the dump ballpark is religious ground. And you will keep Developer Rickett’s a Bazillionaire. This is disgusting. We are hanging are hats on kids in Class A ball??????

    • waittilthisyear

      5 dollar beers? i wish

    • RY34

      Totally agree MB, team is a disgrace from the top down!

    • cubfanincardinalland

      What is really frustrating is the fact that this team is really not that bad. Compared to the club that was on the field at the end of last season, it is night and day. The Cubs run differential is minus 20, which should translate to a better record than 11-19. The Phillies are minus 20 and two games under .500. The Cubs have given away four games so far this year.
      Big mistake by the front office to have Marmol on the club from day one. Rookie mistake.
      I had to laugh, my wife and I were at a game last May in Cincy when Marmol just gave the game away. She was amazed when I told her today that Marmol blew another game. Her comment,(and she knows diddly about baseball), “they still have that guy who can’t throw it near home plate most of the time?” How is that possible.
      If it is broke, fix it Theo and Jed, it ain’t rocket science.

      • RY34

        I request that your wife apply for the job! Like you said, it sure ain’t rocket science. I wont watch another game until Marmol is either demoted to double a or lower or released!

    • Anonnifan

      The Cubs have some pretty good players for the worst team in history. Rotation has been solid, middle of the order has some pop, and that guy at 2nd looks pretty decent in the field. I’d say the Cubs are better than some of the teams the Brewers put on the field through the 80s, or the Royals through the 90s, and thats just stretching back into the teams I remember. Don’t lose hope guys, the Cubs have massive holes but they have what is starting to look like a solid foundation to build an actual winning team with. Give it time.

      • Kyle

        For me, that’s what’s even more frustrating. This isn’t the Astros or Marlins. There’s something here.

        Looking at Fangraphs’ Net Win Percentage Added stat, almost all of our problem is in the bullpen. If our bullpen had been league average to day, we’d be .500.

        • Hansman1982

          The worst part, the bullpen shouldn’t be that bad. The guys we have are a decent enough group. Just they aren’t getting the job done, outside of Russell.

        • Anonnifan

          It’d be awesome if the Cubs could have added another 30 million in payroll and shored up those holes right now, but they had to adopt a slower timeline. I honestly believe Epstein when he says he spent all the money he had at his disposal. The money needed to go into the minors for the Cubs to have a chance at becoming a perennial contender and a solid organization. I do understand your frustration though, mostly because good relief pitching can often be had on the cheap, and thats what we need most. Its not like the front office didn’t try to put together a respectable pen, they were probably hoping they had thrown enough arms into the mix that someone would establish themselves in the setup role and be this years Russell. I still have hope that Fujikawa can come back and help stabilize the pen. They took some chances, and they all ended up being busts. Camp, Marmol, Fujikawa, Bowden, and Dolis. Was it really an unreasonable assumption to think that these guys would perform at a respectable level? Take heart in the fact that there is some talent coming into the organization, and Rizzo, Villanueva, Wood, and Feldman are all making the Front Office look like rockstars so far this season. Not a one of them cost us an arm and a leg, and they are the sort of players we can continue to pick out of the pack. There will be some swings and misses, but the talent evaluation, and value recognition is better than I’ve ever seen it with the Cubs.

          • Kyle

            I agree at this point. With all the new information about the restrictions Ricketts agreed to when buying the team (sure seems like he got royally suckered by Sam Zell), I don’t blame Epstein too much. He needs to have a better hit rate on relief pitchers, even cheap ones, but otherwise the blame lies higher up.

            Although I think it’s a little disingenuous to pick out the guys on hot starts and trumpet them as part of the front office. Edwin Jackson was a front office pickup, too (although once you start digging into advanced performance metrics, he’s been fine but Feldman’s been a bust, but luck has reversed them). So were Scott Hairston and Brent Liillibridge. So was Scott Baker. They’ve had plenty of misses for their hits.

            Back to the bullpen, it’s an uphill battle to build a good bullpen without a steady flow of young power arms to feed it. Not only do we not have that, but Dolis, McNutt and Zych have all been super mediocre in AAA and AA so far this year, so it doesn’t look like we’ll be getting it anytime soon. The only guys at AA or higher who look like they might play any part in a big-league bullpen are Vizcaino (if they give up on him as a starter, which I think they’ll eventually have to) and maybe Rosscup could be a middle-innings lefty.

            Using net WPA, our bullpen was 30th last year and roughly 7.5 wins below average, and this year they are off to an even worse start, already down more than 3.5 wins against the league average bullpen. They’re on pace to be more than twice as bad as last year’s dead-last pen, and that’s hard to believe.

            You don’t get to be that awful without a perfect storm of things going wrong and having plenty of blame to go around.

            A) The last regime left the minor league cupboards pretty bare at the upper levels (though it was stronger than the consensus seems to think at the lower levels, but that doesn’t do them much good right now).

            B) They did inherit some decent pen arms in the MLB level, but they found more productive uses for them (Samardzija to the rotation to become a TOR pitcher, Cashner and Marshall in very productive trades).

            C) They’ve done a pretty terrible job of finding cheap, useful pen arms. You can say “Well, the consensus was some of these guys would be OK,” if you like, but for me their job is to beat the consensus. There will always be variance in player performance, but I’d still rather measure decisions on results and not pre-season ZIPS.

            D) They’ve had some negative variance in translating performance to results. Not only has the bullpen been bad this season, it’s had an especially amazing knack for being bad at the worst possible times.

            E) Injuries. It was reasonable to predict Baker’s injury and even Garza’s to an extent, but they did plan on having Fujikawa and at least one of Villanueva/Feldman in the pen right now.

    • Dustin S

      I’m with ya, I said pretty much the same thing a few weeks ago. Maybe not worst ever, but definitely one of the couple least talented in the last 30 years. As bad as 1997 was, that team only lost 94 games. This is a team coming off a 101 loss season and currently on-pace to lose 103 this year, so they’re definitely in contention for worst. The worst tag is totally subjective though.

      I guess the frustrating thing as a fan is that the direction of the team seems a bit off. On the one hand the message is be Committed, be patient while we’re rebuilding. But then you look at this team and the ages are LF-37, CF-33, half of the 3B platoon (Ransom)-37, Closer-34, setup and middle-relief is 30-37, etc. So the direction right now at the major league level feels a bit more like treading water at times than rebuilding. If this team is going to lose 100+ games, at least develop 1 long-term position player this season that can be plugged into the 2014 lineup and fits in the rebuilding plan.

      • Anonnifan

        LF-One year left on his contract (Signed by Hendry)
        CF-One year left on his contract (Awesome clubhouse presence, plays the game the right way, hustles and sets an excellent example for the young players)
        3B Platoon-One year left on his contract (Obvious Stopgap)
        Closer-One year left on his contract (Replacing a high priced player signed by Hendry on a low cost deal)

        Developing 1 long term position player: Anthony Rizzo, Wellington Castillo (though I have zero faith in him)

        There isn’t a single position player on the Cubs minor league roster that I think would benefit from playing in the majors right now. Brett Jackson could start his first full ML season competing to set the all-time single season strikeout record, or he can try to figure out his problems against pitchers who might fuck up and throw him a fastball in the zone. All the kids in AAA had the benefit of shitty coaching while they developed and they have work to do if they are going to stick in the majors. The Cubs were a teardown when the new Front Office arrived. Honestly I’m shocked by how close we are to being good.

      • Kyle

        It is pretty disappointing that we don’t have any long-term solutions breaking in this year. I don’t think Castillo looks like one.

        The bad news is, I don’t think 2014 looks much better. Logan Watkins looks like a platoon 2b at best probably more like a good bench player than an ok starter. Vizcaino will be on an innings restriction or in the bullpen. That’s about it for 2014 call-ups before September cups of coffee.

        • Kyle

          Oh, and you might get a partial season from Appel if you draft him. *Maybe* Gray, but I suspect they’d give him a full year in the minors.

  • IndyCubsFan

    I know Brett was probably at the game today. But, I’m wondering if being speechless regarding Marmol is another reason for the “later than normal” stats from today’s game! lol

  • Dustin S

    Today just reinforced what I said yesterday that it seems like every game/loss (seems like one and the same most days) is primarily due to one of the “let’s build trade value” guys. Yesterday Soriano failing with RISP, today another Marmol meltdown, Loe and Camp in the games before that.

    It was also one of those spoiled games for me. I dvr’d while out for Derby Day festivities and planned to watch it tonight, but someone came up to me cussing about Marmol and how he blew another game. Hate when that happens.

  • Richp

    In the name of political in correctness,being as some of the liberal scum on this site chooses to judge my humor. How ’bout they just chop one of Carlos Marmol’s non pitching fingers off? Is that better than a bullet to the head. Come on,lay your political correctness on me losers. You know who you are.

    • Hansman1982

      Wow, this is, literally, the worst comment ever.

      • Patrick W.

        Go back a page. Apparently, and I’m not 100% certain admittedly, if you are a non Chicago-liberal gun owning Scicillian you would recognize the *incredible* humor in suggesting murder and or maiming a player for a baseball team as motivation for the other players. If you don’t get the joke then you are scum. Finally, if you are offensive the solution is to change your name.

  • 5412

    Hi Guys,

    Did I mention that I did an in depth study of the Cub farm system for my manuscript? Did I mention that one of my son’s college room mates was Baez agent and also the national cross checker for the Angels when they won the World Series?

    When Ricketts bought the team the minor league system was at zero as compared to most every other team in baseball. I know of a case where a player agent had a few top picks in the Cub organization and he had a big argument with Flieta begging him to release all his kids so they could be placed into other organizations that actually developed the players.

    Hendry was operating under a pittance of a budget as compared to most teams.

    Tom Ricketts is committed to putting a winner on the field every year, not a one shot wonder. He is going about doing that the right way and has committed tons of money to build the organization properly. My guess is he is as frustrated as we all are at this point.

    The man is a very sincere, and dedicated owner who is trying to build a winner for us to enjoy. Name one other owner of any sports franchise we in Chicago have supported that is committed to doing just that? Cut him some slack!

    Now, in three years if the product on the field is like the one we see today, I will be the biggest cheerleader screaming we got ripped off but I don’t see that happening.

    BTW, Marmol came up as a starting pitcher and was put in the bullpen because he ran out of gas in the fourth inning consistently.

    regards,
    5412

  • Deacon

    The Cubs’ world according to Manager Dale Sveum….

    “I don’t know if he threw a strike today,” Sveum said after Marmol had walked Zack Cozart and Joey Votto and plunked Brandon Phillips with a pitch. There were a couple of swings but I don’t know if there were any strikes. One way or another, he has to get fixed. He has to pitch. … He has to throw strikes. If he’s out there, he has to pitch. You only have seven (relievers) and they have to pitch.”

    “He still has stuff,” Sveum said. “It gets tough to have any confidence when he’s (putting guys on base) without them getting a hit.”

    On another subject…….

    Ian Stewart’s $2 million salary is guaranteed, but not his return to Wrigley Field. Dale Sveum made that clear. “He’s down there as a Triple-A player,” Sveum said. “(Luis) Valbuena and (Cody) Ransom are our third basemen. That’s how it is now.”

    So to summarize…..If you stink, you won’t be on the team if you’re making $2MM. But if you stink, you WILL be on the team if you’re making $10MM. And if you’re on the team, then according to Sveum, you MUST be given playing time because you don’t have a lot of players on the roster.

    And you can stink up the joint but “still have stuff,” so I guess it must all be a matter of Carlos lacking confidence as opposed to not having any stuff any more….which might explain why he can’t throw strikes.

    • baldtaxguy

      Yes, of course Marmol “has to pitch.”

      I interpreted Sveum’s comment as “if he’s out there, he [Marmol] has to pitch….throw strikes.” Not that…”[at the expense of better options] he [Marmol] has to pitch…”

      There are no better options right now. Once Fujikawa is back and maybe Feldman swings to the bullpen, Marmol should be released.

    • DocPeterWimsey

      “Carlos lacking confidence as opposed to not having any stuff any more….which might explain why he can’t throw strikes.”

      Marmol never threw strikes frequently. He succeeded by getting opposing players to swing at non-strikes. His pitches have always had a ton of movement, which let him get away with missing the strike zone for a while because, well, they looked like strikes coming out of his hand, and wound up 8″ off of the plate. However, guys have learned to just not swing at his pitches: do that, and you’ll get a walk in 5 pitches.

  • 5412

    Hi,

    On the issue of Marmol, we agree. I suspect when the Japanese guy comes back we may see him unconditionally released or soon to follow if he does not shape up. Right now he is demoralizing the team who is working their ass off trying to win.

    I can just imagine the guys on the team cringing every time he is brought in to pitch with the lead and starts walking and hitting guys. We know he can’t get the job done consistently, time to audition a kid. Even if the kid is no better, it is one more question answered and progress.

    The guy either throws strikes consistently or he should be gone. They ate a lot more on Bradley and others.

    regards,
    5412

  • @cubsfantroy

    Well, it could be worse. We could have the payroll of the Dodgers and the Blue Jays. Dodgers are only a couple of games better than the Cubs, and the Blue Jays are a game worse than the Cubs.

    All in all, as bad as the Cubs have been by giving up late leads, it could really be a whole lot worse.

    • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

      As discussed in my post. You are right though.

  • http://deepcenterfield.blogspot.com Jason Powers

    Cubs Pitching nutshell:
    Innings 1-6: 3.21 ERA, 65BB – 5th in MLB
    7+: 5.04 ERA, 35 BB – Last in the MLB for ERA
    7+ WHIP: 1.40 (27th)

    Hitting:
    .155 w/2 outs RISP (29th)
    .236 SLG w/2 outs RISP (29th)
    .515 OBS (SLG worth than OBP)

    .291 SLG w/ RISP (28th)

    Worst ERA by .3 Runs for the BP. While ‘clutch’ hitting is as abysmal as one can have.
    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/stats/byteam?cat=Situational&cut_type=48&conference=MLB&year=season_2013&sort=838

    If you replace the bad apples in the BP, get roughly the same from the SP, Cubs could squirrel a .500 season yet. Ifs and buts, were beers and nuts, we’d have a playoff team.

    • jt

      very good look see…
      thanks

  • http://bleachernation Doc

    Marmol is still pitching because theo is still trying to get something in a trade from him. This is why Dejesus and Soriano are also still playing. It is frustrating this year because we are seeing horrible baseball. We have average talent that play the game poorly. And our great talent plays the game worse. This is Castro, whom I would trade is a heartbeat. Rizzo is a keeper. This leads to 100 losses annually. Where is the Cubs way? Are we teaching anything? I watch our players consistantly swing a balls and take strikes. The most underrated aspect of a baseball player is discipline. We have none. I wiold rather see the likes of Torryes 15 walks to 1 SO. That is playing the game right. I hope the cubs way involves discipline. I wish I could say I see it in the younger players, from the Theo kids, but i don’t. I guess time will tell.

    • Anonnifan

      Unless you’ve been watching a lot of A and AA ball, the only Theo kid you’ve seen is Rizzo. Castro is still under the specter of coming up under Hendry’s staff. Rizzo was developed by a staff that Epstein put together. Adjustment is very VERY difficult in Baseball, and it can take years of decreased performance before you start to see any statistical payoff. Castro was developed by Hendry’s staff, and you can’t argue with his stat line the last couple years. He would have been better had he been coached competently at a low level, but at this point its not like you can send him down to AA and say “O.k. now work on pitch recognition for two years until you get a better sense of the plate.” My sense of it is that Epstein would have kept him down for another year until he learned to recognize pitches off the plate, and make routine throws to first.

  • MichiganGoat

    Anyone heard anything from Brett? It’s been like 18 hours since his last tweet or post.

    • Anonnifan

      I’m going to guess hangover.

    • Die hard

      Even God rested one day

    • DarthHater

      I just assumed he’s posting very sporadically because he is traveling. Second possibility: Morken or Cubs1967 tracked him down in Chicago and … well … :-P

      • MichiganGoat

        The latter was a fear I did have

    • MichiganGoat

      It’s all good I was just a junkie jonzin for my fix and my pusher man wasn’t around.

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