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dale sveum haz a sadIn case you missed the latest episode of the BN Podcast, it’s swell and you can listen here. You could also just cut out the middle man and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

  • You have to be paying only modest attention to know that the Cubs’ offense has been brutally bad of late. Anthony Rizzo acknowledges that the Cubs’ recent woes are on the offensive side, and he’s not hitting either. Dale Sveum is all over the offense’s problems, too. That’s all fine, but no one is acknowledging a core issue: even if everyone in the lineup is performing at their career averages, the offense is probably a below average crew overall. It’s not just that these guys are struggling right now – don’t get me wrong, they are – but this was never going to be a lineup that scored six runs a game. Since that five game winning streak, which feels like it was weeks ago, the Cubs have scored just 30 runs in their last 10 games … and eight of those runs came in one extra-inning win. That means they’re scoring LESS than 2.5 runs per game in those other nine games.
  • One of Sveum’s suggestions for getting the offense back on track, per Carrie Muskat: “Maybe just close the cages up and the video room and strap it on.” Eh hem. Am I really required to be so mature as to not make a comment here?
  • Carrie Muskat notes Jed Hoyer’s TV quotes yesterday, half of which focus on Starlin Castro’s deep slump. His thoughts on whether you just let Castro be a guy who hits everything and gets 200 hits but with no power, or you try to make him work deeper into counts (because the 2-0, 3-1 counts are when you see a guy really able to turn on the power) are particularly fascinating. There’s no obvious answer with a guy like Castro, and I think that’s what we’re seeing this year.
  • Dale Sveum didn’t think too much of Matt Garza’s comments that he wasn’t on the same page yet with Welington Castillo, who has caught all of his starts this year. (To be abundantly clear: Garza wasn’t throwing Castillo under the bus, or saying Castillo was the problem in Garza’s awful start against the Reds this week. He was just saying they had to develop more comfort.) Sveum told Cubs.com: “If you get the ball up, it doesn’t matter who’s catching.”
  • Cubs infield prospect Arismendy Alcantara has been breaking out this year, and FanGraphs is taking note, including him in their Fringe Five (i.e., the top prospects who weren’t on top 100 lists coming into the season).
  • Jim Callis was on ESPN’s Fantasy Focus podcast discussing, among other things, Javier Baez (thanks to Danny for passing this on). Callis says Baez has actually exceeded expectations defensively at shortstop, and could stick there, even though he’ll probably move eventually when he fills out. Callis expects Baez in the bigs by 2015, but mid-2014 is a possibility. The issue, as we know, is going to be the plate approach. He’s striking out a ton, walking very little, and as he moves up, that’s going to become an even more pronounced problem (because the pitchers will be better, make fewer mistakes for him to destroy, etc.). He’ll have to adjust, and we’ll see what happens.
  • Speaking of Callis, he dug the Cubs’ drafting strategy this year, getting nice value in rounds four through six (with college pitchers Tyler Skulina, Trey Masek, and Scott Frazier) in part because they took slight reaches in rounds two and three. Though Callis says he isn’t sure Rob Zastryzny would have been there for the Cubs in the third round, so, if they liked him, they were wise to grab him when they did.
  • You are reminded that the Hot Stove Cool Music festival/concert is coming up June 21 at the Metro (across from Wrigley on Clark), and tickets are still available here. It benefits Theo Epstein’s Foundation to Be Named Later charity, and features cool music (hence the name). If you’re going to be around, it’s worth checking out.
  • JP

    This team is a mess. The constant mix and match of the offense suggests they do not have 8 position players they can settle on. Live or die with it, but what dale is doing does not work, he needs to go.

    • hansman1982

      So we should ignore the career years by Schierhotlz, Valbuena, Feldman, Wood, Rizzo and Samardzija becoming who they are, Soriano’s amazing season last year, Marmol’s actual effectiveness from May on last year?

      Nope, just because the Cubs have had horrific luck this year (when have we not had horrific luck) we should fire Dale?

      • Rizzo 44

        Yes Please!

        • Rizzo 44

          Everyone in Baseball other than some Cubs fans that I question really watch the games and not just look at number can tell that Marmol is terrible! His numbers may look ok on paper after a certain time, but he has control issues and has been more lucky than good. Mamrol will be gone after this year and I wish him the best of luck with another team if he finds one. The Cubs hitting has been very bad this year I blame some of that on Dale. Castro is not a number 2 hitter. Dejesus should be the two hole hitter on this Club. Like the post from Brett Yesterday talked about Barney needing to be on a team where his Offensive struggles don’t show up as much would be great for him, but it is hurting the Cubs. I think you have to look at trading him. The Cubs need a true leadoff hitter with speed to play CF.

          • hansman1982

            I agree Marmol is crap, Dale has done a decent job of polishing that turd to a wonderful not-dull appearance.

            The Cubs hitting has NOT been bad this year. Look at the stats.

            On a good offensive team, correct, Castro would have been batting 7th all year. Dale has acknowledged this.

            “The Cubs need a true leadoff hitter with speed to play CF.”
            So Tony Campana?

            • Rizzo 44

              I agree that Dale did acknowledge that Castro is best in the 7th hole. Dale has done the best he could with Marmol I guess since he can’t just let him sit out there and not use him. Campana couldn’t get on base enough for me to think he needed to be that guy. I think the Cubs have been looking past 2013 to 2014 or 2015. I really hope they makes some major changes this winter. I think they have to bring in a better Catcher for next year and find a CF with some speed and high OBP. I like Dale but this year I just feel the whole team has taken a step back and the blame has to fall somewhere.

              • hansman1982

                For me, most of the blame for this team sucking is on just plain dumb bad luck.

                In April we had Castro, Rizzo, Valbuena, Schierholtz, Castillo and DeJesus performing well, our starting staff was amazing. The bullpen sucked but you aren’t going to win many games scoring 3-3.5 runs per game.

                In May, we lost Castro, Barney became a black hole but we still went 13-14, about what everyone thought they would.

                We’ve spent most of the year near the top of Team OPS and with a positive net-OPS. Typically, this means you win games but the way things have shaken out for the Cubs, I wouldn’t be surprised if they had a game with 9 doubles and no runs scored.

                • Rizzo 44

                  hansman1982 I do agree with you on bad luck, but I feel that luck is something that is caused by something you do. The team is just not doing well together. It has either been the BP blowing leads, some really rough outings by the starters, or situational hitting. Like Doc said this team doesn’t walk much and that doesn’t help. I agree 3-3.5 runs isn’t going to do it. I would move LV to second trade Barney. Bring Vitters up and let him play 3B the rest of the year. What do we have to lose? That sould help the offense my hurt the D a little but it will let the Cubs know if Vitters can play at this level or not.

                  • Rizzo 44

                    should* and may*

                  • hansman1982

                    “I would move LV to second trade Barney. Bring Vitters up and let him play 3B the rest of the year. What do we have to lose? ”

                    This may be viable, but not yet. With no deadline coming any time soon for trades, noone is going to want to give what we will want for Barney.

                    And don’t worry, we will see plenty of experiments from August 1 through the end of the season.

                    • Rizzo 44

                      I agree with this and I should have stated that after the trade deadline is when the Cubs should try these things out. I want to get as much value as the Cubs can over the next month and a half out of all the players that could be traded. Marmol on the other hand I can’t stand so I don’t care what they do with him.

              • DocPeterWimsey

                The Cubs hitting actually has not been bad this year. Their one truly bad offensive stat is drawing walks: and they are abysmal there. However, coaching cannot do anything about that, or at least not quickly. (It is very possible that Castro’s woes are part of an experiment to develop pitch recognition: and that is uncharted territory.)

                Again, you are looking at this in an overly deterministic way. We still expect one or two teams to have won-loss records this far below their “true” level of performance (given run-differential) just by chance. Well, we have two: the Cubs and the Tigers. Now, the Cubs have given us a double whammy: they have both scored fewer runs than expected given batting OPS and allowed more runs than expected given pitching OPS. Lack of slugging with men on base accounts for the former and the awful bullpen (and, no, it’s not just Marmol) accounts for the other. Coaching *might* affect the former, if coaches are telling players to alter their swings and just make contact with RiSP. Coaching does not affect the latter: it’s Russian roulette with a machine gun.

                • Drew7

                  “The Cubs hitting actually has not been bad this year. Their one truly bad offensive stat is drawing walks: and they are abysmal there.”

                  That’s probably* the* one catagory a team can’t afford to be abysmal in.

                  The lack of OBP is what kills the offense, and judging it’s performance by OPS is a bit misleading, since we know OBP and SLG aren’t created equal in terms of importance to scoring runs.

                  If we look at it by wOBA and wRC+, I think we get a better understanding:

                  wOBA: .303 (20th)
                  wRC+ 88 (23rd)

                  Add to that the terrible sequencing (the “luck” factor) and you have yourself a below-average offense.

                • Voice of Reason

                  The Cubs hitting has not been bad this year?

                  Oh brother…

                  Now, I’m sure the next thing you will do is show me a stat that the Cubs lead the league in hitting during night games that start at 9pm central time where there are more than 6,000 fans in the stands and the leadoff hitter for the other team is left handed.

                  You can spin the stats however you want. I can tell you one of the reasons that the Cubs are brutal this year…. they lack offense, their hitting is terrible, they couldn’t hit their way out of a paper bag, it’s painful to watch, etc., etc.

                  Stats are fun to break down, but please don’t say that the Cubs hitting has not been bad this year! It’s a ridiculous statement!!

                  • BT

                    And if there is one thing you know about, it’s ridiculous statements.

            • jt

              “The Cubs hitting has NOT been bad this year. Look at the stats.”
              *
              Cubs OBP is 12th in a lg of 15. It is 5 points behind the team that is 11th.
              The OBP of Cubs pitchers is 38 points higher than lg avg.
              That is to say the position players are even worse than the gross (and I do mean gross) stats indicate.
              *
              The Cubs do not his well in RISP generally because they do not hit well.

            • Jay

              Campana couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat. There’s a reason the Cubs cut bait on him. You can’t steal first base.

              • DarthHater

                The cliche store called . . .

                • hansman1982

                  When in Rome…he’s just bringing 110% to his effort to get us to think something.

                • Jay

                  Cliche store :-D Good one!

            • Blublud

              Hansman, don’t be trying to move in on my Campy Love. I the leader pf that fan club. :)

          • gocatsgo2003

            1) Dale can’t trade Marmol (and the front office likely can’t either given the struggles you point out). However, he’s got to pitch at least some innings or it will impact the rest of the bullpen due to overuse.
            2) Again going back to your idea that the manager should be able to get this lineup to perform above average. As Brett pointed out, the cumulative potential of these guys is likely a below-average offense. We should likely be somewhere in the 20-25 range in MLB for most offensive ratings — which is exactly where we are.
            3) Barney being on the Cubs is also not Dale’s problem, but he’s clearly the best option on the team at 2B right now.
            4) Relatively sure every team in the MLB is after a “true leadoff hitter with speed to play CF.” You may also get your wish next season in Ellsbury, even though I can’t get excited about him for some reason (probably the many and various injuries).

            • Rizzo 44

              I don’t blame Dale for Barney being on the Cubs. I think any pitcher at AAA could do the job Marmol has or at least we could see what they have. This year is already over so lets see what we have in AAA. I would love the Ellsbury or 2011 but I also agree he has a history of injuries and I’m not sure paying him now that he will be 30 is the right move. Cubs fans (real Cubs fans) have been very patient with this whole change in this new Cubs way and I am on board with it. I don’t want to spend money like we did in 2007 season just for a couple years of success. I want the Cubs to be good for the long haul and I like what Theo is trying to do.

      • Michael

        5 out of 6 of those guys are really starting their careers so its not that hard to have career years. Sveum has been pretty bad this year and is not the manager of the future, When your offense is struggling and you decide to mix it up by batting Barney lead off and Ransom second then yes your not doing your job as a manager granted nobody is hitting but really Barney Ransom 1-2

        • Spriggs

          Barney at or near the top of the lineup – or Barney anywhere in the lineup when the wind is blowing out – are the reasons I dislike him being “a core” part of the team. I just hate the way he’s used. Gold glove or not.

          • Michael

            I’m fine with Barney in the lineup cause of his glove honestly who take his place but lead off honestly come on

    • Rcleven

      Fire the players not Dale.
      Sunday is the first day that MLB allows free agents to be traded.
      Let the changes begin.

    • Jay

      Of course they don’t. This team wasn’t meant to do anything but tread water this year. And that’s even with Schierholz and Valbuena playing over their heads (although Luis is coming back to earth). Meanwhile, if you just leave Castro alone to get his 200 hits, he’ll hit 15 homers by accident. They seriously messed with that kids head with all this “see more pitches” crap.

      • hansman1982

        YES, I was hoping someone would bring this up.

        Castro is in what is known as a slump. This slump started on, roughly, May 3rd. Since then he has an OPS of .519 and a .234 wOBA. God awful and Dale has ruined him. Except:

        1. The swing/approach tweaks were last summer
        2. Castro had a similar slump in his rookie season. From May 22-June 24, 2010, in 109 PA (about 45 fewer than his current slump) he posted a .517 OPS and a .228 wOBA. Unpossible, Lou wouldn’t do anything but let this kid bat .300 and accidentally hit 15 homers!
        3. Castro is seeing more fastballs – why? Because he struggles with fastballs.
        4. Castro is seeing more pitches out of the zone – why? Because he struggles with knowing what is a ball and what is a strike. When a batter has these problems, you should expect prolonged slumps.

        • The Dude Abides

          you seem to have a handle on this what is your recommendation for Castro?

          • hansman1982

            Develop a batting eye and hit fastballs?

            • willis

              You hope that is what comes of all this, that this is simply growing pains under a new regime and approach. But his decline at the plate since this group took over is troubling. He’s talented enough to fight through this, let’s hope that happens. Right now it’s painful.

              • hansman1982

                Again, there hasn’t been a marked decline except in the past 150 PA. Last year was very much in line with his career norms.

                • willis

                  Eh, it was a worse avg and OBP in 2012 than in his first two years, his slugging was better than 2010 but not 2011. And this year is simply a disaster:

                  2010: .300/.347/.408
                  2011: .307/.341/.432
                  2012: .283/.323/.430
                  2013: .238/.276/.333

                  He’s regressing at the plate.

            • The Dude Abides

              how does he do it?

              • Jay

                I thought it was funny that Lou ragged on Ryan Theriot for not being patient enough when Lou himself as a player usually swung at the first thing the pitcher threw him. But, he did leave Castro alone and the natural talent took over.

              • Jim

                Go back to the “see the ball, hit the ball” philosophy! You can see him trying to take pitches and it is just putting him behind in the counts and then he is swinging at balls down and away. He needs to go back to being aggressive and not over-thinking his approach.

            • YourResidentJag

              Actually, that’s an oversimplification. The real goal is that when he’s up in counts, he needs to recognize pitches and when is 1-2 and 0-2, he needs to learn how to not commit to strike 3 if it isn’t a hittable pitch. But Baseball Prospectus can tell all of us that.

      • Jim

        Agree on how they have messed up Castro!

  • Jp3

    Go in the video room and strap it on eh? No wonder Castro is slumping, too much time in there being traumatized… A little more lights on batting cage sessions might help more

  • JulioZuleta

    I once had a football coach warn our team at a meeting the day before a playoff game that we “better watch out, because they’re going to strap it on and come after our asses.” One of the younger assistant coaches had to leave the room before he burst out laughing.

  • JulioZuleta

    I saw an article about Zastryzny where he said that Toronto texted him that they were going to take him at #49. Who knows if it’s true, but I don’t think he would have lasted another 30 picks. The Cubs must have loved him, though.

    I know people’s first reaction was to question Zastryzny and Hanneman picks, but remember, those are the spots that Mcleod said they were focusing most on.

  • carklos

    It’s about time the FO admit the sverum mistake. He has just been grinding these young guys down to the point where they just dont know which way to turn, come on lets dump this sour puss.

    • cerambam

      YEAH!!!!!… oh wait, nevermind, you’re an idiot. (hehe name calling is fun)

  • Frank

    Castro does not have to be a power guy. Let him go back to the way he was. He’ll get his singles, doubles and the occasional home run. It sure beats what he’s trying to do this year.
    The guy that changed him should be kicked in the ass as he’s walking out the door with his pink slip.

    • Rizzo 44

      Agreed

    • DocPeterWimsey

      You are looking at it all wrong. If they are trying to get Castro to develop a batting eye and they succeed, then Castro becomes one of the most potent SS’s in baseball. Power goes up as batting eye improves because a big part of power is not strength, but recognizing that a pitch is one on which you can air out the swing when it is 10′ from the pitcher’s hand.

      The only place a player can work on pitch recognition is in game situations. No team has the pitching depth to have MLB-caliber pitchers throw batting practice, after all, or to waste their arms on game-quality sliders and curveballs between games. Video doesn’t help much: you might see if a guy tips off a pitch, but batters need to be able to distinguish different pitches thrown with the same motion. The only way to see those is in games.

      • Cubbie Blues

        Doc, me thinks we found a new job for Marmol.

        • DocPeterWimsey

          Hmm, it’s tough to develop a batting eye when you (should!) know that each pitch is a ball….

        • wax_eagle

          The bruises would not be worth it.

      • cubchymyst

        Time to get a virtual reality generator, or a holodeck from star trek.

      • jt

        Sept 2006 – May 2007 Pedroia was just terrible in his first 166 PA’s. They move his hands down 6″ and forward 6″ and let him hit off a tee for a few days.
        2007 ROY; 2008 MVP.
        The adjustment allowed him to be just a bit quicker and just a bit more direct to the ball. I assume it was designed to get to the FB but I could be wrong
        It really didn’t change his approach that much.
        *
        I don’t know if I am seeing things but to me Castro’s recent swings have looked more balanced with more body behind them. He hit a ball 10 ft foul down the 3rd baseline the other day and JD mentioned that that was what Dale wanted to see. I’m wondering if there is an a more centered body mass wouldn’t it supply more power and discourage the outside pitch lunge?

    • cubmig

      I don’t think the FO remembers or even knows the name “Jerry Jaramillo”. If they did this hitting (what an oxymoron) coach, would be gone already……….”but wait”…. maybe they are waiting to make a mass firing?

      • TWC

        “I don’t think the FO remembers or even knows the name “Jerry Jaramillo””

        And why should they? Because it’s similar to former hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo’s name?

  • carklos

    it’s not about the losing, as we all know that was expected. It’s totally about what old sour puss is doing to these young players. He is slowly destoying thier mental being. Get rid of this non manager.

    • gocatsgo2003

      And you know this through some kind of jedi mind trick?

  • Rizzo 44

    Who gets traded at or before the Deadline this year for the Cubs? List players, teams to be traded too, and who the Cubs get in return. Try to think logically here, don’t have crazy trade that we all know isn’t going to happen. Lets see what you guys have.

    • gocatsgo2003

      And the value in such an exercise on June 13 is… what exactly?

      We all know which of the Cubs are likely on the trading block, but trying to predict where they are traded and for whom is a futile exercise.

      • Rizzo 44

        Then don’t do it. Wow was that hard? Man some of you people just have a bad attitude and think you know everything.

    • JulioZuleta

      I’ll say 4 out of the “Feldman, Garza, Dejesus, Gregg, Soriano” group and one out of the “Barney, Russell, Valbuena, Villanueva” group. Something like that. I’m not crazy enough to attempt the rest of your question.

  • Frank

    I can’t believe that everyone sucks at the same time. It’s time to turn off the tv’s, throw away the newspapers and take everyone’s smart phone away from them. Like it or not, when all you hear is that everyone sucks, it has to start getting in their heads.

  • DocPeterWimsey

    I really am suspecting that they are running an experiment with Castro to see if they actually develop pitch recognition in a player.

    • hansman1982

      Possible…I guess. Would make sense since he was normal Castro through April.

      • cerambam

        Do you think Shahadev might be able to ask something specific like this? He seems to have some sort of access.

        • hansman1982

          I doubt they’d admit it. If it succeeds they *could* have a massive leg up on the other 29 teams out there.

  • Mysterious4th

    Brett I cannot help myself but throw this in

    ……….

    That’s what she said…….

  • Rich

    I think the tinkering with Castro has hurt him. Is it possible that a good hitter is in a season long slump? If the team as a whole was better, would he be hitting better? Don’t you think it is hard for a player to play on this team? There is just no offense.

    And Rizzo..he scares me more. Starlin has had past success, but Rizzo..has been more off than on this season. Did we really have to lock him up this season?

    I am all in for the Theo dream team to produce and I will wait…but just so frustrating.

    I think you are going to see 5-6 players traded at the deadline. I am find with Barney going to answer a previous post.

  • Frank

    The next thing I expect is they pull a Lou Brock and trade Castro to the Cards for a broken pitcher.

  • carklos

    why keep talking about trading this guy or that guy, when the newbies will just be subjected
    to the same old BS from sverum. he honestly is not the man for this job. As much as I hate to say it …Let do it the cardinal way. ( you don’t have to ask)

    • TWC

      I’d point out that twice this morning you’ve spelled Dale Sveum’s name incorrectly, but, then again, it appears you spelled yours wrong, too.

      • hamsan1982

        Thomnas, what on earth are you talking about

  • mak

    It’s kind of funny to me how bad the offense is, while I’ve never seen the Cubs with this many legit positional prospects. If they keep advancing, there are going to be some tough decisions regarding guys like Watkins, Torreyes, Villanueva, Sczuzr, etc. Great problem to have. I’m starting to wonder if the Cubs will actually have 6 or 7 home grown guys in the lineup by 2015.

  • cubchymyst

    Have I missed the players saying negative things about Dale or the team having low moral?

    • TWC

      No. It’s all supposition.

      • cubchymyst

        Thought so. With all of the talk you’d think players were walking to first or leaving the bat on their shoulder the entire at bat.

  • Tyron

    Can’t believe the front office ,
    There’s mangers out there
    That knows baseball!! .
    I hope Castro truns it around

    • TWC

      Better haiku attempt than your last. Still not very good.

      • DarthHater

        An afternoon breeze
        Blowing out to left center
        But the ‘pen blows, too.

        • Mysterious4th

          +1

  • JulioZuleta

    Man, if the Cubs would have hired Sandberg instead of Quade, they’d be working on their third straight World Series right now.

    • hansman1982

      Pfft, they would have ALREADY had 3 WS titles.

      • JulioZuleta

        True. If there was ever a guy that could win 3 World Series in 2.5 seasons, it’d be Ryno.

        • hamsan1982

          Precisely! He’s so good that he has gotten TOO MANY job offers in the past few years and is just trying to wait out the market and get a 10/$300M deal.

          • JulioZuleta

            Little known fact: Ryne Sandberg is the only man ever to be voted into Cooperstown as a manager by the fans without ever actually receiving a job offer.

            • hansman1982

              He is undefeated as an MLB manager!

              • BT

                screw Sandberg. Hire Singletary.

                • Cleanup poster

                  How dare you!

                • hansman1982

                  Co-Managers…

                  Any other 1980′s-1990′s Chicago legends that we can hire?

                  • Cubbie Blues

                    Ditka.

                    • King Jeff

                      That would be too unfair of an advantage for the Cubs. I’m sure Selig would prevent that hire.

            • DarthHater

              Wrong. Ryno has been turning down the Philly manager job for months. Just ask Diehard.

              • TWC

                Oh, so he’s quitting on his new team, too?

  • carklos

    Hows this for an example. Old sour puss has RIGHT hand hitting, 200 career avg, Mr. Deer trying to teach our Rizzo how to hit? Wonder why rizzo so messed up.

  • willis

    Hard to hear any bullshit the FO or manager says at this point and take it as anything more than crap. Castro was a star, now he’s a middle of the road, maybe, SS. How does that happen? How does a player get worse as he gets into his mid 20s? It’s cringe worthy.

  • carklos

    I don’t normally sugest any one person for a job such as manager, however the ideal guy or example guy would be J. Madden. Yes I know that’s impossible but what about Dave Martinez? I think he would be super. Smart, expierenced (under Madden) and most needed on this club, Spanish.

    • TWC

      The *most needed* skill for a Cubs manager to have is that he be Latino, or Spanish-speaking? That’s the most needed skill? Really?

      • hansman1982

        Yes. Don’t ask why, just know the answer is yes. And 42.

      • wax_eagle

        Awesome I’m completely qualified. Where do I send my application?

  • Jono

    Anyone else get the feeling that the FO simply wanted a manager who would let Epstein and Hoyer make the lineups and all the managerial decisions, not a manager who would get the most out of the team? Then, when the team starts coming together, they find the good manager who could help them win as much as possible

    • dob2812

      Anyone else get the feeling that manager’s don’t matter that much as long as the players like the guy, which the Cubs seem to with Dale?

      • frank

        In short, no.

  • ETS

    Is the to be named later charity an arrested development reference or have they really not yet selected a charity?

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s a baseball reference (player to be named later), and it’s the actual name of the charity.

      • ETS

        Huh… I did not know he had a charity with that name.

        [img]https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQrH5X9mEYiPmS4BaTk1LMRwnB9wmlhfIhiMCqYyZBoERxTXcgd_w[/img]

  • Fastball

    I agree with Sveum on folding up the batting cages and video room. These guys probably have too much information in their heads everyday. Instead of just going and playing baseball they are so over prepared they can’t just play without overthinking every scenario. Which is exactly what you do when you are in a slump. I used to not let my guys take batting practice when they were struggling. They just try too hard and completely overdue it. Actually the best thing for them was to put them on the foul poles and run the hell out of em before games, right up til game time. There minds weren’t on all there troubles at that point. Then sure enough we would blow our opponent out.

  • mudge

    Who is responsible for Castro’s slump? Castro.

    • Cubbie Blues

      The opposing pitchers have something to do with it as well.

  • http://msn marlowe sackmann

    [img]ndblue[/img]
    DeJ is not a platoon player! Keep him in the line up! Shieholtz should play now matter who’s pitching. Until he PROVES otherwise.
    Remember LaHair? Svucks ruined him. Leading the team in HR’s and he’s one the bench. Build for the future fine. Could we just win a game once in awhile? Jeez, please play our best players Svucks!

    • TWC

      DeJesus vs RHP: .291/.366/.450
      DeJesus vs. LHP: .254/.324/.343

      So, what were you saying?

      “Remember LaHair? Svucks ruined him. Leading the team in HR’s and he’s one the bench.”

      Oh, my, we haven’t had any LaHair cheerleaders here in almost a year. Wow. How much I’ve missed this. So look at LaHair’s game logs from last season (http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/gl.cgi?id=lahaibr01&t=b&year=2012). From May 9th on, it was all, constantly, downhill. He wasn’t benched in favor of Rizzo until 6/24, after seven straight weeks of decline. He lost 300 points of OPS in that time.

      But, hey, at least you’ve got a cute nickname for Sveum. That’ll get you far.

      • King Jeff

        He’s really tearing it up in Japan too.

        • TWC

          I really kinda love that Matt Murton, however, continues to crush all things NPB.

    • Voice of Reason

      Dale ruined LaHair? What about the nine other stops he made before coming to the Chicago Cubs? Did they help ruin him, too or was it strictly Sveum?

  • http://msn Sacko

    He was benched way b4 Rizzo and he was in the All Star game with the Cubs only. Stops before? who cares. They didn’t care what he was doing, they were done w him because he wasn’t the future, understandable, Yea Svucks ruined him.
    What r Sweeney and Harriston doing?
    Play DeJ and Shierhotlz are we winning w/o them?

    • TWC

      Hey, kid, you OBVIOUSLY looked at the game log, so I won’t enumerate the wrongness of your claim that “[h]e was benched way b4 Rizzo”, but I will mock your inability to read and/or comprehend. I will mention, however, that your your use of “b4″ was really pretty cool.

      The rest of your reply was just incomprehensible gibberish, but I do look forward to your inevitable batshit freakout.

    • Cubbie Blues

      Sweeney has a wRC+ 147, but never mind that.

    • hansman1982

      Mmm, I suppose Campana was ruined too.

      You’re cute. Not that I really care for you much, but you got spunk.

      • TWC

        …all over your hands. Clean up quick, because your mom will be home soon from work.

        • DarthHater

          Oh, dear. You naughty-minded little man.

        • hansman1982

          Why, just so he has to clean up again later?

          • DarthHater

            And now we know why Momma Hansman kicked Joe out of the house at a young age.

            • hansman1982

              At the tender age of 36. Parents these days…SMH.

      • DarthHater

        No, that’s called svunk.

  • http://msn Sacko

    Ok point made for that position , I’m learning something.

  • http://msn Sacko

    Pulling at straws now Campana? I didn’t want him but why do we pick up a guy that’s similar. What is his name, he can’t catch fly balls either.

    • hansman1982

      There is a word just to the right of where you name is. It says ‘Reply’. USE IT.

      Since you can’t be bothered to know who you are bitching about, I won’t help you out.

      • gocatsgo2003

        JINX!!!

    • gocatsgo2003

      The “reply” button would make things MUCH easier.

    • hansman1982

      All snark and bashing aside, before you go pouting about how those mean men ran you off the site…

      We love to debate the Cubs, just, generally, we require that you bring facts and research and valid discussion points and/or know who you are talking about.

      • Cubbie Blues

        How about that Hamilton trade?

        • gocatsgo2003

          That wouldn’t fall under the “valid discussions points” section. That horse is dead, amigo.

          • TWC

            Why are you trying to stifle discussion?!

          • hansman1982

            It still twitches every now and again.

            (I REFUSE to give in to Tim’s blatant trolling)

            • Cubbie Blues

              But, we gave him up for $50K.

      • DarthHater

        Or memes. You can also bring memes. Uh-Huh.

        • hansman1982

          I thought you were the meme-salad bringer?!?! I’ve got hamburgers, TWC’s got leafy vegetables, Goat’s bringing beer, Tim’s just staying away and you are bringing the Meme-Salad.

          We’ve got noone bringing cookies!

          • DarthHater

            [img]http://huntdrop.com/uploads/thumbs/drops/salad.jpg[/img]

      • DarthHater

        What’s with this “we require”? La-dee-freakin-da! When are we having tea with the queen?

        • hansman1982

          You used up the 1 exception we had to that rule…

    • DarthHater

      Hey, Einstein, if the Reds win today and it’s Dale’s fault, you can call it a sveep! :-P

      • http://msn Sacko

        Yea we will most likely get Dustyed off w his broom. We aren’t a competitive team and no DALE isn’t helping.

        • hansman1982

          At least you used the “Reply” button.

          • http://msn Sacko

            That’s better thank u, it doesn’t take an Einstien to know were crap.

            • JulioZuleta

              But ironically it DOES take an Einstein to spell Einstein correctly.

  • Die hard

    Theo may find a solution by studying how old time dynasties were built– Yankees and Dodgers.. There may be an idea or two which he hasn’t considered… What’s the harm to see if those great teams had something that can be applied today ?

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