Yesterday’s Game Was Unfortunate, But Explainable and Other Bullets

dale sveum carlos marmolSo much to discuss today about the Draft and the rumor mill … but everyone’s probably stuck on yesterday’s loss. Before digging into the reactions to the game, let me offer one thought up front: remember that Carlos Marmol and Dale Sveum (and everyone, really) are real, live people. They aren’t just words and numbers on a screen or pictures on your TV. What happened yesterday was extremely disappointing and frustrating, and criticism is both fair and justified. But let’s try to keep that criticism within the realm of rational and proportionate. Overly angry rhetoric doesn’t befit any of us.

  • That said … yes, Dale Sveum probably should have pulled Marmol before that homer. We’ve all seen it with him lately: he’s either quite good from the get-go, or disastrous. After a homer, a walk, and a solid single, it was fairly clear which Marmol had showed up yesterday, and it was time to pull the plug. That said, we’re talking about maybe just one batter too many. It happened quickly enough that I can at least understand the argument that you let Marmol face another batter or two – it’s not like you expect Kirk Nieuwenhuis to hit a walk-off homer.
  • I’m not sure what was up with Marmol yesterday, other than it was clear he couldn’t get the fastball where he wanted it, and the Mets were absolutely spitting on the slider. That’s really been his problem as his effectiveness has faded – the slider is still decent, but he doesn’t have a quality fastball to set it up anymore. So batters spit on the slider, sit on the fastball, and knock him around when that fastball is up in the zone.
  • As much as you may not like to hear it, using Marmol in the 9th yesterday was completely defensible. He’d been pitching well for several weeks, Kevin Gregg was unavailable, and it was a three-run lead. In an otherwise lost season, right now is all about trade value. One save or a scoreless 9th wasn’t going to make Marmol’s trade value anything more than saving a few hundred thousand bucks and a fringe prospect, but not using him in that spot yesterday communicates to the trading world that not even the Cubs trust Marmol late in close games when they have few other options. So, you use him, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. It didn’t work out, but what really was lost, other than a game that wasn’t going to be the difference between the playoffs or no playoffs anyway?
  • On the decision to use Marmol, Sveum essentially said that he has experience closing, while the other pitchers available did not. He said that Marmol’s been pretty good outside of the 9th inning this year, and I guess he thought that justified the opportunity yesterday. But Sveum went on to say that, for whatever reason, Marmol just can’t get those last three outs right now. I reckon this was the final 9th inning save opportunity he’ll be getting for a long time.
  • Alfonso Soriano, who was apparently visibly angry about the loss, called the whole thing unacceptable. Per ESPNChicago: ”We have like 99 [percent] chance to win, the whole game we’re winning, and it’s very tough. In the last inning, with just less than three outs left to win the game, and we lost. It’s unacceptable. It’s hard to take, hard to swallow.”
  • Matt Garza didn’t say much after the loss, other than to note that he didn’t think he had his best stuff, but still got good results.
  • Patrick Mooney on the awesomeness of the Cardinals organization. As usual, it’s a good read (albeit a painful one, given the subject), save for one lame inclusion: “The Cardinals don’t wish for a magical Jumbotron.” Come on. The Cubs don’t wish for a “magical” JumboTron, either. They wish for the same kind of JumboTron the Cardinals have had at new Busch Stadium since it opened almost 10 years ago: the kind that generates revenue.
  • Nate Schierholtz, All-Star? There’s certainly an argument. The front office really nailed that signing if the current results are to be believed. He’s been a strict platoon player (just about 10% of his plate appearances have come against lefties), and he’s absolutely crushing righties (his OPS against righties is above .950). He’s also killing it at Wrigley Field, where his skill set obviously plays well. These are things the front office anticipated when signing Schierholtz, despite the protestations of the masses.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

254 responses to “Yesterday’s Game Was Unfortunate, But Explainable and Other Bullets”

  1. Kyle

    The trade value argument doesn’t work, because literally anyone used in that spot could be perceived as “building trade value” via getting a shot at closing. So anything gained by letting Marmol try was equally lost by not letting somebody else try.

    1. MikeW

      this is absolutely 100% spot on. Its been proven over and over Marmol doesnt work out well in tight spots. I know it, everyone knows it. So you lose being able to try someone like Parker in that spot, you infuriate your fanbase, and you run the risk of fans who might have gone to Wrigley on a whim next weekend to not go.

  2. Mike

    Wood is the obvious pick.

  3. Eddie

    Marmol’s trade value went out the door a long time ago. And the more they try to use him as a closer…the less desirable he is to any team with good sense. As far as Sveum is concerned. How many times has he left a pitcher in too long? When a pitcher is struggling, you take him out before further damage is made. He has no concept of when to pull a pitcher out of the game.

    1. Rcleven

      ” He has no concept of when to pull a pitcher out of the game.”

      Sveum has the concept of pulling a pitcher. What he doesn’t have is faith in the rest of the pen.
      Marmol should have been pulled. Yes. It’s the same old story. Who do you go to. Parker?
      What happens when he blows it?
      Its time to stop using Marmol at the end of games except when the Cubs are far behind.
      He’s here till the end of the season. Use him seventh then say good bye at season end.
      Time to forget yesterday happened and move on to the Cards.

    2. hansman1982

      “As far as Sveum is concerned. How many times has he left a pitcher in too long?”

      Probably at a rate in line with how all other managers perform in that situation.

      ” When a pitcher is struggling, you take him out before further damage is made.”

      Hooray, then we can hear about how Dale doesn’t have the intelligence to let guys pitch through struggles!

      1. Dave

        Excep Marmol can’t pitch thru struggles anymore.
        When he’s bad you pretty much know right away so there is no need to keep him out there.

  4. Steve

    To be honest guys, I give the front office a C so far, the Cubs are still the joke of baseball I give props for signing and trading for Wood, Feldman, Gregg, Schierholtz the 3 Tommy John guys what a horrbile decisions Arodys, Fujikawa and Baker may never pitch in Wrigley ever and to be honest all of the Cubs roster is trade bate. I cant see any of these guys being prt of the Cubs success, Rawson is ruining Castro’s career, Rizzo is overrated even though he is walking I would rather have a hit than a walk guy looks at strike 3 or first pitch fatball strike all day long. Cubs hitters are very predictable with this awful hitting philosophy, this is not quantem physics its baseball! Would love to have Mattingly as a hitting coach if he gets canned from the Dodgers not some young kid from AAA.

    1. DarthHater

      Let’s see . . . The Marlins are on pace for a 112-loss season, four other major league teams–including one in our own division–have worse W-L records, and pretty much every expert who has written on the subject has said that the Cubs organization is moving in the right direction, but the Cubs are “the joke of baseball.” Sure, that makes a lot of sense.

      1. Peter

        until they win a world series, the cubs will be “the joke of baseball”

        1. hansman1982

          Nah, the Marlins have that trophy locked away in their secret underground vault.

          1. Joker

            Yes, Hansy. True. But as a die hard fan, I would still take their multiple World Series trophies. : )

    2. hansman1982

      WALKS!!!! We don’t need no stinking walks!!!! They just clog up the basepaths.

    3. Coop

      The success rate on returns from TJ surgery are high – the Cubs just had the misfortune of having the rare failures on 2 of them. Fujikawa looked like a great signing until his injury – an injury which could not have been predicted except for the fact that he is a pitcher, and all pitchers carry that risk of injury…

      I think, given the money the front office had to work with – and it is increasingly clear that the money was less than they expected – they have done a pretty good job of identifying low cost options. I think the exception to this is their decisions on constructing the bullpen.

      Good – Wood, Schierholtz, Feldman, Gregg, Villanueva, Valbuena, Rizzo (yes, struggling recently, and maybe not a perennial All Star, but still a solid 1B – until he proves otherwise, anyway…)

      Bad – Jackson (I know some metrics say he has been better than his record – for me that only carries so far – he has consistently failed to get results, which is starting to make a trend), Stewart (really bad – though I must confess that I was in the supportive camp on this one – I was wrong…), not bringing in any better BP arms (though they tried and missed on a couple – Mike Adams is the first one I can recall off the top of my head)

      Unfortunate luck – Fujikawa, Baker, Vizcaino

      Very Good – the minor league system continues to look stronger – think we are going to be pretty proud of our farm system within a year or two (I am already)

  5. Derrick

    I’m still amazed that we are talking Carlos Marmol and trade value in the same sentence. He has none and even he is lights out now until the deadline, what will he net us? A C prospect at best. We are on the hook for the salary might as well cut ties and move on.

  6. CM

    Brett, what are your site rules regarding directing readers to another blog for an article? I ask in all seriousness as I was writing a lenghty post and stumbled on an article that said most everything I wanted to but in much better fashion. That said I wouldn’t direct readers to another site before knowing the protocol.

    1. CM

      There’s a very good article Al at Bleed Cubbie Blue put up today that covers all the things we rarely talk about here, mainly because I think most of the BN’er understand (although maybe don’t always agree with) what’s trying to be done by the FO. I’m always reminded how most fans feel when I talk with my father, because all he knows is the Cubs suck and he can’t understand why the hell they’d keep throwing out someone into a situation who clearly cant handle it.

      The article talks about confidence, winning culture etc and while there are some points I don’t necessarily agree with, it was pretty close to what I wanted to say and is worth a look.

      1. TWC

        “There’s a very good article [by] Al at Bleed Cubbie Blue…”

        I doubt that.

        1. King Jeff

          TWC for the win!

        2. Cyranojoe

          Aw, he’s not that bad! Bleacher Nation is heads above everybody else, but BCB is my #2 Cubs site. Definitely get some different angles there every once in a while that you don’t see here, like the focus on attendance and such.

          1. SenorGato

            My momma said if you have nothing nice to say then don’t say anything at all. OTOH, BCB sucks and I would say much of that is due to Yellon. I do notice he seems to be disliked by a lot of people as a writer.

            1. Grant

              I like BN for getting news, but BCB is better for discussion (IMHO) since it’s easier to see which comments you’ve already read.

              1. King Jeff

                It’s also easier to get booted or blocked when you don’t agree with the guy who runs the site.

                1. Grant

                  You have to do something fairly egregious to get blocked or banned. The users there can be a lot more belligerent than the group here, and that requires an element of moderation which largely goes unneeded here.

                  1. King Jeff

                    I haven’t been back in a few years. He was banning people the year Hendry got fired, pretty much for saying that Hendry should get fired. I do agree, there are a lot of belligerent and nasty posters there, which was more of a reason that I quit reading than AY was.

      2. DarthHater

        “There’s a very mediocre article Al at Bleed Cubbie Blue put up today…”

        There. I fixed that for you.

  7. Steve Ontiveros' Mustache

    “No one else in the bullpen has much experience closing.”

    Ok, then. I have an idea. How about the Cubs use an opportunity like yesterday to get someone some experience that may help out in the future, rather than waste it on Marmol? I know its easy to overreact over one loss, but Marmol has almost zero trade value, really isn’t helping this team and is taking up a roster spot that could be used to take a look at another reliever that might produce in the future.

    Why, oh why is Marmol not released? I just don’t get it.

    1. Werner

      I agree completely with this. Wasn’t that how Marmol, who was electric not that long ago, got his shot? Please use Parker, our new flamethrower, somebody that might just become the new Marmol.

    2. jstraw

      I agree too. Someone asked who do you go to if you pull Marmol, Parker? Yes…for this reason.

  8. Rebuilding

    Ken Rosenthal was on The Score this morning and laid this one at Sveum’s feet. He made all of the points people are making here: Marmol has absolutely no trade value, Sveum said just a few weeks ago that he wouldn’t use Marmol in these situations and now this is twice since he said it that he has thrown Marmol out there in a high leverage situation and didn’t even have anyone warming up after it was obvious it was bad Carlos. The decision yesterday was indefenseable. Does it change the season – no – but it is a data point on Sveum.

  9. HawkClone

    Carlos Marmol: Helping the Cubs draft earlier since ’06

  10. Serious Cubs Fan

    If Nate Schierholtz’s production continues to the trade deadline then we have to deal him for prospects. On a 1yr deal, he priced himself out for resigning him next year. He has value to other teams, solid bat with some pop in the bat, also can play a good RF. I’m sorry this whole season is about the draft and the trade deadline.

    1. MichiganGoat

      Doesn’t Nate have another year of team control? I thought I remember reading he still has a an arbitration year they Giants just didn’t have room on the 25 man roster and he elected free agency. Can’t tell from the Cot’s contract page. Anyone?

      1. MichiganGoat

        Yes he does have another arbitration year according to this report

  11. Steve

    Hey DarthHater the Cubs will remain the joke of baseball until they have a seriously competitive franchise or win a world series . You can say the organization is going in the right direction but that means nothing until they WIN not LOSE maybe you like losing or watching a bunch of losers because thats what this team is a bunch of underachievers with the exception of a few that really do lay it out there and try and win mainly the starting pitching. By the way the Marlins have a world series I think 2 if I may not be mistaken.

    1. DarthHater

      Don’t get your panties in a twist, junior. It actually is possible for some people to dislike losing without having to throw shrieking online tantrums about it.

      1. hansman1982

        It is possible, just it means you aren’t a REAL CUBS FAN, unless you have 40+ years experience or are a season ticket holder…

    2. bryan

      Hmm steve. you have a fair point. the problem with our team is that they are a bunch of losers and don’t try. Go out to a local school and join the kids for recess. Here, among your likes, will you be able to have a conversation based on these points and not sound like a tool. Here, amongst us grown ups, try to come up with a more logical argument other than there losers and they don’t try. I could’ve got that outta my four year old.

  12. Steve

    Oh yeah the Marlins beat us in 03′ remember?

  13. Steve

    I like that HawkClone yes he has or has it made a difference everyone they have drafted since 06′ has not panned out let’s see if Theo and company can do better and bring these guys up when they are supposed to be brought up and not left to disintegrate in the minors.

    1. mjhurdle

      if someone disintegrates in the minors, isn’t that a pretty good sign that they are not MLB caliber players?

  14. Larry

    If the Cubs were to send Marmol to Iowa to pitch and take him off the 40 man roster, and another team claimed him , would the claiming team have to pay his full salary for the remainder of the season?

    1. Kyle

      Yes. Which is why no team will claim him.

    2. Justin

      Yeah no team would touch Marmol at his salary, but that is an interesting idea to get him off the 40 man roster. I mean lets be honest, he has zero trade value and isn’t getting any. So you at least can get the roster spot.

    3. mjhurdle

      But can’t Marmol refuse the assignment?
      At which point you pay him the money and let him walk?

      1. hansman1982

        I think, at this point, he would refuse the assignment.

        1. gocatsgo2003

          But does he then sacrifice his salary for the remainder of the year? I still don’t have all those type of rules down pat.

  15. 0708champs

    the cubs should hire scott feldman and travis wood as hitting coaches

  16. Sacko

    There u go all u DALE fans he did it again and continues to use what fails, Marmol. Unbelievable idjets.
    I’ll just call em Homicide and Suicide.

  17. Cubs82

    All the blame is on Dale Sveum he is the one who keep bringing marmol to closing situation knowing that Marmol cannot handle the closing role no more.Besides we had a lot of options in the bullpen we could had let Russell finish it or Villanueva or someone else.

    1. gocatsgo2003

      You mean the James Russell that has two blown saves in June alone? The Carlos Villanueva who blew a save in June as well?

      And “keep bringing Marmol to closing situation[s]“? Like Dale said, he had been throwing the ball pretty decently for the past two weeks and he felt like it was the time to give him (what I presume to be) one last shot in a closing situation. I still don’t see why this is such a big deal — if Marmol hadn’t imploded, we would all be lauding Sveum for giving Marmol another shot and improving his trade value. Managers can only do so much for players.

      1. BT


      2. Sacko

        It is a big deal. What do you mean, if imploded and lauding. Neither is the case so there is no case. Middle relief and that’s the end of story. Letting someone else blow it, well that’s just something we are not use too.

        1. TWC

          “Neither is the case so there is no case”



        2. gocatsgo2003
      3. BTC

        I dont think i could compare Russel or Villanueva to Marmol. Both of those pitchers have been having good years so far. I could much rather take my chance with those two any day of the week over Marmol right now. That being said I can see the logic behind why he gave Marmol a shot. My only thing would be anyone who has watched the Cubs this knows when he is on and when he is off. I would have had someone warming up after the first home run and then brought him in after the next batter. If you have watched Marmol pitch this year you can just feel when its all going to come crumbling down.

  18. John

    I know what you are saying but I am so tired of hearing about running Marmol out there to increase his trade value. He has cost this team at least 5 wins and the very best you would ever get for him (probably 3 yrs ago) is an average prospect! Just let him go and blame it on Hendry. No one would fault this FO for this colossal mistake!

    1. Sacko

      Well said Let someone else screw this up. I get sick when Homicide sends in Suicide.

      1. hansman1982


    2. gocatsgo2003

      I don’t think it has anything to do with trade value anymore — teams already have seen over 500 career innings in 482 appearances from Marmol, so it’s not like one or two appearances is going to make some team say “hot dam… trade the farm for that guy!” It’s about trying to effectively use what is by all reports a cobbled-together bullpen with a bunch of fringe guys and only two effective relievers, one of which was a complete flyer that happened to hit BIGTIME (Russell and Gregg). It’s also easy to overlook the fact that Sveum is further hamstrung by carrying Rondon around due to his Rule 5 status; he will probably be at AA this time next year.

      The balance of the bullpen are either old guys whose utility is quickly diminishing (Camp) or random guys called up from AAA (at any time, Cabrera, Parker, Putnam, Raley, Rusin, etc.). Kind of hard to magically say “YOU GO GET BIG LEAGUE HITTERS OUT!” with that crew.

  19. Michael

    Marmol reminds me of Antonio Alfonseca every time he enters the game. That guy used to blow games all the time

  20. Mike

    Marmol’s trade value was gone long ago. And Sveum is either A) an idiot for using Marmol in that situation or B) the front office wanted him to use Marmol to “build trade value”. I opt for A, cause Sveum just always looks like he just hit the pipe. He could have opted for Camp, recently off the disabled list; Parker, who hadn’t pitched since Thursday; Rondon, who hadn’t pitched since Thursday, either; or Henry Rodriguez, who hasn’t pitched in several days. If you’re gonna carry 13 pitchers, maybe use a few more of them when the game is on the line? I don’t know, I’m funny as a Cubs fan…..I’m actually tired of losing. I’d rather see Jim Deshaises out there pitching than Marmol in the 9th of ANY game.

    1. gocatsgo2003

      So, again, the choices were (i) former closer who had been throwing well in the past few weeks (Marmol), (ii) old guy just back off the disabled list who had been pretty much completely ineffective to that point anyway with a 54 ERA+ (Shawn Camp), (iii) a guy just up from AAA whose stuff may or not play in the Bigs as a closer (Blake Parker), (iv) a Rule 5 pick with a 72 ERA+ (Hector Rondon), (v) a guy just picked up off the waiver wire who lost his shot at the closer gig in Washington due to lack of control, which is also Marmol’s biggest problem (Henry Rodriguez)? Why is it so hard for people to understand that the manager is most likely to go with the guy with closing experience who had been throwing the ball pretty well?

      1. Mike

        “Why is it so hard for people to understand that the manager is most likely to go with the guy with closing experience who had been throwing the ball pretty well?”

        Because it’s Carlos Marmol.

        1. gocatsgo2003

          Then who else would you have put out there?

          1. Mike

            In order, I would have put out the aforementioned 4 guys out there yesterday: Parker, Rondon, Rodriguez, Camp.

            1. gocatsgo2003

              Thereby sending the message that you trust Marmol less than (i) a recent AAA call-up, (ii) a Rule 5 draft pick, (iii) a recent waiver pick-up, and (iv) an old guy who had largely been ineffective making his first appearance coming off the DL. Putting aside the fact that this completely demolishes the glimmer of a sliver of hope that some team somewhere might value Marmol an teensy-weensy amount in a trade, you’ve now completely tanked Marmol’s confidence and made him an even more marginal member of the bullpen who’s unlikely to succeed in ANY situation.

              1. Rebuilding

                Do you honestly think that Marmol has any confidence left at this point anyway? So send the message to who? The fact people are debating whether Marmol has any trade value at this point is silly. My guess is zero, but if not then it is organizational filler and $100,000. That is not worth losing an MLB game when your team is actually playing halfway decently.

                At the time he entered the game the Cubs had a 96% chance to win with a replacement level pitcher. You know and I know that if bad Marmol shows up those odds decrease very rapidly. So fine, if you are going to bring him in, have someone else ready and give him 1-2 batters. See if he has any feel for his slider and the minute you think he doesn’t then any other option in the bullpen and probably a few guys in the field are a better option

                1. gocatsgo2003

                  Most likely, yes — he probably had some confidence going after his four straight solid outings. He’s already shown the ability to be a human roller-coaster with extreme highs and lows, so I would guess his confidence follows appropriately (though I should also add that I think we’ve gotten REALLY far off the tracks and anything bordering on amateur sports pyschology kind of creeps me out).

          2. hansman1982

            At this point, it’s like debating which is a worse way to die:

            1. Gunshot to the stomach
            2. given a just-lethal enough dose of radiation
            3. burnt alive
            4. drowning

          3. willis

            It wasn’t about going with him. Although I don’t agree with it, that wasn’t the worst thing ever. With Marmol anymore, when he’s off, it’s really bad and really evident. He used to be bad and then wiggle because his stuff was nasty enough. Not anymore. When he’s on, he’s still ok, but you can tell very quickly when the dude has shit. Yesterday, it was HR, walk, hard hit single…that’s enough to pull him right there. I don’t give a damn who you put in there, because at least it wouldn’t have been so predictable (unless it was Camp). But Sveum leaving him out there, clearly with nothing, was dumb. That’s the issue here. Trying to defend that…well, you just can’t .

      2. caryatid62

        I’ll take (iii), (iv), or (v) please. Several Reasons why:

        1. If you want to use ERA+ as a deciding factor (based upon your derision for Rondon’s 72 and Camp’s 54), it might be good to point out that Marmol’s is 67. And, btw, Rodriguez’s is 96.

        2. If “former closer” is important (as you cite it in your description of Marmol), Rodriguez is also a former closer.

        3. Marmol hadn’t been ” throwing the ball well for several weeks”. He had four solid outings. That’s not “several weeks.”

        1. gocatsgo2003

          1) I don’t have a particular inclanation to particular pitching statistics aside from ERA+ being the metric I best understand that’s meant to be a sort of “all-encompassing” number. I’m not here to make the case that Marmol has been good this year (far far FAR from it), but that I can at least understand Sveum’s thinking in putting him out there in that situation. Whether he should have been pulled earlier is another discussion (like Brett pointed out, probably should have been one batter earlier).

          2) “Former closer” for the same control issues as have plagued Marmol.

          3) Well, since giving up 4 runs on June 1, Marmol went 5 appearances in which he gave up one earned run and carried a 10:3 K:BB ratio (his June 2 outing clearly wasn’t great with 3 BBs, but he still largely pitched his way out of it). By my count, that’s two weeks between outings whether you want to count June 1 or June 2 as your starting date.

  21. Cyranojoe

    Crazy trade idea: Gregg+Marmol to Detroit for 100% salary relief. Who here would take that at the drop of a hat? Real question, who wouldn’t?

    And who would be surprised if Detroit completed that trade and then immediately released Marmol? OK, that’s insane — Gregg’s not worth that much $$ — but trading for and immediately dumping Marmol (along with a more valuable resource, obviously) would be the act of a very impressive front office.

    Orrrr the Cubs could just release Marmol ourselves.

    1. hansman1982

      I would rather the Cubs NOT sink the actual trade value another player has in getting rid of Marmol.

      1. Cyranojoe

        Yeah, I suspect that’s how most folks will feel, if they’ve truly bought into the prospect/youth movement. But it means more Marmol innings for the Cubs, unfortunately for all involved…

        1. hansman1982

          I doubt Marmol will get used much after the trade deadline.

          1. Cyranojoe

            Good point.

  22. Rizzo 44

    Who cares about this year… The only things to look forward to for the rest of the year is to see who Cubs trade and what the Cubs get in return. I guess the international period in July is also a little interesting. Oh and what pick we will have in the draft next season would be the most important things between now and the end of the season. The off season 2013 better be good. I love the Cubs, but I’m tired of the same excuses with the same players by Dale. Marmol sucks, Dale sucks, and that just about sums it up for 2013!!!

  23. cubmig

    Here’s the thing with the decision to bring in Marmol to close. Sveum knows Marmol’s proclivities and his mental disposition in close game/pressure situations. He also knows the signs that cue “trouble” for Marmol unraveling. In short Sveum KNOWS his guy. When Byrd smacked one out, that should have cued “trouble” in Sveum’s mind. O.K., it was only one run, and Sveum knew Marmol could still close it out for a win. Marmol then walked Lucas. Sveum may not have liked that, but may have still felt sure enough Marmol could get it done. On the Game thread, I ranted to take Marmol out—-knowing I was talking-out-of-my-ass for all it mattered. So Buck comes up and singles off a fastball after missing two sliders. My rant grew LOUDER.

    A successful sac bunt set it up for Nieuwenhuis. Yes… who would have thought Nieuwenhuis would hit a HR? It no doubt surprised all…. But Sveum’s job is not to dwell on a guy like Nieuwenhuis as much as to respond to the guy he knows inside and out. So Sveum decided (even after Bosio went out after the Lucas walk) to stick with Marmol. How in the world does that decision hold up in the face of everything Sveum has lived through with Marmol’s performance? Sure, Marmol has shown some good signs, but with an erractic, unpredictable pitcher like Marmol, is “some good signs” enough to go with in a game like yesterday’s?

    I know the argument about this being a losing season and all of what that suggests, but Sveum has a group of players who are playing their asses off to win and he owes them doing what observed logic and experience has taught him regarding Marmol. (The Manager is an active “player” too in his own way.) One can’t AND shouldn’t throw win effort under the bus as Sveum did. Soriano didn’t say that, but he sure reflected what Sveum’s decision did to him morale wise. I have a feeling Soriano’s reaction is something shared by most of his teammates, though admittedly, I am not privy to that.

    Sveum failed in this instance in my opinion. He should acknowledge that. He decided to do what the facts on the field were saying not to do. If, as someone speculated, Marmol would have won it, I say that’s a risk taken into account in the light of what was happening. But….weighing taking that risk sides more on maybe—let me repeat—maybe Sveum “proving” Marmol was the right move. I don’t think most of us would agree with that.

    We lost yesterday because of Sveum’s decision.

    That’s my story and I’m sticking with it.

    1. gocatsgo2003

      I think we lost because of Sveum’s SECOND Marmol-related decision (e.g. not pulling Marmol earlier) with the first decision being to bring in him into the game at all.

  24. Cheryl

    Marmol needs to be dealt with by himself. He’s having an affect on the morale of other players and the cubs don’t need that now. Soriano isn’t the only player that’s blown up at Marmol. It has no effect. The cleanest break for the club is to just release him.

    1. gocatsgo2003

      Also happens to be the most expensive in that it extinguishes any small hope of getting trade value out of him while still paying his full contract amount.

      1. Rizzo 44

        That’s dumb logic. Lets keep a guy that sucks and brings the whole team down for 9.8M while we continue to pay the other 97M to the rest of the Club to continue to kill the team Morale… That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve heard all year. They lose money everytime they let him take the field. He sucks. Fans hate him. They BOO his no pitching A$$. Money isn’t the issue. The FO knows the Cubs weren’t going to do anything and now they can use Marmol to continue to blow games. I can’t understand some peoples logic on here.

        1. EvenBetterNewsV2.0


          1. TWC

            It’s amazing that we don’t hear too many reports of hyperventilating kids passing out and hitting their heads on their desks after posting their breathlessly indignant, self-righteous rants in the comments here.

            1. Rizzo 44

              That RIGHT. TWC. You must be a Marmol fan. Dumb.

              1. TWC

                You *must* be suffering from oxygen deprivation. I suggest Ujjayi breathing exercises.

                1. Rizzo 44

                  I suggest you GFY. You must be one of those Trolls everyone on here talks about. You don’t even bring relevant info to the post. Come back when you have something worth talking about.

                  1. hansman1982

                    Well, that certainly was a post with relevant info and bringing something to the conversation.

                    1. Rizzo 44

                      Thank you

                    2. Rizzo 44

                      So if your boss gives you 5 tasks and you only complete 2 and have been given more than your fair share of chances do you think you would still have a job? Don’t say that isn’t relevant, because it is 100% relevant. Why keep Marmol? Please someone answer that. With more than just something like because the owe him 9.8M. They were willing to eat half of Soriano’s deal to trade him so that isn’t going to get it done people.

                  2. DarthHater

                    I assume you mean he should bring relevant and informative info like: “He sucks. Fans hate him. They BOO his no pitching A$$.”

                    1. wvcubsfan

                      Exactly like that. So much factual basis there and complete with well thought out points and counter points to combat the logical discourse that will be sure to follow.

                    2. Rizzo 44


                    3. DarthHater

                      M: An argument isn’t just contradiction.

                      O: Well! it CAN be!

                      M: No it can’t!

                      M: An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.

                      O: No it isn’t!

                      M: Yes it is! ’tisn’t just contradiction.

                      O: Look, if I *argue* with you, I must take up a contrary position!

                      M: Yes but it isn’t just saying ‘no it isn’t’.

                      O: Yes it is!

                      M: No it isn’t!

                      O: Yes it is!

                      M: No it isn’t!

                      O: Yes it is!

                      M: No it ISN’T! Argument is an intellectual process. Contradiction is just the automatic gainsaying of anything the other person says.

                      O: It is NOT!

                      M: It is!

                      O: Not at all!

                      M: It is!

                    4. TWC

                      Clearly this is not the five minute argument, but the full half hour.

                    5. DarthHater

                      No it isn’t.

                    6. Rizzo 44

                      Wow don’t blow your mind their DarthHater. You people must really live a dull life.

                    7. DarthHater

                      At least my dull life includes familiarity with awesome Monty Python sketches and the use of Google. :-P

        2. King Jeff

          I don’t understand the logic that makes people think that the team is putting Marmol out there to purposely lose games. I see things from a different point of view, if you think that’s dumb logic, that’s your choice.

          1. Rizzo 44

            Well they continue to lose many of the games that Marmol pitches in the 9th for the save… Over half so I’d say that’s pretty good logic. Are you people Blind? The season didn’t start out that way or so I would hold King Jeff from the FO point of view, but for what reason do they keep him? Also why does Dale continue to bring him in when we only have a lead of 3 runs or less? He can’t pitch with pressure that was even pointed out by Dale after the game. What a joke this season is turning into.

            1. hansman1982

              He has 5 save opportunities on the season. 3 of them, the Cubs won, 2 the Cubs lost.

              1. wvcubsfan

                They obviously didn’t want to be too obvious with their ingeniously diabolical plan.

              2. Rizzo 44

                He shouldn’t have any chances on the team. He sucks. Anyone can see this. He hasn’t had a good year since 2010 not just half a year the whole year. We can’t trade him because any GM with half a brain wouldn’t give you a bag of balls for him. SO WHAT IS YOUR POINT? HE CAN’T PITCH UNDER PRESSURE. DALE MADE A BAD DECISION YESTERDAY. 4 OTHER GUYS DOWN THERE LET ONE OF THEM FAIL. MARMOL BLOWS THAT SIMPLE. 95% of fans want him gone. The other 5% I’m not sure what you people see.

                1. Stinky Pete

                  I think there are many more factors out there that you and I are unaware of.
                  Oh yeah, it’s major league baseball. Not American Idol sooooooooooooooooo…..

                2. MichiganGoat

                  Well that was interesting… Watching a child throwing a tantrum is always a great way to waste time.

                  1. DarthHater


                  2. DarthHater

                    Here’s the ultimate:


                3. DarthHater

                  Contrary to what you seem to believe, it is perfectly possible for a person both to want to see Marmol gone and to think that your endless, over-the-top whining on the subject is obnoxious.

            2. BT

              I’d just like to ask a practical question. Why was “Blind” capitalized? Is it a band name? A cult? I’m not as up on pop culture as I used to be, so I think I’m missing something.

              1. mudge

                Sometimes people capitalize for Emphasis. Other times they add apostrophes to plurals because they need the extra stretching work for the pinky.

  25. Patrick W.

    What happens in my job is not relevant. It is 100% not relevant. I said it last so I win.

  26. Stinky Pete

    For whatever reason, I cannot reply to this post. So, just to be clear, I am replying to this post by Rizzo 44:

    “So if your boss gives you 5 tasks and you only complete 2 and have been given more than your fair share of chances do you think you would still have a job? Don’t say that isn’t relevant, because it is 100% relevant. Why keep Marmol? Please someone answer that. With more than just something like because the owe him 9.8M. They were willing to eat half of Soriano’s deal to trade him so that isn’t going to get it done people.”

    My job is not at all relevant to pitching the major leagues. It may be a little more difficult than you think…

    1. Rizzo 44

      Really? So Baseball is not like another Job? Its still a job no matter how you spin it. If someone isn’t doing it correct they may get fired or let go. If you do well you move up. Same thing with MLB, NFL, NBA, or anything for that matter. Marmol sucks should be fired and so should Dale. This is America and I can have my opinion and you can have yours. But it sounds to me like your opinion is one that the Cubs continue to lose and do dumb things. Sooooooooooooooooooooooooo… I can do that as well

      1. TWC

        “[T]he Cubs continue to lose and do dumb things.… I can do that as well”

        As you’ve ably proven.

        1. Rizzo 44

          You didn’t get the message to GFY I guess.

          1. gocatsgo2003

            Exhibit A.

            1. Rizzo 44

              You can GFY also.

              1. gocatsgo2003

                Exhibit B.

                1. Stinky Pete

                  Well, I’m almost done with work and plan on going home and FM.

              2. YourResidentJag


                1. YourResidentJag


                  1. TWC

                    That’s strike two, Lou…

                    1. YourResidentJag

                      Yeah, I know dammit and it’s was great quote. Crap!

                  2. DarthHater


                    Don’t say I never did anything for you. ;-)

                    1. YourResidentJag


      2. gocatsgo2003

        You would do yourself well to come up with a factual, well-reasoned argument that is also well-presented instead of beating the “MARMOL SUCKS AND SO DOES DALE” drum and hoping people change their tune (to mix musical metaphors).

        1. Rizzo 44

          Nope I’m good with Marmol sucks and so does Dale. It’s true I don’t need anything more.

        2. Rizzo 44

          Plus I have given facts. I don’t have to justify myself to any of you people.

          1. DarthHater


      3. Stinky Pete

        How well I do my job is not dependent on the level of competition I am facing. Because I am not competing. I pretty much choose the level of effort I put in to my job. Ballplayers are going to put in pretty close to the same amount of effort every time they are on the field. Sometimes the ball goes where you want it to, sometimes not so much.
        I’m not sure where you are inferring my opinion on the Cubs from. All I’m talking about is the difference between my job and playing in the major leagues. Pretty sure we’d all like the Cubs to win.

  27. Cheryl

    OK. If you don’t release him, what do you do? Maybe they need a batting practice pitcher.
    Why not just put him on a far corner of the bench and hope Sveum doesn’t notice him? There’s got to be something he can do.

    1. gocatsgo2003

      Like “be an at least semi-effective middle reliever who is unlikely to get into any kind of closing situations anytime soon”?

  28. Mr. P

    I’m so disappointed that so many well respected and rational people are defending the continuous use of Carlos Marmol. Suck cost, no trade value, harmful to team morale. Am I missing something? Didn’t Dale say he wasn’t going to use Marmol in save situations anymore?

    1. mudge

      Well respected people? At Bleacher Nation?

    2. Mr. P

      I meant sunk cost, but I guess suck cost fits too.

  29. les brookes

    I agree Marmol should not throw another baseball for the Cubs and Sveum has absolutely no feel for the game. However reading Sariano was upset is funny. I saw him last year when the Cubs ,went into the 9th inning of a Wrigley slugfest, trailing 10 to 8. Lead off
    the bottom of the nineth take three balls that were bad pitches, then swing at 3 more bad ones and strike out. If he had hit a homer we would have only lost 10 to 9, instead of 10 to 8. He is probably the worst team player ever to wear a major league uniform. On a real
    baseball team he would of never batted again for them.

    1. les brookes

      Sariano hit 31 homers for the Cubs last year but probably swung at 125 more pitches than
      anyone else who hit that many.. His theory of hitting is if it’s in the park swing at it.

  30. Cheryl

    I re-read Brett’s comments on Marmol and I can see his point. Its frustrating because this has happened with Marmol so often. Its hard to concentrate on the good that’s happening with the farm system But that is one thing that’s going right. I just wish I could be more enthusiastic about the present-day cubs.

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