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Second verse, same as the first.

Jeff Samardzija pitched exceedingly well again today, holding the Reds down into the sixth. In that inning, with some help from catcher’s interference and an Emilio Bonifacio throwing error, the Reds broke things open a bit. Not that it was Samardzija’s fault.

And so the day changes, but the story remains the same. Cubs lose. Heck, there was only one surprise.

april 18 box

Full box score.

  • SalukiHawk

    If you’d have told me over the winter that 16 games into the season that Shark and Wood would both be fantastic, Hammel would be solid, Rizzo would be hitting near .350 and Castro would be near .300, and we’d pick up a scrap heap guy from the Royals who’d solidify the top of the lineup, I’d have guessed we’d be 10-6 at least. The other parts are just bloody horrid.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    I would really love to be a fly on the wall when Theo and Jed talk about the current situation. Are they pissed off with Ricketts? Feeling swindled? Or are they happy with the organizational progress?

    I’m guessing they were sold a bill of goods on the Wrigley renovations and payroll availability, but that’s just a guess.

    I wonder if they’re embarrassed when the talk to other GM’s, especially Cherrington.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think other GMs are generally smart enough to know the kind of uphill climb these guys faced, and the kind of long-term things they are seeking to achieve.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      The perception of the Cubs’ efforts from outside of Chicago are overwhelming positive. It’s only inside the Cubs’ fan echo chamber that we hear the relentless negativity. The rest of baseball is watching admiringly and a little nervously. They can see what the Cubs are building, and they’re aren’t looking forward to it.

      Read the intro to this piece for just one example of that sort of thinking I’m talking about. There are plenty more out there.

      http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/ask-ba-is-the-cubs-pitching-underrated/

      • Kyle

        Because the rest of baseball doesn’t give two poops if you waste a whole bunch of seasons. Less competition for them.

        • DarthHater

          So, Baseball America is in competition with the Cubs? Who knew?

          • YourResidentJag

            No, Luke’s statement implies what Kyle’s reacting to: The rest of baseball is watching admiringly and a little nervously. They can see what the Cubs are building, and they’re aren’t looking forward to it.

          • Kyle

            Baseball America literally exists to write about prospects. They might have a tiiiiny bit of a pro-prospect bias.

            You think we’re having these arguments now, just wait. I’m pretty convinced at this point that the front office isn’t aiming for 2015 either, and 2016 might be starting to look shaky. They do *not* care how long it’s been or what fans will say, if they think things are shaping up toward a later window, that’s what they’ll aim for.

      • YourResidentJag

        Perception is an interesting word because it often includes themes of embellishment and personification. My guess is that this article has a great deal of bias in it in that it was probably written by someone with a predisposition to Theo and Jed and maybe even before they came to the Cubs.

      • another JP

        You’re right on the money about that Luke. I have both an accountant and an attorney that are huge Card fans and they both are very concerned about what Theo is doing with the team. It’s their belief that the Cubs are about three years away from competing for a division title. Nobody understands more about growing impact talent from prospects than those guys.

  • jp3

    Would you agree after this season of really an anemic offense that other than bringing up potential prospects they’re going to have to make a move to sign a bat (no more 4th or 5th OF types) as a show of good faith to the fan base that they’re actually trying? This seriously looks pathetic scoring 2 runs in the last 32 innings? The “plan” is a fine concept but losing 100 games almost more than 3 years in a row is a real shit plan.

    • TK

      I think this year is the last free ride they get. I think MLB starts putting pressure on Ricketts this October, and the media (national outlets) will REALLY scrutinize their actions and question why it needs to take THIS long to put a mildly competitive team together. They really need to start bearing some fruit this season, or face some super tough intrusive scrutiny and embarrassment. Signing a big FA would help in that regard, but WHO? They have to start to find out which prospects are real or phonies, so what position do they hand to a FA? And to get a FA worth signing, who could make it look like we are trying to win, is gonna cost A LOT of $$$$$. Really a tough situation to be in for Theo n Jed.

      • benjamin

        Or they could just ignore the media and people like you and keep doing their jobs.

        • hawkinright

          Any business that ignore the media and there customers is on a fast track to failure, the Cubs are no different.

          • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

            Baseball isn’t a normal business.

            Within this abnormal business you have a widely known and loved brand that has spent the better part of the last 7 decades not being very good.

            • hawkinright

              Well there still not very good and despite what we may hope for or some want to believe were still a long long way from being any good even if we get a greater rate of success from the prospects then is generally seen. It’s funny how you say it’s not a normal business because your right. If you open a Pizza Hut you have to have to have a quality product because someone will open a Dominos right down the block. My problem with how the Cubs have operated is they now there is a certain amount of demand/profit regardless do the product.

          • mjhurdle

            I would actually say that sports franchises are one of the few businesses that CAN afford to ignore the media and the fans and not suffer as much.

            Ignoring the media, for a franchise as established as the Cubs, really won’t affect them as much. People aren’t going to stop loving the Cubs because some writer doesn’t like them, or they don’t get a ton of exposure, or because they don’t give interviews.

            As far as the fans go, sports franchises almost have to ignore the fans to a certain extent. Fans have no clue what is required to run a sports franchise. We just know sabermetrics, box scores, and that if Mike Olt/Logan Watkins/Tony Campana start more, they will become Hall of Famers.
            I worry more about sports franchises if they start making moves to appease fans. Their goal is to be as profitable as possible. The most profit lies in having a winning team. As long as they are moving towards winning, then they should pay no heed to any rambling or complaining from fans.

            • YourResidentJag

              Nor should they worry about 1 million less in attendance since when they bought the franchise….oh wait.

              • mjhurdle

                actually, they should worry about attendance. That helps them be profitable, so ignoring it would be foolish.

                However, the best and longest lasting way to creating high attendance is…….winning. Year in and year out winning. One or two good seasons scattered throughout a bunch of losing seasons will boost attendance, but not for extended periods.
                Promoting a highly ranked prospect will boost attendance temporarily, but again, not for long.

                So, as a franchise, if they feel that the best way to get to a constantly competitive team is passing on a FA, or not promoting someone, they should ignore the fans and continue on their path.

                I am not judging what ‘is’ the right way to build a competitive team. I’m just pointing out that a franchise that is working on a plan (whatever that plan is) often has to has to ignore pressure from the media/fan pressure.

                • hawkinright

                  This is kind of my point and my main problem with the ownership. Because sports teams have a certain monopoly they have chosen in my opinion to leverage that for financial purposes, which is there right as business owners. My right as a fan is to not like it. Basically there are two kind of owners those those who hate to lose, Mark Cuban or George Steinbrenner and those who view is as business first Jeffrey Loria. I fear Ricketts is closer to latter.

                  • BT

                    The problem is, Brett spent a lot of time and effort explain why Ricketts is nothing like Loria. These weren’t his opinions. They were facts he painstakingly gathered. He also explained that if Cuban had bought the team, he’d be subject to the same limitations that Ricketts is now subject to. So while you have the right to your own opinion, you don’t have the right to your own facts. You are welcome to continue to view Ricketts as the next Jeffrey Loria, but please understand, it’s only happening in your head, not in the real world.

                • Bric

                  If a fan base can built on a solid business model that looks to the future and plan to put together a successful team that fields competitive teams year in and year out than please explain examples such as our Cubs or teams like the Rays.

                  Yeah, I know- since fantasy baseball, sabermetrics and the computer/ internet age we’re all geniuses in the use of stats and numbers and so these examples are just outliers and poor sample sizes or whatever else buzz word that comes and goes. Or else just maybe the game hasn’t changed at all in the last 100 years. The only thing that’s changed is they way we view, analyze and discuss/complain about it. People just latch onto some teams and ignore others.

        • jp3

          Ha, they can ignore me all they want but theo/Jed have the same kind of job security that dale sveum thought he had. Someone has to be accountable at some point for 100 loss seasons, it’s just how it works. The boss looks at you and says year 1 100 losses and year 3, 100 Ls, what gives?

      • Jon

        Well, if MLB is so concerned, they could make look to make and exception for the Cubs in regards to the debt service rule. I think everyone would welcome that

        • http://www.friendly-confines.com hansman

          It seems they already are.

      • DarthHater

        Yea, I’m sure that if my favorite sports team doesn’t get good soon, there are going to be some pretty strong demands for answers from MLB, Congress, the UN, the Pope, the Trilateral Commission, the Freemasons, and the Knights Templar. I’d hate to be in Theo and Jed’s shoes when that happens.

        • Jason P

          Yeah, if the Astros haven’t started feeling the pressure, I’d say the Cubs have at least 3 more years before MLB (or the players association) starts pressuring them to spend a little more money.

          • YourResidentJag

            You’re comparing the Astros to the Cubs. What about the Mets? I seem to recall them spending $$ last offseason.

            • Jason P

              I’m not saying I don’t want them to spend money, just that I don’t think anyone’s going to make them. Houston’s the 4th biggest city in America. We don’t know if they spent last offseason because they wanted to or MLB told them to, so it was probably a poor comparison. But I highly, highly doubt the Mets were forced to sign Granderson or Colon.

              • YourResidentJag

                Who said they were forced?

                • Jason P

                  TK did above.

                • Jason P

                  Oh wait, you were talking about the Mets. I thought you were implying they were pressured. Maybe I misread.

          • Kyle

            Astros did more last offseason than we did.

            • Jason P

              Yeah, that’s true. Hard to know if they were more active because MLB gave them a little nudge or if it was by their own accord. They also had 3 seasons before that where they tanked to a waaay bigger degree than we have been.

              So I guess it was a bad comparison. But I’d still be surprised if MLB intervened after this year or next if the Cubs don’t start spending money, especially considering the debt structure of Ricketts’ purchase.

              • 70’s Cub

                Hold on folks MLB change the process on the pitcher from Japan it appeared they teed him up for the Yankees. How is it good for baseball to have old washed up players sucking up huge paychecks?

        • jp3

          The Freemasons don’t have any real pull anymore so who cares what they think, the Lions Club has more clout

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