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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.

  • Jim

    The Cubs’ run was trending on twitter at one point.

  • Fishin Phil

    NEEDED MOAR BUNTS!!!

    *ducks*

    • Cubbie Blues

      still hits with multiple mallets.

    • ClevelandCubsFan

      If we were at all decent at it? I’d enjoy the Cubs showing bunt or bunting every batter against a bad fielding team. Nothing else is working. Not saying it would score any runs. But maybe of we rattle a team, it would be entertaining at least. .. Then we could all look back and say ” remember that time the Cubs won 3 to 2 with 3 squeeze plays and 10 players reaching base on bunts? That was hilarious!” Ah that comical summer of 2014.

  • TimBeam

    Well at least Rizzo is still hot

    • DarthHater

      Must be that meatball batting drill. Somebody tell Mueller.

      • Funn Dave

        haha

  • TSB

    I think this semi-platoon idea has proven itself to be to be a bust. Maybe the Cubs would lose no matter who is out there, but at least provide some entertainment. Thee cubs every day lineup (except for days off) should be:
    1b Rizzo
    2b Valbuena
    SS Castro
    3b Olt
    OF Lake, Bonifacio, Scherholtz
    C Castillo
    Everyone else, prove that you are worthy or go **** yourself…

    • JasonP

      I think it’s more of a case of the roster full of players who are only platoon worthy is the problem.

      Schierholtz, Valbuena, and potentially Lake and Olt, will all be putting up numbers no one is happy with if they’re frequently in bad platoon situations.

      • DarthHater

        For them to be consider platoon-worthy, wouldn’t the platoons first have to do something worthy?

        • TWC

          The trouble is that our players are barely sponge-worthy, much less platoon-worthy.

          • DarthHater

            Perhaps, but our FO is definitely sponge-worthy. :-P

            • EB

              That’s it, I’ve had it with all your macho head games

              • DarthHater

                Macho head games? I’m gonna go outside and scalp some tickets.

    • Jon

      Lake is striking out in 40% of his PA. Can we accept that he just doesn’t make enough contact?

      F it lets see what Vitters can do

      • Cyranojoe

        After less than a month of cold weather baseball? Uh, no?

        I wouldn’t complain (much) if they decide to bring Vitters up, but some people are really too quick to pull the trigger based on SSS. I mean this in general, not just in relation to your comment, Jon. There just seem to be an awful lot of folks in this forum this year who aren’t learning anything from Brett’s insightful and considered analysis of statistics etc. What’s with the hyperventilating knee-jerk reactions over poor performance this season? It was expected, really, it was. Better would be good, but for this roster, we’re performing only marginally below expectations, aren’t we? The only thing I get is the disappointment that Olt isn’t seeing more playing time.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I know no one wants to hear it, but almost nothing in baseball can be proved a bust in just 15 games.

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        Oh but nobody care when you have the pitchfork in hand.

        • DarthHater

          [img]http://images.stockfreeimages.com/898/sfi/free_8985406.jpg[/img]

          • Pat

            Five hours later and nobody gives props for finding an image of a goat with a pitchfork within five minutes? pshaw

            • Teigh Cubs Teigh

              Props.

      • TWC

        “…almost nothing in baseball can be proved a bust in just 15 games.”

        The James Russell-as-a-starter experiment being one of those notable exceptions.

        • DarthHater

          Fool me 14 times, shame on you. Fool me 15 times, shame on me.

        • http://bleachernation.com woody

          Russell stinks and Roscup withers below. Also Jed must be tripp’in.

        • EB

          But what about Marmol as a starter?

          • TWC

            Worst decision the Dodgers never made.

      • Kyle

        Disagree. With deep peripherals, 15 games is enough to see some real information.

        • DarthHater

          Deep Peripherals = worst. porn. ever.

          • Funn Dave

            You are on today.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Nope. Check PA totals for half of the platoons.

          • Kyle

            I didn’t mean the platoon question specifically. I just meant that in baseball there are some things you can tell in 15 games.

            A lot of stats stabilize in under 60 PAs. Some in under 40 PAs. Things like swing percentage, contact percentage, fastball velocity

      • fester30

        1 more game and we’re roughly 10% through the season. That’s a pretty substantial sample size. The second law of thermodynamics states that in a closed system, entropy increases. Even in a closed system, there will be hot and cold spots on the way toward an increase of entropy, so there could be a small, temporary hot spot where a decrease in entropy occurs within the closed system, but the overall system still experiences an increase in entropy. I guess the hope is that this is the coldest 10% of the season, and that we have a few decreases of entropy left in the other 90%.

      • cubzfan23

        Except for maybe the cubs sir.

      • 5412

        Hi Brett,

        While I totally agree with you, I offer this.

        Who was the judge who said he could not provide the legal definition of pornography, but he knows it when he sees it?

        Excluding pitchers, we have a ream of kids and cast offs. How many offensive players not named Castro or Rizzo would be regulars on other teams? Castillo maybe?

        While we know you are right, we know what we are seeing. Management will be more patient for two reasons. First, they really have little choice, most of the kids in the minors still should be there. Second is one of the cast offs might get hot, another team has an injury and we can trade up.

        A lot of this will be resolved by the end of May. In the meantime we know what we see and don’t like it as evidenced by the attendance.

        Regards,
        5412

    • Kyle

      So why don’t those guys have to prove they are worthy? There’s a lot of unworthiness on that list.

    • cubzfan23

      Same line – up I want to see everyday.

    • Medicos

      TSB—-I agree with your proposed daily starting lineup for Cubs 110%. That way RR can see if Lake and Olt are MLB players or not. I was at today’s game sitting a few rows behind the Reds dugout. Some of the oppositions’ comments concerning the Cub players weren’t too positive or complimentary. They’re on are a pace to finish 52-110. The record against the Reds at home since 2012 is 2-1 with less than 3-runs scored per game.

      • Medicos

        Record against the Reds is 2-17 not 2-1.

      • TWC

        “Some of the oppositions’ comments concerning the Cub players weren’t too positive or complimentary.”

        Wow. What a freaking news flash.

        “They’re on are a pace to finish 52-110.”

        What meaningless dribble. Emilio Bonifacio is “on pace” to steal 112 bases this season. Chase Utley is “on pace” to hit over .460 this season. Guess what? Those things aren’t gonna happen either.

        • renegade4196

          This team honestly looks like a 52-110 team right now.

          • TWC

            I’m “on pace” to be really fascinated by that.

            • YourResidentJag

              Always knew you were a Giants fan. ;)

              • TWC

                Whoa whoa whoa! Settle down there, Lou…

        • candyland07

          And your point? .

          Better yet, what do you want people to say when the Cubs go 20 plus inning before they can score a run that involved 3 separate games.

          What do want to people to say when people get frustrated when the team is doing poorly.

          Yeah,you want people to talk about sabermetrics so you can confuse them . Lets talk about a pitcher War – if anybody can agree to what actually is the formula to calculate that pile of crap.

          lets talk about graphs and pitching frames

          lets talk about to bunt or not to bunt

          Lets talk about anything except how terrible the Cubs have been playing and the front office. but its okay to scapegoat RR/

          funny nerdy people

          Cubs cant hit = Low batting Average
          Cubs dont have no clutch players = Cubs stink in RISP
          Cubs cant throw out runners + who give a rat butts what it is saber metrics the cubs still can not do it.

          The Cubs have no gamers =low avg/ low OBP/ low SLG/ low OPS

          The Cubs batters stink = the majority of the team still has a negative war

          But the Front office in its great wisdom of sabermetrics produces a team that is just easier to say ; they can not hit , they have no clutch players , they cant catch a basestealers , They have no gamers and they almost all stink;

          101 common sense

          oh what the hell is the Sabermetric value of a Front office that keeps the Cubs nearly last in all offensive categories for the past three years ?

          • TWC

            Glad you found a place to vent about nothing whatsoever to do with my comment.

            Hope you’re “on pace” to have a better day for it.

          • DarthHater

            [img]https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7385/13929777815_20549c4f4e_o.jpg[/img]

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              Well you know that mystical voodoo stick shaking called MATH is too hard for some minds to process.

          • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

            I’m pretty sure Candy confused himself with his on post and believes there is a class called Common Sense 101, is that a prerequisite for a “BS in Old School
            Fist Shaking” from FBSU Home of the Fighting Shovels.

            • candyland07

              Not all, I just don’t look down at people that still use phrases to interject what the math shows.

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

                This post isn’t 1 millionth as intelligent as you probably think it is.

            • candyland07

              yet in you wisdom and great knowledge , the only real question I posted was, what the hell is the Sabermetric value of a Front office that keeps the Cubs nearly last in all offensive categories for the past three years ?

              • candyland07

                show me the math on that , decrease payroll while still charging the third highest ticket prices. paying the Yankees 13 million dollars and the platoon geeks in left this year to produce what type of production numbers,
                Giving a player a roster spot because his name is kalish, Cause he certainly did not deserve the spot out of spring training ,
                the list can go on and on

                and guess what goat, your smart enough to know the math behind all that yet you would rather just pretend to be a big goat in small junkyard.

                laughing at you ,

                • Jason P

                  It isn’t the Cubs job to please fans with low ticket prices; it’s their job to maximize profits by charging whatever people will pay.

                  Besides, if you don’t like the prices, buy cheap stubhub tickets or just don’t go to the games.

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

                  For someone who, just yesterday, stated you don’t post here every day…you sure do post here a lot.

                  And every day.

                • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

                  Wow just when I thought your comments could be anymore stupid… You proved me wrong. Your misunderstanding of even the basic concepts is quite amusing.

          • ruby2626

            I like your comment about no gamers. I love guys like Reed Johnson who are willing to get hit by a pitch to reach base. We have absolutely no guys like that, did you see the 3 times the Cubs hit the Cardinals last weekend (I think it was Saturday), at least 2 of the 3 could have been avoided. Love guys who play like that.

        • Pat

          “Emilio Bonifacio is “on pace” to steal 112 bases this season.”

          or 76, but what’s an extra 50%?

        • njmass

          Bonifacio is also on pace to be picked off 30 times. What a joke

      • Drew7

        Again, if the only way this FO is able to determine if guys are “MLB players” is to give them 500 PA’s, then they are really bad at their jobs.

      • Pat

        Not to get all mathy, but they’re actually on pace for 43 – 119.

  • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

    Oh well it was a gorgeous Friday this is just baseball.

    • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

      And Michigan craft beer is delicious no matter what… Hello Huma-Lupa-Licous ready for Friday night.

    • Jim

      This.

      • Cyranojoe

        Yes.

  • cubmig

    From mlbtraderumors:

    “Cubs GM Jed Hoyer appeared on the Kap & Haugh radio show to express his belief that the Cubs will soon once again become a popular landing spot for players. “Theo [Epstein] and I have no concern guys will want to play here from around baseball when we get this turned. We’ll be a destination for guys,” Hoyer said (quote from David Kaplan’s Twitter account).”

    ….guess help will be on the way “soon once again…” Well, that settles it. Help is on the way!
    [snark]

    • Funn Dave

      So, what–money isn’t an issue anymore? The problem is that nobody wants to be a Cubbie? That seems to run counter to pretty much everything the FO has said about the lack of pickups….

    • Jon

      Help is on the way in the form of whoever the Red Sox release this offseason

    • P.Fronts

      Good to see Theo’s pet parrot continue to do his job, convince Dave Kaplan that everything is going to be alright. And of course Dave continues to buy it.

  • Funn Dave

    So, I had a conversation with someone here a couple weeks ago–I think it was either with Paul or Jason — in which he envisioned a scenario in which the Cubs end up with a top three draft pick despite big steps forward from “core” players. I refuted the likelihood of that scenario. It’s still very early, but I’m looking increasingly wrong on that one….

  • Bill

    Sure, in 2019, the Cubs will once again “become a popular landing spot for players”. Good grief, Jed, I like it better when you and Theo keep your mouth shut.

  • itzscott

    It already is a destination for all the low risk, high upside, 4th outfielder, nice signings which I think the Cubs have a bit too many of.

    • The Real Wrigley

      Oh, but eeeeeeeeevery team in baseball makes those type of signings, remember? Don’t question the FO. Everyone will get all sensitive and angry.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Every team in baseball does make those types of signings. Hope that helps.

        • The Real Wrigley

          Not a roster full of them. How many potential platoons are there on this team? But, again, I understand that there are folks that understand these things much, much better than I. Thanks for the help.

          • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

            No, the Cubs certainly have more than their fair share. But, when the decision was made that turning this team into a contender (in the long or even short-term, really) would either take resources they don’t have right now, or worse, would be a detrimental long-term decision (or, worse still, was simply not credibly possible), the front office really only had one option: try to get the best possible spare parts they could find. And they did a great job at that.

            What people forget or ignore is that these types of players become “spare parts” for a reason. They’re nice complementary players from time to time, but they aren’t the backbone of a playoff team. Which is why the Cubs were projected to win 70-ish games all along. Some folks also forget that.

            • Jon

              ” And they did a great job at that.”

              Honestly, that’s TBD at the moment. At least for this off season. Shierholtz was a solid get last year, but the additions this year have been meh.

              Even a negative Nancy like me was really bullish on Ruggiano. I thought he would kill in that platoon, and the move to Wrigley would help. But he’s looked pretty awful. (obligiatory, it’s still early)

              There is really nothing to expect for Kalish, he’s just a borderline 4th outfielder AAAA guy.

              • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                Well, just to be clear on what I’m saying: I think they grabbed some of the best complementary, scrap-heaps pieces that were out there. I’m not saying they’ll work out; I’m just saying, from where I sat at the time, I thought they did a great job grabbing certain guys.

                How they work out is, to me, a kind of second evaluation. Probably more important – but, you’re right, it’s TBD.

                • itzscott

                  >> Well, just to be clear on what I’m saying: I think they grabbed some of the best complementary, scrap-heaps pieces that were out there. <<

                  Oh come on! Get real!

                  Ruggiano? That catcher who couldn't even make the Cubs? Wesley Wright? Veras?? How about that great high upside guy Kalish?

                  The delusionalism was even too much for an old fart Cub fan like me who's experienced way too many doses of happy talk to not know when I'm trying to be fed more of the same. I couldn't believe the hype I was reading.

                  • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

                    If something sounds too crazy to be believed, perhaps you should re-read – because usually, it’s not actually as crazy as you initially thought.

                    Alternatively, perhaps you are mixing up “quality starters” and “complementary pieces.”

              • The Real Wrigley

                The leash keeps getting longer, and longer for Theo and Jed. The Cubs will extend Team Theo long before they extend Shark. “This is taking a little longer than we expected”, is growing a little tiresome.
                But, hell, we’re in the top couple farm systems in all of baseball, AND we’re picking early (again) in the draft! Woo hoo!!!

            • Cyranojoe

              God I love how rational and reasonable you are, Brett. Thanks man.

            • joejoe234

              I don’t really know how you could say with a straight face that the resources aren’t there. If they supposedly offered tanaka 100 million plus then why couldn’t we sign better players on one year deals. That excuse is getting old. If the only way they can make a great team is by losing on purpose to get high draft picks how good are they really? How many mlb gm’s could field a good team with 5 straight years of losing on purpose? Plus Baez wasn’t even his pick. You can build a farm system while being competitive but they’ve done a great job brain washing everyone. There’s plenty of good players every year available on one year deals.

            • Kyle

              They really haven’t done that great of a job at finding spare parts. That’s been one of the more disappointing parts of their time here.

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

                They’ve done a great job in finding spare parts. Just those spare parts have been called “starters”

                • Kyle

                  And a lot of those spare parts have been pretty terrible even if they hadn’t been starters.

                  2013 was a pretty decent year for spare parts, but 2012 was brutal and 2014 isn’t off to a good start.

      • Cyranojoe

        God, reality must make you so mad sometimes, eh?

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          That’s seems to be too many people lately, the sun is shining “DAMN YOU FRONT OFFICE we need rain!”, and when it’s raining “DAMN YOU FRONT OFFICE we need sun!”

          This way they always win because they always get to complain.

          • DarthHater

            Charlie Brown once said the keep to happiness is to have a convertible and a lake. When the sun shines, you can drive around in your convertible. When it rains, it will fill up your lake.

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              And he kept trying to kick the football anyway

            • blars82

              I believe that was actually Lou Brown from Tire World

      • DarthHater

        “Don’t question the FO with imbecilic, assholish comments. Everyone will get all sensitive and angry.”

        FTFY

        • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

          +1

          • DarthHater

            The Goat is liking my comments. I need to rethink my life. ;-)

            • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

              Well I have had a few Huma-Lupa-Licious so it’s likely the IPA talking.

  • Canadian Cubs Fan

    Screw the home town discount. The Cubs would have to overpay for Shark to sign an extension.

    • cubzfan23

      If I’m shark I wanna be traded… pitches his ass off for what another Cubs loss.

      • willis

        At this point? Yeah. He’s wasting his best years in Chicago while the organization continues to put filth rosters around him. Three years into this and the results are getting worse. I know he loves playing in Chicago, but if winning is his priority, not to mention getting a decent contract, it isn’t going to happen there.

        • renegade4196

          Shark should be traded. It’s good he had another solid start, to get some type of return for him.
          Plus if anybody legitimately thinks that Samardzija is an “elite” pitcher, on any contending team he’s a 3 or at most a 2 starter. Sorry for the news flash.

          • JasonP

            ^ This ^

            And if these are his best seasons, I’ve got another newsflash for you – they’re not as good as EJax’s best seasons.

            Sign him for something in the neighborhood of what Ejax got, maybe 4 years / $45-$50 mil; or if he won’t take that trade him for 2-3 decent prospects that are about ready to compete for spots in the back of the rotation i.e. Neil Ramirez / Justin Grimm.

            • willis

              Ramirez and Grimm are relievers. I hope the cubs can get more than that for Shark. And his seasons aren’t just spectacular, but he’s a good arm to have in a rotation. I’m for keeping him not trading him. But he will be traded and I just hope the haul is worth it.

            • willis

              And there’s no way he’ll take that to play for a shit show. He can get way more to play for a team that can (and gives a crap) actually play for division titles/wild cards If you’re satisfied with a couple relievers for him, we just don’t see his value the same. I think he’s worth more than that.

            • hawkinright

              The way I look at it this team needs as many legitimate MLB players as possible and Shark is one of the few we have. Plus I’m not sure what adding more back end rotation prospects really brings us. He seems to me as though he has grown as a SP and I’m so tired of the age thing. I don’t think Edwin Jackson was scoring TDs against Michigan 7 years ago, most likely he was working on his pitching so that comparison is a little off.

              • renegade4196

                While I agree that Sarmardzija is one of the few legitimate players the team has, it really doesn’t matter. With Rizzo and Castro locked in, it’s best to let him go for some type of good return. Having 3 legitimate players isn’t gonna do any good. This team is horrible, and keeping Samardzija would only make sense if they were contending. And they won’t be.

                • hawkinright

                  Let me be clear, I am saying extend for a contract that is realistic to what he will get on the open market. Were 23rd in payroll it time to spend some money on the MLB product (and yes I did read Brett’s piece on our payroll)

                • The Real Wrigley

                  As long as fans expect a realistic return for Shark. He’s no ace. He’s not elite. Wash that thought from your minds.
                  Shark is an above average pitcher. He will never be great. He is worth much more to the Cubs as a trading chip, than any amount of pitching he will do this year.
                  Trade him.

                  • Jon

                    Well, if he’s as average as you say he is, he won’t be much of a trade chip either.

                    • The Real Wrigley

                      Can you read? I said he’s above average.

                • willis

                  See, I view Shark differently. I think he is exactly the type of piece you want while trying to build a team. He and Wood are not TOR, but they are young mileage arms who could nestle into a 2/3 3/4 role on a team that could contend, and they are one less thing you have to try and develop/chase down when it’s “time”. Why not just start the major league roster build now? It’s the third year and they have a solid SP who wants to be there. Yet, they won’t pay him and are looking to move him. It’s only another couple steps backwards for this rebuild. Isn’t it time to start moving forward instead of back? JMO.

                  • hawkinright

                    ^^^This^^^. It’s time to view players as how they can help win MLB games not just how they can build the farm system. This trading big leaguers for prospect thinking seems to have turn into a perpetual cycle that has led to what in my opinion is the worst cubs team I can remember. I can deal with it this year but at some point the future has to be now.

                    • Cheese Chad

                      I think the problem is nobody would pay him that kind of contract “now”. He is very cheap for the next year and change and that’s why he’s valuable to another team for that amount of money. He’s less valuable to the Cubs in that time frame because they won’t contend until maybe next year. But he is also not worth as much in a trade in the middle of next year.

                    • cubmig

                      Argue for the “now” that is now and the future will fall in line. After all, there really is no future, just an ever reality of the “nows” in which we live.

                      Keep Shark. He knows the Cubs org. and the org knows him. The expectations are knowable — which is different than a prospect one “hopes” will eventually be hopefully better. The expectations are a gamble in a prospect’s case because he is unknowable.

      • Dustin S

        I think that’s been the case for about a year. It’s why they aren’t closer in the negotiations IMO.

        It’s always tough to make assumptions off of April because so many hitters start off cold and the weather doesn’t help. So I try to wait until late May before really making conclusions. It’s honestly tough to think they will be much higher up the offensive charts than they are though. Maybe RR can find a magic lineup combo that sparks something.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    Looking ahead we have a four game series with the D-backs and then go on the road against the Brew Crew and the Reds to close out April. Then we have seven games against the Cardinals and three against Atlanta in a two week period in May. Not looking good at all.

    • JasonP

      It’s almost as though the Cubs are going to have to play teams that are more talented than they are all season long.

      • Medicos

        JASONP——–EVERY TEAM IN MLB IS MORE TALENTED THAN OUR HOYSTEIN CUBBIES!!!!!

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

          No need for all caps.

          • Cyranojoe

            Not to mention no need for the comment at all. Medicos might want to research this little concept called “sarcasm” that JasonP was pretty clearly utilizing there.

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

            Needed moar 1!!! 1!!!!!!!!!!! 1! 11!!!!

    • DarthHater

      When do they play the Rockford Peaches?

      • Boogens

        Darth, that was really damn funny!!! Most of your stuff is, but this was even better than most.

    • cubmig

      After that schedule, the Cubs should just bunt their way through the rest of the season…..at least they may come out of 2014 as the best bunting team in the ML.

      …..yeah it’s more snark stuff, but in a way it also suggests a purposeful way of utilizing time on developing a strategic skill.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    I’ll rest easy tonight knowing that Edwin Jackson will save the day tomorrow.

    • Canadian Cubs Fan

      The Reds will score 3 or 4 in the first, and that’ll be that.

      Votto and Bruce will have visions of Sheffield Avenue bombs dancing in their heads tonight.

  • waffle

    well played baseball is one of life’s pleasures

    as a cubs fan, right now, I am feeling not pleased

  • Medicos

    sorry Luke

  • Medicos

    JasonP sarcastically posted; “It’s almost as though the Cubs are going to have to play teams with more talent than they have all season long.”

    My response was: “EVERY TEAM IN MLB IS MORE TALENTED THAN OUR HOYSTEIN CUBBIES.”

    I’m not much into MONEYBALL SABERMETRICS so could one of our Bleacher Nation stat experts check out if my response was true or not. Is it possible to check the opening day MLB rosters of all the teams and see if our Cubbies had began the 2014 season with the worst talent of any MLB team???

    • DarthHater

      Obviously, there are way too many variables in play for there to possibly be a single true or false answer. A few seconds on Google, however, was enough to find that, as of January 26, Clay Davenport – who I believe is fairly considered a sabermetrics guy – was projecting the Cubs to have the worst record in baseball in 2014. Fangraphs, however, still is projecting the Cubs to win 72 games – more than they project for the Twins or Astros.

      Bottom line: Everyone, whether using sabermetrics or not, would agree that the Cubs are one of the least talented teams. However, nobody can truly say that one team is unequivocally the least talented. Assertions like that are nothing but blogviating (a term I just now invented). :-P

      • http://www.teamfums.org MichiganGoat

        Aye tis a good term Darth… Sorry watching Jake & Pirates with Jr. Hey look at that the Cubs lose and I had a great and happy day and also watch/listened to the game.

    • Cyranojoe

      I’ll give it a crack. But no sabremetrics.

      After a whopping 18 games, your “worst teams in baseball” are:

      Arizona Diamondbacks (4-14)
      Chicago Cubs (4-11)
      Houston Astros (5-11)
      Miami Marlins (6-10)

      ESPN predicted these to be the worst teams in the league this year (http://espn.go.com/blog/sweetspot/post/_/id/44022/ranking-the-teams-30-through-25):

      Astros
      Phillies
      Twins
      Cubs
      White Sox
      Marlins

      So I’m back to my argument of, the Cubs are slightly underperforming expectations, but we shouldn’t be surprised to see them in the bottom 5-8 at the end of the season. W-L isn’t the category to pay attention to this year; individual development is.

      Next year, I’m hoping we’re looking at more of a .500 team. If we’re still bottom of the barrel at that point, I’ll be eyeballin’ my ol’ pitchfork along with the rest.

  • Medicos

    Darth—Thanks for your response. So therefore because Minnesota and Houston aren’t on the Cubs schedule in 2014, a fan actually could state, ” The Cubs are going to have to compete against teams with more talent all year long..”

    • DarthHater

      There you go. :-D

  • jp3

    Bryant with a homer tonight, that’s 4 in his 13 games with an OBP of about .430. In another month of this action something is going to have to give. Vitters gets bumped I guess and figure out the lineup in Iowa when he gets there.

  • Jason P

    Pineyro continues to handle AA. Meanwhile, Paniagua continues to fade into the abyss. Unbelievable how a guy who throw 100 gets rocked by single A hitters.

  • 70′s Cub

    The Cubs out fielders today went 0-14 all 5 played today. Desperate need of one real MLB ready everyday outfielder! Cut Barney he does not have a MLB bat.

  • FFP

    I am not surprised that we all sound frustrated. Losing sucks. But, I am surprised by a few things here at BN.
    1. Any commenter that claims sabermetrics is too hard (or against his father’s religion, or whatever), or says “I don’t do fangraphs”, etc; and *then has the nerve* to assign others to back up his claims. People who create, read, and comment here don’t work for us. Let’s try to contribute to the dialogue, or just listen and learn in silence.

    2. Arguments when the two or three guys involved seem to not even understand what the other(s) says. Let’s all slow down, read, and think.

    3. The specific complaint that currently we don’t spend enough money on our major league roster–followed by nothing. OK. We might not (I’m not conceding that though). On what specifically should we spend? Who is available? Name him. (Or even who should we have spent on; who was available that we missed?) Let’s not mindlessly vent. Let’s put up decent contributions to the discussion.

    I know. I sound frustrated, too.
    ::leaves wracking own mind for available-corner-outfield-slugger gambit::

    • hawkinright

      Your #3 complaint is ridiculous. First off the payroll (or lack there of) complaint at the major league level shouldn’t require someone giving a list of players that is ridiculously time consuming and unnecessary. We could all list 100 players that have hit the market that would have helped this team. More than anything it would show that this isn’t just a business venture from Ricketts and he does really care that he produces a winner. Right now I think winning, short or long term is a distant second behind increasing the family net worth.

      • BT

        You could certainly think that they are trying to increase family net worth. You’re wrong, Brett’s posted voluminous evidence showing why you are wrong, people spend hours pointing out why you’re wrong, but you can think that. We just don’t have to pay any attention to you while you do it.

  • 70′s Cub

    Stay healthy Josh Vitters! Your about to get called up left field is wide open for the taking. Move Lake to center cut Sweeney his bat is similar to a weak hitting 2nd base player. The FO needs to make these type of moves by mid May.

    • ssckelley

      Yes please!

  • Medicos

    The 2014 Cubs have a roster filled with “spare parts” players. Contending teams such as Texas (Donnie Murphy at 3rd base), Boston (Ryan Roberts at 3rd base), and SF (Angel Pagan starting CF) are teams having former Cub player in their lineups who can easily fit into those lineups because they’re surrounded by many quality MLB players. It will be interesting to see how many of players now on the Cubs 25-man roster will be left on 10-1-14. 36% of the players on the roster now weren’t on the team last year

  • Jason B

    I was at that game today, and aside from watching my son have fun with his friend that we brought along, this was hands down the best thing about the day:
    [img]https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/t1.0-9/923186_647536255315777_5178652528416085010_n.jpg[/img]

    • Jason B

      Didn’t catch all of that pic, but you get the idea. $18 Nachos >> Cubs baseball

    • ssckelley

      Friggin cold wasn’t it? By the 4th inning I had to come down from the nose bleeds, I gave the lower right field usher a sob story about this being my kids first game so we could sit in the sun.

  • Mike F

    Simple facts are hard to ignore. The Cubs are a bad team, 70 plus wins was always too optimistic. Fans aren’t to blame they are customers. The FO has little to no say on the constraints of the ML Roster. Hard to say this, but Boras got his comments from Theo.

    It is becoming increasingly obvious, despite all the misdirection he throws out casting himself as the victim, Tom is the ultimate flipper. Yes yes there is a place for obvious long term building, but it is ridiculous to act as though you can’t after 3 years do both. And it is the ultimate duplicity to case oneself as a victim, unless one is illiterate and an idiot when one is as educated and rich as Tom is. Clearly he is financing the eventual rebuild with reduced payroll. It dovetails with Tom’s plan. It may work but at a real price and he and is family are the likely ultimate winners when they flip the team.

    Ultimately Tom is no victim, I tend to feel sorry for the FO because I don’t believe they signed up for this, but it all has a certain air of ridiculous to it with a strong taste of only the Cubs. I think the children of the plan though need to get real and quit overselling this season. This season has always, even more so after the loss of Tanaka been a 100 plus loss season push the timetable back. By the time the rebuilding is through, Tom if he hasn’t flipped the team will have financed the improvements through payroll reductions. And that is just the way it is…..

  • itzscott

    With the support he’s seeing just as well as the rest of us, I’d bet Arrieta’s in no hurry to come back.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    I not only had to watch another frustrating cub game, then tonight I watch Ian Stewart rake the ball over tiger stadium. He still has that ballplayer punk swagger down cold. Jerk.

    • ssckelley

      I refuse to watch an Angels game with him playing. That pile of crap does not deserve to be collecting a MLB paycheck.

      • itzscott

        I agree. I had nothing against his Tweets, but for some reason I just didn’t like Stewart and never felt he fit the Cub “mold”…. Hard to explain, I just didn’t feel like he fit here and for some reason I don’t think he felt he fit with the Cubs either.

        • cubfanincardinalland

          Boy, does pujols look like his old self. Hit another bomb tonight. At least he won’t be killing the cubs anymore. Cardinals lineup not the same without him and now without Beltran.

  • BennyTheJet

    What deal do you like more? Who says no?

    Royals get: Shark, Schierholtz

    Cubs get: Zimmer, Manea, Almonte, Bubba Starling (as a lottery ticket)

    or

    Orioles get: Shark, Vogelbach, Lottery ticket type player

    Cubs get: Bundy, Eduardo Rodriguez, Hunter Harvey

    • itzscott

      Give it up.

      These dopey trade posts are meaningless.

      • BennyTheJet

        idc just seeing what people think! your post telling me to give it up is meaningless. sorry if you don’t want to play along.

  • Medicos

    To quote former Cardinals football coach Denny Green; ” The Bears are the team were knew they were” So are our Cubs. The Hoystein regime inherited the game’s largest debt load while still awaiting promised new revenues.We should give the Beantowners credit for partially being responsible for supplying some valuable ” spare parts” players to a few playoff contending teams:

    A. David DeJesus—starting CF—TB
    B. Donnie Murphy—3B—Rangers
    C. Angel Pagan—starting CF—Giants
    D. Ryan Roberts—3B—Red Sox
    E. Marlon Byrd—starting RF—Phillies

    To quote RR; These players need to “focus!!!” Let’s hope his lineups can “focus” well enough to win today and Easter Sunday and win their first series since last Sept. It’s time to lose nickname Loveable Losers.

    • Drew7

      Right, I’m sure the Cubs’ biggest problem has been lack of focus from professional baseball players. That *has* to be it.

  • Edwin

    One thing that is disappointing to me is how the front office hasn’t been able to improve the walk rate of the team.

    • Medicos

      Edwin—-What does the FO have to do wiith “improving the walk rate” Blame the MLB players that they have who step into the batter’s box game after game. The successful stolen base #s have increased but I wouldn’t say that has occurred because of the FO.

      • Drew7

        You can’t just “teach” a guy to recognize where a pitch is going to be just as it leaves a pitcher’s hand. Edwin’s point was, I think, that we expected an Epstein constructed roster to be assembled with more players that have historically shown better plate discipline.

  • http://bleachernation.com woody

    So far the Brewers are really throwing a monkey wrench into the mix in the NL central. Doesn’t look like we are going to have much company near the bottom of the standings this year. Bryant hit his fourth dinger of the year last night so it’s encouraging to see him doing well. I think we will get some runs today off of Cingrani, but it seems like every time we spot Jackson a lead he gives it up. It seems like every start he gives up three of four runs in one inning and then settles down and pitches good for the rest of the game. That and the amount of time between pitches drives me nuts.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      In a twisted way, if the Brewers also finish up at the top of the standings this year, it’ll make me feel less bad about the Cubs being way down at the bottom. Like, it was never going to happen this year anyway, no matter what. Something like that.

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