When Winning Becomes a Danger and Other Bullets

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When Winning Becomes a Danger and Other Bullets

Chicago Cubs

It’s fun to see winning baseball once again. On a game to game basis, there’s no doubt about it. But, with each additional win, I can’t help wondering whether there’s a tipping point at which this Cubs team only does harm to the future of the organization. How many more wins until the Ricketts family understandably (but regrettably) starts to reconsider their plans to gut the front office at the end of the year? 20 more? 10? 5?

  • Is the deterioration of the Cubs’ farm system another knock against Jim Hendry? During his tenure, the Cubs’ organizational ranking from Baseball America has looked like this: 2002: #1, 2003: #3, 2004: #7, 2005: #10, 2006: #15, 2007: #18, 2008: #20, 2009: #27, 2010: #15, 2011: #16. This year’s system has suffered through ineffectiveness and injury, so, even with the anticipated additions from the draft, it’s not inconceivable that the Cubs will be middle of the pack again next year.
  • Speaking of the farm system, one of the long-term efforts to improve the system is a state-of-the-art facility the Cubs are building in the Dominican Republic. Construction will take place over the next couple years.
  • Mike Quade leaves open the possibility that Tony Campana could be a starting-caliber player soon. “Campy’s working on his offensive game, and you saw him as good as he can be [Friday], and if he continues to do that he won’t be a bench player for long,” Quade said. “He’s been effective doing what we’ve asked him to do off the bench.” If that’s to be, Campana will have to do something about that OBP. At .313 – which is essentially a season high for him – the Cubs can’t afford to have him starting every game, however fast he might be.
  • Peter Gammons reported last night that the Cubs placed Carlos Zambrano on waivers, which you already knew for two reasons, both of which are included in this post: (1) collectively, teams place a bajillion players on waivers each year, particularly ones with large, untradable contracts like Carlos Zambrano, and (2) I said the Cubs had placed him on waivers. Zambrano will clear waivers (if he hasn’t already), and the Cubs will be theoretically free to trade him to any team for the rest of the year.
  • Jeff Samardzija attributes his success this year to increased use of his slider and an uptick in velocity. What do you know? Those are the two things that look impressive about him this year when you watch him. It sounds like the current 2012 plan remains to leave him in the bullpen, but, expectedly, he remains open to a move back to the rotation.
  • A magnificent Carlos Zambrano quote on his homer yesterday: “I’m not [Tony] Campana, you know? I’m a big man, big men are supposed to hit the ball with authority. Inside the park, I’ll leave that to Campana. But it was a good pitch to hit. Thank God I was able to crush it.” Thank God I was able to crush it.
  • Starlin Castro is on a seven-game hitting streak (during which he’s hitting .500), and has scored in eight consecutive games. See if you can guess why.

Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.