Author Topic: Cubs ARE Imploding  (Read 4047 times)

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Offline kimnat

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #25: June 03, 2007, 09:35:12 PM »
priceless!  Hope you're having fun, Sori!!  don't ya just wish you were back in DC having real fun?

Offline tomterp

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #26: June 03, 2007, 09:40:35 PM »
He wanted to play for a "winner".

Offline natsfan1a

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #27: June 03, 2007, 09:47:26 PM »
I was just thinking the other day of how he'd said that. There might be potential there for some interesting fan-designed signage for when the Cubbies come to RFK this year...

He wanted to play for a "winner".

Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #28: June 04, 2007, 08:54:35 AM »
Wow, this from ESPN and I completely agree.  Its about time someone exposed the truly "worst" team in baseball.
==============================

Egos, team disarray have knocked Cubs down to size
By Gene Wojciechowski
ESPN.com
Updated: June 3, 2007, 7:39 PM ET

The Chicago Cubs are the worst team in baseball. This is an indisputable, irrefutable fact, as obvious as the ivy on the outfield walls or the steel trough urinals in the Wrigley Field men's bathrooms.

I was leaning that way even before Carlos Zambrano turned Michael Barrett's mouth into marinara sauce Friday afternoon in the home clubhouse. But now I'm sure. This team is a 25-man pileup of mistakes.

The Cubs might not have the worst record. Their star player might not yell "ha!" during games and later visit -- what did the New York Post call them? -- "jiggle joints." And they might not trail their division leader by double-digit games (yet), but it doesn't matter.

They're the worst because they're so much better than this. They're the worst because the quality of their roster and the bulges in their $100-million payroll and $300-million offseason spending binge say so. And they're the worst because they lack a soul and simply can't handle the acidic, confrontational style of manager Lou Piniella. (Piniella was suspended on Sunday following a meltdown Saturday when he kicked dirt on third base umpire Mark Wegner during a loss to the Braves).

It isn't much of a baseball secret that Zambrano is a pitching diva and captain of the All-Knucklehead Team. When he was just breaking into the big leagues you could pass off his tantrums as the youthful ignorance of someone who wore his emotions on his jersey sleeve. "Fiery" is the word Cubs assistant general manager Randy Bush used Friday to describe Zambrano.

But the truth is Zambrano has a long and well-documented history of throwing hissy fits when things don't go his way. It can be anything: an infielder botches an easy grounder ... an umpire squeezes the plate ... or, in this case, a catcher perhaps screws up a sign, lets a pitch squirt away, and then throws the ball into left field for an error and unearned run. The difference is this time Zambrano not only threw a fit, but he threw a punch. Lots of them, if you asked Barrett's lip.

The first shove-fest came in the Cubs' claustrophobic dugout and in full Wrigley and TV camera view during the bottom of the fifth inning. The actual fistfight came slightly later in the privacy of the clubhouse, which is too bad. Watching the Cubs' battery (now there's an appropriate word) go at it would have been more interesting than watching yet another Chicago loss, its fifth in a row and ninth defeat in the past 11 games.

Zambrano is listed at 6-5, 255 pounds. Barrett is listed at 6-3, 210. This was no small altercation between two free agents-to-be. It not only provided a telling glimpse into the non-relationship between Zambrano and Barrett, but it became an X-ray machine and exposed a serious fracture in the psyche of this team.

Zambrano showed up his catcher in front of his teammates and those Comcast cameras, which is a cardinal sin in baseball. And what kind of idiot celebrates his 26th birthday by turning a teammate's lip into Minute Maid pulp?

But Barrett, whose catching skills aren't exactly held in high regard by Cubs' pitching staffs both past and present, is also a drama queen. He's had his share of tantrums, beginning with his part in the destruction of Sammy Sosa's boom box in 2004, with his home plate brawl with Chicago White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski in 2006, and now this. It doesn't help that he's hitting .241 (.217 in May) and has been brutal on the basepaths.

Zambrano, the supposed ace of this staff, is 5-5 with a 5.62 ERA. Against the Atlanta Braveson Friday, he gave up six ernies and a career-high 13 hits in five innings. Just in case Zambrano had a memory lapse, Barrett appeared to point to the scoreboard and remind him of the gruesome numbers.

Then came Round 1 of the Rumble in Wrigley.

Zambrano says there's absolutely nothing physically wrong with his right arm, which has lots of mileage on the pitch odometer. If that's true, then the Cubs really are doomed. If there is something wrong, and he's hiding an injury during his contract year, then Zambrano has to come clean.

But the smackdown between Zambrano and Barrett is merely the flashpoint of a team in full implosion mode. You can accuse the New York Yankees of underachieving more than any team in the big leagues, but you would be wrong. No way should this Cubs starting lineup, this Cubs starting pitching and this Cubs bullpen have just 22 wins after 52 games. They're 7 ½ games out of first in the ordinary NL Central. They might as well be 75 games behind.

Former Cubs manager Dusty Baker was criticized for over-protecting his players. His replacement, Piniella, is being criticized for doing the exact opposite. So what's next? A pregame Bikram yoga session for the players so they can find tranquility while doing the Tadasana tree pose?

The baseball-impaired Cubs and their $100-million payroll have run out of excuses and are beginning to run out of time. They border on unwatchable these days. Too many mind-numbing mistakes.

"I only have so many players that I can play. You know?" said Piniella, his voice rising in the postgame press conference seen around the country by now. "And it's about time some of them start playing like major leaguers! Or, get somebody else in here that can catch the damn ball or run the bases properly! All right? That's all I can say!"

That's all he can say publicly. Just think what he's saying to himself.

Gene Wojciechowski is the senior national columnist for ESPN.com. You can contact him at gene.wojciechowski@espn3.com.

Offline soxfan59

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #29: June 04, 2007, 10:39:16 AM »
The only consolation we White Sox fans have in Chicago as our team also implodes (though far less dramatically than the Cubs, it is no less frustrating) is that at least the Cubs are doing worst than we are. 


Offline tomterp

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #30: June 04, 2007, 11:00:33 AM »
The only consolation we White Sox fans have in Chicago as our team also implodes (though far less dramatically than the Cubs, it is no less frustrating) is that at least the Cubs are doing worst than we are. 

If the Cubs could ever find a rudder, they could rebound given how weak their division is.  The Sox don't have the same luxury, their division is brutal.

Offline soxfan59

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #31: June 04, 2007, 12:00:46 PM »
If the Cubs could ever find a rudder, they could rebound given how weak their division is.  The Sox don't have the same luxury, their division is brutal.


You are so right.  The Sox not only have to turn it around, but they have to pass the three teams that are ostensibly the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th best teams in the league after Boston.  The Cubs, on the other hand, could win 10 out of 15 while the Brewers go in a skid, and be back in the race.

Offline nats2playoffs

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #32: June 04, 2007, 01:22:46 PM »
...The same fundamental lapses that marked the past few seasons under former manager Dusty Baker are plaguing the Cubs even after their offseason overhaul.  They hired Piniella. They committed $300 million to retain and sign players, adding free-agent prize Alfonso Soriano. But the results are all too familiar for a franchise that last won a championship in 1908 and has not been to the World Series since 1945.  A team that thought it was a playoff contender after winning 66 games last year entered Sunday's game at 22-31...


The Cubs are now 23-31 but they have scored 249 and allowed 234.  The only teams in MLB in 2007 who have losing records but have outscored their opponents overall are:
AL: Balimore, NY Yankees
NL: Chicago Cubs, San Francisco

The Giants have trouble scoring runs, the Yankees entire pitching rotation has been injured much of the season, and the Orioless continue to be pwned by Peter "The Pig" Angelos.  The Cubs were close to .500 for much of the season.  It really seems that hiring Lou Piniella was their biggest mistake.  By his own admission, when he announced that he didn't want to manage the Nationals, he has no interest in actually managing a team.  He just wants somebody to hire a lot of high-priced players, and take credit if they perform up to expectations.  And throw public temper tantrums to entertain the drunks, who comprise much of the Cubs' attendance.

Offline shoeshineboy

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #33: June 04, 2007, 01:45:43 PM »
The Cubs are now 23-31 but they have scored 249 and allowed 234.  The only teams in MLB in 2007 who have losing records but have outscored their opponents overall are:
AL: Balimore, NY Yankees
NL: Chicago Cubs, San Francisco

The Giants have trouble scoring runs, the Yankees entire pitching rotation has been injured much of the season, and the Orioless continue to be pwned by Peter "The Pig" Angelos.  The Cubs were close to .500 for much of the season.  It really seems that hiring Lou Piniella was their biggest mistake.  By his own admission, when he announced that he didn't want to manage the Nationals, he has no interest in actually managing a team.  He just wants somebody to hire a lot of high-priced players, and take credit if they perform up to expectations.  And throw public temper tantrums to entertain the drunks, who comprise much of the Cubs' attendance.

Yeah, that run differential projects to a .531 winning percentage. They can't blame it on a curse, they must be either incredibly unlucky, poorly managed (which does not just mean the field manager), or a combination. There is no excuse for this team to have lost as many games as they have. It is very unusual for a team to have this kind of disparity over the long haul of the season, so you would expect things to even out to an extent if the trend continues. They could conceivably be beating up lesser competition and failing horribly against good competition, but that is also unusual to this degree over the long haul.

Offline nats2playoffs

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #34: June 04, 2007, 02:04:05 PM »
The other factor is that MLB scheduled a lot of early games within the home division. The NL Central has got to be the weakest division so far.  The Cubs got to beat up on Cincinnati and St. Louis, both of whom have had weak pitching, while the Cardinals team hitting has slumped badly.  They also play Houston and the Pirates, both of whom have losing records.  Once the Cubbies got out of their division, they started losing lots of games, (despite the 3-game sweep over the Nationals.)

Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #35: June 04, 2007, 02:06:55 PM »

Offline kimnat

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #36: July 02, 2007, 11:38:46 PM »
Too bad this isn't happening to the Cubs now!

Offline Kenz aFan

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #37: July 02, 2007, 11:46:11 PM »
Too bad this isn't happening to the Cubs now!

Maybe the next three games belong to the Nats.

Offline OldChelsea

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #38: July 03, 2007, 08:07:34 AM »
It's not too far away now - the centennial:

Bennett Park, Detroit, 14th October 1908...Orvie Overall goes the distance with a 3-hit shut-out, striking out 10, to give the Cubs the World Series title...

...their last to this day.

Offline natsfan1a

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #39: July 03, 2007, 08:43:29 AM »
That would be sweet!

Maybe the next three games belong to the Nats.

Offline soxfan59

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #40: July 03, 2007, 10:37:59 AM »
It's not too far away now - the centennial:

Bennett Park, Detroit, 14th October 1908...Orvie Overall goes the distance with a 3-hit shut-out, striking out 10, to give the Cubs the World Series title...

...their last to this day.

There is an excellent marketing opportunity for the Cubs next year.

A special uniform patch on the sleeve, with the 1908 logo and the modern Cubbie logo, and an inscription something to the effect of "Chicago Cubs 1908- 2008     A CENTURY OF FUTILITY"

 :icon_mrgreen:

Offline soxfan59

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #41: July 03, 2007, 11:16:58 AM »
P.S.

GO NATS!  My Nats Jersey will be evident this 4th of July!

I am the founder and President of THIS not for profit organization: 

C.U.B.S.S.U.C.K , NFP
("Chicago's Universal Baseball Society; Seeking Understanding; Collecting Knowledge")

Forever grateful to the San Diego Padres, Florida Marlins, Leon Durham, Steve Bartman, and the Goat! 




 "I cheer for 2 teams, the White Sox, and whoever is playing the Cubs" Old South Side Proverb.

 

Offline tomterp

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #42: July 03, 2007, 11:28:20 AM »
What's the goat thing about?


Offline tomterp

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #44: July 03, 2007, 01:19:04 PM »
Thanks, that was an entertaining read.  I liked this part especially:

"According to an interview with Sam Sianis, William Sianis' nephew, the Curse of the Billy Goat can only be dispelled by the Chicago Cubs organization showing a true sincere fondness for goats, sincerely allowing them into Wrigley Field because they like them, and not simply for publicity reasons."

Sort of like the Great Pumpkin with the sincerity requirement.


Offline natsfan1a

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #45: July 03, 2007, 02:13:02 PM »
The tavern also has a Saturday Night Live connection (the Belushi cheezborger cheezborger skits from the 70's).

http://cityinsights.com/chicago/billygoat.htm

Offline tomterp

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #46: July 03, 2007, 02:45:39 PM »
The tavern also has a Saturday Night Live connection (the Belushi cheezborger cheezborger skits from the 70's).

http://cityinsights.com/chicago/billygoat.htm


Oddly enough, I had lunch today in "Cheeburger Cheeburger", in Rockville, which was inspired by the same skit.  "Pepsi, no Coke".  They have awesome shakes, but I have to say the burger was well done, when I ordered medium.

Offline natsfan1a

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #47: July 03, 2007, 03:04:15 PM »
That's a coinky-dink! I've never been to one. At one point the tavern was suing them over their name, but they settled out of court.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3190/is_1_38/ai_112451646

Offline soxfan59

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #48: July 03, 2007, 04:27:04 PM »
There are several Billy Goat Tavern locations, including one in Washington D.C.!!

http://www.billygoattavern.com/home.html

The Billy Goat's original location was right near the Tribune building, and most of Tribune staff and reporters hung out there. 

As an aside, almost all of those famous SNL stars who cut their teeth in comedy with Chicago's Second City comedy troupe (John and Jim Belushi, Dan Akroyd, Bill Murray, etc) all were rabid Cubs fans.  I think it grew out of the the fact that Second City is a north side institution, and it was easy for the cast to attend day games at Wrigley Field and make thier evening performances. 

Offline natsfan1a

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Re: Cubs ARE Imploding
« Reply #49: July 03, 2007, 04:52:54 PM »
Cool, I didn't know there was a D.C. branch.