Wednesday, August 24, 2005

MacFAIL'S low expectations...

Andy ain't worried about the Cubs. Why should you be?

If expectations come from the top of an organization, you'll understand why the Cubs have done nothing under Andy MacFAIL.

MacFAIL came out in all of the local papers earlier this week giving Dusty Baker and Jim Hendry votes of confidence. The Bright One, The Mothership, and Chicagolands best Sports Section The Daily Herald all reported Andy's satisfaction in the direction the franchise is taking. Here are some tidbits from Bruce Miles' Column, followed by my take in RED:

“In some ways, we’ve made significant progress,” MacPhail said before the Cubs lost 9-7 to the Colorado Rockies. “What I really wanted to accomplish when I came here was to have an organization that could rely on a productive farm system.

“Now on my 11th season, I counted it the other day, we’ve had three Rookies of the Year. We’ve had at least six all-stars come up through our system in those 11 years."

“We’ve had three or four different attendance records. I think those things we’ve done to the park are going to help keep the ballpark viable for the next generation of Cub fans.”

To put MacPhail’s take into proper perspective, two of the those Rookies of the Year — infielder Eric Hinske and pitcher Dontrelle Willis — won the award with other teams. Pitcher Jon Garland went to the All-Star Game as a member of the White Sox.

Since when did Ex-Cubs contribute to this franchise winning a championship?If Andy MacFail thinks this minor league system is producing talent he is lying to himself.

I like that he mentions the attendence records, at least it shows us how the Cubs measure success--at the box office, not on the field.

More from the Miles article:

“Everybody suffers injuries,” said MacPhail, whose team again endured injuries, mainly to its pitching staff. “We are not the lone soldier in that respect. You just have to deal with them.”

MacPhail stopped short of counting the Cubs out of the playoff race, but he conceded they have an uphill climb.

“We could still do it, but it’s hard to get too excited about it
when you’re under .500,” he said. “We could put together a 28-11 run the rest of the way and qualify, but that’s a lot easier to believe if you’re over .500.

“To me, it’s the number of wins that’s going to get you there. They’ve all got to play each other. Most of them are in the East. Plus, the one team we’ve got to beat (Houston), we play them seven times.”

I'll actually agree with the Cub President on the statement regarding injuries. I don't hear the Cardinals or Braves complaining about injuries.

His comment about going 28-11 is insulting to the fans. He is simply tugging at Cub fans loyalty. He wants to make sure we continue to show up sing the seventh inning stretch, drink beer and buy dogs.

Now this from the Miles column...

“I really thought once we got past ’01 we were going to have a fairly consistent run,” MacPhail said. “And ’02 was a tremendous disappointment to me. We won more games in ’04 than ’03. To have us hovering around .500 going into September is not nearly where we should be.

“Even in a year where we may not qualify for the playoffs, it’s disappointing to think that … we’re really actually not out of it now because the way the wild card’s starting to look, it’s going to be one of those 87-, 88-win seasons that’s going to end up qualifying for the playoffs.”

Kerry Wood, Mark Prior and Carlos Zambrano have enjoyed the most success among homegrown players who have remained with the Cubs, and they’re all pitchers.

Center fielder Corey Patterson, the organization’s No. 1 draft pick in 1998, spent a month in the minor leagues this year after it looked like he had established himself in the big leagues.

“I keep a close eye on this, and we’re in the top four teams of bringing talent to the big leagues over the last 11 years,” MacPhail said. “A great predominance of that’s been pitching. I think at the end of the day, you’re going to win with pitching.”

Since '01 the Cubs have fired two Managers and a GM(plus MacFail resigned as GM promote Tubby Hendry). How long will Andy have the buffer of GM's and Managers? At some point this guys job should be on the line.

He continues to say the minor leagues are producing players. The Cubs are in the top four teams bringing talent to the majors? How the hell is Andy measuring this? If MacFail considers this to be the case this is an indictment of either Baker or Hendry. If the Cubs are this good at bringing players to the Majors why do they have a Manager that is known as a veteran players manager?
Why are these young players not playing on teams Hendry builds?

Back to the Miles article:

“I am very content with Jim, and I know he’s very content with Dusty,” MacPhail said. “I’m confident we’re going to put it together. Jim is the last guy in America who’s going to want to talk about it. Not unlike a player, when you get into spring training, that might be something you discuss.”

MacPhail noted that as long as revenues continued to support it, the Cubs would continue to have a “relatively high (player) payroll that’s going to allow you to do certain things at the major-league level.”

While expressing his disappointment over the Cubs not getting to the World Series since 1945, MacPhail stuck by his assertion that the organization is going about things the right way.

“You have to be disappointed that the No. 1 job has eluded you, and that’s getting to the World Series and winning a world championship,” he said.

“We’ve not done that yet. I’m confident we are going to do that, but if you had asked me whether we were going to do that or not in my first 11 years, I would have said we would have done it. So that’s a source of disappointment to us.

“I’m confident that the formula is going to get us there and that, despite having what appears now to be hovering around .500 year, I’m still confident we’re going in the right direction. And that’s essentially getting a good system.”

According to Andy: Baker ain't going anywhere, dude.

Bottomline: MacFAIL is happy with Hendry and Dusty. This guy (MacFAIL) should thank his lucky stars the Cubs have John McDonough doing the marketing.

A good sytem? What is he talking about? Somebody please let me know what the "formula" is that he is so confident in. If he's talking about selling tickets that's fine, if he's confident they are going to win the NL Pennant please quit calling us Cub fans stupid.

It sounds to me like Mr. MacFail has a handshake agreement that he'll have this gig for life. Either that or he has so much money he doesn't care about losing this job. He can throw the World Series word out there in the paper, but the bottomline is Andy MacFAIL is happy with the status quo. I don't think many of us fans are.

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