The Cubs continue to limp through the season. While being swept by the Minnesota Twins, we were able to see two franchises and two teams that are going in different directions. The young Minnesota Twins under Ron Gardenhire may not be as talented as some of their recent AL Central championship clubs, but over the weekend we watched a young Minnesota team that plays the game the right way. In the opposite dugout stood a Cub team that under Dusty Baker played...well...the ball that we have come all too accustomed to in the Dusty Baker era.
The Cubs offense scored 3 times in their Friday-Saturday-Sunday series in Minneapolis. We all know by now that the Cubs are an offensively challenged ballclub, so that's not much of a story. What was again the story, besides the lack of talent Jim Hendry assembled for $94 million, is the way the Cubs played over the weekend. 3 errors on Sunday hurt, so did Matt Murton and Neifi Perez's miscommunication on a routine popup that turned into a single. On Saturday there was Freddie Bynum attempting to steal third with no outs and the Cubs middle of the lineup coming up. These are just more examples of the piss poor fundamentals that this team plays.
It's rather obvious that at this point in his Cub tenure Dusty Baker ain't gonna hold players accountable for their actions. But as the disappointment and dissatisfaction with everything Cub grows, we must remember that these players are professionals. This is how they earn their keep. They might not be very good, but they owe it to you the fans, the organization, and to themselves to play the game the right way. If the manager and the general manager are not going to hold the players accountable, it's time for a player or two to stepup and make sure this happens. Even in a losing season, a major league baseball team should not be making the number of boneheaded plays the Cubs are making.
KUDOS to the Daily Herald's very underrated beat writer Bruce Miles for his report on Friday night's loss. Miles went after Baker and the Cubs for their ridiculous approach at the plate. The gloves came off and Miles took it to Hendry, Baker and the inept staff for the Cubs lack of patience:
Contrary to what the Cubs may believe as an organization, the base
on balls can be a very effective offensive weapon.
This on Baker:
The Cubs are a team that favors an aggressive, hack-away approach at the plate, and manager Dusty Baker once even uttered that walks “clog the bases” for guys who can run.
The Twins didn’t seem to mind a little clogging at all.
“The walks always hurt,” Baker said. “He (Marmol) was throwing the ball well. Sometimes he was throwing real well. Sometimes he couldn’t find the plate. All those rallies were preceded somewhere in there by a walk.
“Like I said many times, that’s what you get when you get young pitchers. Most of them have trouble commanding the strike zone.”