is one of the only middle of the road free agents that can actually do the primary thing he's acquired for. Play solid defense. Who knows, he might actually have a similar affect on the relievers that he has with Zambrano.
"It's a tough game to lose, but what are you going to do?" Cubs manager Lou Piniella said. "Nobody's trying to give it to them. They're hard losses to take, but what are you going to do? You walk out of here and feel good about the effort, and you come back and play tomorrow. That's all we can do. Nothing more, nothing less."
To hear Piniella a little more than a quarter into the season is to hear a man who has come face to face with something a lot of people take for granted around here: the brutal reality of having an attachment to the Cubs, whether it be emotional, financial or both.
To some of us, Piniella has looked doddering, the stereotypical assumption being that his 63 years are creeping up on him. Now it's obvious that what we're seeing is the early onset of Cubdementia, which is characterized by one's face often being buried in one's hands.
"Everything was OK for seven innings," Piniella said. "Then it got a little bit out of hand in the eighth. What are you going to do? We scored off their bullpen, and they scored off ours."
"We battled," Piniella said. "We gave it back to them but we battled. I'm happy that we battled. It's good to see us swing the bats the way we did. The bullpen didn't get the job done today, but we'll go out and get them tomorrow."
"For the most part, we're in this together. I won't say it's a long season, because it's 50 games in. Things have to turn. Things have to turn around for us and hopefully it will soon."
"My goal is singular," McDonough said in a news conference following the Cubs season finale, an 8-5 win over the Colorado Rockies. "The purpose of why I've been asked to do this job is for the Cubs to win the World Series -- not win the Wild Card or win the division or win the pennant. It's time to win. It's time to win the World Series."
"I think we need to reward these tens of millions of fans who have waited for a long time," McDonough said. "I just witnessed something miraculous. We're 30 games under .500 and you see 30,000 people standing in unison at the last out singing, 'Go, Cubs, Go,' at the end, as if we had just clinched the division. They need to be rewarded, we need to win. We will win. We will win the World Series. The goal is to win consistently. Anything short of that, I will not be doing my job."
sadly, dear reader, very little. placing the mastermind of "beer-and-ivy-and-who-cares-what-the-score-is" at the head of the team tells everyone everything they need to know about what tribco's priorities are and have always been -- now such a noncontroversial fact that the tribune itself will tell you so. enticing words from dennis fitzsimons or mcdonough mean nothing. this club is concerned about profitability, not winning; mcdonough's promotion is yet another in a long, long line of crystalline signs confirming the verity of that statement.There is a reason to be a skeptic when it comes to this franchise people. I have never figured out why optimism rules the day in Cubdom. Yeah, it might feel good and taste good at the time, but like any drunken binge you will pay for it at a later time.
the hard truth is that the baseball operations of this franchise are a disaster from head to foot. with extremely little positive except ticket sales to talk about, nothing will be revolutionized in a day -- the scale of the troubles is simply far too great for quick fixes. the process of rehabilitating the chicago national league ballclub will take years, probably several years. dumping macfail and baker -- while certainly necessary -- is but a minor first step. the words spoken by fitzsimons and mcdonough are signal of nothing so much as their complete lack of understanding of just exactly how horrifying the condition of their ballclub is. and why should they know? neither of them has the faintest idea about how to evaluate anything related to baseball operations.
this writer would like to call the events of the last day a great step forward for accountability for this ballclub, to say that they gave rare credence to those who would argue that the management really do notice what happens on the field and take it seriously. but it seems that just the opposite is the deeper message of these events -- particularly in light of the continuing presence of the incompetent boob most responsible for the ridiculous state of the team, general manager jim hendry.
"I've got a headline for you," Dempster said. " 'Dempster taken out of rotation after one non-start.' "
"The bullpen … we thought that was going to be the strong part of our pitching staff," Piniella said. "I haven't seen it."
The bullpen is 2-10 with seven blown saves in 15 opportunities. Piniella has tried using combinations in late-inning roles, but no one has stepped up besides closer Ryan Dempster.
Asked if he was running out of ideas, Piniella replied: "What do we do with it? You know what, I'm going to find out if there are some kids down in Triple A throwing the ball, and maybe that's the answer—get some different kids in here that can throw the ball.
"I don't know what else to say. I've tried everybody out there. You keep hoping it comes around, but we're getting into the middle of May now."
Is anyone else getting tired of these outbursts of emotion that single handedly blow the game in just one inning? This is not how your Ace acts, is it? We will get value for Zambrano at the trading deadline but just not as much if we moved him before the start of the season. Just another reactive move by our crack front office.
Not that I thought he had much chance of sticking on the team next year anyway with contract negotiations coming up this fall, but Barrett would certainly interest more than a few teams come trading deadline. With the most value coming from a trade to the AL, where Barrett won't have to pretend to be a catcher anymore.
Trade whichever one brings the most value and quit the musical chairs in the outfield. If it's Floyd then platoon Pagan and Murton. If it's Murton, start Pagan.
I'm sure there are others that you'd like to see gone, but I believe that the Cubs have a great power nucleus with Lee, Ramirez and Soriano, if they hit 3,4 5, and there is no reason not to bring up and trade for some youth and fill the roster out that way. If you question that just take a look on the south side. They were 3 games out of few years ago and made a management decision that the team wasn't good enough to win it all, and traded Bartolo Colon for goodness sake. It's unfortunate Hendry wasn't purged with McPhail, but what else could you expect from the beancounters in the Tribune Tower?
As I said before, the winning teams have a plan throughout their organization and until the Cubs realize that they're doomed
isn't going to be able to fix the $300 million Cadillac.
Instead of Hendry going to a real mechanic when he first saw this train wreck coming, Prior and Wood, he installed a 6 disk CD player.
Hendry replaces Alou and Sosa's production with Dubois, Hollandsworth, and Burnitz, then tells us we won't miss a beat? That had to be the whopper of all whoppers.
As the '05 team is sliding into the abyss around All-Star break, he fails to pull the trigger on a Maddux trade that would've yielded at least one quality prospect.
The Hendry trades 3 prospects for Pierre and when the team is in the tank yet again, doesn't make a trade to recoup some prospects.
Don't even get me started on the Maddux for Izturis deal.
Hendry doesn't sign just one setup man going into '06 but two, and gives them both three year deals to boot! Duh, Howry and Eyre aren't what you call kids you know and isn't it fitting that Hendry overpays based on both coming off career years.
This years orgy of spending was nothing more than slapping a fresh coat of paint on the ol' gas guzzler before it's sold.
Let's face it, some people are proactive and some like Hendry, are reactive. Is there any doubt this man has as much chance as a snowball's in HELL of surviving the inevitable purge that will come once the team is sold.
It's no mistake winning organizations have a well thought out plan and are proactive. Hopefully the new owner is a sound baseball man with a passion for winning. We already know he's going to half to have money and we also know money alone just isn't going to get it done.