Tagged: Jim Hendry

Good Bye, 2009

I do not want to see the 2009 Cubs succeed.  To do so would be to go against every baseball sensibility I have.  It would be to go against any sense of justice and fairness in this world.  To see the 2009 Cubs succeed would be a slap in the face of the baseball gods (sorry, Dusty Baker).  To see the 2009 Cubs succeed would validate stupidity. When a G.M. takes a 97 win team and needlessly overhauls them in the offseason with head-scratching, nonsensical moves, it should not be able to win.  I want to see the Cubs win a World Series, but my God, not this team.  Cub fans deserve better than this ill-conceived team Jim Hendry has put together and Lou Piniella has watched over.  I’ve heard people say the Cubs will actually make the playoffs because they play most of their remaining games against sub .500 teams such as the San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals.  Sure.  I’m so glad that we have the MLB Extra Innings package on DirecTV so I can actually watch real baseball this September. 

Why is Milton Bradley still on this team?  I don’t care if the Cubs buy out his contract and cut him tomorrow, it is painfully obvious that he cannot remain on this team.  Hey, he even said he does not feel comfortable at Wrigley Field.  Who actually thought Milton Bradley would behave differently on the Cubs, a team that has no obvious leaders?  No, to root for the 2009 Cubs to succeed would mean Milton Bradley succeeding.  It may be juvenile, but I can’t do it.
Good luck to Rich Harden and Aaron Heilman after being claimed off waivers.  Hopefully for them, they will indeed end up someplace else so they don’t have to ride out this train wreck.
Now that the Cubs have new owners, the Ricketts family (Isn’t that the name of a disease?  Maybe it’s fitting for the Cubs), we should expect a lot of moves.  At least I hope so.  Do they really know what they’re getting into?  Will they completely sever all ties with the Tribune and start anew, or will it just be business as usual?  The new owners have a lot of work to do.  I wish them well and hope that they can deliver a Cubs World Series with a team that would live up to the image of a champion.

Taking Another Look

Yesterday I made light of the fact that Carlos Zambrano went nutso at Wrigley.  It was a needed eruption to get his deflated team pumped up again.  Today, I actually saw the whole footage of the outburst on TV by my parents house while picking up my son.  I was at work when this game was played so I didn’t see the whole thing.  What I saw put a sour feeling in my stomach. I’ve changed my tune.  I still think that an eruption by a player or manager can have a positive effect on a team.  However, Zambrano crossed a lot of lines yesterday.  The biggest line crossed was that of the bat to the Gatorade machine.  It’s scary to see how close he came to hitting Larry Rothschild in the chest.  He swung the bat at the machine without any regard to the safety of his teammates on the bench.  I honestly think that the Cubs themselves should suspend Zambrano.  He’s out of control.  He should be suspended by the team and forced to take an anger management class or get counseling.  I actually saw an interview with Big Z on the news where he said with a straight face that he never got into it with an umpire before or had an out burst like that.  What?  No, there’s something wrong.  The Cubs right now seem to be taking the stance people associated with the Red Sox took with Manny Ramirez when they would say, “It’s Manny being Manny”.  However, I don’t recall Manny putting his teammates safety at risk.  Would the Cubs be singing a different tune right now if Rothschild took the bat to the chest, or if the bat’s backswing caught a player on the bench in the head.  Or if a piece of the Gatorade machine hit a player in the head.  Or a fan, for that matter.  Seeing this outburst reminded me somewhat of a scene in the Jimmy Piersall biopic “Fear Strikes Out”.  If I was a Cubs player on the bench, I would have actually have been scared.  We can go back to many out bursts from Zambrano.  From hitting batters to the fight with Michael Barrett, Zambrano has shown time and again he is his own worst enemy.  Can the Cubs really count on him?  Is he really a number one starter?  A stopper?  I don’t know.  He keeps proving that he’s a loose cannon that does more harm than good to the team at times.  Why would the Cubs keep pursuing San Diego’s ace pitcher?  Maybe because deep down they know that they can never know what to expect from Big Z.  If Lou Piniella and the coaches are just going to look the other way, then Jim Hendry needs to step in and demand a level of professionalism.  The Cubs cannot continue to apologize for Big Z’s behavior and look the other way.  The need to get him help.  If not, he’s only going to end up hurting the team.

Right now I probably would have to say the Dodgers are the best team in baseball and they showed it tonight in their 2-1 win over the Cubs.  The Dodgers are a fundamentally sound team.  Their games may not always be pretty, but they get the job done.  The Cubs hope to even the series tomorrow afternoon with Ted Lilly taking the mound.
Can someone please convince the Lakers that they lost yesterday’s Game 5?  Phil, you’re the “Zen Master”, could you hypnotize your players and make them believe they lost?  It will be the only way that the Lakers will come out and win Game 6 tomorrow night.  The Lakers only come to play hard when the absolutely must.  Their boredom with the playoffs is maddening.  They have the mentality of “oh, well, we have home court advantage.  We’ll win Game 7”.  In a sense, that may not be a bad thing because they are showing that they can respond to adversity.  But, why does it have to come to that?  Just show up and win tomorrow night.  Use your height advantage against the Nuggets.  There is no reason the Nuggets should be beating the Lakers on the boards.  Yes, I’m calling out Pau Gasol.  The Nuggets should be leading in tattoos, not rebounds.
How big was Lamar Odom last night?  Odom is the key to the Lakers title hopes.  If he consistently plays as he did yesterday, as a force defensively as well as offensively, the Lakers will not lose.