Game & Series Recap: Padres 5, Cubs 3 -- the wrong side of a sweep
Tom Ricketts should know that his grace period ends the day he officially retains Jim Hendry.
I realize that I'm not a baseball genius. Never claimed to be one, I'm just a fan with a pulpit. (And even that isn't so big a deal, anybody can have a blog with a silly name.) But I guarantee you that, if you gave me the Baltimore Orioles and a 150 million budget for 2011, I could turn them into an incredibly competitive team. I wouldn't need to revise my front office, I could hire a the World Cup Octopus to be my manager, I wouldn't need a single prospect to actually develop into a talented major leaguer ... I'd just need a modestly strong free agent market to throw my money at.
That's basically what Jim Hendry did to save his ass before the start of the 2007 season. At the time, we all knew that today was coming. Sooner or later, his expensive players would bust -- you can't sign guys on the wrong side of 30 to multi year deals without expecting it to happen. We knew that Soriano would become an albatross, that Fukudome was probably going to be a disappointment, that no starting pitcher in the history of baseball has ever signed a contract as big as Zambrano's and stayed healthy/successful for the duration, and then some.
We knew all that, and yet here we are, furious at a mediocre-at-best 2010 season, watching the Cubs get swept at home in a four game series (something that probably almost never happens) to the Padres.
Blame the shoddy bullpen for this one. Sean Marshall managed to go a third of an inning, squandering the lead Carlos gave him. He surrendered 4 earned runs off of 4 hits and a walk, and that was all she wrote. The Cubs, who collected 7 hits and 3 runs, could have kept their offense home for the day. (They pretty much did, anyway.)
The old Carlos would've met Marshall in the tunnel and beaten the crap out of him. Somehow, that's no worse than what actually happened.
Anyway, this crappy series has ended and now the Cubs face another playoff caliber team -- the Braves. Derrek Lee returns to Wrigley Field, yadda yadda. I'll have the Series Preview up in a few minutes.