Goatriders of the Apocalypse

I'm just mental about fundamentals

If you watched so much as a single Cubs game in person or on TV last year, then you probably witnessed some bad baseball, even if the Cubs won. You probably saw Moises Alou get picked off at first, or caught in a run down. Or, maybe you saw one of the many bad throws from the pitcher to first base. Or perhaps someone failed to tag up when they should have. Or an outfielder threw to the wrong player or base.

The point is, Dusty had a credo last season, which was "let men be men." This meant that he had a team of good, solid, veteran players. They didn't need to relearn the basics during Spring Training, they already knew them. They didn't need some jackass coach telling them where to throw the ball, or how to run. As a consequence, the Cubs were the most fundamentally unsound team in all of baseball last year. I'm not just saying that. A lot of scouts said the same thing.

This year, the team went back to basics. At least, that's what they told us during Spring Training. They relearned how to run, throw, catch, and slide. Or so they claim.

Sure, Corey Patterson had a HELL of a game yesterday. He's a great defender, and aught to win a Gold Glove sometime in his career. But Aramis Ramirez has reverted. Every throw to first is an adventure, and Derrek Lee has already had to grab a handful of throws from out of the dirt. And, although I might be wrong, I'm pretty sure the Cubs lost at least two base runners in the Red series. Really, correct me if I'm mistaken (because I'm going from memory), but I believe Jeromy Burnitz was caught between bases two days ago, and didn't the same thing happen to someone yesterday, as well?

If this team is supposed to be fundamentally sound, they need to show it more than they have. Because so far, 2005 just looks like a big reprise of 2004, and I don't think anyone wants that. It might be just enough to drive a guy mental.

Pestilence

I don't know about Monday, but on Tuesday I was at the game. Burnitz led off the top of the ninth with a double, and then Corey Patterson came to bat. He hit a tapper back to the pitcher who turned around and got Burnitz in a run-down between second and third.

At the time, (probably because the Cubs were up 7-1) I didn't feel that Burnitz had done a bad job, I thought he had just been unfortunate. He had taken a large secondary lead, and the pitcher got the ball very quickly.

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