Goatriders of the Apocalypse

I've been busy, but I haven't missed much

In the beginning, there were only a few of us in the CBA, and chances were still favorable that your point of view would be unique. Nowadays, there are enough Cub Bloggers to fill up a whole section in Terrace Reserved, and it's real hard to wake up every morning with a thought on your mind, only to see that four or five of you already expressed it in print.

Albeit, with punk spelling and incoherent sentence structure.

This is the quandary that has gripped me the last few weeks as I endured my involuntary vacation from All Things Cub. See, I was listening to the flagship while crawling along the construction zone on the East-West "officially Reagan" Tollway, when LaTroy Hawkins bounced a game-ending relay throw to first off of somebody's head. I am not proud of what happened after that, and it forced me to re-evaluate my whole value structure.

I was clinically ordered to get a life.

I have been back to work now for nearly two weeks, but I have hesitated to jump back into the pool, because I didn't feel I had anything new to say. I still don't, and it appears that in the weeks that I've been gone, nothing has changed, fundamentally. Symptoms are more acute, and they can be listed as follows:

- The offense sucks, there are mismatches in key lineup positions, and guys aren't hitting.
- The starters are fragile, and are not going far enough in games, as a whole
- The bullpen is a gut-wrenching disaster
- The manager is a miserable, clueless troll who is visibly betraying the stress he is under
- the General Manager is responsible for the whole thing

Now, I have on these pages, called for the beatification of Jim Hendry, for getting Nomar, for trading Turd Hundley, and for trading Sosa. Those are the three Miracles called upon in the Catholic Church for sainthood.

I have since called Rome, and withdrew my request. Why?

Is it Dusty? No. At the time, we all hailed his hire. Dusty fooled us all, we thought there was some magic power he held. He appears to have the same countenance that Don Baylor, Jim Riggleman, etc. had at the end of his tenure here: namely, as if someone was stomping on his balls with metal cleats. But once again, I don't blame Hendry or anyone else for his hire.

Is it the Starters? They seem to be stepping it up, although it shouldn't be a pleasant surprise with THIS staff to see a starter go into the eighth or ninth. (Baker should have yanked Maddux after 7 last night, which probably cost us the game, but next time he'll remember). But there weren't a lot of options for Hendry this off-season, and remember, we have a "vaunted" farm system just chock-full-o'-arms.

How about the bullpen? Please...how have the so-called quality bullpen arms available last winter fared lately? The pen has been mis-managed, over-worked, and much maligned, and they have lost several games for us, yes. Name me a team out there who hasn't had their pen cough up a bunch of games this year? Even the suddenly-beloved Sux have spit up several leads this year.

To me, it all comes down to this one inexcusable fact: we don't have a leadoff man, never had one except for the two months of Kenny Lofton, and maybe, perhaps, Lofton had more worth than they gave him credit for...for what has been his beef throughout his career, but that he has never felt like he has gotten the "respect" he feels he deserves? Maybe he had somewhat of a point?

I'm not saying bring back Lofton, although it is a better idea than using Patterson, Perez, Walker, or Hairston there. Hendry is using the extended Sammy Sosa fiasco as an excuse for not doing more in the offseason. That's shit....this team, with the money THEY make, could afford to sign ANYONE, even the overpriced Carlos Beltran, while still doing what they needed to do in regards to Sosa.

They certainly could have afforded a trade for a leadoff man. They can afford one now. There isn't anyone on this roster, ANYONE, who I wouldn't trade right now for a Juan Pierre or a Scott Posednik, someone who can get on base, cause havoc on the bases, and change the flow of a game.

Yes, we've had bad luck. WHO HASN'T? Injuries are part of sports, and you have to allow for them, have a contingency plan. The Cubs appear to not have one, and it shows, and it will continue to be a problem until Hendry shows he can do more than dump bad apples, and rob the "have-not"s at the trade deadline. Unless he can complete an actual "value-based" trade that works for us, we're not going anywhere this year.

Tom

Bob . . . I feel like that guy in that one movie once who was getting all excited and pumped up about something good happening and that other girl smacked him really hard across the face and then he sobered up and looked at the facts and realized he was, in fact, screwed.

I can't name a movie that scene's from, but it's been in about two dozen movies, so just apply the reference which works for you.

Here we were, all getting fired up that the bullpen (for two consecutive games, before last night's) didn't lose the game. And we were looking at it as a sign -- nay, a Sign -- that everything had turned around and the Cubs were going to rise like a Phoenix from Arizona.*
But, no, you're right. It's hopeless.

No, it's not hopeless. It will be hopless if the Cubs don't win at least three out of four from the Rockies. THEN, my friends, it will be a sad time in Cubsvilletown.

But, who knows? Maybe the Cubs will actually pull off a sweep.

As for the "same-old-retread" blogs . . . every time I see one of you "professional" bloggers mention that, I realize that I don't really strive for originality in my blog. I just pretty much churn out the same crap as everyone else.
But I do know the "s's" rule, and I use words like "peripatetic" and "insouciant" and "calculable", which should count for something.

* line courtesy Frank Costanza, SEINFELD, circa 1998.

Sloth

Well, obviously the 'punk spelling' tag doesn't apply to everyone, Tom.

They're catching record catfish near Alton, IL. Fishing!! That's what we can do this summer....

Jason R.

Could an administrator please remove Famine's post from below. There is no need for that sort of optimism with a team this bad. And by bad I mean terrible. And by terrible I mean vomitous. I could go on, but I won't.

CT

3 out of 4? Well, we're behind the 8-ball already. We'll be 12 games back of the Cards by June 1.

Ken Begg

"...for a Juan Pierre or a Scott Posednik, someone who can get on base, cause havoc on the bases, and change the flow of a game."

Until Baker is gone, I don't believe that any player or even combination of them exists that he wouldn't devalue to useless with his 'managing.' The phrases "cause havoc on the bases, and change the flow of the game" and "Duster Baker" are like matter and anti-matter: They can't exist in the same universe.

Boilerfan

I am guessing you are overstating things a bit with the anyone for Scott Posednik comment. I think the one reason for withdrawing your beatification request is the horrible state of the bench. Five guys and not one good pinch hitting option. Except for maybe Hairston everyone on the bench could be at least be equaled by a minor leager already in the system for half the cost.

Scott G. F.

So by what you're saying you really don't think that by getting rid of Steve Stone, Alou, Sosa, Clement and Grudz that is team isn't a better product?

But we have Kerry Wood (on the DL).
But we resigned Am Ram (who's getting fat)
But we have Prior (middle of the road at best)
But we have D Lee (falling down currently)
But we have Nomar (on the DL and Mia)
But we have LaTroy (ugh)
But we have Hairstin Jr. (play booter)
But we could sign Danny Graves (Scott laughs for 5 minutes cries for 10)

Thank god yesterdays loss only counted once!

Tom

Now hang on. Prior is much better than middle-of-the-road. The guy is a great pitcher, and I believe will make a run at 300 wins.
As for the rest . . . um, yeah.

Jason R.

Well, I would also add that Nomar is no longer "on mia." With a torn groin, he's not "on" anyone. Now, as to why the groin tore, you might have an argument...

Scott G. F.

I concede Prior might be better then middle of the road, but why can't he be a power hitter, play SS and manage the team too?

Thus Mid level tag!

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