It's Lou's fault Bradley has been hurt/started slow.
It's Lou's fault Derek Lee started slow.
It's Lou's fault Soriano can't hit for dick right now.
It's Lou's fault Ramirez tried to make a great play but got hurt.
It's Lou's fault Soto put on weight and also can't hit for dick right now.
It's Lou's fault Fukudome is in his yearly tailspin.
It's Lou's fault that the weather isn't nicer for MID JUNE.
It's Lou's fault that Wrigley doesn't have urinals, but troughs.
It's Lou's fault that Marmol can't throw a friggin' strike (this one may or may not be sarcasm)
It's Lou's fault that Hendry didn't get a LOOGY in the offseason.
It's Lou's fault that the sun doesn't shine over only Wrigley Field.
It's Lou's fault I can't seem to get in the physical shape I want.
It's Lou's fault that I put on my boxers backwards.
Come on...I didn't expect this garbage from you guys.
I'm sorry, but how long does Alfonso Soriano need to bat leadoff before Lou realizes that he doesn't belong there?
How many times does the entire offense need to fail at hitting with runners on base before Lou works with them to adjust their approach?
How many times does the defense need to blunder their way through another big, unecessary inning for the other team before Lou calls for extra practice and works on them with their fundamentals?
Have you been reading this blog for long, Nick? Lou Piniella has been on my watch list since APRIL. How long do the Cubs get to perform dramatically under our expectations before the men who built them -- Lou and Jim -- are called out on their responsibility for these shennanigans?
If Lou was at all responsible for when the team played well in '07 and '08 then how is he NOT at all responsible for how the team is playing this year? Answer me that.
This is Jim Hendry's fault, not Lou's. Lou isn't the one at bat, the players are. How do you know that Lou hasn't approached ALL these players about their approach at the plate? Their discipline at the plate? Their aloofness to the game in general? Last I checked NONE OF US are in the clubhouse or have any access to what the coaches or Lou says to these players, so I think blaming Lou is pretty retarded in my opinion.
Yes, Soriano needs to move down till he figures out his swing...that is mind boggling that Lou hasn't altered that. I'll give you that one. But the rest? Unless you're in the clubhouse, you have no idea what's going on.
Blame Hendry for wasting money on Bradley/Soriano/Fukudome and for not getting a LOOGY and for trading away DeRosa, etc. Not Lou. I think that's just stupid.
I don't think Lou's responsible for what happened in '07 or '08. I never said that now did I? It's the players that are responsible.
Fantastic. Since Lou isn't responsible then you shouldn't be attached to him.
Again -- who allowed for 12 or 13 pitchers to be on the roster, especially when hitters are in high demand on a team that can't score runs?
Who formed a 25-man roster with no legitimate backup third baseman, only to force a second baseman to move over there when the starter got hurt?
Who allows a cleanup hitter to bat leadoff, especially in a season where runs are hard to come by?
How long do these things have to happen before somebody takes account for them?
So...let me get this right Kurt. Lou, in the span of about 7 months, has totally lost all capability of managing. Things he did or had a hand in that helped win a team 97 or so games...they all flew out the window...in 7 months. He went from a good manager to not knowing how to assemble a lineup/roster in 7 months? Come on now.
Again, move Soriano down...yes. but there isn't much else he can or could've done. I'm truely surprised at you beating a drum for something so stupid.
Are you really trying to justify the ridiculous amount of pitchers on this roster along with the lack of any kind of backup third baseman?
Anyway, according to you Lou had nothing to do with the team's success, right? So you might agree that all along they've been winning in spite of him, not because of him.
Or, maybe he's just gotten old quickly and has hung on for one season too long. Ask the '69-'72 Cubs if Leo Durocher -- clearly the force behind the team's success -- didn't lose it and linger.
Kurt please do not put words in my mouth. I never said that Lou has had ZERO accountability towards the team successes or failures. He has MINIMAL factors. He can preach things to players, but ultimately its up to the player to act upon it. I will also, according to my view, not agree that that they have been winning IN SPITE of Lou. Again, assuming things I've never said.
In response to your roster management stuf...I'm no expert with the quantity of bullpen arms vs a Bobby Scales or Blanco or Fox or whatever AAA lifer you want to clamor for. All I know is I'd take someone with a lifetime of MLB experience (b/w playing and coaching) to anyone's on this site. I'm sorry but I think that makes more sense.
As for Ramirez, had the rest of the team played up to their abilities, the team would still be in 1st place in this crap division. You're telling me this roster holds one of the worst lineups in baseball with the loss of Ramirez? No way. Even without Ramirez they're (on paper) better than all the NL West sans LA and most of the NL Central. The losses that are piling up are a direct result of poor play and mental execution.
They weren't exactly setting the world on fire before A-Ram went down.
I welcome you though to study Leo Durocher and his impact on the Cubs. The general concensus these days is that his final years managing were filled with bouts of senility and general incompetence that detracted from his years of experience, possibly costing the Cubs games and perhaps even playoff appearances.
I don't think necessarily that Lou's "senior moments" are killing the Cubs, but I think that he's possibly at the point where his passion to manage is diminished and his years of wisdom and experience aren't helping. I'd rather the Cubs let him go and try to win without him.
I didn't say you said that, it's just a conclusion I drew based on this: "I don't think Lou's responsible for what happened in '07 or '08."
Seriously, who do you see as a better option? Soriano is, when not mired in a horrendous slump, one of our top hitters. It never hurts to have one of your best hitters getting the most at bats. If you have a lineup of, say, Theriot, Fontenot... or Theriot, Fukudome..., you are forcing one of you best hitters down to the 5th or 6th hole (and then Soto, another one of our best hitters, into the 7 hole), taking at bats away from a great hitter.
The slump has been bad, no doubt, but Theriot's has been just as bad if not worse. I mean, maybe it's a good idea to move him down while he's slumping, but the only guys not sluming with him at Lee, Soto, and Fontenot. I guess Fontenot could hit leadoff, but then what's the rest of the lineup?
When Soriano's hitting, this lineup makes a lot of sense. When he's slumping like he is, the bench is the only place that makes sense.
I feel that when the Cubs are winning with authority, sure, bat Soriano anywhere. But when the team is scrambling for runs, bat Soriano where he's best suited -- not leadoff.
In that long manifesto I wrote yesterday I presented two lineup options, one vs. left and one vs. right-handed hitters. In both I had Sori batting cleanup. Isn't that where a team's top hitter belongs?
We can -- and perhaps should -- shovel a fair share of the blame onto Jim Hendry, but why does Lou Piniella get a free pass? Does Lou have no say on a team that can't hit a lick keeping 12 or 13 pitchers on the roster at all times, limiting the number of can't-hit-a-lick options? Does Lou get no say on building a team with no legitimate back up third baseman, only to force a second baseman to play that position once the starter gets hurt? Isn't it possible that part of Fontenot's druthers come from playing a position he's uncomfortable with?
Please don't get me wrong. I fully - FULLY - expect the Cubs to reach the playoffs this year. I just no longer think that Piniella is a reason it will happen.
Kurt I usually just read these post and keep my mouth shut but I'm gonna speak my peace on this one. That is the most absurd request I've ever heard! Every post you make is negative and pointing fingers at certain players or Lou. Do you ever post anything positive? Like we have had all these injuries, played like garbage, had problems scoring runs to say the least, had multiple bullpen issues and still are only 3.5 games out of first with 100 games left. If you are the baseball expert that you claim to be, you know how fast 3.5 games can be made up. And a homerun from the 3 hole is still a solo shot if nobody is on base, so why not stop calling for one of the most successful managers in the game to be fired over some bad breaks and a few injuries! It would be different if we were out of contention but we are nowhere close to out of this race. Just my opinion on this issue, and I do like the site but there is just too much negativity! Thanks for letting me voice my opinion, Go Cubs!
Just a few questions for you...
1. Am I (me, Kurt) concerned with how the Cubs are playing?
2. Am I allowed to express that concern?
3. Have I given up on the season?
4. Do I think it's hopeless?
5. Is this anti-Lou spin out of the blue? Have I never implied that I'm losing faith in him this year?
And lastly ...
6. How many games do I have to watch of what should've been the best Cubs team in my lifetime play .500 ball before somebody is held accountable?
We just canned Gerald Perry, I would call that being held accountable!
But hitting coach Gerald Perry doesn't write the lineup, turn to 7 - and 8 - relievers, and refuse to keep on the roster anybody with the legitimate ability to play third base behind Aramis Ramirez.
Canning Perry isn't holding somebody accountable ... it's passing on the blame.
True the hitting coach does not write the lineup, turn to 7 & 8 relievers, and refuse to carry a backup 3B, but is in fact responsible for the teams hitting! And correct me if I'm wrong but that is this teams downfall right now and your original complaint.
Actually I sort of thought that the players were responsible for the hitting, although I asserted that Piniella is the one with the authority to implement changes of strategy. I did make one line of reference about how Lou needs to "work with them to adjust their approach." If you want to hang your hat on that -- rather than the numerous, other problems with the team, that's your call.
But let's be honest. Piniella's not helping the team. Why are you so adamantly defending him? Is it more important that he have a job than it is that the Cubs get better?
Why are you so adamantly wanting him ousted? I don't see how you can stick to your guns so much, but not budge an inch to others' views? You're refusing to acknowledge anyone elses opinion on this situation and almost being condescending. Isn't that hypocritical to your claims of what Another Cubs Blog is doing?
I've pretty well outlined my problems with Lou, repeatedly, since the end of April. If you don't know by now why I'm unhappy with Piniella, all you need to do is look. It's there, written clearly and cleanly.
By the way ... how is it possible to "refuse to acknowledge anyone else's opinion" if I'm actually RESPONDING TO YOUR OPINION? I have repeatedly outlined four reasons why I'm unhappy with Lou: poor bullpen management, poor lineup management, poor roster management, poor team management -- and I've given specific details in each category as to what he's doing that I find so displeasing.
You have repeatedly responded with "but they fired the hitting coach," while acknowledging one thing (Soriano shouldn't be batting lead off) while ignoring the other points *I* have made.
But if you want to compare me with a douchebag who called somebody he disagrees with a "piece of shit" and suggests they drop a toaster while in the bathtub, go for it Nick. At that point though any argument you make sounds dramatically less reasoned and you lose a ton of credibility, at least in my eyes.
Uhm...I haven't said one peep about the firing of Gerald Perry. I just think there are outside factors that have handcuffed Lou. Namely factors brought on by Hendry. You know...the guy that brings in the players for Lou. No matter what players Lou wants, it's Hendry's job to get a cohesive unit for Lou to manage.
I am not arguing that you haven't complained about Sweet Lou since April. In fact I have agreed with some of your points, I just see things differently.
You are responding to my opinion, and others, but when I say you're "refusing to acknowledge anyone else's opinion" I'm saying that you're casting it as if your OPINION is FACT and our OPINION is FALSE.
I'm not comparing you to a guy who I don't know, or have ever read his site. What I am POINTING OUT is that you claim the guy/site shoots down others opinions and makes people feel like shit, when all you've done in your responses to me (at least) is be condescending. I find that connection funny.
But ... this is a blog. Isn't it a given that a blog = editorial and editorial = opinion? I haven't issued a press release declaring that Piniella has failed at his job. However I did write an article yesterday in which I stated clearly "this is what I would do."
As for how I've presented myself in this particular thread, I would love for you to quote directly any reply I've given in which I stated something as a fact. On the contrary, I can show you numerous examples of when I said things like:
"maybe he's just gotten old quickly and has hung on for one season too long" - an assertion, not a fact as indicated by the word "maybe"
"I don't think necessarily that Lou's 'senior moments' are killing the Cubs, but I think that he's possibly at the point where his passion to manage is diminished and his years of wisdom and experience aren't helping. I'd rather the Cubs let him go and try to win without him." - several opinions, as indicated by phrases like "I don't think" and "I'd rather."
"Please don't get me wrong. I fully - FULLY - expect the Cubs to reach the playoffs this year. I just no longer think that Piniella is a reason it will happen." - opinion qualifier "I just no longer think"
Nick, of course I'm going to THINK my opinion is right. Otherwise it wouldn't be my OPINION. But I haven't told you that you're WRONG -- that would be an example of what you're describing. All I've done -- repeatedly -- is ask you acknowledge the troubles Piniella can be directly considered responsible for and to explain what he's done this season to justify such an adamant defense from people.
But, again, rather than address the topic based on the merits presented within it, you turn to a cheap shot about how I'm just like a guy who calls people pieces of shit and advocates their suicide because he disagrees with them. How does that strengthen your point? How does doing anything but addressing my points do anything to strengthen your point of view? Is this how you always debate people?
I did counter, all your points, with one simple response. I trust someone with a lifetime of experience in the majors, over anyone on this site. Someone that has a world series ring. And someone that managed a team that won 97 games last year.
I see your points, I really do. But I'm sure there is solid theory and reasoning behind what Lou is doing. Again, I don't think he's lost his touch in merely 7mths. I don't think he went down to Tampa/St.Pete over the winter and fried his brains in the sun. He's doing his best, in my opinion (with the exception of the Soriano situation), with the cards he's dealt.
I don't think Lou was the sole driving force behind moving DeRosa and the accompanying moves. If that's the case, why on earth have a GM? Why not have managers make all the moves? Hendry made some moves that bit the Cubs squarely in the ass. Did Lou push or recommend moves? I'm sure he did. But I'm sure he also wanted Jake Peavy or Mark Teixeira or ARod or whatever free agents/trade candidates were available. Ultimately it's up to Hendry to add the pieces to the puzzle and he has failed miserably, offensively, in 2009. There isn't much Lou can do when your best option for 3B can't field for shit (Fox).
Lastly, I think you need to relax with the Another Cubs Blog remarks. I'm pretty certain that the guy isn't advocating the suicide. He probably thinks it's funny or whatever stupid reasoning he has, but I would hardly call it advocating the suicide of Rob. Let's not pull a Sarah Palin here.
" did counter, all your points, with one simple response. I trust someone with a lifetime of experience in the majors, over anyone on this site."
That would be relevant if I (or anybody else here) was campaigning to replace him in the dugout. However, I did respond to that point by noting that Leo Durocher was another great manager who hung around for too long and damaged his team with his fading skills.
Ignoring THAT, I think that your line of logic is resoundingly flawed. It fails to addresses ANY of Lou's failings as a manager this year, not to mention how easy it would be to turn that perspective around and use it as a blanket generalization for any move made by any baseball professional because they have "a lifetime of experience in the majors." Dusty Baker? He was great, we should have kept him -- and his lifetime of experience -- around. Jim Hendry? Doing a fine job, he's got a lifetime of experience. That's the perspective Cub fans were expected to have for decades before the sale of the team to the Tribune. I refuse to partake from that particular Cubbie Hookah.
"I see your points, I really do. But I'm sure there is solid theory and reasoning behind what Lou is doing. Again, I don't think he's lost his touch in merely 7mths. I don't think he went down to Tampa/St.Pete over the winter and fried his brains in the sun. He's doing his best, in my opinion (with the exception of the Soriano situation), with the cards he's dealt"
I'll just say again that, for many, many years Cub fans were conditioned to live with blind faith in the people who wore the Big Red C and made all the decisions. We both know where that's gotten us.
"I don't think Lou was the sole driving force behind moving DeRosa and the accompanying moves. If that's the case, why on earth have a GM?"
Just because I said "fire Lou" doesn't mean Hendry is off the hook. But I do believe that Piniella has the final say on probably 99% of all roster choices. For me the red alert went up when the Cubs broke camp without a backup third baseman. That alert reached a fervered pitch when an 8th relief pitcher was added to the team. I guess my point is that even if a layman like me can see how senseless it is to keep Patton on the roster, or to be forced to rely on Fontenot to play third with no viable alternatives, then isn't it possible that Lou's "senior moments" have finally taken their toll?
"Lastly, I think you need to relax with the Another Cubs Blog remarks."
Aren't you the guy who brought it up by comparing me with them?
I see all your points. I accept them. Just don't necessarily agree, but see where you're coming from.
I brought it up comparing your TONE with the other writer's TONE. But I think you're going a quite a bit overboard by me saying I'm comparing you to a guy who is advocating suicide. I think that's a bit...well, actually QUITE extreme. I'm comparing as aspect of your writing to his. And that's the condescending tone.
Right, but the point is that the "kill yourself" thing IS ACB's tone. I asked you to present examples of what you were describing in the body of this thread and you still haven't done that, because you dramatically blew out of proportion the tone and pitch of my responses.
There was never a condescending "I'm right and you're all wrong, you morons" moment. Go back and read through them agian, it's not there. If you find anything you think was of the condescending tone you described, copy it and paste it.
To make that comparrison is both cheap and just plain WRONG (and that would be the first time I've said that about anything in this thread). I never asserted that my opinion was superior or even absolutely right -- I merely advocated that it was my opinion and I defended it by asking you and others to address the points I used to build up to it. (For which your only response has been "I defer to the lifetime of experience...") But when I wouldn't back down from my opinion, you played Internet Trick 101 and trotted out the "you are condescending like the people you dislike" card.
Unfair, wrong, low-blow, dirty tactic, all those words cover it.
"But let's be honest. Piniella's not helping the team. Why are you so adamantly defending him? Is it more important that he have a job than it is that the Cubs get better?"
That's implying, at least as I see it, that you are saying you're right and I'm wrong. Maybe I'm misreading your tone, pitch, wavelength, voice, etc. but that sure seems like your saying I'm wrong, you're right, and why must I insist on things that I'm wrong about.
Look, this conversation has grown old and tired (much like Lou, I guess). I'm also pretty sure me and you are the only ones reading it.
Kurt, here's my light-hearted response to your questions...
1-5: Answer: YES
6:"I'll tell you one fu**in' thing, I hope we get fu**in' hotter than sh**, just to stuff it up them 3,000 fu**in' people that show up every fu**in' day, because if they're the real Chicago fu**in' fans, they can kiss my fu**in' ass right downtown and PRINT IT."
I think actually the harshest thing I've said is something along the lines of "this team, as built, will not win. They need to fix it NOW"
That's the problem, everybody reads with blinders on. I've taken a harsh turn on the Cubs lately and the response is -- well, this.
For the record, because writing it once or even every time is apparently not enough ...
10 games under .500 or 10 games out of a playoff spot. That's when I give up on the Cubs.
How many times have I said "I expect them to make the playoffs?" I think I even said it within this comment thread!
I'm not being negative at ALL, I'm acting STRONGLY CONCERNED. Because an offense as good as the Cubs that scores 0 to 4 runs a game every time is a serious problem. So, Lou, Jim, fix it already or give your jobs to somebody who will!
Ehhhhhhhh, I don't think everyone is reading wtih blinders on. This response, at least from me, isn't due to a harsh response to the Cubs. My response is due to what I think is a harsh response that isn't completely warranted. It's not like 2004 or 2005 when Dusty had teams that should've been in the playoffs but he was an assclown (On another note, if it weren't for Dusty being a moron the Cubs should've been in the playoffs from 2003-2005 and then again in 2007-present).
I also think they make the playoffs cause once Aramis comes back, Soto starts playing basebol, Bradley turns it up, Soriano recovers...it's like trading for all 4 of them players. But if they continue down this path, the Cubs will be watching baseball from their couches.
Ever heard of BABIP, kids?
As it turns out, players don't have as much control over balls hit into play as you might think. Their batting average on balls in play, or BABIP for short, has a lot to do with luck--ground balls finding the hole, line drives being hit right at defenders, etc. etc..
For the 2008 season, the Cubs were 2nd in the major leagues, and first in the NL, in BABIP.
This season, they're 24th in all of baseball.
As further proof that this Cub offense might be more unlucky than poorly managed, guess which team is leading the majors in BABIP?
I'm right there with you, AJ. The Cubs have just hit their run of bad luck at the beginning of the season, leading to much distress.
The Cubs have talent and it'll come through. When it does, Lou will be a genius again.
Well...a genius who can't manage a bullpen.
The Dodgers are 1st, and the Pirates 2nd. There's a lot of crappy offenses in the top of that list. So isn't that siding with the fact that Lou isn't the problem here?
A lot of those offenses are scoring way more runs than they ought to. The Pirates are right behind the Cubs, even though their 25-man roster reads like a Quadruple A team.
We can go back and forth and debate whether Lou is the problem, a part of the problem, or a complete non-factor all day long. So let's concede Kurt's point and say that Lou should be fired.
OK - who is the new manager?
Alan Trammel? Bob Brenly? What's Jack McKeon doing?
Is there an out-of-work manager that we really think will turn this team around? I can not think of anyone that would be a magic elixir to a team that is so horribly under-performing.
This is not a team that will respond to new blood, so I don't think this is the time to start driving the the Ryne Sandberg or Jody Davis buses, and all of the available experienced guys range somewhere from mediocre to downright crappy.
If Joe Torre was sitting at home twiddling his thumbs, maybe I go ahead and quietly gauge his interest, but he's not.
Change for the sake of change doesn't make any difference, it just makes us all feel better for about a day.
A manager change does nothing for this team in my opinion. It's not going to magically ignite our offense to fire Lou and move a slumping Soriano to the 3rd hole.
I do believe that Milton Bradley has been a cancer to this clubhouse along with the loss of Dero cant help as far as in the clubhouse! just my opinion. He has been the worst move we have ever made as far as I'm concerned. How do you hotdog on a flyball when your batting .220 and already let one can of corn drop, oh yea by the way Milt thats only 2 outs! Dumbass!
Do you have any documented evidence of players being upset by Bradley? Usually the media is pretty good at picking up on that kind of thing.