Game Recaps: Cubs 5, Braves 4; Braves 16, Cubs 5; So Long, Sweet Lou
Note: This is gonna be a bit of a doosey. If you want to get past the bad news (the Game Recaps) and get to the more interesting stuff, I won't hold it against you.
Cubs 5, Braves 4
Thus proving that not even the Cubs can lose every game, Chicago held on -- despite 3 late inning Atlanta runs -- to win yesterday's affair by a score of 5-4.
Props go to Tom Gorzelanny (yes, I just started a sentence with the word "props," proving that my heart isn't in this) who went 7 strong innings, striking out 9 batters and walking only 2 in order to get his 7th win of the year.
Poops go to Andrew Cashner, who surrendered 3 runs in a third of an inning. Hmm, Props and Poops. This could become a regular segment here. I actually kinda like it..
Offensively, Aramis Ramirez continues to try like hell to get his batting average up to .250 on the year (after all, what else does he have left?). A-Ram went 3 for 4 all singles, while driving in 2 of the Cubs runs.
All told, Chicago managed 10 hits and 4 walks, reminding us of what a good offense looks like.
Braves 16, Cubs 5
Props:Starlin Castro, Marlin Byrd, and Aramis Ramirez -- the heart of the Cubs lineup went 10 for 14 on the day, with Castro hitting 2 doubles, and Ramirez hitting his 19th homerun on the season.
Poops: Pretty much every other Cubs hitter, since they all combined to go 3 for 25 on the day. I'm looking at you, Barney&Baker, you 0 for 8 douches who struck out 5 times. Good job, guys!
Oh, and Poops -- heh, I keep saying "poops" -- to Randy Wells, who gave up 7 runs (5 earned) on the day. No wonder you canceled your Facebook account!
Also, Justin Berg continued the bullpen tradition of allowing many, many runs in few opportunities. 5 earned in 1.1 innings of work. Fan-freakin'-tastic!
On Lou Piniella
First of all, Rob is not alone in his views on Lou. I'm sure a lot of Cub fans blame Lou's old age, or his incontinence (heh, I said "incontinence") on the mediocre showing of the last two seasons.
And I'm sure that every time Rob or people like him pass even a portion of the blame onto Lou, Jim Hendry feels grateful.
Look. Honest to God. A good manager's greatest virtue is the fact that he will rarely cost a team games through stupid decisions. But these guys don't win games. The most genius managers of all time, be they Joe Torre, or Tommy Lasorda, or Casey Stengel, or whomever ... these guys weren't geniuses because they "knew how to win." They were genius managers because, on the contrary, they knew how to not lose. (Or, hell, they just happened to be the beneficiaries of talented GMs who constantly re-stocked their teams with ever-ready players. Unlike Lou Piniella, who got stuck with Jim Hendry.)
In reality, the Motivational "Win One for the Gipper/Every Time We Win A Piece of Clothing Comes Off" Speech doesn't exist. It's FICTION. If anybody here honestly believes that Lou Piniella could've fixed the 2010 Cubs by throwing a fit on the field, or giving a motivational speech, or forcing them to take more practice, or ANYTHING, then you are a victim of FICTION.
There was nothing wrong with Lou Piniella in 2009 or 2010. There was something terribly wrong with the team he was stuck with. That's the truth of the situation -- Lou was carrying the burden of a 150 million albatross, and it doesn't matter where you bat Kosuke Fukudome, there's no getting around having crappy, expensive players and a poorly managed, crappy farm system. There was nothing that Lou Piniella could have done.
So, now he's gone. Again, it's not a big deal. The next guy -- whoever he is -- will do no better. He could do worse, however, because it is possible for managers to lose ballgames.
I'll be honest and admit I was wrong about Lou, and I'll miss him. Originally, I thought he was going to be a wasted pick. I thought he would continue to express the same shoddy managerial mentality that'd gotten us into the mess of 2005/2006; that he was going to be another Old School Manager like Dusty Baker. I didn't know he was going to be a calm, resourceful skipper whose flaws -- while not minor -- were no worse than any other manager. (Because they all have flaws. Really.)
Of course, I'll also be honest and say that I've been calling for Lou to be fired since the middle of last year. But I've also been calling for Jim Hendry to be fired. And the reason for that is a simple one -- Lou was never going to hang around for long enough to lead the next competitive version of the Cubs into the playoffs, and Jim is never going to be the guy who builds that team. By axing them both, it would be possible for the Cubs to begin a new, hopefully better rebuilding movement.
But we all know that Jim Hendry is still around, and probably will remain for another year or two. So instead of a rebuilding movement, we get just another movement. That's bad news for Lou, though, since he already apparently has incontinence.