Goatriders of the Apocalypse

I will take Kurt's points, and see you a thousand

They fired the hitting coach. 


This isn't even "deck chairs off of the Titanic", this is more like "ice cubes out of a cocktail glass off of the Titanic".  What exactly DOES a hitting coach do in the majors, anyway?  But before you send the Perry family any condolence cards, keep in mind that this is June 15th and we have a three-way tie for the team lead in RBIs.  Derrek Lee, Mike Fontenot and Alfonso Soriano (....and this really should be foreboding since the best of them is hitting .250...) all at 27.  On June 15th.


This is where the biggest question you have to ask is: is it a blessing or a curse that we are only 2 1/2 games out? 


I think the starting pitchers deserve the benefit of the doubt, and have earned the right for Jim Hendry to be a BUYER this July, and try to get us somebody that can hit.  On the other hand, every other aspect of the game - hitting, running, relieveing and fielding - along with coaching, has been suspect at best, and utter rubbish at worst.


I think anybody acting entirely in a vacuum would realize that this team, as constructed is not going to win a pennant in 2009 - hence, it makes sense to fix everything that is broken.  This would most likely begin with the suddenly old and befuddled guy who wears Number 41 and stands around in the dugout looking like he is suffering the throes of advanced constipation.  However, this is absolutely NOT going to happen, and it isn't because management is deluded enough to believe that the Cubs have a shot this year. 


It is because Hendry has already hired Dusty Baker, allowed him to finish his contract, yet did not retain him.  Then he hired Lou Piniella.  In the baseball biz, most GMs are given 2 field managers to prove their capacity to do their OWN job.  Most GMs are not given the luxury of hiring a third manager, without a championship under their own belt.  If a third manager is necessary, most owners will insist a new GM be the one to do the hiring.


Of course, we are unique (naturally).  Our owner doesn't WANT to own us, and has been trying to sell us since the day he bought us.  Of course, he wants ridiculous profits, and obviously does not have the gumption to fully check out the new buyer of his team.  (Hey, I can offer 900 mill for the Cubs - think Zell would have sold them to me?)  This clusterflop might go on for years, and Zell doesn't care enough to go through a search for a new GM.  Hell, he cares so little about us, he probably doesn't even know about the "2 hires" rule in baseball, and he'd let Hendry bring in a new guy without asking a single question outside of "what's he gonna cost me?" 


However, Hendry is not always as dumb as you might think, and he won't want to try to slip a fast one past Zell.  So he'll stick with old Uncle Lou as long as he is willing to squeeze himself into his uniform and stand in front of the mikes and issue the same tired excuses he's been tossing at us since Game 1 of last year's NLDS. 


I honestly believe if Hendry wanted to trade for a guy, regardless of his salary picture, that Zell could care less.  So if that Offensive Savior was out there, Hendry could go get him, even if we had to eat Fukudome's $25MM, or Bradley's $25MM, or even Soriano's $91MM.  But who, exactly, would that be?  Like the Easter Bunny and Saddam's WMDs, the Offensive Savior does not exist.  


Besides, even if one Offensive Savior came, that doesn't mean the other 7 guys in the lineup would start hitting, so what we really need is the Manager Savior, who will motivate and compel Soriano to hit like he did with Washington, for Fukudome to hit like he did in Japan, for Bradley to hit like he did with Texas, for Lee to hit like he did in 2005, for Fontenot to hit like he was a real starter, and for Soto to hit like he did when he was skinny.


So, yes, I fully expect to hear any day now that Lou Piniella is going to "retire", so he can go back home to Tampa and wait for a Steinbrenner to call him, and for Hendry to announce the hiring of our new "Managerial Savior"...


....Santa Claus. 


Dear Lord...let SOMEONE buy the Cubs soon.  Until then, we're no better than we've ever been...still hostages of mismanagement.

Did I read this right?

Breath One - Coaching is hardly relevant in the big leagues so it was pointless to fire the Hitting Coach.

Breath Two - The Cub hitters are under-performing offensively by quite a bit

Breath Three - The Cubs should fire the manager.

To me, firing Perry doesn't mean the Cubs think he sucks, it says all of the players suck, but they can't be punished in any useful way. It's like in a movie when someone gets held hostage by the bad guy until someone gives up a code or unlocks the safe or whatever.... except normally in the movie, the hostage gets saved. Sadly, Steven Segal's Chone and PECOTA #s are just abysmal, so Gerald Perry's gotta pay the fiddler.

Besides, it's not like Perry goes on food stamps now. He moves on to another gig with whatever golden parachute was in his contract.

managing is more relevant than coaching

and honestly I'd like to fire about 7 of the players, but that isn't gonna happen.

Tell me one single good thing Lou Piniella has done in 2009, and maybe I'll get off his back.

Managing

Ummm... I would say Piniella has done a good job of keeping his bullpen fresh even with a glut of extra inning games/nailbiters.

I would also say he did a nice job of challenging Soto by offering Hill a chance to play more if he can outperform Geo. It appears to my naked eye that this challenge has been somewhat successful.

Now, I would put in a request to you....

Tell me one single good thing Ken Macha has done in 2009.

China, Lou Piniella has

China, Lou Piniella has never, EVER been a good user of his bullpen. This is not new.

At this point I'd submit to you that you are so inclined to disagree with Rob that you'd take a bad stance on a topic just because it's the opposite of his opinion. But he is not alone in being tired of Lou. Lou is in my dog house.

I think though.....

If you read what I said, I noted he's done a good job of keeping his bullpen fresh. I made no suggestion about what reliever pitches in what spot.

The Cub bullpen has thrown 171.2 innings this season. Only 2 teams in all of baseball have had their bullpen worked less this season. So, I would say that's a pretty good indicator that the bullpen has been kept fresh, which has included a number of extra inning affairs.

Since you bring up your disdain of Piniella as well, I would make the same request of Rob that I did of you.... what's something good that Ken Macha has done in 2009?

Of course the Cubs bullpen

Of course the Cubs bullpen would have thrown fewer innings ... when your team leads the league in starter ERA, the relievers are bound to be used less. Although what Ken Macha has to do with anything is flat-out beyond irrelevant -- is this because he was one of the managers the Cubs could've hired instead of Piniella? What's your point?

I don't think anybody is saying the Cubs made a mistake in hiring Lou, much as one of PK Wrigley's few good moves was hiring Leo the Lip in the mid 1960's, but this is not 2007 - and like Leo did, Lou might be hanging on past his expiration date.

My problem with Piniella's well-earned reputation for handling his relievers is two-fold. 1. He'll often give up on his relievers too soon if they walk the first batter they face in a game. 2. If he has a reliever who is pitching effectively, he'll use him to the point of abuse.

Your point about the number of innings pitched doesn't mean much in determining why Lou is a crappy manager of relief pitchers. And your point about Ken Macha means even less. The facts are these: in 2009, Lou Piniella has passed his expiration date. He's not the one. It's time to move on.

At the risk of being referred

At the risk of being referred to as a 16 year old girl (cjaxson) finally a post where someone calls it like it is. Blow it up...now. Hendry goes now... Nuke Wrigley start over I can't go through 2005 or 4 or 3 or take your pick off 101 years. Pinella goes now. Bradley and Soriano go far away. Let's stop playing so many day games. Get more Orthodox priests just do something.

Chicago Tribune's Chicago's Best Blogs award