Hello? (knock knock) Anyone here?
I don't hate the 2010 Cubs anymore.
In fact, we better get a "Mike Quade" tag made for this site. It looks like we are going to need it for the foreseeable future.
Did I come out here to bitch, after a six-game winning streak, all on the road? A 8-1 road trip, the Cubs' best road trip since, well, ever? The Cubs have NEVER finished a road trip of 9 games or longer with better than the .889 percentage they compiled on this particular jaunt through Milwaukee, St. Louis, and Miami. Ever.
So yeah, I'm pissed. Pissed off that they HAD IT IN THEM all along, but because of the miserable neglect of their manager, who kept hitting Derrek Lee third, Alfonso Soriano fifth or sixth, who kept running the same lousy no-name rookies out of the bullpen game after game after game, and this was a 100-loss shipwreck. So we let Quade run the lineup card, and look what happens? He actually looks at the math, and places guys in the lineup based on already set precedents. He doesn't just keep writing names on the lines because they feel comfortable, and "they're bound to hit sooner or later".
On a ballclub led on the field by comatose Lou Piniella, and in the clubhouse by mealymouth Derrek Lee, and even Travis Bickle is gonna want to lie in the shade and chew seeds. (Kids, ask your parents) Players will want to play for a manager who seems to give a shit, particularly when he has the guts to sit a guy down for a game or two when he poops on himself. Lou always played the "hot hand", which is a fine philosophy when things are going well. But when things are not, intervention is needed, and Lou never ever acted like he cared to intervene. In the four years he was here, he let himself get kicked out of a game, once, and he demoted an $18 million dollar pitcher to the bullpen. That's not managing.
Maybe Quade feels like he has nothing to lose, and maybe if he is given a long-term contract, maybe his sphincter shrinks up tight, like all of his predecessors. But he is 17-7 as Cubs' manager, and if he manages to finish the year, say, 24-12 or even 22-14, how can you possibly consider another candidate?
Actions always speak louder than words.
Now, we can spend the winter arguing about whether or not they should keep Zambrano or trade him for someone else's bad contract.