BLACK DAYS FOR CUBS
The Trib’s Paul Sullivan continues to examine the Cubs, but I was perplexed when he wrote that the Mets are ‘the team Cubs fans most love to hate’. The Cubs and Mets haven’t been in the same division in many years. 1969 was more Cubs collapse, although the Mets were incredible. Cubs fans don’t like the Mets. At all. That’s simple. But the team they most love to hate? Not even close. Cardinals in a landslide, down the slope of the rear portion of LaRussa’s mullet. Then the White Sox. After that is the Mets? Maybe so.
But there are bigger fish to fry these days, even if deciding which team is hated most by Cubs fans is a nice, needed distraction. The Cubs gave up 11 runs in one inning yesterday, capped by 2 grand slams in the same frame. Embattled veteran Todd Walker made 2 flubs that accounted for the opportunities to hit the bombs.
The Cubs continue with their delusions. “Pretty good pitches,” catcher Michael Barrett said of the two grand slams. “I hate to give the other team credit. They had some lucky hits and bloop hits.” OK. Or this from Sean Marshall, who might have still been in shock: “We played an excellent baseball game as a team. It was just that one half-inning that hurt us.” Of course. Isn’t that always the way?
Baker couldn’t even hit a hanging curve out of the park. When a scribe noted that the Cubs had drawn 18 walks in their previous three games, seemingly a sign of increased patience and plate discipline, Baker whiffed at the chance to hand himself some easy credit. “A lot of it is the pitchers we’re facing,” Baker said. “We got a game plan every day,” Baker said. “Whether it works or not is a question, but we have a game plan.”
Although I have not agreed with Jim Hendry’s every move, I am a backer. I believe he rebuilt the farm system before his tenure as GM and he also turned this club around. I would like to see what he could do with a real manager. I would also like to see him capitalize on pre-deadline trades. We need some solid prospects and some new pieces for next year.