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Cubs Tongue Lashing

By bullpenbrian at 06.25.2012 7 comments.

My head could explode from the Cubs’ lack of execution in the Arizona series.

Chicago played like a team expecting to lose, as they did, getting swept in three straight games while being outscored 21-7.

The Cubs failed on countless occasions to manufacture runs. They didn’t move runners over, they didn’t hit with RISP (3-for-25) and the biggest clutch hit came off the bat of Paul Maholm–a pitcher for heaven’s sake.

The fielding was nearly as poor. The pitching, not much better. It was Quade-ball all over again. It was embarrassing.

If there was any drive to win, any want from this team, it didn’t show collectively the past three games–and that’s a problem.

Standing around waiting for teammates to be traded, or the arrival of Anthony Rizzo, or whatever other excuse there is, isn’t a free pass to go through the motions.

This is professional baseball. Winning matters, even for a team lacking overall talent.

Have Cubs players confused the sharp difference between accepting the struggles of the rebuild and flat-out accepting to lose? They certainly looked confused over the weekend.

”When we are losing and get swept it is mental,” … “Losing like we are losing now is tough. The way we are losing is not acceptable.” -Alfonso Soriano

Who knows if Dale Sveum went-off in the clubhouse before the team boarded a plane back to Chicago? I know one thing, I would’ve said my piece.

Sveum’s exploded before this season–behind closed doors–and had every right to voice more displeasure following Sunday’s game.

But has the message been received, or will it take sounding off to the media before every eyebrow is raised in the dugout?

If not Sveum erupting, then how about someone else in the clubhouse popping off. A veteran to remind his mates this series wasn’t defined by a lack of talent. Instead, it was a matter of simply not getting the job done, not executing and not doing the things every team must do to win.

I continue to reiterate my support for the rebuild. I’m willing to accept the frustrations that come with the organization taking one-step back to move two-steps forward, even at the cost of a 100-loss season. But what I can’t stomach is watching this team give games away.

That, is inexcusable.

For once I’m tired of talking about the batting order, the bullpen, the closer, etc. I’m not looking for the Cubs to rejoin the pennant race.

We know the talent’s not there for the Cubs to win consistently this season. But there’s enough talent to be competitive–especially if the Cubs play with effort, play the game the right way, play with pride–play the way we were promised they would in spring training.

That kind of professionalism never goes out of style, never goes under-appreciated and is never too much to ask for.

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7 Comments

  1. Exactly, Brian. Your content sums up my only negative feelings about this team; not talented, but we’ve seen teams do more with, maybe not less, but similiar lack of talent.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Yep. And I feel as though I’ve been very patient with Sveum.

      However, this series was especially frustrating. It’s not about the losses as much as HOW the Cubs lost the games. That falls heavily on the manager and his coaches.

      Getting back to Wrigley with the excitement of Rizzo’s arrival should provide a little mental boost to the All Star break. We shall see…

  2. Spoda17 says:

    Good morning Brian, I know we have discussed this many times before. Your post is right on! I can tolerate the losses, and the talent issues, but not STUPID decisions. I feel like I am watching Quade all over again. Jeff Baker should never start at 1st, LaHair will never learn how to hit big league pitching if he doesn’t ever see it…

    The lack of effort the past week or so is unacceptable. I can handle the losing if the way we lose is by the other tem beating us, not us beating ourselves because we aren’t focused and play flat out lazy. I’m fine with the rebuild, and I too will be fine with 100+ loses; but not this way, this is a leadership issue.

    The lineup and the bullpen management drive me batty! As I have discussed with you for weeks. We will get there, but I am losing hope that Sveum is the guy to get us over the hump.

    • bullpenbrian says:

      As you know, I’ve defended Sveum this year. But what I saw this weekend falls on the manager and the coaching staff.

      It was an embarrassing series. This team is capable of better. We’ve seen it earlier this season.

      It’s a series like Arizona that potentially sends the season spiraling out of control. It damn near happened during the 12-game losing streak. No team can afford such a scenario.

      Sveum, the coaches, the front office…all need to bear down. This season is far from over. The players best not forget it, either.

      And yes, if LaHair’s an everyday player…he should play everyday. Enough with the lefty-lefty baloney. He can’t do any worse for a lineup with ZERO production.

  3. bearscubsn says:

    Lahair 286 ba, Baker 237ba. How tough is this? 13 home runs over 1! 28 rbi’s over 9!!!!! Am I or we missing something? And that match up crap holds no water. A kid will never ride if he actually doesn’t ride the bike. And like Baker is going to make this team SOOOO much better? Come on! And salt in the wounds, the cubs are paying Baker 1.4 million a year!

    • bullpenbrian says:

      Hey, I’m with you. Like I said, if LaHair’s considered an everyday guy he should play everyday. Pretty simple, right?

      Baker’s strength is hitting left-handed pitching. He hit Santana hard Monday night. Good for him.

      But on this team, that’s shouldn really matter. Playing the matchups hasn’t done much for the Cubs against southpaws.

      I know Sveum wants to get his bench guys some work, but LaHair will never get better against LHP if he doesn’t see it.

      Not sure when, or if, Sveum will finally make the move. But I hope he does soon.

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