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Volstad, Travis Wood & Tony La Russa

By bullpenbrian - May 13, 2012 - 3:00 am 2 comments.

It’s time the Cubs removed Chris Volstad from the starting rotation and replaced him with Travis Wood.

Wood’s lone outing this season, a quality six inning start of 3-runs on 3-hits during last Sunday’s 4-3 win against Los Angeles, is better than anything Volstad has accomplished this season.

Meanwhile, Volstad’s inability to pitch out of trouble and avoid the big inning was in full effect Saturday afternoon as he allowed six earned runs in six innings, five of which scored in the sixth inning.

More to the point, it was exactly the kind of poor performance the Cubs didn’t need in the aftermath of Friday’s brutal 8-7 loss in 13-innings. But Volstad, as has been the case all season, failed to deliver.

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Cubs-Cards Will Miss La Russa

By bullpenbrian - November 1, 2011 - 1:01 am Leave a comment.

“Me personally, I think it’s time to step away for a long while.” ~Tony La Russa

Give Tony La Russa credit for going out on top. There’s no better way to walk away from the game than a World Champion.

It seems such a simple decision, but doesn’t happen nearly enough, as evident by the fact La Russa is the first ever manager to retire immediately following a championship victory.

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Difference Between Cubs & Cards

By bullpenbrian - May 11, 2011 - 1:01 am 1 comment.

There’s a reoccurring theme between the Cubs & Cardinals.

It has nothing to do with any rivalry, but everything to do with defining the success of St. Louis and the drudgery of Chicago.

The St. Louis Cardinals always find a way. They’ve done it successfully for years, this season being no exception.

Just consider that St.Louis lost Adam Wainwright before the season. Shortly after, they lost starting second baseman, Skip Schumaker, followed by starting third baseman, David Freese.

If that wasn’t enough, the Opening Day closer, Ryan Franklin, was bombed so hard even the well-mannered hometown crowd booed him off the field and into the dog house.

The rest of the bullpen stinks as much and, even Tony La Russa can’t escape the plight–he’s sidelined with Shingles.

You compound all this with a winless Chris Carpenter heading into Tuesday’s game and tell me how in the heck St. Louis is a first place team?

Given all the setbacks you wouldn’t expect much from these guys, right?

But as always, St.Louis is back atop the division. They hit with RISP, they get timely outs…they find a way.

The Cubs also find a way…to lose. Chicago has equal, if not greater talent, on its roster than St. Louis. But to no avail…no timely hits, no timely outs, no will to win against its fiercest rival.

I know, we’ve heard it all before, Cubs fans. The Cards are great. The Cubs stink. But the simple truth remains…the Cards find a way where Chicago doesn’t.

It pains me to say it as much as it pains me to watch it. The Cubs haven’t not just found a way…they’ve seemingly lost it, as well.

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Marmol, Young & Pujols

By bullpenbrian - February 16, 2011 - 1:01 am Leave a comment.

Here’s my take on some of the recent Cub headlines:

1.) Evaluating the Carlos Marmol deal.
2.) Addressing Michael Young to the Cubs rumors.
3.) Pujols feeling pressure from Players’ Union?

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Cubs vs. Cards Needs La Russa

By bullpenbrian - October 27, 2009 - 12:51 am Leave a comment.

Cubs fans won’t admit it, but we would all miss Tony La Russa had he left St. Louis for greener pastures.

Every good rivalry needs a dislikeable leader on the other side, and La Russa fits the mold perfectly.

He comes off grumpy and opinionated, but most notably, he’s smart.

Yet, there’s no surprise La Russa decided to remain with the Cardinals for another year.

After spending 15 years managing in St. Louis, a terrific baseball town with Dave Duncan and Albert Pujols at his beck-and-call, why would La Russa want go elsewhere anyway?

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