You’re Out of It, Cubs. Don’t Be Stupid.


If only anyone in the organization could read.Okay, it’s reality-check time. Even if the Cardinals go one game under .500 for the rest of the way, they’ll finish 88-74. For the Cubs to reach 88 wins, they’ll have to go 28-17, a .622 winning percentage. Unlikely, since they’re playing .513 baseball this year and are in danger of getting swept by a terrible 51-70 San Diego Padres team. Moreover, given the fact that the Cardinals have a pretty easy schedule for the rest of the way, it’s safe to say that they won’t play sub-.500 ball for the stretch. So, let’s look at some other horrifying scenarios.

If the Cardinals merely continue at their .562 winning percentage, they’ll finish 91-71. The Cubs would have to go 31-14 (.689 winning percentage) just to catch them.

If the Cardinals continue their second-half .633 winning percentage, they’ll finish 93-69, and the Cubs will need to rattle off a 33-12 record (.733 winning percentage) in the final 45 games.

If the Cardinals continue on the pace they’ve set since acquiring Matt Holliday (.696 WP), they’ll finish 96-66. To catch them, the Cubs would have to go 36-9 (.800 winning percentage) and the earth would have to split down the middle and swallow Busch Stadium: The Sequel whole.

The Cubs’ Wild Card prospects are no better. They are currently 5 games back in the “race,” and they’re looking up at four teams. No matter what your stupid sign says, IT’S NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

So, Cubs, I ask you. How dumb are you? Too dumb to realize you’re out of it? I hope not.

You see, here is the problem with the Cubs. You just know that in the next month and a half, they are going to do things like point at the run made at the end of the 2007 season by the Colorado Rockies or the run made by the 2005 Astros to get into the playoffs. Jim Hendry and Lou Piniella may say things like, “Hey, we’re still in this thing.” They are wrong (see above). Furthermore, there are two glaring issues with that method of thinking:

  1. The reason anyone in Colorado showed up to games at the end of the 2007 season, and the reason anyone paid attention to baseball instead of football in Texas in 2005 is because the runs that those teams went on were TOTAL FREAKS OF NATURE.
  2. What happened to the 2007 Rockies and 2005 Astros in the playoffs? Sure, they made the World Series, but they were promptly depantsed by the Sox color of the year.

Yes, it would be great to even be IN the World Series, but the ultimate goal of the franchise should be to WIN the World Series. And that’s why what I’m about to propose will never happen. The front office has a “just make it into the playoffs and see what happens” mentality. So, we’re likely going to be doomed in the next month and a half to watch the team “compete” for a playoff spot instead of planning for 2010. But IF I RAN THE CUBS, here is what I’d like to see happen as they play out the stretch.

  1. LOSE LOU. Sorry, Lou. You’re a likable dude. You’re the most entertaining and best manager the Cubs have had since Don Zimmer Jim Essian. You gave this team the kick in the ass it needed in 2007, and you led them to back-to-back playoff appearances. I hope you step down at the end of the year instead of getting fired, because I like you, but now you’re just phoning it in. I get the impression that you steadfastly refuse to make smart baseball decisions (moving down Alfonso Soriano; shooting Kevin Gregg in the face) just because the media suggests it, and “you’re the manager.” When those decisions work out (batting Kosuke Fukudome and Milton Bradley 1-2 in the lineup), you inexplicably change back. You were flaky at best with your handling of Ryan Dempster’s transition to starter and the first several attempts to move Soriano down in the lineup. But the straw that broke the camel’s back for me is your decision to install Carlos Marmol as the closer in August of a “pennant race.” Marmol last threw a strike in June, and shouldn’t even be pitching for the big-league club right now. Meanwhile, Angel Guzman has been the Cubs’ best reliever all year. If you’re going to make a switch at closer this late in the season, it should be a switch to Guzman. Hell, even SeanBearPig deserves the role over Marmol. Dumb, Lou. Dumb.
  2. SHUT DOWN ZAMBRANO, RAMIREZ, AND LILLY. If you tried to rank the war crimes Dusty Baker committed against the Cubs in his time in Chicago, perhaps the most heinous was his insistence on making everyone else’s pennant races “fair” by riding his best players all the way to a 66-96 record. Instead of realizing the season is a lost cause and resting guys like Bob Howry and Stevie Scott Eyre, Dusty rode his horses through the dog days of August and September and helped turn Howry from an effective reliever to Rick Aguilera. Don’t be stupid and do the same thing, Lou. On the slim (and getting increasingly slimmer) chance the Cubs do make the playoffs, they’re not going anywhere. Let Aramis get his shoulder surgery now. Let Lilly get his knee surgery now. Insert a bionic arm into Zambrano. If you intend to bring him back, give Rich Harden more rest. If possible, fix whatever the hell is wrong with Geovany Soto’s hand that causes it to fly off the bat every once in a while. I suspect White Castle grease. Whatever the hell these guys need to do to get healthy for the first day of Spring Training next year, DO IT NOW.
  3. SEE WHAT YOU HAVE FOR NEXT YEAR. Does Jeff Samardzija suck, or can he start? Can Jake Fox or Jeff Baker play second base on an every day basis? Can Andres Blanco hit enough to be the main utility infielder next year? Can Tom Gorzelanny stick in the rotation? Who is the best catcher in the minors, so Koyie Hill doesn’t have to play 80 consecutive games next year? Is Jeff Stevens any good? Is there a shortstop in the organization taller than Ryan Theriot? How high will Aaron Miles bounce if you drop him off the top floor of Willis Tower? Ideally, the answers to all of these questions will be discovered prior to the start of the 2010 season. A smart team would be using this garbage time to see what they have going forward. Realize you’re not in a goddamn pennant race, you idiots, and do the right thing. Plan ahead.
  4. CUT THE TWO AARONS…WITH A KNIFE. I like Aaron Heilman personally. I really do. I really wanted him to be successful as a Cub, but it’s not happening. Since he’s on a one-year deal and rosters are about to expand, it’s pointless to cut him. But if they re-sign him after this season, I will lose my shit. As for Aaron Miles, cut him. The contract he was given was so stupid, it glows in the dark. Statistically, he is FAR more useless than the following players: Neifi Perez, Jose Macias, Ronny Cedeno. Cut him. Cut him with a sword dipped in acid and lit on fire. Cut him with the Sword of Omens. Cut him with your razor-sharp wit. Whatever the hell you need to do, CUT HIS WORTHLESS ASS.
  5. LISTEN TO OFFERS ON ANYONE, JIM. I’m not going to be one of those dipshits who advocates trading valuable guys like Zambrano, especially not valuable guys with good contracts. But if there’s one thing that was exposed by the rash of injuries the Cubs suffered through this year, it was that the minor-leagues are as deep as a conversation with Johnny Macchione. As I mentioned before, it’s inexcusable that the Cubs’ best option when Soto was out was to have Hill start 150 games in a row. If moving a guy makes sense for the organization, do it. Don’t listen to the fans. They don’t pay your salary, and they’re stupid enough to think that you should have hung on to Mark DeRosa and let him walk for nothing instead of getting valuable arms in return for him.
  6. SELL THE GODDAMN TEAM ALREADY. You have to assume that part of the reason Hendry, whose best moves have been trade deadline deals, didn’t make any big moves this year was the team’s ownership being in flux. It may be a hopeless prayer, but get the damn sale done before December so they are not handcuffed during the whole offseason, too.

Don’t be stupid, Cubs. You’re out of it. And that’s okay. You’ve wasted this year by playing like a bunch of chodes, but, honestly, we’re amazed you’ve won the division two years in a row.

If you’d done it a third time, we’d be so busy scanning the horizon for the four horsemen that we wouldn’t really enjoy it, anyhow.


50 thoughts on “You’re Out of It, Cubs. Don’t Be Stupid.

  • Ryan Beariot

    and how do we ensure that Soto and Zambrano work their fat asses out in the off season? Or does the fact that we didn’t win the division this year do that?

    and i say shove harden out there all the time. he’s been alright, but no one i can think of is clamoring for him to come back. i’m sure he’s a nice guy (and i’m sure this statement will come back and bite me in the ass…) but we can replace him.

    and i agree on the trade anyone…but make sure its worth it.

  • Ryan Beariot

    and how do we ensure that Soto and Zambrano work their fat asses out in the off season? Or does the fact that we didn’t win the division this year do that?

    and i say shove harden out there all the time, make him keep pitching for the rest of this year. he’s been alright, but no one i can think of is clamoring for him to come back. he needs to show us that the good rich harden can come back. i’m sure he’s a nice guy (and i’m sure this statement will come back and bite me in the ass…) but we can replace him.

    and i agree on the trade anyone…but make sure its worth it.

    regarding your statement that winning the world series is the ultimate goal of the organization, what happens to the fans then? and yes i realize this is hijacking the post, but i’m honestly curious. do the idiots find a new team to cheer for who havent won in years? do they stop being so freaking dumb with their its gonna happen signs and mark derosa worship? do we turn into self entitled red sox fans who “deserve” to win every october and should be worshipped because we’re the red sox/cubs and we’re not the yankees/cardinals? other thoughts? just curious.

  • John Gundich

    I’ve thrown in the towel about 50 times this season. And now…I’m fresh out of towels. What a complete waste of a season. Where is Kevin Orie when you need him?

  • Slak

    Good stuff, but Iím not sure about Guzman over Marmol. Simply because Guzmanís arm canít handle strain and heís minutes away from getting a called third with his detached forearm, Iíd say the Marmol move is fine. Yeah, heís wild and what not but heís going to have to walk four guys whereas Gregg was one pitch away from fucking us every time he was out there.

    Besides, if Marmol is the closer of the future (whatever that means) and the Cubs are out of it, why not just throw him out there now? Guzman should remain a valuable 7th or 8th inning man until his arm disintegrates.

  • f*ck

    I agree completely. Get your studs rested and health for 2010 NOW, and start seeing how the young guns handle everyday position play in the big show. Optimisitcally, now is the perfect launching pad into a dominant 2010 season.

    Fire Lou. He’s proven he doesn’t have the sack to make smart moves.
    Fire Hendry and hire someone who knows how to spend our money wisely.

    Give Aaron Miles a job as a beer vendor.

  • Bad Kermit Post author

    @Ryan Beariot – If their team ever wins it all, Cubs fans will be unbearable. Fortunately, we’ll all be dead long before that happens.

    @Slak – I see your point and agree with you to a certain extent. I was making the assumption that Lou is still trying to win games. If he’s planning for the future, great. See what Marmol can do. But if he thinks they can still win the Central this year, Marmol isn’t going to help them as a closer.

  • Jarritos

    do we really want to see Jake Fox playing second base? maybe we can trade him for a real shortstop.

  • oog

    Can Jake Fox or Jeff Baker play second base on an every day basis?

    Asking if Jake Fox can field a position every day is like asking if Jake Fox can pancakes.

  • Bad Kermit Post author

    Rip on Fox’s defense all you like, but (1) Fontenot is terrible, too, (2) Fox handled third base adequately, and (3) can you imagine someone trying to take him out at second on a double play?

  • Andy

    You could put the basket they store the batting practice balls out there and it would have more range at second than Fox would.

    There’s no reason to play the “kids” the rest of the way because they already played and we already know they can’t play.

  • Poon

    I’m pretty much with ya on every idea but I think you’ve got to let them get their asses handed to them this entire road trip (because you know the Dodgers are going to simply rape us) before you start all of this. There’s this last ditch effort that if they can leave L.A. taking 3 of 4 who knows. The odds are slim but let them fuck it up themselves before you officially take the team out of it.

    The most important thing to add to this team? A real fucking closer. Why bother doing anything else if we can’t have someone worth a shit to get 3 fucking outs when we need them. Priority number one and if trading a gritty little fan favorite cajun or two along with whatever else is needed, just make it fucking happen.

  • Adam B

    We need Chone Figgins.

    That, and the love-light of Jesus God.

    But mainly Chone Figgins needs to be signed this offseason.

  • psychoch

    It’s such a rich post BK, and I like most of what you say. But several points.
    1. Fox can’t possibly play 2d base. And if he plays regularly, his offense will likely be exposed, too, like Fontenot and Hoffpauir before him. Trade him to some AL team where he can DH for whatever you can get for him.
    2. Middle relievers often show considerable variance in performance from one season to the next–they suck one year, and are great the next and vice versa. Scott Eyre largely sucked for us most of the last couple of years, we got rid of him, and he now pitches effectively for the Phillies, for example. The point is, just because Heilman sucks this year doesn’t mean he will next year. Doesn’t mean he won’t either; he very well could. But if they resign him, my reaction will be “meh.”
    3. Didn’t Lilly already have his knee surgery?
    4. “Don’t listen to the fans.” Is that supposed to be ironic?

  • Ryan Beariot

    @Poon – i gotta disagree on adding a closer, unless its valverde or maybe gonzalez/soriano. and even then, where does the money come from? i’d rather have one of this misfit crew and a better second baseman then one of those closers. alternatively, trade most of our young players who have a blocked path (hoffpauir, Fox maybe, fontenot because he sucks) and try to get someone good. if jeff baker can either keep hitting or we keep blanco and his awesome defense in there, we can win this the NL way. we dont need HR and a mess of runs if we can get some grounders and some great defense. why dont we try theriot at second and blanco at short? might work better for both of them that way…

  • Aaron Heilman

    For the record, I sucked in New York and Seattle too. But I’ll keep cashing those checks if you’re dumb enough to resign me!

  • Bad Kermit Post author

    @Aaron Heilman – You didn’t even pitch in Seattle.

    @Everyone – I understand that Fox at second is most likely a disaster. But that’s also what everyone was saying about Fox at third base. The season is over. If they lose a couple games because Fox trips over himself trying to field a ground ball, who the hell cares?

  • psychoch

    Heilman didn’t always suck in New York. ’05-’07 he was a cumulative 16-15, but his ERA was always between 3.03 and 3.62, and his WHIP was between 1.07 and 1.16, with decent strikeout-walk ratios. He’s a typical middle reliever–he’s good, then he sucks. Next year, who knows?

  • Mendoza

    How about having a better 2B option than Hefty Smurf at the start of next season? Orlando Hudson anyone?

  • Chris P

    Unlike last year, after the playoff collapse, it was difficult to pinpoint exactly where changes could be made to make the team better.

    This year, the areas of needed improvement are EVERYWHERE…including the front office.

    Can we put the entire team on waivers? Maybe get some players that can actually steal a base, and find a coach that is hungry for something more than the 2 for one pasta deal at Harry Careyís Restaurant.

  • Rod Beck's Mullet

    Hendry can start by fixing the bullpen he destroyed after last season.

    A couple of adults at shortstop and 2B would help too.

    Releasing Miles would be an improvement even if they played with a 24-man roster next year.

  • Poon

    @Ryan Beariot – Ya know, the last few years I’ve gotten really sick of the “where will the money come from” argument. This is baseball. There’s no salary cap. The Cubs have one of the largest fan bases that also spend money on games and gear along with all they make off of the TV rights with WGN national. Sure the team is in transition with ownership but what the fuck. The Cubs shit money. Go fucking buy some talent. They’ve been doing it, but just not enough. Baseball is either developing a team on the cheap or buying a team. It’s obvious we’re not going to see the bulk of a talented team come from within in the farm system, so get out there and buy some god damn winners. The Cubs are spending a lot now, but they can spend a hell of a lot more and still turn a hefty profit.

  • Derrick

    Why spend so much time on the 2nd base talk when that’s only a small concern. There are so many other issues with this team, I’ll take the 2nd base ‘problem’. Every team has a weak offensive player at some position, and although I hate to see a weak hitting player, you have to admit that Blanco’s D is fantastic. Put him in the 8 hold and let him play ‘if’ there are no other viable options.

  • Jarritos

    Theriot should only be playing second. Fontenot can play for Pissburg. Miles can hit his slow tappers for the Joliet Jackhammers. And I ask again, where’s Neife Perez when you need him?!? Pancakes?

  • Bad Kermit Post author

    @Derrick – If you’re going to put Blanco into the lineup, though, why not put him at SS and move Theriot to second? Theriot is a terrible defensive SS. He might be adequate at second.

  • CT

    “Does Jeff Samardzija suck, or can he start? Can Jake Fox or Jeff Baker play second base on an every day basis? Can Andres Blanco hit enough to be the main utility infielder next year? Can Tom Gorzelanny stick in the rotation? Who is the best catcher in the minors, so Koyie Hill doesnít have to play 80 consecutive games next year? Is Jeff Stevens any good? Is there a shortstop in the organization taller than Ryan Theriot? How high will Aaron Miles bounce if you drop him off the top floor of Willis Tower? Ideally, the answers to all of these questions will be discovered prior to the start of the 2010 season.”

    I think I know the answers to most of these questions already, and you’re not going to like them (except for the Miles one).

    We can all agree that Derrek Lee should be benched so Hoffpauir can get the ABs at first.

  • Farewell Preston Gomez

    Originally Posted By Poon@Ryan Beariot – Go fucking buy some talent. They’ve been doing it, but just not enough.

    Correction: They’ve been doing it, but just not RIGHT. See: Aaron Miles, Alfonso Soriano, Aaron Miles, Milton Bradley, Aaron Miles, Ryan Dempster, Aaron Miles, Kevin Gregg, Aaron Miles …

  • Grow Stubs Grow

    Great post BK, and great comments from all. One thing I don’t neccessarily agree with however are the overtones that the fans are actually influencing Lou’s lineup’s and Hendry’s moves. Like them or not, these guys are seasoned professionals (not seasoned fries, Lou, Jim, stop drooling). I have to believe that, regardless of the (unfortunate) outcomes, they are making decisions in the interest of winning basbeall games. If you don’t trust that, why even bother with the rest? Let’s be honest, no way DeRo leaves this team if the fans were pulling the heart strings of JH.

    (Ttrying to be) a glass half full kind of guy – how about some of the positives of this year, ie. Randy Wells – what’s his package look like (not his genitals) and is he going to be a long term Cub?

  • psychoch

    Originally Posted By CT

    We can all agree that Derrek Lee should be benched so Hoffpauir can get the ABs at first.

    Actually, CT, I don’t think we all agree on that. When Hoffpauir started getting more than a handful of plate appearances at a time, the league caught up to him. There’s a reason he stayed in the minors until he was 28–he’s just not that good. While Lee, at age 33 is starting to reach the end of what you can expect to be his peak productive years, and the Cubs should start looking for ways to replace him (unless he juices), Hoffpauir ain’t the answer.

  • Grow Stubs Grow

    @psychoch – “Sorry I missed it.”Now you’re just being coy.

    Gas Station Employee: I’m picking up your sarcasm.
    Richard Hayden: Well, I should hope so, because I’m laying it on pretty thick.

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