by Merle Widmer
I feel your pain as BC once said. Despite the fact that this team is one of the worst Cub teams in history, you turn up to practically fill the stadium for every game. While I only watch them on TV sporadically, I believe that Manager Sveum can never build a winner. He may have been a pretty good player but he can't handle this overpaid bunch of under performers.
This week against Cincinnati, trailing by 2 runs in the ninth, mental case Soriano lead off. The first 2 pitches were balls and he didn't swing. The next 3 pitches as shown by the replay computer were also balls. But Soriano, the worst team player with reasonable hitting talent, swung away at all three pitches striking out. I did not see him even glance at the third base coach.
This is but one example of a poorly coached team. Surely the manager talks to the team about getting a man one base when trailing in the ninth. Soriano, who always appears to have a chip on his shoulder as well as thinking he is better than he really, thought only of himself when he swung at balls 3, 4 and 5.
My advice trade him for a hitting and FIELDING outfielder. Throw in Dolis and Russell and perhaps one other middle relief pitcher on the trade.
Castro has a lot of talent but is overly stuck on himself. He needs a manager like Durocher to set him down and talk about attitude, team, and player contributions.
If Rizzo is a free agent next year, he will probably move on to a team that has a chance to make the playoffs.
Did anyone see Sveum put on a safety squeeze or even a squeeze play? I didn't. Even in a close game with speed on first and third and only out!! Never.
The team is playing down and out. They can't hit good pitching and can't figure out the strike zone..
Last week, with the Cubs leading 2-1 late in the game, Sveum let pitcher Wood hit for himself and then replaced him with Russell. No players who would love to get in the game to pinch hit? Sad. Then The first 2 batters got hits off Russell and eventually 3 runs scored off Russell. Lack of good base running by the Reds or more runs would have scored. Did the pitching coach come out to talk to him? No. Was he replaced by another pitcher from the bull pen? Was anyone ready to come in from the pen? Apparently not.
While I would never pay to watch a major or minor league game today; too many overpaid and under performing players, I feel for some die-hards like my brother-in-law who died saying "wait till next year". That swan song should be getting pretty old to Cubbie fans.
No chance of winning with this general manager, on-the-field manager, pitching and hitting coaches and some of the players who can't hit good pitching. With a lack of team players like Johnson, you die-hards Cubbie fans are going to wait a long time for another Cub team in the playoffs.