By Paul Schmidt and David Kay
Two of The Sports Bank’s most prominent smart asses also happen to be Cubs fans (Lucky for the Cubs). We polled our own to get some burning questions about the underachieving Cubbies and Paul and David were kind enough to mix in a few nuggets of insight within their jokes.
Since being moved out of the lead off spot, Alfonso Soriano has started hitting and driving in runs. Other players like Kosuke Fukudome have started hitting too, which makes me think that Soriano is filling the catalyst role further down in the order. It’s possible the old Soriano is back, but given his success away from the top of the order, where is the best place to slot him?
(PS) The bench. After lighting the world on fire after going to the 6-hole, he has been mired in what I believe is now a 4-for-50 slump. Any time anyone throws him a breaking pitch he either swings on his tip-toes to get at it because it’s so far outside or he nearly breaks his back from the bat missing everything and hitting it so hard. Given his complete lack of caring in the field, there’s no reason to keep him in the lineup.
(DK) The best place to slot him is in the American League so no fan base has to suffer through the circus that is Soriano trying to catch fly balls, misplaying balls in the corner, or overthrowing his cut-off guys.
While the Cub offense has been overwhelmingly under whelming this year, the starting pitching has kept the team in the NL Central race. Now with the offense seemingly coming on despite not being 100 percent, the starters have taken blows with injuries to Ryan Dempster and Ted Lilly. The pitching and offense have played well at times, but rarely together. Will the pitching and offense ever click as one before it’s too late this year?
(DK) Don’t forget about Carlos Zambrano and Rich Harden spending time on the DL as well this season. It is already too late by the way, so it doesn’t matter if the offense and pitching ever click this season. It’s just too damn late.
(PS) A simple ‘no’ is all you’ll get out of me.
For you I know this year is about nothing but success in October. Anything less than a world series is a failure, so how do you get yourself through the reg seasons’s final stretch? Seriously how do proverbially “wake up every morning till the postseason?
(PS) I drink heavily. I also watch a lot of NCIS reruns. The only thing that this team has going for it right now is that it’s still easy to watch – It’s like a train wreck, you can’t look away.
(DK) I already quit the Cubs two weeks ago. It’s refreshing and like lifting a massive weight off my shoulders. How do I get through the rest of the MLB season? I start studying for my fantasy football draft, researching the 2009-2010 college basketball season, and watch re-runs of $100,000 Pyramid of the Game Show Network.
Even if the Cubs make the playoffs, there’s no way they do any damage with their current batch of relievers “closing” out games, right?
(DK) Well it only took four and a half months of suffering through Kevin Gregg sucking to remove him from the closer role. Let’s be honest, Carlos Marmol has been just as rocky as he’s struggled to find his command (though he has been steadier as of late.) By the way, just stop saying IF the Cubs make the playoffs. It’s not going to happen. Just like Brett Favre will never play for the Vikings…
(PS) I hated the Kevin Gregg signing from day 1. I told everyone I knew that they would end up hating him sooner rather than later. This is one of those situations where I really, really don’t like being right. Personally, I think the only guy in the bullpen who has earned a shot at the closer’s spot is Angel Guzman, or perhaps John Grabow. But we’re going to have Marmol, for better or worse.
How do you think the Cubs ownership situation affected the roster this season, if at all?
(DK) Trading for Jake Peavy is really the only potential deal that was affected by the Cubs ownership. They still have a massive payroll and the fact is the team never could put it all together at once whether it was injuries or guys just plain sucking (i.e. Milton Bradley, Geovany Soto.) The roster was built to win and just didn’t get the job done.
(PS) I don’t think it made a lick of difference. Jake Peavy would have just gotten hurt anyway, just like all of the rest of the pitchers….
Which Cubs are part of the long term solution, who needs to go away?
(DK) I honestly don’t have the energy to answer this question. But let’s just say I like Derrek Lee, Ryan Theriot, and Jake Fox on this roster. I’m not sold on anybody else.
(PS) I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I think that the only guys you keep are Geovany Soto, Rich Harden, Carlos Marmol and John Grabow. Maybe Sean Marshall and Tom Gorzellany (a personal man-crush of mine). Everyone else can go and is a varying degree of trade bait. I’d also like to say that I’m in the camp, albeit a small one, of people who would like to see Milton Bradley back. High OBP guys are the kind of people you can build your lineup around, and they aren’t REAL common. He also ALWAYS hustles and gives 110 percent on the field, which is more than I can say for at least one of the Cubs’ outfielders…Follow paulmbanks