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Cubs concerns? Sure, but perspective needed, too

Posted by GameSetMatch on 6th April 2010

One thing is true about Opening Day in baseball: It’s a lot easier to jump to conclusions about a team than it is to draw them after one game.

But such is the nature of Opening Day.

If the Cubs had lost 16-5 in the middle of July instead of Monday, not a lot would have been said.

But because it was Opening Day, with all of Chicago media at Turner Field and fans starving for games that count, the result drew swift and heated reaction.

On the Daily Herald’s baseball blog, Chicago’s Inside Pitch, suggestions included:

• Offering pitchers Carlos Zambrano and Carlos Marmol in trades.

• Discussing third baseman Aramis Ramirez’ opt-out clause in his contract.

• Talking about the possibility of trading first baseman Derrek Lee if the Cubs are out of the race.

Click here to read the full article – By Bruce Miles of Daily Herald



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The good news is, Cubs’ nightmare season finally over

Posted by GameSetMatch on 5th October 2009

Lockers were being cleaned out and boxes were being filled with belongings as the Chicago Cubs hurried to get out of town at the end of a disappointing season.

“It’s a little weird to be packing up and heading home, because the last couple of years we’ve been still playing,” said Ryan Dempster, the losing pitcher Sunday as the Arizona Diamondbacks ended the year with a 5-2 victory.

Dempster, who won 17 games last season, gave up five runs and six hits in five innings, struck out 10 and walked one.

“I think a lot of us wish we had a little bit better year than we did,” he said.


Click here to read the full article – By Associated Press of Daily Herald



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For Cubs, it’s ‘Wait ‘Til Next Year: 101st edition’

Posted by GameSetMatch on 30th September 2009

The Cubs’ championship drought reached 101 years Tuesday night when the Rockies’ victory over the Brewers eliminated them from the National League wild card chase.


But the end came with far less fanfare than that which greeted the 100-year mark last October at Dodger Stadium, when the Dodgers swept the Cubs in the National League Division Series.

Conventional wisdom said the pressure was off the Cubs in 2009 because mentions of the streak would not be as prevalent as 2008.

“Last year, from Day One, that was the question,” first baseman Derrek Lee said when camp opened in February. “There are definitely fewer questions so far. That 100-year thing made for a good story, so maybe it will be a little quieter year. I hope it helps. Last year we had a great regular season. We just flopped at the wrong time. But maybe it will take a little pressure off, not having to answer the 100-year question. Who knows?”

Click here to read the full article – By Paul Sullivan of Chicago Tribune



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Cubs eager to see what Colvin can do

Posted by GameSetMatch on 24th September 2009

Tyler Colvin’s parents will be staying up late this weekend.


The young outfielder is expected to get a lot of playing time in the Cubs’ final 11 games, beginning with a four-game series in San Francisco that starts Thursday. Colvin’s family lives in South Carolina, so the time difference might be a little bit of a problem.

Colvin, called up after Double-A Tennessee finished the Southern League championship, made his Major League debut Monday against Milwaukee. His folks also may be shopping for a new computer.

“They were excited,” Colvin said of his parents. “They got to watch [Monday's game] on the computer. They stayed with it the whole game. They were a little disappointed [Tuesday] — the computer shut down in the ninth inning.”


Click here to read the full article – By Carrie Muskat of MLB.com



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Gregg competing to reclaim closer role

Posted by GameSetMatch on 22nd September 2009

Kevin Gregg will spend the final two weeks of the regular season marketing himself as a potential closer. His chances of keeping that job with the Cubs are slim.


Gregg is one of four free agents on the Cubs. He lost the closer’s job on Aug. 18, but he hasn’t been banished to the last spot in the bullpen. Last Tuesday against the Milwaukee Brewers, Lou Piniella called on Gregg to face Corey Hart, Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder. On Friday against St. Louis, Gregg came in with one on and two outs in the eighth of a tie game to face Albert Pujols. That’s not an easy task.

“I think he’s the greatest hitter in the game, hands down,” Gregg said of the Cardinals’ slugger. “Coming in with a guy on, having to face him late in the game, tight situation — you’ve got to make your pitches, you’ve got to do your thing. He’s good. That’s the bottom line.”


Click here to read the full article – By Carrie Muskat of MLB.com



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Cubs need to improve defense

Posted by GameSetMatch on 17th September 2009

Cubs manager Lou Piniella’s preseason expectations for his defense weren’t lofty. Still, the Cubs have not met those expectations.



“Leaving Spring Training, I didn’t expect to lead the league in fielding, believe me,” Piniella said. “But I expected us to be at least in the middle, possibly a notch above there. But we’ve been in the bottom tier for a good portion of the year, and that makes it rough on the pitching.”

Going into Thursday’s series finale against the Brewers, the Cubs are in the bottom three in the National League in both errors and fielding percentage. The team hasn’t fared much better according to an advanced statistic called Ultimate Zone Rating, which indicates that the Cubs are about 14 runs below average on defense this season. That mark is 12th in the NL.


Click here to read the full article – By Andrew Simon of MLB.com



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