I could write a lot of things about the final game of this road trip, but this one seems much more important than anything else about the current state of the Cubs.
Last night in one of the game overflow threads, BCB reader tomas 21 -- who has been a member of this site since 2005 and with whom I have exchanged emails many times -- posted this bombshell:
I have a contact with access to the Cubs clubhouse. He said the clubhouse is a disaster right now (maybe this game will help). He said the latin players, led by Ramirez and Z, have completely walled themselves off from everyone else, to the point that they wouldn’t let them team haze Castro in the typical rookie fashion (carrying bags, etc). He said Ramirez has completely shut down, refuses to practice, and is barely willing to take the field for games. The team never turned on Soriano, despite all his struggles, because he worked his butt off, but the team is turning on Ramirez, because he doesn’t, and doesn’t see a problem with it.
Since this was posted here last night, I received an email from tomas21 this morning elaborating further on this situation and given what he told me -- and I will not repost the additional information here -- I have absolutely no doubt that what he told me is 100% correct.
Here's my reaction to this: it is yet another reason Lou Piniella needs to be replaced. The manager has to be in control of his clubhouse and team! This is the kind of thing that we used to see and complain about when players' manager Dusty Baker let the inmates run the asylum. Any good leader would stand up and say he wasn't going to put up with this kind of behavior. Apart from today's starter, Ryan Dempster, the Cubs don't really have a lot of player-leaders -- they didn't after 2003 under Baker either, with predictable results -- and this may be one reason they re-signed Bob Howry, who has a reputation as a good clubhouse guy (and who is actually throwing decently since his reacquisition).
Either stand up, Lou, and end this kind of nonsense, or go home to Florida. You aren't leading.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2010 - Ryan Dempster||4-5||13||12||0||0||0||0||83.2||66||35||35||12||27||79||3.76||1.11|
|2010 - Dave Bush||1-5||15||11||0||0||0||0||58.0||67||38||32||9||29||31||4.97||1.66|
Dave Bush has had a rough year and the Cubs love hitting him. They scored nine runs in less than four innings against him on April 25 at Miller Park, including four home runs (Kosuke Fukudome, Derrek Lee, Geovany Soto and Tyler Colvin). Since the Cubs seem to have brought their HR-hitting ability to Milwaukee, let's hope that continues today.
Ryan Dempster has already defeated the Brewers twice this year, including April 23 at Miller Park, where he allowed only one run in seven innings. Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, and Demp's old teammate Jim Edmonds have all homered twice off him, in 28, 30 and 27 career AB respectively. Keep the ball in the park, Ryan, and you should have a good day.
Today's game is on WGN and FSN Wisconsin. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Today's first pitch thread will be up at 1 pm CDT, and the overflows will post at 2:15, 3:15 and 4 pm CDT.
Discuss amongst yourselves.