In 1961, the Cubs decided, after more than a decade of failure, that having a single "manager" for the team was a bad idea. Instead, owner P.K. Wrigley chose to have a series of rotating "head coaches"; the concept was to rotate the coaches through the organization so that, presumably, players at all levels of the organization would get the same coaching, and that would eventually translate to the major league level.
It was an innovative idea and a great success.
Oh, wait. No, it wasn't. The 1961 Cubs won exactly four more games than the 1960 edition, and the 1962 team set a franchise record with 103 losses, after which time they ditched the idea, which by then had been termed the "College of Coaches".
Fifty years later, the Cubs have decided that not having an actual starting pitcher go to the mound every fifth day, in the absence of a couple of guys on the DL, would be a good idea. Using a number of relief pitchers in a game every few days would save wear and tear on pitchers from the system who weren't stretched out enough to start.
It was a great suc -- well, of course it wasn't. The first attempt at this resulted in an 11-2 loss to the worst team in the league, the Houston Astros, last week.
And in tonight's second game of the split doubleheader, the "College of Pitchers" makes its second appearance. Heaven help us all. There will be a full recap of both games Thursday morning.
|Today's Starting Pitchers|
|2011 - James Russell||1-1||5||1||0||0||0||1||5.0||9||5||4||0||0||5||7.20||1.80|
|2011 - Aaron Harang||3-0||3||3||0||0||0||0||18.0||12||4||3||0||5||16||1.50||.94|
James Russell, obviously, has never started against the Padres. Only four Padres -- Ryan Ludwick, Brad Hawpe, Chris Denorfia and Chase Headley -- have ever faced him. They are a combined 2-for-5, which tells us almost nothing about tonight's game.
Aaron Harang has had three rough years in a row, but is off to a great start this season. He's very familiar to Cubs fans from all his years in the NL Central with the Reds; he has made 24 lifetime starts vs. the Cubs, with a 10-8 mark, a 4.51 ERA and 29 home runs allowed in 153.2 innings. Which is a lot. And he hasn't given up a HR yet this year. Perhaps that will change when he faces Aramis Ramirez, who has homered off him four times (in 55 career AB). Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, Geovany Soto and Kosuke Fukudome have also homered off Harang.
This game should be on CSN Chicago Plus; the White Sox already had dibs on the main CSN channel tonight. It's also on "4 San Diego", a local cable channel there. It is again listed on EI's list of games, so if you have that service, you should be able to see it. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.
Baseball-reference.com game preview
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Today's first pitch thread will be up at 6 p.m. CDT and the overflow threads will post at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to rain delays or extra innings, post them in the fanshot section.
Discuss amongst yourselves.