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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]