What The F#%$! Is Wrong With The Cubs?

August 17, 2007 | Comments (0) | by Rich Funk

I went on vacation this past Saturday to a very far away place. A place that was free of outside distractions and worries. A place where I would be able to relax and not pay all of my free attention to baseball and the Cubs.

Apparently, I didn't miss much while I was gone.

I left before the game on Saturday and returned late Wednesday night. In that time, the Cubs went 1-4. The good news is that the Brewers are nosediving as well, so at the time of this writing, the Cubs are only .5 out of first. The bad news is that the Cardinals (yes, the defending World Series champion Cardinals) are now breathing down our necks as well. However, we can't control them or how they play. We can only control how we play and everything else will have to sort itself out.

The Cubs are 3-7 over their last 10 games counting yesterday's shellacking of the Reds. Nothing seems to be going right for very long. When we hit, we can't pitch. When we pitch, we can't hit. We get runners in scoring position and fail to bring them home. This leads me to my question:

What the f#%$! is wrong with the Cubs?

The quick-and-dirty answer? They're mostly young and got into their own heads. When Soriano went down, they let up. This wasn't like years past where if Sammy or Lee went down, we had nowhere else to turn for offense. But we still started slumping. I guess we're lucky to be where we are. I mean, the Brewers have gone 2-8 over their last 10.How big would that lead look if they could have gone 5-5? Or 6-4? Or 8-2?

But we can't just be happy to be in the race. With a big series with the Cards this weekend, we need to take control of this race right now. I have 3 foolproof steps to fix the Cubs and rocket them to the playoffs.

1. Pick 1 lineup: Yes, I know Lou loves to tinker and what not, but seriously, it's a lot easier on the players when they know where the hell they are hitting. I know that certain matchups are better than others and sometimes people need a day off. And I know that any lineup we have now will be different in a few weeks when Soriano comes back. But let's take the lineup we had today and stick with it for a little while and see how it works. It couldn't hurt, could it?

2. Give Zambrano some freaking consistency behind the dish: No wonder Carlos sometimes looks lost out on the mound...he never knows who the hell it is he's throwing to! 6 different catchers have caught Zambrano this year. Lets check out the stats depending on who is behind the dish for Big Z's starts:

Record ERA
2-4 7.53
6-3 2.35
1-1 4.42
3-1 3.27
1-0 1.12
1-0 0.00

In other words...

2-4 7.53
1-1 4.42
Everyone Else: 11-4 2.39

Barrett sucks at catching Zambrano. We ship him out. We bring in Kendall. Kendall sucks at catching Zambrano. Lesson? Put ANYONE but Kendall back there. I don't care if he's hitting .300 as a Cub. That's a good bonus, but I'd rather have Hill go 0-4 in the 8 hole and have Zambrano pitch a gem. If it's that big a deal, hit Zambrano 8th and Hill 9th instead. Problem solved.

Keep this guy from getting behind the plate when Zambrano pitches!

3. Remove Lou's head from his ass: I love Lou, but he's been sucking lately in getting his troops ready for battle. When Soriano got hurt, he should have been in there telling the team that it was just a slight hiccup and what they were going to do to get by for the month with a firm plan in place and a steely glare in his eye. It seemed like when the Cubs stumbled out of the gate, they had purpose and drive to take back 1st place, and as soon as they got it, they went "Well what now?" and stumbled again. Lou needs to prevent these things from happening. I don't care if he has to dress like the guy from The Princess Bride to do it.

Hopefully yesterday's game was a sign of what's to come. This weekend's series is huge. We need our heads in the game. We're still in this.

Go Cubs Go.