Cubs for Breakfast

Cumann Daorchluiche Cubs na Chicago

Monday, April 25, 2005

Question: What is .983?

Answer: Why it’s the on base plus slugging percentage (OPS) of Neifi Perez after 17 games and 52 plate appearances, of course.

But I will not dwell on the wonder that is Neifi, or Dusty, or Nomar, or LaTroy, or Wood’s shoulder.

What about the fact the entire Cubs’ lineup, with the exception of Derrek Lee, is just going up hacking every at bat? If I recall correctly, Aramis Ramirez and Michael Barrett were both more patient last year and willing to work a count, and both were much more productive. I know the style of Baker/Matthews/Clines is to be aggressive in the zone, but I think the top of the order (and Barrett) especially, needs to get more selective. Actually, I think Corey Patterson is a little more patient than he was last year, which was really an imperative, but Hairston, Hollandsworth, Burnitz, Dubois, Blanco, Ramirez, Perez and Barrett are all giving the pitcher way too much of a break and giving themselves way too few pitches to see.

Does anyone believe anything Baker or Hendry says?

All winter long, Hendry went on about Dempster as a closer. Never happened, never even pitched in relief during the Cactus League.

All spring long, Baker went on about Patterson as the lead-off man. Corey did bat lead-off in the Cactus League and underwent special lead-off man instruction. That lasted what, about two weeks (in the regular season)? Of course, Patterson has a grand total of two walks (and 15 strike outs) in 18 games and an on base percentage of .308. I’m glad he’s not in the 1 hole anymore. I just don’t like the way Cubs management seemingly campaigns for assigning players certain roles, and then abandons the direction they led everyone to believe they were taking, without explanation. Be more circumspect, guys, it’s OK. If you’re not sure Hawkins is going to work out as closer, go ahead and say so. He can deal with it. Don’t put up a smokescreen, like with Dempster, and expect the fans to follow along next time.