Thursday, May 10, 2007

Friends Of Lollygaggers, I Mean Kerry!

Hey Dudes and Dudesses. I want to thank all of you that visit and post here because of the sparkling wit and insight provided by your humble host Clute. Ok,Ok, I know you really come here because of Lollyagger Girl Kerry, but I would be remiss if I didn't say thanks to all of you for your support.

I'm sure most of you have noticed that I'm not able to post as regularly as I would like or you deserve, but time constraints with starting a new business and my family have made it difficult to find the time.

I'm sure you can all understand and hope you still check back from time to time with us as I'll do my best to post when there are some major events shaking up Cub Nation.

I'd like to invite all of you to visit the outstanding site 1060 West, as I'll be contributing there. This will allow me the opportunity to still spout off on the state of affairs concerning our beloved men in blue without the obligation of posting regularly.

1060 West is really one of the most well written Cub sites and quite frankly, I can't figure why in the hell they'd welcome this bricklayer of a writer into their fold. I feel privileged to be associated with 1060 West and can only believe it will provide a larger audience to view my rants and ravings.

I just hope the gang over at 1060 West motivation to bring me on board wasn't based on getting Kerry's phone number? Hah!

Anyway, thanks again everyone and "Go Cubs!"

Clute aka Tony Almeida RIP

Friday, May 4, 2007

It's Starting To Get Old...

Watching our Ace acting like a rookie. I have been as big an advocate of Zambrano as anyone, but his temper tantrums are wearing thin on me. What about you.

It's not like he is a rookie anymore. Though he's only 26, this is his 5th full season and his emotions are getting the best of him. Much to his credit, he righted the ship today, but is this the way we expect an Ace to act on the mound?

I know his stuff is filthy, but would you feel comfortable with him on the mound in the seventh game of a playoff series? If this continues, Piniells should suspend his ass and send a message. GROW UP you clown.

I've heard now for two years how he's going to win the Cy Young award. I'm not saying he doesn't have the stuff to do the job, but shut the fuck up already. If you're going to blow a gasket every time an umpire squeezes you a little you can forget the Cy Young and eventually the respect of your teammates as well.

Don't get me wrong, I want Zambrano to do well and I don't want to trade him but, Piniella has to knock some sense into this hothead or he'll never be as good as he thinks he is or be the type of guy we want to tie up for the next 5 years.

I hope Zambrano will finally grow up soon, otherwise it's Addios MF, at the end of the season and it'll be another major miscalculation by our crack front office.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

The Two Hole!

Now that The Riot, has been inserted into the lineup as a much of a regular as any other player besides the Big Three of Lee, A-Ram and The Fonz, it's time to look at who really belongs in that two hole. First clue, it's not The Riot.

Our fearless LSU alum deserves the leadoff spot. If Piniella can get over his man crush of Soriano, which I think he just might, the lineup would fall into place quicker than Rosie O'Donnell can say Gulf of Tonkin, Google it!

The Cubs are loaded with run producing hitters but are a little thin on high OBP guys.

I don't know of any successful lineup that is configured without it's most disciplined hitters at the top of the order. So who deserves to be in that two hole following The Riot?

Well first let's look at a couple of factors that are unique to the two spot in the order. First, besides a high OBP is the ability to advance the runner on base in front of you. Not usually a quality of a free swinging power hitter. Next, the ability to hit down in the count so as to allow the leadoff man an opportunity to steal. Again not usually a quality of a free swinging power hitter. Let's face it, when you have the team's best hitter on deck, a free swinger in the two hole just doesn't make any sense.

We now have to examine what is lost in the way of run production by placing an extra base hitting machine in the two hole. First, you weaken the bottom of the order's ability to drive in runs with fewer men on base in front of him. For example, even with Soriano's recent surge in hitting his OBP is still no higher than DeRosa's, Murton's or even Jones. It would appear that more RBI potential is lost with Soriano hitting second than having either of the aforementioned three, not to mention Soriano's lack of patience that doesn't allow him to advance the leadoff man or even allow him a chance to steal a base.

Murton and DeRosa have shown as RH sticks, the ability to hit behind the runner, there power isn't prodigious, therefore you're not sacrificing an RBI machine in the two hole who could produce more runs scored lower in the lineup, and you'd probably help them both with their batting average hitting immediately in front of Lee.

The 3, 4 & 5 hitters of Lee, A-Ram and The Fonz, would be as potent as any in baseball providing plenty of run scoring opportunities with high OBP hitters on base in front of them. You also still have a solid bottom of the order with Barrett and the Jones/Floyd/Murton/DeRosa revolving door depending on who's starting, therefore taking most of the pressure off Pie to contribute offensively.

The starting rotation has been more than solid enough for the Cubs to be at least be a 500 team, but the lack of runs scored is the sticking point even taking into account the bullpen has given up a few games. The Cubs just need more base cloggers on base before the middle of the lineup and the runs will come.

Piniella has to get Soriano out of the top of the order.