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Before we get into this week let's take a quick look back at the last week. If you are a loyal reader you know that I ripped good ol' Dusty one more time.
As if like clockwork, as myself and others pointed out, why in the world would you not put Daniel Murphy, who is batting .407 right now, behind Bryce Harper. If you also remember, the Cubs walked Harper a billion times in that four-game series two weeks ago. So yeah, Baker finally sees what other people see. You know, like reality, and bats Murphy fourth.
But you know, he'd been thinking about it for a while . . . sure, Dusty. And it seems to have worked. Way to be on top of it, dude.
He also threw out this gem to just cement how much of a bozo he is: "You go through different stages and transformations as a player and as a hitter and this is - I didn't know the other day, I had forgotten that Barry Bonds walked two hundred times or something, one year, and I was there and I don't remember - you would think I would remember two hundred times, all I remember is some home runs and hitting .370. Bryce will be fine."
Yep, this guy forgets that success comes from walking and getting on base more than batting average and home runs. But there's the thing Dusty, anyone paying attention wouldn't be thinking that you remembered that. You used to think that walking clogged up bases. So of course you don't remember Bonds walking that much!
But this leads me into this week and a manager who likes walks and really knows what he is doing, Joe Maddon. And more specifically, the ongoing Jorge Soler situation. Big Poppa Joe doubled down on Jorge and gave him four starts in left (of six games played) last week. And the results were just as bad as the rest of the season.
What was possibly the most interesting is how Joe didn't pinch hit for Soler in the eighth inning down one against San Diego in the nightcap of a doubleheader. The Cubs had lost the first game and were trying to avoid their first two-game losing streak of the season. Addison Russell didn't start, so he was available off the bench. He stayed there while Soler struck out - for the fourth time in the game.
This is a departure from the way Maddon managed last year. He was playing to win every game in 2015, and not pinch-hitting with Russell was not playing to win every game in 2016, it was playing the long game with Soler more than anything. Will it pay off?
Maybe. But I don't think so. I do think Soler could flourish, but it'll be somewhere else, not with the Cubs. Matt Szczur will be back from the DL soon, and that doesn't leave much playing time for a guy who still needs to be in there every day to develop. Yet, Theo Epstein seems to have ruled out sending Soler down.
Maybe it's nitpicking a really strong team to look at this situation as a real issue, but man, Soler would have to get really smoking hot to make it look like dealing with this now was worth it.
Week in Review: The Cubs went 3-3 for the week, losing two of three to the lowly Padres and winning two of three from the "good" Pirates. From ESPN Stats & Info: "With Wednesday's doubleheader sweep at the hands of the Padres, six of the Cubs' seven losses this season have been to teams that are now under .500." It's like they get up for the good teams and not as up for the bad teams? Or maybe it's just baseball.
Week in Preview: The boys in blue head up north to face the Brew Crew for three and then out to San Fran for three with the Giants over the weekend. Kind of an odd road trip as they'll come back to the Midwest and St Louis after that. I'm kinda looking forward to the late night weekday West Coast games, but that's not happening until August. Thanks schedule-makers.
Musical Outfielders: And no, we aren't talking about Matt Szczur playing the French horn. We covered Jorge Soler getting four starts this week; Kris Bryant got the other two. For all that playing time, Soler went 2-for-14 with one walk. Barf. I hope they are right about this guy, and soon. The fans are going to start turning on him. Good thing he's only signed until 2020.
Former Annoying Cub of the Week: Former first-round pick Brett Jackson is no longer in baseball. Jackson was a top-50 prospect in all of baseball as recently as 2011. Now, he is a nutrition and fitness expert for Uncaged Lifestyle. He can also, like, squat a Buick. Yeah, he is not missed.
Current Annoying Cub of the Week: Okay, he's not really annoying me, but what's the deal with John Lackey's teeth?
Those choppers are actually a topic of discussion. They are way too white and there seems to be too many of them or something.
Mad(don) Scientist: Big Poppa Joe had dinner with Mike Ditka this week. How anyone could call these guys similar is beyond my comprehension. But one thing Maddon seems to be good at is relating to all sorts of different people. We're talking about a guy that can hang with Ivy League team presidents as well as young ballplayers straight out of the Dominican Republic who know little of America. So yeah, that's not Mike Ditka, and let's not make any kind of comparison that makes them seem the same, okay?
Kubs Kalender: Fans attending the Cubs-Brewers game on Tuesday will receive a Ryan Braun Photo Card. This must be so that they remember what he looks like after he is inevitably traded - to someone. No way they schedule this giveaway in August when there is little chance he is still on the team.
Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that good is to bad as Maddon is to Dusty.
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