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Old 10-12-2004, 11:07 PM   #1
doublee
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Default Cubs Scapegoats

Well, it looks as though the Cubs have found their ultimate scapegoats for this season. Apparently third base coach Wendell Kim and hitting coach Gary Matthews are to blame. Kim has been let go and Matthews is being shifted from hitting coach to first base coach. I guess somehow the third base coach and the hitting coach are to blame for the bullpen's complete ineptness had holding a lead this year. I guess these two are also responsible for the lack of overall fundamentals that this team displayed througout the year as well. But, hey go figure at least Steve Stone still has a job. I could have sworn it was his commentary that was one of the driving forces behind the team's collapse this year. Just ask Moises Alou he will tell you all about it.

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=1899767
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:07 AM   #2
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Well some shake-up had to happen. With all of the hype going into this season and all of the hopes of their fans being so high, they had to do something. The 3B coach is easier to fire than the manager, and Dusty should be safe for another year or so. The bats seemed to go to sleep in the 2nd half of the season, so they needed someone else to motivate them.
I wish the Cubs luck next season.
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Old 10-13-2004, 12:35 AM   #3
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Like they say...You can't fire the players.

Kim was an odd one with some of his moves & Matthews has shown not to be anything special at the hitting coach position.

The Cubs won't reach the next level until they mix in some small ball type players to keep the home run happy offense from going into some of those disasterous lulls. Also until they get someone in with the right credentials & authority to get the players attention on workin' the count, all Cub fans will get is occasional home run exibitions.

Everyone knew the downfall would be the bullpen so when the starters went down, it was inevitable that it would catch up with them even tho they surprised us by keeping in contention so late in the year.

I don't mind Baker except when it's with a team where he has to do a lot of intense managing. He's better with a solid team across the board where he can occasionally push some buttons & rely more on being a motivator & players type manager.

If the Trib doesn't open the checkbook & Hendry doesn't fill this bullpen next year, Baker's gonna wear this starting staff from a strength to a weakness.
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Old 10-13-2004, 05:58 PM   #4
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I'm not a Dusty Baker fan. They had the talent this season. Coaching is a problem on this team.
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Old 10-13-2004, 07:21 PM   #5
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Prolem is the team chemistry was just not there this season and shuffling around a couple of secondary coaches is not going to fix that. You have your biggest star, Sosa, bailing on team the final day. They guy cannot even stick around because he does not feel like talking to the media. You have Alou paying more attention to what the WGN announcers are saying than how is teammates are playing out on the field. Baker did nothing to keep any of this under control.

Unless there are some changes in team leadership between now and next season I am not sure the Cubs will be serious contenders next year either. They only have a handful of guys playing for the team rather than themselves.
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:18 PM   #6
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Chemistry, coaching...blah, blah, blah. Injuries are to blame, yes. But not as much as some would like to say....that would be too easy -- perhaps, another scapegoat.
I think it was execution, base-running, and just simple underachievement. I can't count the number of times I watched a first and third with NO OUTS turn into no runs. I can't count the number of times I saw guys strike out trying to move a runner over with a sac-bunt. And the number of base-running mistakes is well documented.
Injuries hurt, yes. But hell, the Cubs beat themselves. That's hard for me to stomach, because I love them so much. But, they just plain beat themselves.
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Old 10-13-2004, 08:44 PM   #7
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Chemistry can go a long way to alleviating some of the fundamental and mental mistakes going on. The biggest problem with the team chemistry this year was that there was nobody on that team that would stepup and kick a guy in the nuts for making a dumb play or for not playing up to par. Nobody cared one way or the other. There was no focus on what was going on out on the field. If the manager is not going to do it then one of the players does. If the atmosphere of the clubhouse turns into chaos than talent only takes you so far and you start screwing up the little things.

Look at a team like the Cards they have Rolen, Pujols, and Edmonds who take charge both on the field and in the clubhouse. If someone gets out of line or starts dawging it on the field they will hear about it from Rolen or Edmonds and not to mention LaRussa.

Look at the Astros they have Biggio and Bagwell who take charge on that club and keep things in line.

The Braves have Smoltz and Chipper and Cox who doesn't take crap off of anyone.

The Yanks have Torre to keep the team in check and also have warriors like Jeter and Sheff to lead them into battle.

The BoSox have Varitek and Schilling.

You look at the successful teams and you can typically point to two or three players and/or the manager who are the clubhouse leaders and keep things in line. You cannot say that about the Cubs this year.
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Old 10-16-2004, 03:34 AM   #8
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Look at the results ..... the Cubs choked in the worst way possible. Up a couple of games they just started to lose virtually every game while Houston made it's remarkable run for the Wild Card.

At least I won't have to listen to all the Cubs fans blame a poor fan this time. Maybe they'll blame the team instead.
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Old 10-20-2004, 10:54 PM   #9
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