Saturday, May 23, 2009

What is the Prognosis ?


If I were a betting man I would predict the Cubs to come out swinging tonight. With the teams character being tested this road trip, this may indeed help this clubs desire to bond and realize the few games they played poorly which put them into this early season funk , may just allow them to go deep into this season once the wounded get back into the lineup. The cubs roster is filled with ball players whom are competitors, expect this club to lean on each other going forward and to get back to playing the Chicago Cubs can play. From tonight's game going forward I'm assuming Pinella don't have the magic speech for jumping out of this funk except for taking things one game at a time.. Ain't that how us people living everyday dealing with life's messes and the set backs we go threw.

Phil G- The Man in the middle

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jake Fox He Awaites his call !!

Lou Pinella and Jim Hendry what are you waiting for ??

Now for the second time in two days we have seen comments regarding Jake Fox of the Chicago Cubs. Both Paul Sullivan and Dick Van Dyke of the Chicago Tribune continue to make sure his name is well noticed in their columns. As Jake Fox 26 years old waits for his turn and he may be waiting for a bit. With this Cubs roster fairly full General Manager Jim Hendry and Lou Pinella have no place to get him on the roster , they say ! This reminds me how Micah waited patiently for his number to be called last year as he batted ( .362 ) with 25 homers and 100 Rbi's in only 71 games played. Let me remind you Jake Fox is batting (.431) with 17 home runs and 50 RBI's. Furthermore his OBP is (.513)with a slugging % of (.964.)Jake leads Triple A with his offense and is hoping he will get his break soon, as he should. 

We seen Bobby Scales get called up and Ryan Freel get acquired by Cubs management and surely it may take a key injury or cubs collapse for his chance to come up and play be for real. I do question Jim Hendry as when your big bopper Aramis Ramirez is sitting for sometime. it only makes sense to replace this loss with a player whom can be a difference maker. There is room for Fox to come up to the Majors. Fox does have a glove as some people will say he cant play in the field. Jake has played some time at third for Lou in Spring. He has also played behind home plate and first base. In addition he can play the outfield corners if need be.

As were still early in the baseball season the cubs and most major league teams have no reason to panic if indeed their teams are playing inconsistent or just average ball. As cub fans hope this team not only can win while there star players are out, they just hope they can gel more as the season goes on and to surprise many of the opposition in the NL.

For Chicago without Zambrano getting put on the DL and Aramis Ramierez going down how would have we been able to see Randy Wells show his excellence and Bobby Scales a 11 year minor leaguer waiting for his chance to show his talent. Both of these players will now be key resources in the cubs season. Fair or unfair Jake Fox's #'s are more than proof to bring him up and help this team. There are multiple options in using Jake off the bench or platooned with Derek Lee whom isn't producing along with Bradley whom hasn't yet found his golden bat. For Fans and the team is just doesn't make sense to keep a caliber type player in Fox down in Triple A. I do really hope something will trigger Pinella and Hendry to just get this guy up. I can sit here and hand out all the ways in utilizing Jake but nothing matters unless Hendry pulls the trigger and brings this man up.

Finally, as Jim Hendry is a great GM,their is know doubt he has his favorites and also makes questionable moves. You ask yourself why did we trade for a Guy in Aaron Heilaman whom stats are less than good... Then we bring up a youngster in Jeff Samardgia whom isn't yet ready for this relief role as he is still learning and you have another fellow Jeff Stevens whom is throwing lights out and could really help the middle part of this bullpen.
I would like to see Guzman, Wells, Marshall & Stevens leading this pen. Cotts and Heilaman should find another place to pitch outside the confines of Wrigley. With all this said will see how things work out by middle of June. For the cubs sake it may be better for them to play subpar just so they can have these other players down in Triple A come up and play their game.

It will be another month or so before we truly know where this club stands.

let me know your thoughts !


Sunday, May 17, 2009

Can the Magic Continue on the North Side !

Randy Wells,  Guzman and Marmoul get the job Done !!

What about our Closer Kevin Gregg  ??

After Yesterdays drama in the 9th one would still have to be reminded that no lead for the cubs is a safe one with Heilman and Gregg on the mound. Randy Wells has thrown 11 innings since subbing for Carlos Zambrano spot in the rotation and yet has his first major league win. Wells has developed his sinker to keep the batters off there toes. Wells job well done can be for many reasons but since most teams haven't seen his stuff just yet it makes getting his job done somewhat easier early on. Saying that Randy has really along with Soto scouted his competition to a tee before pitching a game and it has worked.

This coming week when Carlos Zambrano comes back into the rotation it will very hard to just throw Wells back to Iowa so expect Randy to be either a 6 man in the rotation or come out of the bullpen to help that muddy bullpen get cleaned up. Lou will have some decisions to make here real soon with both Marshall and Wells,either way these are good decisions to have to make.

Now with all being said most Cubs fans have to be up in the air a bout Kevin Gregg. Last season he used his knee injury to blame for his collapse in Florida's bull pen blowing 9 saves. Kevin Gregg was in a no save situation yesterday afternoon and used another excuse that his outing wasn't a real save situation so the lack of "intensity"  really was at the core of why his performance was brutal ! In addition to this he made a comment that he will have between 90-97 save opportunities this season and their will be times you just don't have it.Fans,some of what he says may be true but with the cubs not winning this season with games there ahead by 1-2 runs, management and Lou have to have that certain someone to plug in that can keep that lead whether it's a one run lead or 4 run lead and have the passion every time there on the mound..

The magic will continue for the Cubs for as long as they play solid baseball however the bullpen and the closer have to be consistent as when you get into post season many of those contested games are won or lost by 1 or 2 runs.
I suppose the cubs middle part of their pen will be tweaked as the cubs and Jim Hendry will make sure the components are their for Pinella to make sure each and every game played is winnable.

With the Chicago Cubs playing threw some of there soft spots in their schedule beware that this will change over the next few weeks and the cubs will see how they match up with some of the more competitive teams in the National League as well as inter league play coming up.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Cubs Take an important Game 3 in Milwaukee !

The cubs with all the bumps and injuries there still hanging in there... Now With the addition of Ryan Freel whom is 1-1 with a base hit today looks to add speed and depth at infield.  Ryan is a player whom wants to help the cubs win. With tomorrow and Derek Lee having is MRI lets wait and see how this turns out. If it’s bad Lou will DL- Lee and want to replace that power quickly whom we have Jake Fox down in triple A. Jake belongs on any top roster in the Majors. The Cubs just didn’t have a place for him as Micah Hoffepeuir didn’t and look how he is where he belongs and is getting his time.


How about Scales again 2-3 today. This guy has been waiting for sometime and again has shown value.

 The Cubs at this time last year were only one game ahead in the win column. Cubs fans should relax in that even though there are concerns, The cubs are 3 games above .500 and once Lou fixes the middle part of the bullpen as he quoted “ will be done “ this team will end up showing up allot of people here in the next few weeks. This is baseball and sports so unfortunately the cubs will have to tough these injuries and wait for management to fix up the middle part of the pen and also wait for key players to rejoin their team. Randy Wells will be added once Zambrano gets back as his stuff is better than good, as Friday’s outing proved he has real good stuff shutting out the Brewers. This may is one pitcher to help settle down the middle part of the pen.


The cubs with all the bumps and injuries there hanging in there. Now 

Cubs fans I’m convinced the cubs will go threw some shaky times until the trade deadline but this club with be the club one thought , the best in the NL.

I know it will be hard as some of the next few games might hit a nerve or two but again only back 2 .5 games with over 130 remaining is more than enough to jump start this club and hold on until we get some of our key players back in the lineup. Also expect Hendry to go out and either make some key trades and or bring up some young talent to help the pen be more complete. Jim Hendry wont lose sight of the small window to win this division out rite and go to the post season. This isn’t the South side where like the White Sox whom wont get better as there management is holding out for a new direction. Here on the North side Fans demand talent and wins.  This whole bumpy road for the cubs will ultimately help them later in August.


Next Up Jake Peavy Tuesday night Padres..



Saturday, May 9, 2009

Now with Ramirez being out what will happen to this team..

The Cubs as many know now lost there catalyst of there offense and team. Ramirez was not only arguably the best third baseman in baseball his offense as a third baseman was stellar. The Cubs received a great pitching outing in Rand Wells whom was pitching in Carlos Zambranos spot. In all honesty Wells had the Brewers on the ropes at times with his fast ball and command at the corners. Threw 5 innings the youngster looked poised and in control of his game. After the cubs took a 2-1 lead, there were multiple chances of the cubs getting that 1 additional insurance run. The cubs floundered those opportunities and invited the Brewers rite into taking over this game.

 It was obvious to me when Aaron Heilman came into this game in the 8th inning and put the first batter on base I spelled problems. The Cubs problems as I voiced over many times in the last week in this middle of the road bull pen they put on the mound. Jim Hendry must go get someone somewhere to come in and be that go to guy to shut down the opposition. With Marmoul and Gregg being the only two closers that wont cut it. Guzman came into this game with a 2-0 lead by the cubs. As Angel has a power arm he seems to make mistakes with his slider and change up putting the ball rite where the batters can quickly send the ball out over the fences in any ballpark. Saying that Angel has been productive but in these most important 1 run games you have to rely on someone to keep the momentum with the North Siders and hold the lead. Jeff Stevens,  whom came over from Cleveland with the Delrosa trade is ready to come up from triple A and help this team in these middle innings. The time is now Hendry !!

 Now more than ever Chicago needs there ball club to step up. With the loss of Ramirez for at least 8 weeks Ryan Freel the recently acquired utility man will be asked to play third for the missing Ramirez however he is no Ramirez. The Cubs will need to address the missing power in the Lineup. Jake Fox is the answer in Triple A and has showed great power consistently over the last few years and is in a zone knocking the cover of the ball with 13 homers and 33 Rbi’s. Many say where will we put him on the field and there are answers. Soto isn’t playing well and or is hurt. DL- him and let Koyie Hill play as he is doing the job period.

We also could DL-Lee if he continues to suffers from the Disk in his neck. There is room and don’t worry about hurting one ego. This problem needs to be taken care of now and furthermore the boys that have came up thus far like Wells and Scales have done more than ok. We seen Scales hit a Triple and score the 1st run in the 3-2 loss at Miller Park. He has been a great addition since being up from Triple A.

 Chicago still has the edge in the division and are rite in the thick of things. Pinella being in this situation in previous seasons while managing knows I believe how to get the most out of his bal club. Saying that Henry working hand in hand with Pinella shall hold the Cubs in check so they wont see this season unfold on them. one would say that injuries are part of any game and some of them you have no control over. Now we will see how the Cubs respond after losing Mr. Ramirez to the DL.

 For all you Cubs Fans- Somehow someway the Chicago Cubs will find there way into the playoffs. I’m confident this team will work threw there team injuries and all will come together. I just hope we take advantage of those talented players awaiting us to give the cubs that boost they really need rite now. Thankfully we have 120 games to get all the loose screws tightened.

 Game #2 Brewers vs. Cubs. 7pm Saturday night- Dempster Vs. Gallardo

Please comments welcomed or call 815-790-3451

Friday, May 8, 2009

Jim Hendry ... When will you finally upgrade these players !


In game #2 of the Houston vs. Cubs Series we seen the cubs show how they may be starting to hit the ball with more consistency however saying that they need to step up to the plate and hit well against #1 pitchers which they haven't proved on a daily basis. 

last  night going into the 8th & 9th inning the cubs were up big 8-2 and without no surprise Pinella brings in newly called up Chad Fox
 to come in and close this game out. He began pitching horribly and finished awful. Pinella was more than upset with the performance of Fox and clearly showed his disposition with his mad look.Hendry what is going on here we have this potentially masterful team but this middle relief role is a soft spot on this team. Heilman seems to be stepping up of late and did his job yesterday but outside Aaron we have limited proven middle men to get the job done. Marmoul and Gregg are coming together however they can't go at the pace their pitching. In thoese close games where a run or two is the difference you need to go to those guys that can contribute with their arms. It's obvious Pinella has little confidence outside Marmoul and Gregg. Chad Fox is no major league pitcher any longer and should get his walking papers. If this is what the cubs consider the best we have to rectify this problem the cubs may see some long summer days and a losing season once again. 

I continue to voice my discuss with other fans whom are really tired of seeing less than good bullpen men such as Chad Fox. I'm again going to ask Jim Hendry and or Lou Pinella to either go and acquire a pitcher from the left side preferably or simply go get JEFF STEVENS in triple A whom is performing more than OK allowing only 3 hits in 11 innings. This isn't too shabby but listen we need help in this spot and why not bring these young men up whom are showing they have what it takes to play in the big leagues. The White Sox have gone young and are showing how the kids can get it done. I'm not sure why they hold so much talent from coming up. Jim Hendry has his favorites like in Jeff Samardgia whom clearly isn't ready to play at Wrigley if anywhere.

I'm a fan and a critic but yesterday after I seen Chad Fox come in and perform the way he did i just shook my head took a deep breath and said to myself I will get my message across to those within the cubs organization to get these issues worked out.  

Finally I want all of you to keep this name in your head Jake Fox whom is waiting for the call from Hendry to pack his bags to come play with Pinella's men up here in Chicago. Most of you know how this ball player not only has the talent but truly has the desire to get this team over the top. I can guarantee if Jake Fox can get his time to play and be inputted in the 5th or 6th spot in this cubs lineup our issue of getting those crucial runs home will be resolved. The question i have for Lou , do you have the strength to put Soto on the DL or even put D Lee on the DL for  sometime as both of these players are struggling for one reason or another. Listen their are numeorus options to get Jake Fox up here.

The window of winning for the cubs is small so forget about contracts or what players have done in years past. Play those whom can help you now. The young ones have heart and desire and give another angle for the manager of stimulating his club. Ozzie Guillen from the White Sox benched Alexi Ramirez because he wasn't getting the job done. He also played really well his first year in 2008 but this is now and the team and fans deserve to have the best talent on the field.

The Cubs have the talent here within... Go do it Henry ! you will be happy with the results.
I hope Jim Hendry can give Pinella the real tools to complete this club from top to bottom.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's only just Begun ! Whom will get the call from Iowa !

Forget about it only being May.. the cubs have a serious challenge correcting there Bullpen.
After the Cubs seen there 4 game winning streak come to rest do to a few questionable reasons, there was the same question in most cubs fans minds. Jeff Samardzija has now watched his Era bloom to over 11 now. Jim Hendry as he is a no doubt a Notre Dame fan we seen how the Cubs are giving Jeff Samardzija every opportunity to show progress up here in the majors. With that 10million dollar signing bonus given to Jeff early on, you would think he was a superstar. Lou Pinella and Jim Hendry better and I say "better" give some of the other young talent sitting in the wings the chance to help the cubs sore spot a chance to come up and tuneup this middle relief situation NOW. This problem if not corrected will continue to effect this teams overall chances of not only winning ball games but winning those games where 1 or 2 runs can be the difference in a post game series.

I have voiced my opinion many times early on about this middle relief core. The arms we have now are just serviceable at best. Management better go ahead and find a solution very soon. There are some very talented ball players in the minors whom can be the difference.  Jeff Stevens whom you see in the picture to your left has pitched 11 scoreless innings with only 3 hits allowed to prove it.

The Cubbie's also have 2 other proven arms thus far in triple A with Atkins and Berg. 
Until the Cubs bring up these young men  and put them in the trenches one will be wondering is the answer there in Iowa.

The Cubs biggest obstacle now and down the road is there middle relief in the 6th & 7th innings. Unless Hendry and Pinella test the waters now as you have the chance they may find themselves further behind the 8 ball which will effect them winning the central division. 

As a Cub fan I wake up thinking about this problem again and again...Most important and objectively I wont be relaxed until the Cubs can address and smooth this situation, as this will again be the one thing that will cause a thorn to be stuck in the Cubs back-ends.

I ask Cub Fans to communicate loudly to  Cubs Management in addressing this problem now.

Next  we have 5 games on the road beginning tonight at Minute Maid Park with those Astros. Harden Vs. Hampton

Monday, May 4, 2009

April swinging and May delivering


With April's beginning's in the past the Cubs have started the month of May perfectly winning their first series at home against the National Leagues best record club the Florida Marlins. The Cubs lost their first game in extra innings after leading the first game against Florida. The Cubs quickly went back to there old ways creating errors and then further more watched there bullpen give the opposition the lead for good. Most fans were hoping someone in the rotation would help the cubs get out of the funk that ended April. Rich Harden went to the mound in game #2 and we knew his stuff wasn't his best. With giving up 2 quick runs he soon lost his control by hitting batters. Chicago fans and Wrigley field were frustrated and shaking there heads.

It was in the later innings when the cubs finally had the bases juiced and along came little Theriot the little guy and just like that the cubs took the lead 6-5 with a grand slam by Ryan. The cubs offense seem to find a groove scoring 2 more runs and allowing them to win 8-6. The remainder games were well pitched by the Cub and they were able to get the big home runs once again to win the series against Florida 3-1.

Baseball has a whole lot of games to be played and the Cubbies have seemed to get there bats on the ball of late. With the Cubs there is no guarantee there headed to a 10 games win streak but like April showers bring may flowers , spring and baseball in Chicago has found it's bloom.

Finally , with Carlos Zambrano being out for 2-3 weeks. We will have Randy Wells throwing in his place Beginning Friday against the Brew crew. Let's hope Randy does well along with Bobby Scales whom has came up from Triple A Iowa. This can be a good alteration for this team seeing different faces giving the make up of the Cubs a new look.

Now with the Giants in town for a quick two games the Cubs may just have 5 straight wins under there belts.

Phil G- Mchenry- IL

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Ryan Theriot has sparked the Cubs to slam there way into consecutive wins for the North siders. Putting across over 13 runs in two games, this may be a a sign of what's to come. Lilly pitched his 2nd gem of a game working all his pitches including his curve biting pitch. The team itself seemed to loosen up with the club showing humor again in around the club house. 

Baseball is one of those sports like the wind in Chicago where as quick as your on top of your game one day and quickly with one swing or one error the magic you have seemed to acquire changes into reality and the club is scratching to find themselves again. Most critics have there opinions of what should or will happen in the coming months however the Chicago Cubs need to take one game at at a time looking to another to keep the synergy rolling.

Most if all of the cubs will tell you that winning at home is so important because of  the energy which is felt from the fans here at Wrigley Field. Having over 39,000 fans yelling and screaming every home game makes one great difference in how your Psyche intertwines in how you respond in your game.

We seen in Saturday's running of the Kentucky Derby that whether your horse has odds of 4-1 or 40-1 the challenge and the sport is decided on the field or more so in this case the track..

Baseball is one of those unpredictable games and this is why baseball is such an intriguing game. The Cubs on Paper have the talent and after 22 games the fact of the matter is there are still 140 games to play and to play to get better. I suspect if indeed the Cubs respond like the warm temperatures will, This team should meet all expectations. 

Finally saying that I will be the one to ask management to really start looking for that one middle reliever come crunch time to get the cubs over the top otherwise there will be for sure disappointment as there will be many games won by the closes of just one run.

Next Game Sunday May 3rd 1:20 pm - Wrigley Field Hope to see you there

Phil G

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Moody Fans on the North Side !

Friday afternoon looked like another losing day at the ball park until the later innings where of all the players Ryan Theriot whom is a clutch hitter , whom also leads the league in singles comes up to bat with the bases loaded. In one swing the small "Goliath" took a pitch into the bleachers of left field. The fans within the stadium and out about were getting restless until that point when the cubs took the lead 6-5. The bullpen continued to show up with there shaky ways but Marmoul after walking two found his groove and retired the side. Now with the Cubs being back too .500 and Theriot shaking up the offense Friday afternoon, you would hope the Cubs of old will show up more on a daily basis.

For the fans whom are really edgy these days, it may be recommended to start getting some sort of therapy to deal with this concerning start to the cubs behavior on the field. Real Cub fans expect a W each game played and when you lose 6 of 8 games there starts to become an uneasy feeling anyway you look at it. The mind is a very powerful thing so as I'm not a therapist i would suggest take a deep breath look up to heavens and just hope this team comes together and fast.

Cubs fans regardless whether the cubs lose or win what is important is "consistency". The Cubs are the Cubs and they will come around sooner or later. Hopefully it will be sooner as fans may not have the patience to deal with a losing season.

Saying that today is another Sunny day and with that we hope it will be a winning day on the north side !

Chicago Flubs I mean Cubs Tumble again ....

I’m not sure what to say no more except that we here in Chicago whom follow these cubs better hang on for a long season. The cubs find away to lose even when they shouldn’t. Marshall pitched a great game into the 7th inning leaving the game up 2-1. Lou then brings are go to guy Marmoul in and it took a few walks a unearned run before he calmed down and took care of business. Time again the cubs have put themselves into this position and my gosh it’s like a re-run over and over. Expect the cubs to find a way to lose and it will happen.

Carlos Zambrano spoke to a few team mates suggesting a player meeting only and Lou Pinella I quote said “ have any meeting you want but it wont scorer runs”. Now as this team falls farther behind and important parts of the team look and perform brutally it will ultimately dawn on most of us that this team just doesn’t have it. I can’t say it’s over as it’s only May 1st however unless you see a quick turn around and this club shows there resiliency to themselves and the fans this season will be just another heart breaking season.

As I try to be objective I also battle my fan response so it’s very hard watching a club on paper whom really not only showed promise but looked to have the best line-up in all the majors. Well now we know why this game is played and decided on the field.

Can you imagine how they will play when they go up against some of the tougher teams in the NL.

Cub fans don’t get upset when I say maybe to look the other way and hope for next year.