Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Storm The Castle
2006-07-05 07:33
by Derek Smart

Here's the quote that everyone is likely to focus on today. I'll use the Mouthpiece version:

"I'm evaluating everything," Hendry said. "When you're having this kind of a year … I'm evaluating all situations. When you're 20-plus games below .500 … we certainly want to give us a chance to see if we can make a run here before the break, see if we can do well the rest of the week. I'll spend a lot of time over the break [evaluating], not just the way the [coaching] situation is, but also with your own players."

Here's the reaction of noted intellectual, Phil Rogers:


Jim Hendry has seen this, and he's still evaluating?

It's a red letter day here at Cub Town, because I'm in full agreement with Rogers, as I imagine all vaguely sentient Cub fans are. The idea that Hendry could still be evaluating a season whose tailspin has gone into a tailspin would be laughable if it weren't so unsettling.

Of course, the idea that the evaluation process continues isn't the most egregiously disgusting notion, it's the concept, ridiculous on its face, revolting at its depths, that to "make a run here before the break" could change anyone's mind, that a five-game winning streak could negate the weight of evidence accrued over 83 games of barbarous incompetence - let alone the testimonial rendered by the two previous seasons' failures.

I understand what folks mean when they defend Baker, saying that he isn't the root of the problem, that the awful roster he has to work with is no small part of the bargain, and they're right - this team is not constructed to be successful, no matter who is at the helm.

However, it's no accident that what is now the height of speculation about impending changes in the team's coaching staff coincides, not only with the continuance of a stretch of appalling baseball, but with the arrival in town of the newly resurgent former whipping-boy, Corey Patterson.

This morning's feeding frenzy has as much to do with Good Corey's return to Chicago as anything else. It is the blood in the water, the trigger for the final rounds of denunciation of a coaching staff that has shown time and again that it is incapable of taking potential and molding it into production.

The argument for ridding the team of Dusty and Co. has little to do with the club's current record, and everything to do with their basic failure to understand and utilize their players' skillsets, their abject bungling of the most rudimentary of strategic devices, and most damning of all, what has proven to be a fundamental inability to get young players to the next level - to not only teach when necessary, but to have the patience to do so.

The evaluation process is over. This group of men has failed. If they are not elsewhere by July 14, it's time to storm the castle.

2006-07-05 09:16:39
1.   operablogger
Every team in the majors can find examples of players who've gone elsewhere to have better years, or even careers. But the singular failure of the current Cubs administration is to have learned from their mistakes - heck, even getting them to admit that they've made any mistakes at all would be a plus. (Hmmm, sounds like a certain political cadre in DC, does it not?) As I see it, the Cubs have only five players on their current roster worth keeping: Zambrano, Barrett, Cedeno, D-Lee and Ramirez. Everyone else could go (including the coaching staff, and especially Rothschild), and I wouldn't shed even the tiniest of tears.
2006-07-05 10:00:22
2.   Lefty
Blah blah blah blah blah Bush blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Derek-Is the Bastille Day reference merely a coincidence? Maybe a hopeful portent?

2006-07-05 10:03:31
3.   Derek Smart
Accidental, but perhaps portent-ful. It's the day of the first post-All-Star-Break Cub game.
2006-07-05 17:35:47
4.   Tom
You made a Bastille Day Reference by accident? This is like something out of i (heart) huckabees.
2006-07-06 05:44:30
5.   rynox
I think it's just a formality that Hendry says he'll be evaluating things. I mean, what do you expect him to say? "These guys suck. I'm going to can Dusty's ass in a week or two."

I think the only evaluating he'll do is, how is attendance, TV viewership and do the Cubs need to find an interim manager to keep people interested.

The thing about making a run at it before the break? Hendry's not that stupid.

2006-07-06 10:39:59
6.   Sandus
I've thought about this at length, and my best guess is that this "evaluation period" will be spent evaluating potential replacements and their resumes, perhaps even allowing time for negotiation.

By saying "we're probably going to fire our manager," you've invited all the prospective coaches to come out of the woodwork and vy for this job. If this is really what he's doing, then I approve.

Also, my vote goes to Sweet Lou for new manager.

2006-07-07 07:13:58
7.   SB Irish
We've been waiting 100 years for ownership and management to produce a winner with no results. How about we Cubs fans become a bit more involved and put some pressure on the Tribune Co. One way we can "Storm The Castle" is for every Cub fan out there to cancel their subscription to the Chicago Tribune, and not purchase any Tribune related materials? How about no one attend the Cubs convention? How about "God forbid" not go to a game? (Gasp!). The Tribune Co. has been making millions a season by putting out a losing team. Why should they change now when fans keep attending? Sometimes, Cub fans, a little tough love in the short term is needed to get someone, or something turned around in the long run. Storming The Castle would actually involve doing something, so why don't we Cubs fans finally do something?
2006-07-07 10:36:36
8.   Eric S
Derek - Congrats on the your name/blog's inclusion in today's Chicago Tribune article "blogosphere therapy" ( ... and being the first cub blog cited in the article no less. If you had the choice (and perhaps you did), would the quote that was cited in the article have been the quote you would have selected from your post? Did the Tribune contact you beforehand for permission to use it? I would assume so.
2006-07-07 13:35:46
9.   Derek Smart
Well, since your post was the first I'd heard of it, clearly I wasn't contacted - which is fine. I don't ask permission to quote the Tribune, and as I long as I cite the source, I shouldn't have to. They cited the source, so as far as I'm concerned it's 100% legit. I don't know if I would have chosen that passage or not (not my best piece of writing, IMO), but it's a decent choice considering the article's bent.
2006-07-13 10:13:58
10.   lmcnellis
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